The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is a fast paced, high volume, unique law office created to provide international assistance in criminal matters to U.S. and foreign investigators, prosecutors, and judicial authorities. OIA's primary responsibilities are in the areas of international extradition of fugitives and evidence gathering (i.e., obtaining evidence for use in U.S. and foreign criminal investigations and prosecutions). OIA attorneys work directly with state, local and federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents to provide advice and assistance when international issues arise. OIA is also responsible for ensuring that the United States meets its reciprocal obligations to foreign countries with respect to the extradition of fugitives and the production of evidence located in the United States.
In addition to handling the thousands of international extradition and evidence gathering (mutual assistance) cases, OIA is responsible, along with the Department of State, for negotiating bilateral and multilateral law enforcement treaties needed to effect extradition and facilitate evidence gathering. Once these treaties enter into force, OIA works with its foreign counterparts to assure effective treaty implementation.
Along with domestic staffing in Washington, D.C., OIA posts personnel overseas to support the Department's international investigations, cases and policies, and to work with foreign partners. OIA staffs the overseas positions through details from within, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, and from Department components. Experience acquired working at OIA in Washington, D.C. may position OIA attorneys to be eligible candidates for future assignments abroad.
The MLA Modernization Project:
The United States has bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs), agreements, and arrangements with approximately 100 foreign partners, and is also a party to several multilateral conventions that have MLA provisions. OIA serves as the Central Authority for the United States under the MLATs and conventions. The globalization of crime has led to a dramatic increase in the number of MLA requests received by the United States, most significantly in requests for electronic evidence, which have multiplied ten-fold over the last decade. We expect this trajectory to continue as cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes proliferate worldwide.
In his January 2014 speech on the review of signal intelligence, the President committed to reforming the MLA process. The MLA Modernization project aims to reform the way MLA requests are executed, in order to better combat the current trends in transnational crime, from drug trafficking to white-collar offenses to terrorism. MLA Modernization envisions a robust centralized execution system, reducing backlog, and agile responses to foreign requests for evidence. Attorneys selected to serve on this project will be an integral part of this MLA Modernization effort. In performing their duties, detailees will have the opportunity to develop relationships with foreign law enforcement counterparts and develop familiarity with relevant foreign criminal laws and procedures. Detailees also will have the opportunity to work on challenging issues where the case law is constantly evolving. Detailees will be responsible for analyzing and revising foreign requests for evidence for constitutional and legal sufficiency, ensuring that they meet U.S. standards protecting privacy, and among other duties, filing legally sufficient requests in court to obtain the requisite court orders.
Attorneys selected may be assigned to a new mutual legal assistance unit that will function to improve response times in the execution of requests for assistance submitted by foreign countries to the United States. The work of this unit involves practice before the federal courts, primarily in the District of Columbia, for the production of evidence, including electronic evidence, in support of foreign criminal investigations and prosecutions.
Alternatively, the attorney(s) selected may be assigned to one of six geographical teams:
- Africa, Asia, and the Middle East Team,
- Canada Team,
- Europe and Central Asia Team,
- Mexico and Central America Team,
- South America Team, and
- United Kingdom and Commonwealth Countries Team.
Responsibilities will include extensive, high-volume casework (international extradition and mutual legal assistance), law enforcement treaty negotiations and implementation consultations, preparation of briefing materials for the Attorney General and Department principals, and other international criminal law matters. These responsibilities require regular contact regarding a wide range of complex law enforcement issues with U.S. federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement personnel, other Department components, the State Department and various other federal agencies, as well as law enforcement counterparts abroad. Please note: the responsibilities listed are at the full promotion potential of the position.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction). Applicants must also have at least 3 years of post J.D. experience as an attorney, excellent writing and analytical skills, as well as strong interpersonal skills.
Grade Specific Qualifications:
• To qualify at the GS-14 level, applicants must have at least three (3) years of post-J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-13 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: preparing pleadings, motions, MLA requests, affidavits, and other materials involving legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting civil or criminal litigation (to include appellate practitioners); analyzing cases or requests for legal sufficiency; and providing expert legal advice and consultation.
• To qualify at the GS-15 level, applicants must have four (4) or more years of post-J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-14 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: preparing court papers and materials, MLA requests, presentations and other written material involving or addressing unique and/or difficult legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting complex civil or criminal litigation (to include appellate practitioners); analyzing cases for legal sufficiency; and providing expert, specialized advice and consultation.
Preferred Qualifications: Qualifications will be further evaluated based upon the following:
• Experience in conducting investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses
• Handling of international extradition and mutual legal assistance cases or other aspects of international criminal practice
• Proficiency in at least one foreign language, preferably Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. A list of eligible candidates will be referred to the hiring managers every two weeks during the open period of the announcement. If you are interested in applying, it is recommended that you do so early. Applicants who applied previously to this vacancy announcement need not reapply, as we continue to evaluate those resumes.
The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.
Please submit your application through USAJOBS. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.
1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USAjobs account before applying Create an Account. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAjobs vacancy: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/388771800.