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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Tax Division (TAX)
Hiring Office
Criminal Enforcement Sections
Job ID
Washington, DC 20002 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Tax Division is hiring criminal lawyers who have a passion for litigation, a deep interest in public service, and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Litigation experience is required, and criminal litigation experience is preferred. Familiarity with tax law, managing complex litigation, 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 tax 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.  The attorneys in the Criminal Enforcement Sections represent the United States in litigation in U.S. District Courts across the country.

The U.S. Department of Justice ranked 12th among large size agencies and the Tax Division ranked as the #1 litigating division in the Department of Justice and consistently in the top 10% of sub-agencies surveyed by the Partnership for Public Service for its 2019 "Best Places to Work".  We seek to create a work environment and organizational culture that reflect the diversity of American society, and that foster the success of every employee by appreciating and building upon the skills, experiences, and uniqueness that each employee 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

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

The Tax Division's jurisdiction is the United States - accordingly, travel to multiple jurisdictions is an essential component of the job. Travel frequency and location varies and is based on the attorney's litigation schedule.

Trial attorneys in the Criminal Enforcement Sections have a significant amount of responsibility and work in a collegial environment with experienced litigators. Persuasive legal writing, oral advocacy, and ability to analyze and organize significant documentary evidence are critical components of the position. Our attorneys work with federal agents to investigate and prosecute offenses arising under the internal revenue laws and related federal statutes. Our attorneys' responsibilities encompass the investigative use of the grand jury and other investigative techniques, such as search warrants. Attorneys also engage in all facets of criminal litigation, including indictment, motions practice, jury trial, and sentencing. Besides working with federal agents, a trial attorney usually works with another Criminal Tax Division Trial Attorney and Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) litigating matters as the lead attorney, second chair, or consulting attorney. Our cases involve traditional violations of criminal tax laws by taxpayers having legal sources of income, including, for example, tax evasion and the filing of false tax returns, as well as cases involving tax defiers, identity theft, financial institution fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, public corruption, organized crime activities, and narcotics trafficking.


The Tax Division anticipates hiring criminal litigators with varying levels of experience. Applicants must have at least 3 years of full-time post-J.D. litigation experience by the closing date of the announcement. Litigation experience is required, and criminal litigation experience is preferred.

Applicants should have a strong demonstrated interest in federal litigation and trial work; strong writing, oral-advocacy, research, and organizational skills; an academic background that demonstrates a commitment to producing professional work of a consistently outstanding caliber; and the ability to handle multiple matters concurrently. The work of the Criminal Enforcement Trial Sections requires the application of analytical, research, and writing skills to complex and significant issues involving all aspects of criminal law and criminal tax enforcement. Persuasiveness, judgment, initiative, and a collaborative orientation are also highly valued. Familiarity with tax law and the use of technology in organizing, developing, and presenting a case at trial is helpful, but not required. Candidates should also have a strong interest in developing their litigation skills, in learning about and applying new technologies, remaining current on developments in the law, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Applicants with an accounting, tax, or business background are encouraged to apply.

All applicants must possess a J.D. degree and must be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Active bar membership (of any jurisdiction) is required.

Applicants who accept an offer of employment will be required to undergo a background check.

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

Although applicants who are not citizens of the United States but who meet certain criteria may be considered for employment, Department security requirements generally require that most employees be U.S. citizens, with limited exceptions. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens will need to be approved by the Department before they can be approved to enter on duty.

Application Process

Applications must include a cover letter, 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. Accordingly, you should specifically provide a description of prior litigation experience, and your interest in public service and the Tax Division in particular. Failure to include all required documents may affect consideration of your application. Candidates selected for further consideration may be required to submit a writing sample prior to an interview.

To apply for this position, you must apply online through USAJOBS. Please use the following link: Complete the assessment questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section of the USAJOBS Vacancy 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. Please see the description of required documentation in the USAJOBS announcement. 

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.


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

Number of Positions
The Tax Division anticipates hiring for several positions in the Criminal Enforcement Sections.
The amount of travel can be significant. Travel frequency and location varies and is based 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, 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, 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