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Legal Careers

Supervisory Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Job ID
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) is to coordinate the Department’s efforts in carrying out its core mission of combating terrorism and protecting national security. NSD is responsible for supervising the enforcement of all federal criminal laws related to counterintelligence and counterterrorism x, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. NSD also serves as the Department of Justice’s liaison to the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and represents the government and the USIC before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSD advises the Attorney General regarding all matters of national security policy.

The Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) investigates, prosecutes, and supervises cases affecting the national security and foreign relations of the United States, including espionage cases, cases involving export controls and sanctions, and cases involving cyber-attacks and intrusions committed by nation-states and their proxies. CES has exclusive responsibility for coordinating and authorizing the prosecution of cases under criminal statutes relating to espionage, the unauthorized disclosure and retention of classified information, sabotage, neutrality, export controls and sanctions, atomic energy, and foreign malign influence. It provides legal advice to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and investigative agencies on all matters within its area of responsibility, which includes 90 federal statutes affecting the national security. CES also coordinates criminal cases involving the application of the Classified Information Procedures Act and administers and enforces the Foreign Agents Registration Act and related disclosure statutes.

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

NSD seeks a Deputy Chief for its Counterintelligence and Export Control Section who will focus on cases involving espionage, the unauthorized disclosure and retention of classified information, and economic espionage.

Under the direction of the Chief, the Deputy Chief will be responsible for overseeing and approving all counterintelligence-related prosecutions nationwide. Among other duties, the Deputy Chief will:

Plan, supervise, administer, and review the work of CES Trial Attorneys and support personnel;

Coordinate cases and provide legal advice, guidance, and litigation support to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the prosecution of counterintelligence matters;

Coordinate closely with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, and with U.S. Intelligence Community agencies;

Promote the consideration and implementation of whole-of-government approaches, where possible, for offenses within CES’s jurisdiction;

Prepare and review guidance documents and other materials on issues related to counterintelligence matters for dissemination to prosecutors;

Provide advice and assistance to the Chief and other senior officials in the Division and in the Department;

Review and recommend for approval FBI requests for Attorney General exemptions and to engage in “otherwise illegal activities”;

Coordinate with the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division regarding prosecutions for the theft of trade secrets under 18 U.S.C. § 1831 (economic espionage);

Serve as the Department’s and Division’s representative on a variety of interagency bodies;

Participate in bilateral meetings with international partners;

In partnership with the Criminal Division, design and lead a biannual course at the National Advocacy Center regarding trade secret investigations and prosecutions, as well as participate in other Division training programs;

Provide training to the Department’s law enforcement partners involved in the enforcement of the Espionage Act, the Economic Espionage Act, the Neutrality Act, and other counterintelligence-related laws;

Design and conduct outreach to the private sector regarding the threat environment with respect to economic espionage and the need for a public-private partnership in combatting that threat; and

Provide comments on proposed legislation related to counterintelligence matters.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, and have at least four or more years of post-J.D. professional experience. Applicants must have superior academic credentials, possess excellent analytical and writing skills, and have the dedication and capacity to work independently in a very demanding environment. Past experience in the national security or intelligence field is not required but is preferred. Prior federal litigation experience also strongly preferred.

Applicants must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

Application Process

Please submit a resume, a writing sample that exhibits your own written advocacy skills (no longer than 15 pages), and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal via email to with the subject line “CES Supervisory Trial Attorney Vacancy.”

No telephone calls, please.


GS-15: $155,700 - $183,500 (per annum)

Number of Positions
One or more
Periodic travel will be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses may not be authorized for this position.

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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 February 17, 2023