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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
United States Trustee Program (USTP)
Hiring Office
Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST), Office of General Counsel (OGC)
Job ID
441 G St., NW Suite 6150
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

If you are interested in a challenging and rewarding career and access to a generous benefits package, consider the U. S. Trustee Program as your employer of choice!The USTP is a litigating component of the Department of Justice with responsibility for overseeing nearly all bankruptcy cases filed in the United States from chapter 7, 12, and 13 cases to major chapter 11 business reorganizations. The Program's mission is to promote the integrity and efficiency of the bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders – debtors, creditors, and the public.  USTP employees headquartered in Washington, DC, and in 93 field office locations across the country handle a wide range of administrative, regulatory, and enforcement matters.  Of particular importance are the Program's efforts to address fraud and abuse by debtors, creditors, and others in the bankruptcy system by taking both formal and informal civil enforcement actions and making criminal referrals to U.S. Attorneys as appropriate.  

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

This position is located in the Appellate group of the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST), Office of the General Counsel (OGC).  OGC is responsible for coordinating, directing, and developing legal policies, procedures, and litigating positions for the USTP in enforcing the Bankruptcy Code, and seeing that institutional interests of the Program are properly asserted and defended.

If selected for this position, you will be responsible for providing legal advice and guidance on appellate and civil litigation issues, including developing and implementing strategies to ensure effective advocacy of Program goals and policies at the trial court and appellate levels, and ensuring compliance with Department policies and appellate procedures.

Typical work assignments include:

  • Drafting appellate briefs in civil litigation bankruptcy cases, presenting effective oral arguments before United States district courts, bankruptcy appellate panels and court of appeals.
  • Drafting appellate memoranda, reviewing and editing memoranda and briefs prepared by other trial attorneys in the Program's field offices and with OGC.
  • Assisting other trial attorneys in presenting oral arguments and working on appeals with other departmental components, including the Office of the Solicitor General.
  • Performing legal research on complex factual, legal and policy issues and providing legal and practical conclusions and recommendations in the form oral advice, briefings, presentations, reports, legal memoranda and appellate briefs for the use of the General Counsel, senior management and Program field offices.




To qualify at the GS-13, applicants must have at least three (3) years post Juris Doctorate (J.D.) professional legal experience in complex civil litigation or in a civil litigation appellate law. At least two years of the required professional legal experience above must be at or equivalent to the GS-12 grade level or pay band in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

To qualify at the GS-14, applicants must have at least four (4) years post Juris Doctorate (J.D.) professional legal experience in complex civil litigation or in a civil litigation appellate law. At least two years of the required professional legal experience above must be at or equivalent to the GS-13 grade level or pay band in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

To qualify at the GS-15, applicants must have at least five (5) years post Juris Doctorate (J.D.) professional legal experience in complex civil litigation or in a civil litigation appellate law. At least two years of the required professional legal experience above must be at or equivalent to the GS-14 grade level or pay band in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

Preferred Qualifications:

In addition to the required qualifications listed above, it is preferred that applicant has at least two or more years of experience in the following areas: complex civil litigation in the federal system, or civil appellate in the federal system. 

Time also spent as a law clerk to a United States district court or a United States court of appeals judge, or a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, is desirable.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. Applicants will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Application Process

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone) on Friday, August 12, 2016.

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:

  1. Your resume showing relevant work experience (including, beginning and ending dates of employment stated as MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY and the total hours worked per week).

  2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire

  3. Most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, if you are a current or former Federal Employee

  4. Veterans’ Preference Documentation (DD-214, Member 4 Copy or Certification of Service; document must reflect character of service), if applicable.

  5. Writing sample (a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product)

To apply for this position, see page at



Number of Positions
Business travel may be required up to 10% of the time.
Relocation Expenses

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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 July 28, 2016