Trial Attorney

Appellate Section
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States
About the Office: 

The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking an experienced litigator for its Appellate Section for a full-time position in Washington, DC.

The Appellate Section is responsible for handling cases in federal and state courts of appeals involving the ENRD, for preparing appeal recommendations, and for preparing drafts for the Office of the Solicitor General of petitions, responses, and briefs in most ENRD cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Job Description: 

This advertisement is for a staff level attorney position.  The individual selected will be responsible for handling appellate litigation in a wide range of matters such as air, water, and solid waste regulation; hazardous substance clean-ups; public land and forest management; water rights; Indian treaty rights and Indian gaming; land condemnation; Fifth Amendment takings; fish and wildlife conservation; and criminal environmental prosecutions.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) and be a U.S. citizen or national.  Applicants with Court of Appeals experience or with a background in environmental or natural resources law will be preferred.

Specific grade level requirements:

  • At least 3 years of post-JD litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify at the GS-13 grade level.
  • At least 4 years of post-JD litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify at the GS-14 grade level.
  • At least 5 years of post-JD litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify at the GS-15 grade level.

You must complete a background investigation and pre-employment drug testing.

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is: GS-13 ($96,970 - $126,062); GS-14 ($114,590 - $148,967), GS-15 ($134,789 - $164,200) per annum.
Occasional travel is required.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter highlighting relevant experience and salary history, a writing sample, and OF-306, law school transcript showing proof of J.D.,  Declaration for Federal Employment ( to:

U.S. Department of Justice
Appellate Section
Attention:  Jennifer Neumann, Assistant Chief
Subject Line: ENRD-18-027-EXC
Email applications to:  ATTYAPPLY-APP.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
PO Box 7415, Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC  20044-7415
Attention:  Jennifer Neumann, Assistant 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 positon.  Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.

Note:  The selecting official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 90 days after the announcement closes.

Internet Sites

For more information about the ENRD’s Appellate Section, visit the Department’s web site at:

Application Deadline: 
Friday, September 7, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated August 9, 2018

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.