Trial Attorney

Various Sections
Washington, DC 20530
United States
23-VAR-DAT-001 (ATT)
About the Office: 

The Civil Rights Division (Division) of the Department of Justice, created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), disability, religion, familial status, national origin, and citizenship status.

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: 

Due to a technical issue, this announcement has been amended to remove information regarding the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS). Applicants who want to receive consideration for Trial Attorney positions with FCS must apply to the announcement found at this link:

The closing date for this announcement has been extended.


As a Trial Attorney, your duties may include: investigating potential violations of the laws enforced by the Division; gathering, analyzing, and evaluating extensive data and evidence; interviewing witnesses; drafting legal and factual memoranda; developing cases for possible litigation; working with expert witnesses; presenting the government's case in federal or administrative court; conducting negotiations; enforcing settlement agreements and remedial orders; working with federal partners; conducting outreach; and developing or analyzing regulations, guidance, and policy matters.

Applicants must select each Section for which they would like to receive consideration. An applicant will not receive consideration for any Section(s) they do not select. To learn more about the work of each Section, please click the applicable link below.

Disability Rights: Works to advance the nation's goals of equal opportunity, integration, full participation, inclusion, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities through our central role in enforcement, regulation, coordination, and technical assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Educational Opportunities: Enforces laws that protect students from discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, language, religion, and disability in public and federally funded elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. These laws include Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Section may intervene in private suits alleging violations of education-related anti-discrimination statutes and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Employment Litigation: Enforces federal employment discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against state and local government employers, Executive Order 11246 against federal contractors, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act against non-federal employers. The Section also defends the U.S. against constitutional challenges to DBE contracting programs.

Housing & Civil Enforcement: Works to protect some of the most fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to access housing free from discrimination, the right to access credit on an equal basis, the right to patronize places of business that provide public accommodations and the right to practice one's faith free from discrimination. The Section also enforces the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act; Title II of the Civil Rights Act; Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act; the Housing Rights subpart of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Immigrant & Employee Rights: Enforces the anti-discrimination provision (§ 274B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. This federal law prohibits: 1) citizenship or immigration status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 2) national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 3) citizenship status or national origin discrimination during the process for verifying if workers are eligible for employment in the U.S., and 4) retaliation or intimidation.

Special Litigation: Works to protect civil rights in the following areas: 1) the rights of people in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 2) the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities, rather than in institutions; 3) the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriffs' departments; 4) the rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system; 5) the rights of people to have safe access to reproductive health care clinics; and 6) the rights of people to practice their religion while confined to state and local institutions. We can also act on behalf of people at risk of harm in these areas

Voting: Enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes designed to safeguard the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, National Voter Registration Act, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, Help America Vote Act, and Civil Rights Acts.


Required Qualifications:

You must possess a J.D., or equivalent degree, from an American Bar Association accredited law school, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction) and possess the minimum years of post-professional law degree experience commensurate to the grade level of eligibility, as shown below. Applicants also must have strong, demonstrated qualifications in the following areas: academic achievement; substantive knowledge and expertise in the laws, rules and regulations applicable to the work of the Section(s) to which the candidate is applying or substantially similar knowledge and experience; strong written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze complex issues; skill and experience working collaboratively and productively with others; organizational skills; professional judgment; initiative; and the ability to excel in a fast-paced, demanding environment. In addition, applicants must have outstanding professional references.

Possessing the minimum post law degree legal experience does not guarantee the applicant will be selected at that grade level.

  • GS-13 - minimum 1.5 years post-JD legal experience
  • GS-14 - minimum 2.5 years post-JD legal experience
  • GS-15 - minimum 4 years post-JD legal experience

Preferred Qualifications:

Given the nature and volume of this work, the Division generally seeks candidates with significant experience in complex litigation, particularly involving the laws enforced by the Section(s) to which the candidate is applying. The following qualifications are preferred but not required: (1) extensive federal civil litigation experience, including discovery, litigation strategy, motions practice, trial preparation, and trials; (2) experience with complex investigations and negotiations, including interviewing witnesses, reviewing documents, working with experts, and reviewing and applying appropriate case law to assess the merits of a matter; (3) substantive expertise in the federal laws enforced by the Sections to which the candidate is applying; and (4) experience presenting to a variety of audiences and stakeholders. Judicial clerkships, law review, moot court, clinical experience, and skills and experience working cooperatively and productively with a range of people, such as charging parties, witnesses, respondents, disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, opposing counsel, judicial or administrative officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement personnel, and the staff of other federal or state governmental agencies, are also preferred.

GS-13-15 $112,015.00 to $183,500.00 Per Year
25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Application Process: 

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone) on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. 
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes: 
1.  Cover Letter 
2.  Résumé 
3.  A complete Occupational Questionnaire 
4.  Writing sample of no more than ten pages (a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product) 
5.  Veterans' Preference Documentation, if applicable
6. Sch A documentation, if applicable
To apply for this position, see page at

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Relocation Expenses: 
Not Authorized
Number of Positions: 
Updated February 21, 2023

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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.