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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Civil Rights Division (CRT)
Hiring Office
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
Job ID
23-DAT-FCS-005 (ATT)
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
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.

The Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) works to achieve equal opportunity by implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and related authorities that prohibit discrimination by recipients of federal funds on the basis of race, national origin (including language access), sex, and other bases. Has a central role in enforcement, regulation, inter-agency coordination and oversight, and technical assistance.

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 plan and conduct investigations concerning potential violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended; and similarly-worded federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion in federally assisted programs, as well as Constitutional claims where participation in a private suit is being considered. Trial Attorneys work with other federal agencies to ensure recipient compliance with statutes that prohibit discrimination by recipients of federal funds. Trial Attorney duties include:

  • Investigations of complex and often systemic issues of race, color, national origin (including language) and sex discrimination. Drafting legal memorandum and recommendations related to investigation and/or enforcement actions, which may include litigation, based on a comprehensive evaluation of factual and legal issues; Conducting witness interviews, onsite investigations, pre-litigation requests for information, and legal research.
  • conducting outreach as appropriate;
  • developing cases for trial, and factual record through pre-trial discovery;
  • representing the United States in federal court, including motions hearings, evidentiary hearings and trial;
  • identifying and developing strategies for matters appropriate for negotiating and settlements; and
  • providing legal counsel, training and technical assistance to federal, state, and local agencies, concerning the requirements of the statutes, regulations, and guidelines covered by Executive Orders 12250, 13166, and 13160; and
  • working with other federal agencies, including to ensure effective enforcement programs. This may include joint investigations, referrals to DOJ for enforcement, and assistance in complex investigations, enforcement and other matters.
Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

Applicants 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:

The following demonstrated qualifications are preferred but not required: 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 (especially in federal court), law review, moot court, clinical experience, and skill 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.

Application Process

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone) on Monday, March 13, 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 https://www.usajobs.gov/job/707763500

Salary

$112,015.00 to $183,500.00 Per Year - Based on DC Locality Pay Rate

Number of Positions
Few
Travel
50% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.
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, 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 February 21, 2023