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Legal Careers

Supervisory Trial Attorney (Deputy Chief, Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit)

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Office of Enforcement Operations
Job ID
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking an experienced attorney to serve as Deputy Chief of the Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit (PSEU), within the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO). PSEU is responsible for evaluating and making recommendations on requests for the use of sensitive investigative and prosecutorial tools under PSEU's purview. The position is based in Washington, D.C.

PSEU analyzes requests from USAOs and DOJ attorneys for Department authorization to use, or consultation about, numerous investigative and prosecutorial tools, including: 

  • Providing statutory use immunity for federal witnesses; 
  • Obtaining information from or about members of the news media; 
  • Closing judicial proceedings to the public in federal criminal cases; 
  • Issuing subpoenas to attorneys for information relating to their representation of clients; 
  • Applying for search warrants to search the premises or electronic storage devices of attorneys; and
  • Initiating a federal prosecution following a state prosecution of an individual. 

After conferring with the federal prosecutor in the field or DOJ attorney about the request and the investigation/prosecution at issue and analyzing the request to determine whether it comports with Department policies, regulations, and legal authority, PSEU prepares a recommendation memorandum advising the relevant Department decision maker, who may be the Attorney General, but who is often the Assistant Attorney General or a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, or the Director of OEO, whether to authorize the request or deem the consultation requirement to be satisfied.

The incumbent, in conjunction with the Chief and the other Deputy Chief of PSEU, supervises attorneys and staff of PSEU, provides guidance and policy direction to the unit, and serves as a liaison to the field.

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

As Deputy Chief of PSEU, the incumbent is responsible for assisting the Chief in planning, organizing, and directing the unit and for the satisfactory performance of all functions assigned to it. PSEU has oversight over many of the most sensitive investigative and prosecutorial tools at a federal prosecutor's disposal. PSEU attorneys review requests to use those tools by evaluating the facts and applicable law and policy, and preparing a memorandum that provides an analysis of the relevant legal authority and DOJ policy, as applied to the facts, and a recommendation as to whether the request meets applicable policy and legal requirements and should be approved. The Deputy Chief serves as a resource for unit attorneys and is responsible for reviewing work of attorneys and other employees of the unit, as well as for managing day-to-day operations, issues, and programs of the unit, as directed by the Chief. Because the requests submitted to PSEU arise in connection with ongoing investigations, prosecutions, or litigation, the Deputy Chief uses knowledge of criminal procedure, grand jury practice, use of cooperating defendants, litigation strategies, etc., in reviewing the work of the unit.   

The Deputy Chief also serves as a resource to federal prosecutors and DOJ attorneys requesting advice about policies within PSEU's portfolio to assist in advancing federal investigations.  The Deputy Chief assists in planning and providing training to federal prosecutors about specific policies and investigative/prosecutorial tools, with the dual goals of providing guidance on the requirements for approval, and fostering cooperation and communication between PSEU and the field. 


Required Qualifications: Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing. To qualify at the GS-15 grade level, applicants must have at least four (4) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-14 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: independently performing legal analysis; composing pleadings, briefs and other court documents involving unique and/or difficult legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting highly complex civil or criminal litigation; and leading paralegals and support staff.

Preferred Qualifications:
Your qualifications will be further evaluated based upon the following competencies:

  • Demonstrated experience with complex federal criminal investigations and prosecutions;
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of sensitive federal investigative and prosecutorial tools;
  • Demonstrated leadership and managerial experience;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate and coordinate on sensitive issues;
  • Experience exercising judgment and problem-solving skills in complex matters;
  • Policy experience on criminal justice matters;
  • Strong advocacy, legal writing, and presentation skills;
  • Experience supervising the work product of attorneys; and
  • Experience directing training and outreach efforts.
Application Process

The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

Please submit your application through USAJobs. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.

  1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USA jobs account before applying Create an Account. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
  2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAJobs vacancy: 

The salary range for this position is $144,128 to $172,500 per annum, which includes locality pay. See OPM’s Web page at….

Number of Positions
Occasional travel, including travel to districts.
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 March 15, 2021