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Legal Careers

Supervisory Attorney-Adviser

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office of Management Programs, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Unit
Job ID
1100 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Civil Division represents more than 100 federal agencies, individual employees, Members of Congress, the federal judiciary and the people of the United States. With close to 1000 attorneys, Civil Division is the largest Legal Division in the Department of Justice. Many of its cases have significant domestic and foreign policy implications. It defends the United States in suits challenging the constitutionality, lawfulness, or propriety of Presidential initiatives, federal statutes, and government programs and actions.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Unit is an innovative team charged with implementing legally and procedurally strategic approaches to FOIA. The FOIA and Privacy Act (PA) staff receives, reviews, and processes all FOIA and PA information requests received by the Division, prepares quarterly and annual reports, supports litigation when the Division is sued under the FOIA, and serves as a liaison with other divisions and agencies on both FOIA and PA matters.

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 Supervisory Attorney-Adviser oversees the processing of FOIA requests. The incumbent ensures that FOIA requests are handled in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements and policy guidance. The Supervisory Attorney-Adviser supervises the day-to-day activities of the FOIA and PA staff, including contractors, by assigning projects, adjusting workloads, and providing feedback on staff performance and work product.

As a Supervisory Attorney-Adviser your typical work assignments may include the following:

  1. Collecting detailed information from various components and organizations to prepare detailed reports and correspondence in a timely manner.
  2. Providing advice and interpretation of FOIA used for response to inquiries from the public.
  3. Providing legal guidance to the Civil Division (Division) on the PA.
  4. Providing advice to the Executive Officer and/or his or her designee on the legal implications of FOIA and associated legislation and regulation (e.g., Data Protection Act and Environmental Information Regulations) relating to the disclosure of information to members of the public, Congress, and other agencies
  5. Advising, coordinating, and training the staff and the Division on the legal and technical requirements of FOIA and PA policies and practices.
  6. Working with the Executive Officer and/or his or her designee, collaborates with Division and Department leadership and attorneys involved in the Department's records and FOIA and e-Discovery initiatives to develop and implement Division and Department policies and procedures.

Applicants must have a J.D. degree earned through graduation from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) and have at least four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level.

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of, and experience in, both legal and technical FOIA and Privacy Act disciplines. Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills; and exhibit good judgment.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the online application questionnaire and submit your supporting documentation through USAJobs:

Your complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 12/2/2022 to receive consideration.

  1. Click "Apply Online" to get started.
  2. If you're not logged in to your USAJOBS account, you will need to login. If you don't have an account, please create one.
  3. You will be prompted to select one of your stored (or uploaded) resumes, and any supporting documents you have uploaded to USAJOBS. If you have not uploaded these documents, you can do so later before submitting your application.
  4. After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, you will be asked to submit your demographic information (if you have provided this in your profile). Submission is optional and anonymous.
  5. You'll be asked to confirm your choices and certify the accuracy of your information before you're able to continue to the Application Manager system. Until you see the blue border and DOJ logo, you are still on USAJOBS. You'll see a folder animation just before you leave USAJOBS.
  6. Once you reach DOJ's Application Manager system, you'll be asked to verify the information you transmitted from USAJOBS. You will then respond to the application assessment questionnaires and indicate your eligibility options.
  7. After responding to the questionnaires, you will have the opportunity to attach the documents you brought over from USAJOBS *OR* upload documents directly from your computer or device.
  8. If you opt to upload a document directly, click the "Upload" button and select the document on your device, then wait for the upload to finish. Repeat as needed. Documents must be less than 3 MB each and should be in a compatible file format.
  9. Once all your documents are uploaded, you must assign the uploads to the appropriate document category. You may attach more than one document to each category. Click the drop-down menu for a document category, and select one of the available options in the menu. The document will be listed under this category. You can click the drop-down again to add other documents, as needed. You can have up to 15 document assignments.
  10. Once you've uploaded and assigned all your documents to an appropriate document type, you can proceed to the final verification step, and click Submit.
  11. If you have correctly submitted your application, you will receive an automated e-mail notification within 30-60 minutes. Be sure to review the announcement fully to make sure that your application contains everything that is required.

If you need help with the application process, please see the USAJOBS Help Site (for everything on the USAJOBS-side), or the Application Manager Help Site (for everything on the DOJ-side).

Regrettably, the Department of Justice cannot assist you with USAJOBS account issues. If you contact us for assistance and the problem is related to your USAJOBS account, we will have to direct you to USAJOBS to remedy the issue.

If you are unable to apply online due to a disability or overseas deployment, you must request an alternative application, which is available from the Human Resources Office.

Please contact Shelley Moeller at 202-598-3874 or to discuss your situation. Accommodations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Indicate that you're asking for a reasonable accommodation in your e-mail so the HR Specialist knows how to direct you.

How you will be evaluated:

Only experience obtained by 11:59pm EST on the closing date of this announcement will be considered.

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the qualifications required of the position and on the extent your total submission package demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the position. Your application will be evaluated by a reviewing panel.

Required Documents:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume showing relevant experience.
  • Writing Sample (not more than 10 pages in length)
  • DD-214 (Member-4 Copy) and/or veteran documentation, (if applicable).

$148,484.00 to $176,300.00 per year

Number of Positions
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
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 November 18, 2022