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Legal Careers

Supervisory, Senior FOIA Counsel

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, & E-Discovery
Job ID
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

This position is located in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, & E-Discovery Office. 

The Civil Division's legal practice includes both defensive and affirmative litigation.  Each year, thousands of lawsuits against the government are filed as a result of its policies, laws, domestic and foreign operations, and entitlement programs, as well as law enforcement initiatives, military actions, and counter terrorism efforts.  The Civil Division defeats billions of dollars in unmeritorious claims every year. 

In its affirmative litigation, the Division brings suits on behalf of the United States, primarily to recoup money lost through fraud, loan defaults, and the abuse of federal funds.  Annually, hundreds of millions - and often billions - of dollars are returned to the Treasury, Medicare, and other programs as a result of the Civil Division's litigation efforts. 

Civil Division litigation falls generally into the following categories:  cases involving national policies; cases that are so massive and span so many years that they would overwhelm the resources and infrastructure of any individual field office; cases filed in national or foreign courts; cases crossing multiple jurisdictions; and cases to remove illegal aliens. 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, and E-Discovery Office of the Civil Division is an innovative team charged with implementing legally and procedurally strategic approaches to FOIA, records, and e-discovery.  The President and Department of Justice leadership have prioritized the modernization of FOIA, records, and e-discovery processes.  To further these initiatives, the Civil Division established the FOIA, Records, and E-Discovery Office to develop and support the Civil Division's mission and service to the American public. 


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 Senior FOIA Counsel, will have a variety of responsibilities including handling complex FOIA matters, interacting with the requestors and the public regarding FOIA request, and advising and training all Division attorneys and support staff on FOIA. The Senior FOIA Counsel must possess outstanding judgment and management skills as well as expertise in FOIA and the Privacy Act.  He/She will play an important role for the Civil Division and the Department of Justice in further developing procedures to meet new legal priorities and advances in technology.  The Senior FOIA Counsel will work closely with the Civil Division's Director of E-Discovery, Division staff, senior DOJ management, and other federal agencies. 

Ensures that FOIA requests are handled in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements and policy guidance.

Oversees the processing of and processes FOIA requests, both complex and simple.

Attends to Division obligations that may exist in any resulting FOIA litigation.

Supervises the day-to-day activities of staff up to the GS-15 level by assigning projects, adjusting workloads, and providing feedback on staff performance and work product. 

Provides advice and interpretation of FOIA to be used for response to inquiries from the general public.

Provides legal guidance to the Division on the Privacy Act (PA).

Advises, coordinates, and trains staff on the legal and technical requirements of FOIA and PA policies and practices.

Assists with e-discovery and records projects as assigned by the Director.



Applicants must be a graduate 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.  You must also be a U.S. citizen. 

Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiating, interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment. 



Application Process

You must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample (no more than 5 pages).  If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214, and/or other documentation that support your claim.  PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY OTHER DOCUMENTATION. 

You must  EMAIL your application to:

Please use 'Announcement # 'FREDO-2016-02' as your SUBJECT LINE.

You must submit your application so that it will be RECEIVED by the closing date of the announcement, Eastern Standard Time



$128,082.00 to $160,300.00 / Per Year

Number of Positions
Not required.
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, 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 June 9, 2016