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Legal Careers

Special Litigation Counsel

Hiring Organization
Civil Rights Division (CRT)
Hiring Office
Criminal Section
Job ID
23-DLP-001-CRM (ATT)
Location:
Washington, DC 20002 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Civil Rights Division (Division) of the Department of Justice, created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), disability, religion, familial status, national origin, and citizenship status.

The Criminal Section prosecutes cases involving the violent interference with liberties and rights defined in the Constitution or federal law. The rights of both citizens and non-citizens are protected. In general, it is the use of force, threats, or intimidation that characterize a federal criminal violation of an individual's civil rights

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

Special Litigation Counsels (SLCs) are experienced prosecutors who handle the Section's most sensitive and complex civil rights matters. SLCs also jointly conduct investigations and prosecutions, and work with, and provide guidance to, less experienced attorneys. In addition, SLCs assist the management team in facilitating the operation of the Section, and serve as Section ambassadors in its work with outside partners and interested persons.

The incumbent selected will assist the Section Chief, Principal Deputy Chief, and Deputy Chiefs, and will be responsible for duties such as:

  • Working with, and providing guidance to, less experienced attorneys while jointly conducting investigations and prosecutions in civil rights matters. This duty involves analyzing allegations, developing strategies for investigations, developing evidence, conducting legal research, writing memoranda and pleadings, developing strong working relationships with others, and handling all aspects of litigation, while guiding and mentoring others through these duties.
  • Conducting investigations and prosecutions in the most sensitive and complex civil rights matters, handling all aspects of the investigation and litigation.
  • Serving as an ambassador for the Section by participating in meetings; conducting or attending legal trainings; participating in other forms of outreach; meeting with interested persons regarding decisions not to prosecute cases; and performing other duties.
  • Assisting the Chief, Principal Deputy Chief, and Deputies with administrative duties, which might include evaluating attorneys and support staff; responding to inquiries from citizens and law enforcement partners; providing feedback to the Chief and Deputies; and assisting the Chief with special projects.
Qualifications

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • All male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for the selective service. If selected, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.
  • You may be required to complete a pre-employment security screening to initiate your background investigation, which includes a drug screening. Continued employment is contingent upon successful completion and adjudication of your investigation.
  • You must have a JD degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • DOJ uses E-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, by visiting www.e-verify.gov/.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

 

Required Qualifications:

Applicants must possess a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and possess a minimum of five (5) years of post-professional law degree experience. Applicants also must have strong, demonstrated qualifications in the following areas: academic achievement; substantive knowledge and expertise in the laws, rules and regulations applicable to the work of the Section or substantially similar laws, rules, and regulations; written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze complex issues; skill and experience working collaboratively and productively with others; organizational skills; professional judgment; initiative; and the ability to excel in a fast-paced, demanding environment. Applicants must have the ability to motivate and engage employees; the skill to build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency; the assertiveness to drive outcomes and overcome adversity; the capacity to create a culture of clear accountability; and the integrity to make decisions based solely on merit. In addition, applicants must have outstanding professional references. In addition to these general qualifications, the applicant must have the following specific qualifications:

1. Significant experience and expertise successfully prosecuting federal criminal civil rights violations, including through jury trials, and have significant experience developing and handling the most complex and significant matters with little or no supervision.
2. Experience working with and mentoring others, and demonstrate exceptional mentoring skills and the ability to foster the professional development of other prosecutors.
3. Demonstrated outstanding legal writing and editing skills, including the ability to conduct thorough legal research, produce outstanding written work product quickly and effectively, edit the written work of others quickly and effectively, and foster excellent written work product in less experienced attorneys.
4. Demonstrated outstanding oral advocacy, trial preparation, and trial presentation skills, and the ability to foster and develop these skills in others.
5. Outstanding professional judgment and fairness.

Preferred Qualifications:

The following qualifications are preferred, but not required: (1) advanced research skills, including the ability to conduct complete and accurate research quickly and effectively, and to mentor others in their legal research, (2) supervisory experience, particularly experience supervising or reviewing the work of attorneys, paralegals, experts, and other staff, (3) the ability to appropriately use and coordinate the efforts of support personnel, including support attorneys, paralegals, investigators, experts, and other staff, and (4) have experience providing training to prosecutors and or agents on civil rights matters and/or trial advocacy. Judicial clerkships (especially in federal court), law review, moot court, clinical experience, and skill and experience working cooperatively and productively with a range of people, such as charging parties, witnesses, respondents, disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, opposing counsel, judicial or administrative officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement personnel, and the staff of other federal or state governmental agencies are also preferred.

Education

You must possess a J.D. degree.

Application Process

Required Documents

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on 11/28/2022 to be considered for this announcement.

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:

  1. Cover Letter 
  2. Resume
  3. Law School Transcripts - Current DOJ Attorneys are not required to submit a copy of their transcripts.
  4. Writing Sample
  5. Assessment Questionnaire
  6. Schedule A Documentation (if applicable) 
  7. Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable)

 

To apply for this position, see page https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/687265600 To begin, click "Apply" to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.

Salary

GS-15 ($148,484-$176,300)

Number of Positions
1
Travel
75% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
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 November 3, 2022