The Assistants, together with the Deputy Solicitors General, comprise the legal staff of the Office of the Solicitor General. The Office of the Solicitor General is responsible for conducting and supervising all aspects of Government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. Specifically, the Office determines which Federal cases will be taken by the Solicitor General to the Supreme Court, and what position the Federal Government will assume in the Supreme Court litigation, where it has an interest. The Office also acts upon every case in which an adverse decision is rendered in any court against the United States to determine whether an appeal will be undertaken, and also decides whether the United States should file a brief as amicus curiae in any appellate court or intervene in any court.
The incumbent serves as an Assistant to the Solicitor General. Each of the Assistants to the Solicitor General participates in all aspects of the work of the Office; none of them specializes in any particular subject. The work is assigned primarily on the basis of their availability and background knowledge when the particular matter reaches the Office. The Office primarily performs a reviewing function. Drafts of the various documents and papers filed in the U.S. Supreme Court are prepared in the various operating divisions of the Department or by the regulatory agencies. The incumbent reviews and revises these documents, often substantially or completely rewriting them. The Assistants work on briefs on the merits, petitions for writs of certiorari, jurisdictional statements, briefs in opposition, motions to affirm, papers relating to stays, and other forms of motion practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. They also review recommendations as to whether the government should seek U.S. Supreme Court review in cases it has lost, whether the United States should appeal to intermediate appellate courts cases it has lost in the trial courts, whether the United States should pursue rehearing en banc when cases are lost at the appellate level. They prepare memoranda to the Solicitor General containing such recommendations and also memoranda discussing other legal problems as assigned; draft correspondence; and advise the Solicitor General on different aspects of the work of the Office. The incumbent argues cases before the U.S. Supreme Court–ordinarily two to three times each Supreme Court term.
1. J.D. degree, active bar membership;
2. Exceptional and strong academic background;
3. Federal appellate clerkship or Supreme Court clerkship strongly encouraged;
4. Significant federal appellate litigation experience;
5. Broad experience in areas of law germane to federal governmental practice;
6. Exceptional writing skills;
7. Strong oral advocacy skills; and
8. Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with less experienced attorneys, providing guidance and assistance.
Applicants must submit (via mail or email): 1) a resume or current OF 612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment); 2) a narrative statement addressing the qualifications listed above; 3) a writing sample; 4) law school transcript; and 5) a copy of your most recent performance rating (if applicable). Please submit to the following address or email.
Valerie Hall Yancey
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Solicitor General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Main, Room 5140
Washington, D.C. 20530
NOTE TO PRIOR APPLICANTS: If you submitted an application package for the December 2016 vacancy announcement for this position and would like to update your submission, please feel free to do so. Otherwise, the application package currently on file with our office will be considered for this announcement.