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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Tax Division (TAX)
Hiring Office
Civil Trial Sections
Job ID
TAX-ATTCIV-21-RC13
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Tax Division is looking for Trial Attorneys to join the Civil Trial Sections. Our attorneys have a passion for litigation; a deep interest in public service; and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Familiarity with tax law and the use of technology in organizing, developing, and presenting a case at trial is helpful, but not required.

The mission of the Tax Division is to enforce the nation's internal revenue laws fully, fairly, and consistently, through both criminal and civil litigation, in order to promote voluntary compliance with the tax laws, maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system, and promote the sound development of the law. Attorneys in the Civil Trial Sections represent the United States in litigation in federal and state courts across the country.

The Department of Justice ranked 12th among large size agencies, and the Tax Division ranked as the #1 litigating division in the Department of Justice, in the Partnership for Public Service's 2019 "Best Places to Work".

We seek to create a work environment and organizational culture that reflect the diversity of American society, and to foster the success of every employee by valuing and building upon the unique skills and experiences that each individual brings to the workplace.

We place a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspective and encourage applications from all interested eligible candidates, including attorneys of all ages from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, all sexual orientations and gender identities, political affiliations, marital or parental status, religious backgrounds, with or without disabilities, and with or without military service.

For more information about the Tax Division, please see https://www.justice.gov/tax/about-division

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

Trial Attorneys in the Civil Trial Sections are the front-line litigators for the United States for tax disputes in federal district and bankruptcy courts and the Court of Federal Claims. These cases arise all over the United States, and, under normal conditions, significant travel is required of our attorneys for depositions, hearings, and trials. Most Trial Attorneys are responsible for a range of cases, including matters they handle alone and others where they work as a member of a litigation team. In either situation, our attorneys have front-line responsibility for taking and defending depositions, writing and arguing motions, working with fact and expert witnesses, and trying cases.

Because we handle most litigation outside of the Tax Court involving the Internal Revenue Service, our attorneys handle cases that touch all aspects of the American economy and involve litigants ranging from individuals and small businesses up to and including the largest corporations. Trial Attorneys defend the United States in tax refund actions and bring affirmative suits to collect tax cases that can involve complex commercial transactions or require proof that the taxpayer made a fraudulent transfer of property. Our attorneys defend suits testing the constitutional validity of aspects of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations. They obtain injunctions against those who try to bilk the Treasury out of money by selling fraudulent tax shelter schemes or by preparing fraudulent tax returns for customers in order to fulfill a promise of a large refund. Our attorneys represent the United States in bankruptcy, receivership, and probate proceedings. And they handle many other miscellaneous matters touching on tax, like enforcing civil penalties for failure to timely report foreign financial accounts; defending IRS employees in Bivens suits; enforcing IRS administrative summonses; or protecting the United States' immunity from local taxes.

Qualifications

Our civil trial attorneys must be able to work independently to develop their cases factually and legally. They must be willing to work collaboratively with the Internal Revenue Service, internal supervisors and peers to present those cases in the most effective manner. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, are essential.

Applicants must have:

  • A desire to litigate civil cases in federal court;
  • Substantial organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple matters concurrently;
  • A strong interest in developing their litigation skills, in learning about and applying new technologies, and in remaining current on developments in the law;
  • An academic background that demonstrates a commitment to producing professional work of a consistently outstanding caliber; and
  • An ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
    We value persuasiveness, judgment, initiative and teamwork. Familiarity with tax law and the use of technology in organizing, developing, and presenting a case at trial is helpful, but not required.

 

The Tax Division anticipates hiring Trial Attorneys with varying levels of experience. Applicants must have at least one (1) year of full-time post-J.D. legal experience by the closing date of this announcement.

Applicants must have a Juris Doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Attorneys selected for a position in the Tax Division must commit to working for the Tax Division for three years.

 

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must apply online through USAJOBS. Please use the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/587992200

Applications must include:

  • a cover letter;
  • separate narrative statement re learning experience (see requirements below);
  • resume;
  • law school and any advanced degree transcripts;
  • a list of three professional references; and
  • a completed assessment questionnaire.

All documents should be provided in either PDF or MS Word format. The cover letter, which should not exceed two single-spaced pages, should describe how your background and qualifications make you well suited for the position as a Trial Attorney, taking into account the Responsibilities and Qualifications described in this advertisement. You should specifically provide a description of prior litigation experience, your interest in public service, and your interest in the Tax Division in particular.

In addition, attorneys at the Tax Division are expected to learn many new skills. In a separate attachment to your application, and in a narrative not to exceed 500 words in length, please tell us about a time in your recent professional experience that you learned something new. The attachment should include your name in the upper right-hand corner. If you don't include all of the documents we require, we may not be able to fully consider your application.

Applicants selected for further consideration will be required to submit a writing sample prior to an interview.

Applicants who previously applied to the Tax Division must reapply in order to be considered under this job announcement.

Applicants who are eligible for veterans' preference or consideration under a special hiring authority (such as programs for individuals with disabilities) must submit appropriate documentation demonstrating eligibility.

Department of Justice attorneys eligible for priority consideration under the Department's Reemployment Priority List Program must include notice to the Division of their eligibility in their application package.

Salary

Years and quality of experience will be considered in determining the appropriate salary level. Positions may be filled at the GS 12-14 levels. Positions may occasionally be filled at the GS-15 level.

Number of Positions
The Tax Division anticipates hiring for several attorney positions in Washington D.C.
Travel
Travel is limited under current conditions. However, when the Division is not operating under telework conditions due to the pandemic, travel will be required. The location and frequency of travel varies, depending on the attorney's litigation schedule.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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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 race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit 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 their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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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.

Updated December 23, 2020