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Legal Careers

Senior Legal Counsel

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section
Job ID
1400 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) is to take the profit out of crime. As a Criminal Division component, AFMLS accomplishes its mission by pursuing criminal prosecutions and forfeiture actions against financial institutions and their officers and employees engaged in money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and sanctions violations; and attorneys, financial professionals, and other facilitators or third party money launderers who move money for transnational criminal organizations, particularly cybercriminals and the Mexican cartels. In addition, AFMLS forfeits the proceeds of high level foreign corruption, and prosecutes third party money launderers who move corruption proceeds, through the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. AFMLS also plays a leadership role in the Department's money laundering and asset forfeiture efforts by: assisting Departmental and interagency policymakers by developing legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives to combat global illicit finance; returning forfeited criminal proceeds to benefit those harmed by crime through remission and restoration processes; distributing forfeited assets to offset the costs to state, local, and foreign law enforcement for partnering with the United States in federal prosecutions; and providing legal and policy assistance and training to federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement personnel, as well as to foreign governments.

The incumbent of this position serves as the Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief of AFMLS.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

The Senior Legal Counsel:

Provides guidance and input on the wide array of legal and policy questions decided by the Chief of AFMLS in the Chief's role as principal policy maker for the Forfeiture Program; provides expert counsel and advice on the most complex forfeiture and money laundering matters to senior Department officials.

Consults with the Section Chief, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and the Assistant Attorney General concerning legal and policy questions relating to statutes administered by the Section and the status of important cases and initiatives; reviews a large volume of general correspondence, legal opinions, authorizations, instructions, and advisory materials that emanate from the Section; upon request, prepares testimony for congressional committees.

Assists or shares responsibility with the Section Chief, the Principal Deputy Chief and others, as required, in reviewing and planning all policy activities within the Section and implementing the Department's strategic planning for asset forfeiture and money laundering goals. This includes: proposing and reviewing legislative initiatives and Department policies regarding asset forfeiture, money laundering, and the Bank Secrecy Act; assessing the implications of proposed legislation on investigative operations; improving procedures for obtaining oversight and assistance to the U.S. Attorneys' forfeiture litigation; providing legal advice, training, and guidance on specialized aspects of money laundering, asset forfeiture, and the Bank Secrecy Act to the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and investigative organizations.

Provides counsel on legal issues emanating from the investigation or prosecution of complex money laundering cases, asset forfeiture cases, and cases involving financial institutions, including where necessary and appropriate: reviewing proposed court orders and motions; rendering advice as to strategy and evidence problems; reviewing appellate briefs; and supervising, counseling, and advising attorneys in the legal issues present in their cases.

Serves as the Section's liaison with the Office of the Solicitor General, Criminal Appellate, and the appellate sections of other litigating divisions. As necessary, reviews and opines on draft briefs, helps moot Department advocates in advance of precedent setting oral arguments, and provides Section input as needed on the most sensitive and complicated legal issues facing the money laundering and asset forfeiture programs.

In close coordination with the Section Chief and the Principal Deputy Chief, and as necessary, participates in public conferences, seminars, and meetings to promote the Section's mission and represents the Section in the interagency setting.

Demonstrates a strong commitment and support for the Division's equal employment policies and programs to enhance workforce diversity; promotes merit promotion principles in all aspects of personnel hiring, promotions, training and development and employee retention.


Applicant must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia; have at least ten years of legal experience; possess a high degree of professional skill and a sophisticated understanding of the legal principles and technical aspects of money laundering and asset forfeiture; and have excellent writing and communication skills.

Application Process

All interested attorneys meeting these qualifications should submit a cover letter (optional), resume and most recent performance appraisal via e-mail to Applications must be received by 11:59PM EST of the closing date to receive consideration. Any questions, please contact Kim Jackson at 202-598-2232.


Salary at the Senior Level is within the range of $123,175 to $185,100. Pay will be set commensurate with experience and within Department policy.

Number of Positions
Some travel required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated April 20, 2016