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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Hiring Office
Natural Resources Section
Job ID
ENRD-15-060-EXC
Location:
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking experienced litigators 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 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; and vital federal programs ranging from nuclear materials management to military preparedness to energy policy and resource extraction. The Section also handles a wide variety of cutting-edge Fifth Amendment takings litigation involving real property, as well as 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 courts. The Section represents virtually every major federal agency.

For more information about the work of the Natural Resources Section, visit the Justice Department's web site at: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd .

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 attorney(s) selected will handle cases involving novel and complex issues associated with the interpretation of statutes, treaties, regulations, and executive orders relating to federal programs and the stewardship of the Nation's natural resource, as determined by the Section's needs. The cases handled by the Section require attorneys to achieve intellectual command of complicated facts, scientific principles, and legal issues, often rapidly. Successful candidates will demonstrate an aptitude and desire for primary responsibilities in sophisticated litigation, proficiency in working with a wide range of experts, and the ability to harness leading edge technology and litigation support in the preparation of cases. Creative thinking and considerable talent in problem-solving -- whether in a litigation or settlement context -- are indispensable.

Qualifications

The Section's docket is demanding and requires top caliber work products. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated record of complex case management, initiative and creativity, strong courtroom skills, outstanding legal writing, and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree awarded no later than August 2010, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least five years post J.D. experience, and be a U.S. citizen. Applicants should have a strong interest in federal litigation and/or trial work and an exceptional academic background. Judicial clerkship experience and familiarity with defensive civil litigation is highly desirable and knowledge of natural resource management, trusts, or Indian law is a plus. Applicants must demonstrate superior research, analytical, and writing abilities.

Application Process

Submission Process and Deadline Date: Applications must be received by Monday, August 31, 2015.

Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter, writing sample, and OF-306 to:

Lisa Lynne Russell
Chief, Natural Resources Section
U.S. Department of Justice:
Subject line: ENRD-15-060-EXC

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

If email submission is not possible, please forward your application materials to the following 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

No telephone calls, please.

How You Will Be Evaluated: You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.

Please note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 80 days after the announcement closes.

Salary

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is: GS-14 ($107,325 - $139,523) and GS-15 ($126,245 - $158,700).

Number of Positions
One position. The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 80 days after the announcement closes.
Travel
Periodic travel is required.
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, 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