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Legal Careers

Special Assistant United States Attorney - Detail

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Columbia
Hiring Office
United States Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Location:
601 D Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

Recruitment Notice:  Full time Special AUSA (SAUSA) detail to the Superior Court Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to handle misdemeanor-level cases in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.  This detail is not for cases involving the breach of the United States    Capitol Building.  All selections for detail positions will be made one month before each detail period begins, with training for the first detail to begin on January 17, 2023.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, 601 D Street, N.W., Washington, DC.  While some duties may be handled remotely, this detail requires extensive in-court trial work. 

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

Responsibilities and Opportunities Offered: The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. has openings for its Special AUSA (SAUSA) detail program starting on January 17, 2023, with another detail starting on April 10, 2023.

SEVEN MONTH DETAIL

The first option is a detail that will start on January 17, 2023, and end on July 28, 2023.  The detail begins with the same three-week Basic Training course that our newly-hired AUSAs attend.  The course is an excellent blend of intense academic classes (e.g., evidence, discovery), trial skills, and hands-on experience, including evidence workshops and mock trials that are critiqued by seasoned Assistant United States Attorneys with years of trial experience.  At the conclusion of Basic Training, SAUSAs are assigned to either our Misdemeanor Section or our Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Section in the Superior Court Division.  While in the Superior Court Division, SAUSAs will handle their own caseloads; draft and argue motions; handle plea negotiations; conduct plea hearings; meet with and prepare victims and witnesses; first-chair bench trials; advocate at sentencings; etc.  Most days include court appearances.  There is no difference between a regular AUSA and a SAUSA in terms of duties, responsibilities, and training.  Because the U.S. Attorney’s Office also serves as the local prosecutor for the District, we prosecute thousands of cases each year.  Our misdemeanor-level caseloads include simple assaults; threats; possession of prohibited weapons; drug possession; assaults on police officers; theft; destruction of property; hate/bias crimes; child abuse; credit card fraud; etc.  We do not handle traffic; DUI; or juvenile cases. 

Second Portion of Detail:  During the second portion of the detail (May 8, 2023 – July 28, 2023), the SAUSA will be given more advanced litigation opportunities while in their assigned Misdemeanor or DV Section.  Alternatively, with advance agreement between the USAO-DC and the SAUSA and his/her agency, the SAUSA may spend the second portion of the detail in the USAO-DC’s criminal Appellate Division, criminal Special Proceedings Division, or Civil Division.  DOJ attorneys are eligible to be considered for an additional six-month detail in the Criminal Division, which requires the approval of the Chief of the Criminal Division and the requisite security clearance.

SHORTENED DETAIL

The second option is a shorter detail (4 months) in the Superior Court Division that will start on January 17, 2023, and end on May 5, 2023. This program begins the same way as the seven-month detail with our Basic Training program followed by assignments to either our Misdemeanor Section or our Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Section.  While SAUSAs in the shortened detail will receive the same training and handle the same types of cases as the SAUSAs in the seven-month detail, the more advanced litigation opportunities are not part of this program.

Finally, although we have flexibility in terms of when SAUSAs start, all SAUSAs (and regular AUSAs) go through our Basic Training program before handling cases.  We have classes that begin on January 17, 2023, and April 10, 2023.  If a SAUSA starts before a Basic Training class, he or she will assist with case processing/intake; shadow other attorneys; draft motions, etc. until the class starts, but the end date of the detail would remain the same.

Qualifications

Submission Process: Applicants who have the support of their Section Chief should submit a resume via email to Jean.Sexton@usdoj.gov Responses are requested immediately, but no later than one month prior to the start of each detail program.

Application Process

Interested applicants should obtain approval from his/her section chief and submit a resume via email to Jean.Sexton@usdoj.gov  Written supervisory approval; a joint Memorandum of Understanding; and verification of security clearance will be required.  A Tier 2 security clearance is sufficient for SAUSAs who are serving only in Superior Court.  This is a non-reimbursable detail; the SAUSA’s agency will continue to pay the SAUSA’s salary and benefits.

If you have additional questions about our program, please reach out to either Jean Sexton, our Director of Professional Development and Training, at Jean.Sexton@usdoj.gov, (202) 252-7735, or Alan Boyd, our Assistant Director for Professional Development and Training, at Alan.Boyd@usdoj.gov, (202) 815-9021.

Salary

Under a SAUSA detail assignment, there is no change to the selectee’s base pay, benefits, or grade level. Temporary promotions are not authorized.

Number of Positions
One or More
Travel
Domestic travel is not 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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 October 24, 2022