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Legal Careers

Staff Attorney

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Job ID
23-CC-DE-12023438-TW
Location:
Multiple Locations - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

ATF is a law enforcement agency in the U.S. Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals/criminal organizations, illegal use/trafficking of firearms, illegal use/storage of explosives, acts of arson/bombings, acts of terrorism, and illegal diversion of alcohol/tobacco products. We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public through information sharing, training, research, & technology. Visit www.atf.gov

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

Duty location for these positions are based on the applicant's willingness to live in the local commuting area of one the Division offices. The positions may be located in the following ATF Field Division Offices.

Currently recruiting for:

Central: Nashville and Memphis TN, Columbus, OH, New Orleans, LA, Chicago, IL, Saint Paul, MN, and Kansas, MO
West: Los Angeles (Glendale) and San Francisco (Dublin), CA
East: Washington, DC, Charlotte, NC, Baltimore, MD and Boston, MA

PLEASE DESIGNATE YOUR PREFERRED LOCATION ON YOUR RESUME. *Applicants who are not currently located in one of the areas identified above must relocate to one of the offices listed in the region.

The selected applicant is responsible for all associated travel and relocation expenses.


GS-13: $84,546 - $109,908
GS-14: $99,908 - $129,878

*This vacancy announcement is open continuous to create a standing register for the announced locations.*

The first cut-off date is: July 10, 2023.
* Future cut-off dates will be at the hiring manager's discretion.
*If you are found qualified and eligible, your name will remain on the register through the closing date of this announcement.


Serves as a staff attorney in a Field Region (Central, East, or West) and reports to the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel of that region. The attorney prepares advisory opinions on a variety of issues and questions presented by the Field Division's Special Agent in Charge, the Director of Industry Operations, and the Associate or Deputy Associate Chief Counsel. This requires the research and analysis of legal matters such as the seizure and forfeiture of property; offers in compromise; the issuance, suspension, and revocation of licenses and permits; and violations and prosecution of criminal provisions of Federal law relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives and disclosure and testimony requests These assignments usually involve complicated facts and require the review and analysis of inspection reports and/or criminal investigation reports and other documents submitted with the request for a legal opinion.

The attorney handles cases involving possible litigation in connection with alcohol, tobacco, explosives and firearms matters. Reviews and analyzes investigation reports to determine whether or not the facts constitute violations of the law and regulations and to determine the procedure to be followed; and prepares legal summaries advising as to the action that should be taken on cases. If the case relates to permit or license matters that are adjudicated before administrative law judges or hearing examiners, the incumbent may represent the Bureau at the hearing. On cases that are tried by the Department of Justice, such as criminal violation cases, the incumbent may, upon request of the U.S. Attorney, assist at the trial and settlement thereof.

Qualifications

To qualify at the GS-13 level, applicants must have experience as a practicing attorney, GS-12.

GS-13: Must have a minimum of three (3) years experience as a practicing attorney in Federal laws, including the Federal firearms, explosive, criminal laws, both substantive and procedural; experience conducting research and preparing case-related matters; and superior analytical and writing skills.

Specialized Experience is experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position:

1. Demonstrated ability to provide legal advice on the laws enforced by ATF, including Federal laws related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson.
2. Demonstrated ability to provide legal guidance and advice on matters of Federal criminal law a such as, tax violations, fraud, money laundering, and forfeiture.
3. Knowledge and demonstrated ability to provide legal and technical advice on Federal criminal and regulatory investigations, including providing technical advice on investigative plans.
4. Superior analytical, written and communication skills.

To qualify at the GS-14 level, applicants must have experience as a practicing attorney, GS-13.

GS-14: Must have a minimum of five (5) years experience as a practicing attorney; experience as the principal attorney assigned to cases with a high degree of difficulty and importance, including independently exercising responsibility for the development and presentation of the case; knowledge of the Federal firearms and explosives laws; and superior analytical and writing skills.

Specialized Experience is experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position:

1. Demonstrated ability to provide legal advice on the laws enforced by ATF, including Federal laws related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson.
2. Demonstrated ability to provide legal guidance and advice on matters of Federal criminal law a such as, tax violations, fraud, money laundering, and forfeiture.
3. Knowledge and demonstrated ability to provide legal and technical advice on Federal criminal and regulatory investigations, including providing technical advice on investigative plans.
4. Superior analytical, written and communication skills.

Special Notes:Although this announcement is advertised for multiple duty locations and grade levels, it is not intended to convey any implication nor expectation that positions will be filled at all grade levels or locations.

This announcement is being used to create an inventory of applicants for Staff Attorney positions and will be used to fill immediate and future needs. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in order to maximize their employment opportunities. Your application will remain in the inventory of tentatively qualified applicants. Applicants that are among the best qualified will be referred to the selecting official for consideration as requests to fill vacancies are processed by the Human Resources Office. The first cut-off date for you to be referred will be July 10, 2023. Thereafter, additional referral lists will be generated throughout the open period as vacancies occur. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.

This is an open continuous announcement. Qualified applicants will be considered as job opportunities occur and may or may not receive further notification regarding the status of their application.

Application Process

Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin an application. To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online application, to include the initial online assessment and submission of the required documentation specified in the Required Documents section. You must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM (ET) on 12/29/2023 to be considered. The application process is as follows:

  1. To begin the application process, click the Apply Online button.
  2. Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all necessary supporting documentation.
  3. Click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59 PM (ET) on the announcement closing date.
  4. After submitting an online application, you will be notified whether or not you are required to take additional online assessments through the USA Hire Competency Based Assessment system. This message will be delivered to you via email notification. The email may be routed to your "Spam" or "Junk" folder.
  5. If you are asked to take the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, you will be presented with a unique URL to access the USA Hire system. Access to USA Hire is granted through your USAJOBS login credentials. Be sure to review all instructions prior to beginning your USA Hire Assessments. Click here for Computer System Requirements
  6. Note, set aside at least 3 hours to take these assessments; however, most applicants complete the assessments in less time. If you need to stop the assessments and continue at a later time, you can re-use the URL sent to you via email and also found in your USAJOBS account under the Track this application link for the corresponding application.
Salary

$84,546 - $129,868 per year

Number of Positions
Multiple Positions
Travel
Occasional travel
Relocation Expenses
Not provided

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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 June 30, 2023