Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) - Compensated

Office of the Woodbury County (Iowa) Attorney
Sioux City, IA 51101
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa (“USAO”) prosecutes federal criminal offenses and defends the interests of the United States in civil cases.  The Northern District of Iowa spans 52 of the state’s 99 counties.  The USAO headquarters is located in the eastern Iowa community of Cedar Rapids, with a branch office located on the western border of Iowa in Sioux City.

Sioux City is located on the Missouri River and is approximately half-way between Minneapolis and Kansas City.  Twice named an All-American City by the National Civic League, Sioux City serves as a regional hub for business, employment, industry, retail trade, medical care, educational opportunities and tourism in Northwest Iowa, Southeast South Dakota and Northeast Nebraska.  More than 140,000 people live in this tri-state metropolitan area.  For more information about Sioux City, visit: http://visitsiouxcity.org/.

More information on the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa can be found at http://www.justice.gov/usao/ian/.

Job Description: 

The attorney filling this position will be assigned a variety of narcotics and narcotics-related criminal investigations and prosecutions under the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative.  The position will be filled on a timelimited basis and is expected to last for two years but may be extended without further competition.

This is a non-federal position and the employer is the Woodbury County (Iowa) Attorney’s Office.  The terms, conditions and salary of this position will be administered by the county.  The selectee will be cross-designated as a SAUSA.  The position does not confer status as a federal employee.


Required Qualifications:  Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 1 year post-JD professional legal experience.  Applicants will be expected to do their own legal research and writing, and must be substantially self-sufficient in preparing day-to-day correspondence and pleadings. Applicants must be proficient in the use of computers.

Preferred Qualifications:  Preferred applicants will possess significant experience, skills, and/or interest in prosecuting federal narcotics and narcotics-related crimes.  Preferred applicants will demonstrate excellent oral and written advocacy skills.  Preferred applicants will have excellent interpersonal skills, including experience working with multi-agency task forces and other law enforcement officials.  Preferred applicants will have experience and familiarity with federal grand jury practice.  Preferred applicants will have experience in preparation of appellate briefs and presentation of appellate arguments.

United States citizenship is required.

Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication.  This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing.  In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a full-field background investigation.

Special Assistant United States Attorneys generally must reside in the district to which he or she is appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. § 545 for district-specific information.

Note: Employees of the Department of Justice, including Special Assistant United States Attorneys, may not engage in the compensated practice of law outside the office.  Attorneys are not eligible to serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys if they have had an employment offer deferred by a law firm and received a payment for the period of their deferral with the expectation of future employment with the law firm, or if they will receive any payment from a law firm during their employment with the Department of Justice.  In addition, contractors, including employees of contractors who do business with the Department of Justice, and who also are attorneys, are not eligible to serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys.

The annual salary for this position will be up to $80,000, dependent on experience and funding availability. Salary and benefits will be administered by the Woodbury County (Iowa) Attorney’s Office.
The SAUSA may be required to travel within and outside the District.
Application Process: 

Please specify the announcement number in your application materials.

Interested persons should direct cover letters and resumes to:


Scott McNamar

Human Resources Specialist

United States Attorney’s Office

111 7th Ave SE, Box 1

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


No phone calls please.  Hand-carried applications must be received by 5:00 pm Central Time on Wednesday, October 26, 2016; mailed applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, October 26, 2016. 

Applications may also be emailed to USAIAN.HR@usdoj.gov. 

Persons applying by email are responsible for ensuring that email and any attachments are received no later than 11:59 pm Central Time on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Note:  The Northern District of Iowa cannot be responsible for lost/misrouted/delayed email transmissions.)

Applicants must also complete the Woodbury County Employment Application. The application can be found at www.woodburyiowa.com, (under the Departments/ Human Resources).  A hard copy of the completed application must be mailed or hand-carried to the address indicted at the top of the application form:  Human Resources Department; Woodbury County Courthouse; 620 Douglas Street, Room 701; Sioux City, Iowa  51101. The Woodbury County Employment Application must be postmarked or hand-delivered by Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses may be paid.
Number of Positions: 
One (1). As needed, additional positions may be filled from this vacancy announcement.
Updated October 14, 2016

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.