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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Office of International Affairs
Job ID
Washington, DC 20005 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

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.

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 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.

Application Process

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:


Assistant United States Attorneys' pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay for a non-supervisory AUSA is $45,027 to $132,849 plus locality pay where authorized.

Number of Positions
Occasional international and domestic travel, sometimes on short notice, may be required.
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 April 7, 2016