Trial Attorney

Special Litigation Section
Attorney
Washington, DC 20530
United States
19-ATT-003
About the Office: 

The Civil Rights Division (Division) of the Department of Justice, created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division is primarily responsible for enforcing federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit, among other things, unlawful discrimination in education, employment, housing, police service, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and federally funded and conducted programs. The Division also has jurisdiction to enforce constitutional prohibitions on certain conduct by law enforcement agencies and public residential institutions, such as health care and correctional facilities.

The Special Litigation Section (SPL or Section) works to protect civil rights in the following areas: 1) the rights of people in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 2) the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities, rather than in institutions; 3) the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriffs' departments; 4) the rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system; 5) the rights of people to have safe access to reproductive health care clinics; and 6) the rights of people to practice their religion while confined to state and local institutions.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging opportunity? Join the U.S. Department of Justice!

SPL is seeking experienced attorneys for the position of Trial Attorney. The attorneys selected for these positions will be dedicated to the Section's work in either its Corrections Practice Group (CGP) or its Police Practice Group (PPG). Duties The incumbent will be responsible for duties such as, but not limited to: (1) personally handling and leading team members on sensitive and/or complex investigations, litigation, and negotiations; (2) working with the Section Chief and management team to develop and establish strategies and priorities for corrections or police misconduct enforcement; (3) working with U.S. Attorney's Offices and other federal agencies to implement strategies for effective and efficient information sharing and case development; and (4) conducting outreach. The incumbent will be responsible for screening and developing new matters; conducting comprehensive investigations involving in-person visits, witness interviews, and work with experts; analyzing data; drafting written recommendations including legal analyses; litigating all aspects of the Section's enforcement duties; and negotiating, monitoring, and enforcing settlement agreements. Litigation associated with these investigations is typically complex, involving extensive discovery, pretrial motions practice, preliminary injunction hearings, trials, and post judgment enforcement and contempt proceedings.

Our CGP ensures compliance with the Constitution, pursuant to the Department of Justice's authority under 42 U.S.C. § 1997 (the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act). More specifically, most of the incumbent's work will be devoted to investigating, negotiating, litigating, and enforcing matters involving conditions and practices in jails and prisons. Our PPG ensures compliance with the Constitution and federal laws, pursuant to the Department of Justice's authority under 42 U.S.C. § 12601 (the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994). More specifically, most of the incumbent's work will be devoted to investigating, negotiating, litigating, and enforcing matters involving allegations of misconduct by law enforcement agencies, including use of excessive force; unlawful stops, searches, or arrests; and discriminatory policing. Both corrections and police work involves allegations of patterns or practices of unlawful conduct.

Qualifications: 

Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and possess at least three years of post-professional law degree experience commensurate to the grade level of eligibility, as shown below. Applicants also must have strong, demonstrated qualifications in the following areas: academic achievement; substantive knowledge and expertise in the laws, rules and regulations applicable to the work of the section or substantially similar laws, rules and regulations; written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze complex issues; skill and experience working collaboratively and productively with others; organizational skills; professional judgment; initiative; and the ability to excel in a fast-paced, demanding environment. In addition, applicants must have outstanding professional references.

Preferred Qualifications: Given the nature and volume of this work, the Section generally seeks candidates with significant litigation and organizational change experience. Applicants with one or more of the following qualifications are preferred: (1) civil or criminal trial experience; (2) federal civil or criminal litigation experience; (3) experience handling complex investigations; (4) demonstrated experience negotiating agreements; (5) demonstrated experience enforcing systemic reform agreements; (6) demonstrated experience working through the process of organizational change; (7) demonstrated sound professional judgment, including the ability to develop and implement effective advocacy strategies and balance competing priorities; (8) substantive knowledge of corrections, law enforcement misconduct, and other applicable law and (9) demonstrated experience identifying, developing, and implementing outreach efforts or public presentations. Judicial clerkships, law review, moot court, clinical experience, and skills and experience working cooperatively and productively with a range of people, such as charging parties, witnesses, respondents, disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, opposing counsel, judicial or administrative officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement personnel, and the staff of other federal or state governmental agencies are also preferred.

Possessing the minimum post law degree legal experience does not guarantee the applicant will be selected at that grade level.

• GS-14 - minimum 3 years post-JD legal experience

• GS-15 - minimum 4 years post-JD legal experience

Salary: 
$117,191.00 to $166,500.00 Per Year
Travel: 
Travel may be required 2-4 nights each month as well as holidays and weekends. If a case goes to trial, extensive travel may be required.
Application Process: 

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone) on Friday, May 31, 2019.

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

1. Cover Letter

2. Résumé

3. A complete Occupational Questionnaire

4. Writing sample of no more than ten pages (a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product)

5. Veterans' Preference Documentation, if applicable

6. Law School Transcripts

7. Sch A documentation, if applicable

To apply for this position, see page at:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533401000

Application Deadline: 
Friday, May 31, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Not Authorized
Number of Positions: 
5 Excepted Service Positions
Updated May 16, 2019

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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.