The National Courts Section is among the Department of Justice's busiest litigating components, conducting dozens of trials and more than 100 appellate arguments each year. It handles complex trial and appellate litigation involving government contracts, constitutional claims, government pay and personnel suits, veterans' and other benefits appeals, and international trade and tariff matters. The Section is one of five sections of the Civil Division's Commercial Litigation Branch. The Civil Division is regularly voted one of the top places to work in the >annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey. http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/overall/sub. For more information about the National Courts Section, visit: http://www.justice.gov/civil/commercial/national-courts/c-natcourts.html.
The National Courts Section seeks experienced attorneys to represent the United States in all aspects of “first chair” trial and appellate litigation. At the trial stage, attorneys personally manage their own cases, conduct fact investigation, work with expert witnesses, serve and respond to written discovery, take and defend depositions, write all substantive and procedural briefs, conduct all aspects of any trial, and present oral argument in the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States Court of International Trade. Attorneys also personally handle all aspects of appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition, attorneys first-chair alternative dispute resolution proceedings and settlement negotiations, and recommend settlements of litigation when appropriate. For larger cases, attorneys work collaboratively as members of trial teams. Whether handling trial cases and appeals as counsel of record or as part of a trial team, all attorneys work closely with counsel from Federal client agencies.
National Courts attorneys appear principally in three Federal courts of nation-wide jurisdiction: the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Court of International Trade. Attorneys also occasionally handle matters within the Section's various areas of expertise in other Federal district and circuit courts, as well as in administrative tribunals and international arbitration fora. Attorneys practice in a diverse range of often complex subject-matter, including government contracts, procurement challenges, and other commercial and administrative disputes. Other Section cases involve defense of takings under the 5th Amendment of the Constitution, and military and civilian pay actions or claims. Section attorneys also prosecute civil actions to recover money secured fraudulently from the United States. Attorneys in the international trade practice defend special duties imposed on dumped or subsidized imports, prosecute customs fraud, and enforce other international trade laws at both the trial and appellate stages. The Section has primary responsibility for the majority of appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including appeals from the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of International Trade, the boards of contract appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The Section offers a fast-paced, collegial work environment that requires attorneys to exercise sound judgment at all times. Attorneys must have excellent time-management skills and be willing to assume substantial responsibility. Because Section attorneys appear in courts with nationwide jurisdiction, significant travel, sometimes international travel, is required.
Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American BarAssociation and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least one year of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-12 level: two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.
Applicants should have a strong interest in trial and appellate work, excellent writing and oral advocacy skills, and an exceptional academic background. Applicants should anticipate working on fast-paced, complex litigation, and feel comfortable in a courtroom setting. Judicial clerkship experience is highly desirable.
Applicants must submit a resume or current OF-612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment), a cover letter, and a writing sample of 10 to 20 pages, via e-mail, to: NationalCourts.Vacancies@usdoj.gov. Materials should be as attachments in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF
Alternatively, hard copies can be mailed to:
U.S. Department of Justice
National Courts Section
Attention: Hiring Office, Room 12105
PO Box 480
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044
E-mail is strongly encouraged; no telephone calls. Positions open until filled on a rolling basis.