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Legal Careers

Supervisory Attorney - Advisor, (Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, FELD)

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Job ID
Washington, DC 20226 - 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. 

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

Serves as the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (DACC) of the Firearms and Explosives Law Division (FELD) and reports to the Associate Chief Counsel of the FELD. The DACC is a senior expert legal advisor for the agency and involved in the most difficult and complex legal issues relating to ATF's administration and enforcement of the Federal firearms and explosives laws.

The DACC is responsible for working with and providing legal advice to other OCC Divisions and ATF Directorates to ensure firearm and explosives policies adopted by ATF are appropriate and legally defensible; firearms and explosives decisions and classifications are legally sound and, where appropriate, consistent with prior agency positions; and OCC legal advice relating to the Federal firearms and explosives laws is consistent throughout the country.

The DACC serves as the Division's first line supervisor and is required to review work relating to all legal areas covered by the FELD. Additionally, the DACC is required to perform a full range of supervisory duties including establishing overall office policies, practices, work priorities, and goals; directly assigning work to staff and evaluating their performance; coordinating and facilitating the work of the office with higher management levels; making selections for subordinates (subject to internal approval requirements); resolving disciplinary problems and other conflicts raised within the office; monitoring employee training programs, to ensure personnel are trained in their areas of responsibility; evaluating subordinates; and approving performance standards.


To qualify at the GS-15 level, applicants must have at least six years of specialized experience as a practicing attorney.

In addition to meeting to the qualifications above, you must meet the specialized experience below:

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

  1. Expansive experience analyzing, interpreting, and applying firearms and explosives laws, regulations, ATF orders, court decisions, agency and office opinions and other legal documents.
  2. Superior legal research, analytical, writing, and oral communication skills.
  3. Extensive knowledge and experience providing legal advice on ATF rulings on issues involving the Federal firearms and explosives laws, and ensures such rulings comply with the GCA, the NFA and the Federal explosives laws, Administrative Procedure Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and other legal requirements for rulemaking documents.

Preferred Qualifications: In addition to meeting to the above qualifications, the ideal candidate will have experience in all areas of the Division's legal practice.

  1. Expansive knowledge and experience reviewing and providing legal analysis of the substantive and procedural aspects of laws administered and enforced by ATF, and broad knowledge of Federal administrative, criminal, and general laws.
  2. Extensive knowledge and experience providing authoritative legal advice on new or complex issues arising from review of the GCA, NFA and Federal explosives laws.
    Extensive experience providing independent judgment and showing foresight in recognizing matters of precedential nature.
  3. Extensive knowledge and experience providing legal advice on ATF rulings on issues involving the Federal firearms and explosives laws, and ensures such rulings comply with the GCA, the NFA and the Federal explosives laws, Administrative Procedure Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and other legal requirements for rulemaking documents.
  4. Extensive experience in original thinking, mature judgment, and sound reasoning as new problems of law, policy and procedures are presented for solution
  5. Extensive experience providing independent judgment and showing foresight in recognizing matters of precedential nature.
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 04/12/2023 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.

To update your application, including supporting documentation, at any time during the announcement open period return to your USAJOBS account. There you will find a record of your application, the application status, and an option to Edit My Application. This option will no longer be available once the announcement is closed.

To verify the status of your application both during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account. Your applications will appear on the Welcome page. Navigate to the job application and click Track this application to view your application status. The link will take you to the hiring agency application system, which has the most up-to-date status of your application. There you can review any notifications sent to you related to this application, including the invitation to take the USA Hire assessment. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. 


03/30/2023 to 04/12/2023

Number of Positions
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be paid

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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 March 30, 2023