Trial Attorney, Chapter 11
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
The United States Trustee Program (USTP) is a litigating component of the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing nearly all bankruptcy cases filed in federal bankruptcy courts across the United States —including chapter 7 and 13 cases filed by consumer debtors, chapter 12 cases filed by family farmers or fishermen, and complex chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. The Program’s mission is to promote the integrity and efficiency of the nation’s bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders—debtors, creditors, and the American public.
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for coordinating, directing, and developing legal policies, procedures, and litigating positions for the USTP in enforcing the Bankruptcy Code and for seeing that institutional interests of the Program are properly asserted and defended.
The USTP ranks in the top 15 percent of federal agency subcomponents and ranked fifth out of 18 components within the DOJ in the 2021 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings. The rankings are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and measure how federal employees view their job and workplace. USTP exceeded the percentage of positive responses government-wide in more than 80 percent of the core survey questions, including questions related to achieving mission, overall satisfaction with the organization, and employee recognition.
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.
This is a non-reimbursable one (1) year detail opportunity to serve as a Trial Attorney, Chapter 11 in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST). There is one position immediately available for this detail opportunity; the option to select a second position from this posting will be exercised should the workload warrant it .
The position is located in OGC of the EOUST, but the work will be performed at the selected applicant’s duty station. The Trial Attorney reports to the Associate General Counsel for Chapter 11 Practice and serves as a member of a cohesive and collegial chapter 11 team based in OGC that seeks to ensure consistency across jurisdictions and rigorous adherence to the Code by developing litigation strategies, conducting legal research, drafting and reviewing pleadings, memoranda, briefs, and other legal documents as well as developing, guidance, policies, and training. Its members are experienced bankruptcy attorneys, with a particular emphasis on chapter 11 cases.
Under the direction of the Associate General Counsel, the typical chapter 11 Trial Attorney duties include the following:
- Provide legal advice and litigation support for field offices involved in challenging or novel chapter 11 issues arising in a variety of chapter 11 cases—from small individual chapter 11s and subchapter V cases to the largest, most complex business reorganizations—often on a short deadline.
- Advise and counsel on a broad spectrum of complex legal issues including, among others, fraudulent or improper practices by a debtor in possession that may require the appointment of a trustee to replace management or of an examiner to analyze the debtor’s affairs, executive compensation arrangements proposed in violation of 11 U.S.C. § 503(c), professional retention and compensation, committee formation and related litigation, and plan and disclosure statement litigation.
- Draft and review pleadings, memoranda, and briefs.
- Develop and implement chapter 11 policies on matters of USTP significance.
- Prepare and present training sessions, both live and distance, for USTP personnel on a variety of chapter 11 issues.
- Assist in the drafting, review, and preparation of public presentations and articles.
- Identify emerging issues and developing trends in chapter 11 practice and recommend USTP responses, as appropriate.
- Participate in working groups and other collaborative efforts relevant to chapter 11 practice.
- Assist and advise a team of dedicated appellate lawyers on the defense and prosecution of appeals relevant to chapter 11 issues from district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Cooperate and support other departments in EOUST on special projects, as assigned, related to chapter 11 practice, including media, congressional, and public inquiries and information requests.
- Consult and advise on cases under other chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, where issues may affect or intersect with chapter 11.
- Support USTP outreach to interested constituents and those involved in the bankruptcy system, such as the bankruptcy court, the bar, other federal and state agencies, and professional organizations.
- Work on other national projects and priorities, as assigned.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must demonstrate excellent academic and professional credentials; superior oral and written communication skills; outstanding legal research, analytical, and legal reasoning skills; outstanding judgment; substantial chapter 11 experience and a deep understanding of the USTP’s priorities and positions; and the ability to function with minimal guidance in a demanding legal environment. Applicants must hold a Juris Doctorate and be an active member of the bar with good standing in any jurisdiction.
- Outstanding organizational skills and the ability to address a broad array of issues arising in a large volume of cases.
- The ability to accurately and precisely articulate critical issues in a wide variety of cases and projects.
- The ability to manage and balance diverse, evolving, and challenging projects and priorities.
- Demonstrated initiative and creativity.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work in a professional and collegial manner with staff and managers at every level in high-pressure, time-sensitive situations.
- Strong information technology skills, including using data bases and IT systems to manage and track work.
- A commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.
The ability to be a forceful advocate for transparency, accountability, and the rule of law in the bankruptcy process and to act as a watchdog for the public’s interest in the integrity and efficiency of the bankruptcy system.
To apply, please submit a résumé, a copy of your most recent performance evaluation, and a writing sample. The employee must obtain evidence of approval from his/her own supervisor for a detail before applying and have a rating of at least Fully Successful or higher on the most recent Performance Evaluation. Résumé and application packages should be emailed to email@example.com, with the job announcement number in the subject line.
NOTE: EOUST will assess whether any resource allocation issues are raised by the detail and discuss the matter with the relevant United States Trustee.
Internet Sites: This and selected other legal position announcements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.justice.gov/oarm/attvacancies.html.
This is a detail at the same grade/step/salary of the applicant.
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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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