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Trial Attorney

Land Acquisition Section
Washington, DC 20540
United States
About the Office: 

The Environment and Natural Resources Division ("ENRD") of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking experienced litigators for its Land Acquisition Section in Washington, D.C. The Land Acquisition Section ("LAS") is responsible for acquiring land and other real property on behalf of the United States through condemnation proceedings for purposes ranging from establishing national parks to creating military training facilities to expanding land ports of entry. Recent cases being handled by LAS include the acquisition of land to create and expand national parks and forests such as the Flight 93 National Memorial and the Florida Everglades National Park. LAS also has initiated cases throughout the United States for military and national security reasons, including construction of land ports of entry and other border infrastructure such as the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington, expansion of military training facilities in California and Louisiana, and storage of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The legal issues involved include the power of the United States to condemn under specific acts of Congress, ascertainment of the market value of property with millions of dollars at stake and applicability of land use regulations. LAS offers an opportunity for those interested in complex civil litigation involving discovery, motion practice, settlement and trial work.

ENRD seeks to attract, retain, and promote individuals of exceptional ability and talent from all walks of life. The work environment and atmosphere are open, diverse, collegial, and inclusive. ENRD places a high value on and fosters a work environment where people of all backgrounds, physical abilities, sexual orientations and experiences may reach their full potential.

ENRD has continued to rank among the top 5 federal subcomponents for the past five years, holding the #1 slot for three years consecutively. Our office is conveniently located near the Navy Memorial/Archives Metro. A wide variety of shopping venues, the Verizon Center, museums, the National Mall, restaurants and coffee shops are all within walking distance. We also offer access to an onsite fitness center.

To learn more about ENRD visit us at: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/About_ENRD.html

Job Description: 

Successful applicants will litigate complex cases associated with exercise of the United States government’s power of eminent domain in federal district courts throughout the country. The Section is organized into teams in an effort to promote a collaborative and supportive environment. The Section’s cases typically involve significant factual and expert discovery, a substantial motions practice, settlement negotiations and trial. This position will allow the selected applicants to utilize their legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills in all aspects of their assigned cases.


Successful applicants must have the following:

at least two years of litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify for the GS-13 grade level;
at least three years of litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify for the GS-14 grade level;
at least five years of litigation and/or judicial experience to qualify for the GS-15 grade level,

In addition to the above qualifications applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction); and be a U.S. citizen.

In addition qualified applicants must demonstrate the ability to work well in a collaborative, team-oriented environment, outstanding legal writing skills, and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards. Experience in civil litigation involving real property and work with expert witnesses is desirable, but not necessary.

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is GS-13 ($90,823 - $118,069), GS-14 ($107,325 - $139,523) and GS-15 ($126,245 - $158,705) per annum.
Frequent travel is required.
Application Process: 

You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time Zone on the closing date of the announcement.

Please refer to this link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/407464600 and review the "How To Apply" section and vacancy announcement in its entirety to ensure proper application procedures are followed.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 7, 2016

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.