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Legal Careers

Supervisory General Attorney - Assistant Section Chief

Hiring Organization
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Hiring Office
Natural Resources Section
Job ID
ENRD-15-063-EXC
Location:
Washington, DC 20044 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking an Assistant Section Chief for its Natural Resources Section in Washington, DC. ENRD seeks to attract, retain, and promote individuals of exceptional ability and talent from all walks of life. The work environment and atmosphere are open, diverse, collegial and inclusive. ENRD places a high value on and fosters a work environment where people of all backgrounds, physical abilities, sexual orientations and experiences may reach their full potential.

The Natural Resources Section litigates cases arising from more than 80 different natural and cultural resource statutes, environmental statutes, and numerous treaties, international agreements, interstate compacts and congressional referrals. The Section also handles a wide variety of cutting-edge Fifth Amendment takings litigation involving real property. The diverse and dynamic subject matter of the Section's docket includes cases involving the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Park Service Organic Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and the National Trails System Act. The Section's cases, many of them of first impression and significant media interest, involve the stewardship of our national parks, forests, rangelands, wildlife refuges, and offshore resources; the Nation's trust relationship with Native Americans and Tribes; vital federal programs ranging from nuclear materials management to military preparedness to energy policy and resource extraction; and original actions in the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve boundary and water allocation disputes

The Section's cases are tried throughout the United States and its possessions and territories in both state and federal court, including the Court of Federal Claims. The Section represents virtually every major federal agency.

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 Section is soliciting applications from experienced attorneys for the position of Assistant Section Chief for one of its six litigating teams. The Assistant Section Chief will supervise a team of attorneys with primary responsibility for litigating a wide variety of cases before the Court of Federal Claims and federal district courts including: defense of federal agencies in Fifth Amendment takings litigation involving real property; defense of challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) actions such as Endangered Species Act listing and critical habitat regulations and Migratory Bird Treaty Act incidental take permits; NEPA challenges to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries actions such as Marine Mammal Protection Act take authorizations and fishery management regulations; challenges to USFWS compliance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; and NEPA challenges to federal land management actions relating to wild and free-roaming horses and burros. The subject areas and matters that the Assistant Section Chief will supervise are subject to change, according to the needs of the Section.

Qualifications

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least six years of post-J.D. litigation experience with at least three years at, or equivalent to, the GS-15 grade level.

The ideal candidate will have significant federal litigation experience; the ability to mentor and manage attorneys and administrative staff to produce high quality work under tight time frames, including the ability to manage multiple assignments simultaneously and to adjust to meet new priorities; exceptional legal writing and editing skills, and a strong commitment to developing the writing skills of supervisees; the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with client agencies, court personnel, and opposing counsel, as well as the ability to build productive relationships with managers and attorneys in the Natural Resources Section, other ENRD Sections, and other Department of Justice components; and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards. Experience with Fifth Amendment takings litigation and/or experience defending federal agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act is desired, but not required.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter highlighting relevant experience and salary history, writing sample, and a completed/signed OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment (https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of0306.pdf ) to:

Lisa Lynne Russell,
Chief, Natural Resources Section
U.S. Department of Justice:
Subject line: ENRD-15-063-EXC

Email applications to: ATTYAPPLY-NRS.ENRD@USDOJ.GOV

If email submission is not possible, please forward your application materials to this address:

U.S. Department of Justice
Environment and Natural Resources Division
Natural Resources Section
P.O. Box 561, Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-0561

Attn: Lisa Lynne Russell, Chief

You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position.

Salary

Current salary for this position is GS-15 ($126,245 - $158,700) per annum.

Number of Positions
1
Travel
Periodic travel is required.
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, 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 April 7, 2016