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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office of Immigration Litigation - District Court Section
Job ID
2015-Civil-OIL-DCS-2
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career as a Trial Attorney with the Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice? Join us in serving the United States with honor and integrity!

This is a Term Appointment position. Initial term of assignment is one year and one day. Position may be extended or made permanent without further competition. Work schedule is full-time.

The Civil Division, with more than 1,000 attorneys and 14 litigating components, represents the United States, its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet officers and other Federal employees.

The Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section (OIL-DCS) seeks a talented and highly-motivated litigator to join one of its six civil litigation teams. OIL-DCS is a highly-active litigating section in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division handling cases in district and appellate courts throughout the United States. OIL-DCS attorneys work on cutting-edge and complex civil litigation matters focusing on the defense of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Trial Attorneys in the Section personally handle all phases of civil litigation, including case assessment and strategy determination, coordinating legal positions of federal agencies, conducting all aspects of discovery, writing and filing dispositive motions, conducting oral arguments and trials, handling appeals to the circuit courts, and conducting settlement negotiations. Trial Attorneys also provide counsel to other federal agencies concerning litigation risk stemming from immigration policies and practices. OIL-DCS attorneys are regularly asked to review proposed legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to federal immigration law and provide comments.

OIL-DCS attorneys handle individual and class-based challenges to the INA and its implementing regulations. Many of these challenges involve issues of first impression involving constitutional rights and entitlements, statutory interpretation, federal authority over immigration matters, agency rulemaking procedures, and Article III standing. In federal courts around the country, OIL-DCS primarily represents the interests of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State, Labor, and certain components of Health and Human Services.

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

OIL-DCS seeks one trial attorney to handle an active docket of cases defending the INA and the Executive’s immigration policies in district and appellate court.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications: 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), have at least one year of post-J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-12 level; have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.

Applicants should possess superior oral and written communication skills, as well as strong character, judgment, and interpersonal skills; and have demonstrated the capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment.

Preferred Qualifications: Experience with civil litigation in federal court, including a federal clerkship, is strongly encouraged.

Application Process

E-mail all materials to: CIV-DCS-Careers@usdoj.gov

Please specify that the application is for the "Trial Attorney (TERM APPOINTMENT) – District Court Section" position in the subject line.

No telephone calls. You must submit your application so that it will be RECEIVED by midnight Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

Cover Letter

Resume

Writing Sample (No more than 15 pages)

Veterans Preference document (if applicable)

Salary

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is: GS-12 ($76,378 - $99,296), GS-13 ($90,823 - $118,069), GS-14 ($107,325 - $139,523) and GS-15 ($126,245 - $158,700).

Number of Positions
1
Travel
Frequent travel is required; 25% or more. Travel is often necessary for court appearances, oral argument, and other case-related matters, e.g. discovery.
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, 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