Trial Attorney

Office of the United States Trustee
Attorney
125 Ottawa Street
Suite 200R
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States
Trial Attorney-Grand Rapids-07-2019
About the Office: 

The United States Trustee Program (Program) is seeking an attorney experienced in trial practice with knowledge of bankruptcy law to join the Program’s professional staff of attorneys. The Program is a litigating component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for overseeing nearly all bankruptcy cases filed in federal bankruptcy courts across the United States – including chapter 7 and 13 cases filed by consumer debtors, chapter 12 cases filed by family farmers or fishermen, and complex chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. The Program’s mission is to promote the integrity and efficiency of the nation’s bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders – debtors, creditors, and the American public. The Program was established by Congress more than 30 years ago to act as the “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system, with a headquarters in Washington, DC, led by a Director; 21 Regions managed by United States Trustees; and 90 field offices in 44 states each, managed by an Assistant United States Trustee.

The Program is the only participant in the bankruptcy process uniquely positioned to address multijurisdictional misconduct or other issues of national scope that give rise to systemic fraud and abuse, while also effectively combatting local matters affecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system. In FY 2018, the Program took more than 30,000 actions, in and out of court, for a potential monetary impact of $2.8 billion; participated in approximately 100 appeals; and, made more than 2,200 criminal referrals to our federal law enforcement partners. In addition, the Program appoints and supervises approximately 1,300 private trustees who distribute about $10 billion annually; approves credit counselors and financial education providers; determines whether consumer debtors qualify for chapter 7 relief under the means test; and, reviews chapter 11 operating reports.

For more information about the United States Trustee Program, visit the Program’s web site at https://www.justice.gov/ust. For more information about the Grand Rapids, MI, field office, visit the web site at https://www.justice.gov/ust-regions-r09/region-9-western-district-michigan. Grand Rapids information can be found at https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Home.

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: 

The Program is seeking an attorney experienced in litigation practice and bankruptcy law to oversee bankruptcy cases filed in the federal judicial districts covered by the Region and/or field office, litigate enforcement matters on behalf of the Program, oversee private trustees, handle appellate matters, and refer criminal conduct identified in connection with bankruptcy case oversight. The Program seeks to hire and cultivate talented trial attorneys and provides them with frequent and meaningful court experience on a variety of issues arising in bankruptcy cases.

As a Trial Attorney in a field office, the typical duties include the following:

  • Oversee the administration of bankruptcy cases filed in the judicial districts served by the Region and the field office;
  • Litigate issues arising in chapter 11 proceedings, including those involving corporate governance, and issues arising in employment applications, fee applications, disclosure statements, and plan confirmation matters;
  • Litigate civil enforcement matters arising in consumer bankruptcy cases, including discharge objections, dismissal proceedings involving debtors’ ability to repay creditors, attorney misconduct matters, and nonattorney document preparation servicer misconduct;
  • Assist with appellate matters arising in the Region and district;
  • Advise and partner with the Executive Office and the United States Trustee on policy questions and legal issues of national importance arising in cases to enhance the Program’s mission locally, and help develop and implement policies and strategies designed to faithfully execute a uniform application of bankruptcy law;
  • Supervise private trustees in the Region who administer bankruptcy cases filed under chapter 7, 13, and 12 of the Bankruptcy Code;
  • Work with a staff of bankruptcy auditors, paralegals, and support staff in the Region;
  • Work with the Program’s federal and state law enforcement partners to report criminal activity identified through bankruptcy case oversight;
  • Provide outreach to interested constituents, and those involved in the bankruptcy system, such as the bankruptcy court, the bar, and other federal and state agencies; and,
  • Work on other national projects and priorities, as assigned.
Qualifications: 

Required Qualifications: Applicants must demonstrate excellent academic and professional credentials; superior oral and written communication skills; outstanding legal research, analytical, and legal reasoning skills; outstanding judgment; and, the ability to function with minimal guidance in a demanding legal environment. Further, an applicant must have a J.D. degree from an accredited law school; be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) in good standing; and, have at least four years post-J.D. professional legal or other relevant experience advocating on behalf of clients, interpreting, or applying provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and related laws, rules, and regulations that arise in bankruptcy cases.

Preferred Qualifications: In addition to the required qualifications listed above, the ideal candidate will have:

  • A demonstrated record of analyzing complex legal problems, interpreting statutory, rule, and regulatory provisions developing litigation strategies, and superior trial practice skills;
  • Outstanding organizational skills and the ability to address a broad array of issues arising in a large volume of cases;
  • The ability to accurately and precisely articulate the critical issues in a wide variety of cases and projects;
  • The ability to set, manage, and balance diverse, evolving, and challenging projects and priorities;
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity;
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills;
  • Strong information technology skills, including using data bases and IT systems to manage and track work;
  • Experience working with or for federal agencies; and,
  • A commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.
Salary: 
Position is on the GS pay scale, full-time and permanent, FPL of GS-15, and possible current annual salary range is: GS-14 ($104,821–$136,271); or, GS-15 ($123,298– $160,286). Years and type of experience will determine the appropriate grade level.
Travel: 
Periodic travel is required throughout the district, the region, and the country, depending on work assignments and for training.
Application Process: 

This vacancy announcement is open to ALL U.S. CITIZENS

To apply, interested candidates must submit as one PDF document:

  • A cover letter that highlights the applicant’s interest in the position and addresses in detail how all qualifications are met;
  • A current resume that details months and years of education and employment, and states the month and year of earliest bar admission;
  • A short writing sample, or part of a longer writing sample (not to exceed ten pages), which should be exclusively or primarily the applicant’s work and should include legal analysis;
  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member 4 copy) (if applicable);
  • CTAP/ICTAP documentation (if applicable); and,
  • Schedule (A) documentation, (if applicable).

Email the document to: ustp.employment@usdoj.gov with the subject line Trial Attorney-Grand Rapids-07-2019.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, July 22, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses may be authorized to current USTP employees only, based on USTP policy.
Number of Positions: 
1
Updated June 20, 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.