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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office of Immigration Litigation - Appellate
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career as a Trial Attorney with the Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice? Join us in serving the United States with honor and integrity!

The Civil Division with more than 1,000 Attorneys and 14 litigating components, and it represents the United States, its Departments and Agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet, and other Federal employees.

The Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation - Appellate Section, is hiring Trial Attorneys who have a passion for litigation, a deep interest in public service, and the ability to work collaborative and independently.

The Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL) - Appellate Section, “ranked as one of the best places to work” is a fast-paced office responsible for immigration-related appellate litigation in the Federal Courts of Appeals. Trial Attorneys in the Appellate Section represent the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, and other administrative agencies that handle immigration-related issues. OIL's attorneys personally manage removal cases in the Circuit Courts of Appeals, and support the Solicitor General's immigration litigation efforts in the United States Supreme Court. Trial Attorneys develop significant litigation experience, and they acquire additional experience briefing and arguing appeals in all the circuits. The office currently employs about 260 attorneys, grouped into 16 litigating teams led by a Director, two Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors and Senior Litigation Counsel.

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 Office of Immigration Litigation - Appellate Section, seeks to fill various Trial Attorney positions with promotion potential to GS-0905-15.

Trial Attorneys in the Office of Immigration Litigation - Appellate Section have a significant amount of responsibility and work in a collegial environment with experienced litigators. Our attorneys are charged with promoting immigration laws and the pursuit of justice. Trial Attorneys defend the decisions of the Executive Office of Immigration Review and other agencies.

The Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice places 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 statuses, religious backgrounds, with or without disabilities and with or without military service.

The Office of Immigration Litigation anticipates scheduling interviews for these positions in March 2015, with selected applicants starting in the summer of 2015, subject to successful completion of the pre-employment security process. Applicants who previously applied to the Office of Immigration Litigation - Appellate Section for Trial Attorneys' vacancy announcement in spring of 2014 must reapply in order to be considered under this job announcement.


Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by The American Bar association 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 legal experience post J.D. to qualify at the GS-13 level; have 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.

Persuasiveness, judgment, and a collaborative orientation are highly valued. Experience in immigration/appellate law is desired but not required. Veterans and members of the Armed Forces are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Process

You must submit your application so that it will be RECEIVED by the closing date of the announcement. Applications must be emailed to Please use Announcement `TA-OilApp-2015-01' as your SUBJECT LINE.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS must be submitted in a SINGLE PDF file in the following order:

· Cover Letter (highlighting relevant background)
· Resume
· Transcript (only where candidate graduated & passed a bar after 2012)
· Writing Sample (no more than 12 pages)
· Veteran Preference Document (if applicable)*
· Please use Announcement `TA-OilApp-2015-01' as your SUBJECT LINE.

Application packets that fail to conform to the directions provided above will not be considered.


GS-0905-12/15 ($76,378 - $158,700)

Number of Positions
Occasional travel is required.
Relocation Expenses
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 April 7, 2016