Trial Attorney (FOIA Counsel)

EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES TRUSTEES
Attorney
441 G STREET, NW
Washington, DC 20530
United States
TRIAL ATTORNEY-FOIA-DC-05-2019
About the Office: 

The United States Trustee Program (Program) is seeking a trial attorney with a strong experience with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to join the Program’s professional staff of attorneys. 

The Program is a litigating component of the U.S. 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 Program was established by Congress more than 30 years ago to act as the “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system, with a headquarters in Washington, DC, led by a Director; 21 Regions managed by United States Trustees; and 90 field offices in 44 states each, managed by an Assistant United States Trustee.

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC), within the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST), oversees the Program's legal activities. OGC formulates and oversees the Program's national legal policies and litigation strategies before the bankruptcy courts and through the appellate process, implements the Program's legal priorities, resolves significant legal issues, and provides advice to staff on administrative legal issues. 

For more information about the United States Trustee Program, visit the Program’s web site at https://www.justice.gov/ust

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

The OGC is seeking an experienced trial attorney to provide expert legal advice and guidance on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and related legal matters. The individual selected for this position will serve as the Program’s expert in all FOIA matters and will be responsible for every aspect of the Program’s FOIA practice. Responsibilities will also include providing legal advice and assistance in other areas of administrative law including the Privacy Act and government agency ethics.

Responsibilities and Opportunities Offered:  The duties of the FOIA counsel will include the following:

  • Handling the USTP’s FOIA obligations by responding to and/or supervising responses to requests for records located in the EOUST and in the Program’s field offices;
  • Ensuring that the Program’s FOIA responses are timely, legally correct, concise and clearly written, appropriately disclose the requested information, and that DOJ and Government-wide FOIA guidelines have been considered and applied;
  • Serving as legal and technical expert on FOIA policy, processes, legislation and regulations;
  • Preparing periodic reports as required by the DOJ or the Program, including the Chief FOIA Officer’s report;
  • Providing advice and counseling to Program employees, supervisors, and senior leadership on all FOIA-related inquiries, tracking such inquiries, and maintaining both an internal SharePoint portal and external library, with relevant, up-to-date resources and proactive disclosures;
  • Analyzing information, storage and retrieval requirements for all FOIA requests and appeals processing through the USTP’s case-handling systems and operations;
  • Analyzing and evaluating the development of a system of information collections, storage, dissemination and retrieval to meet FOIA needs, and to support the centralized processing of FOIA requests and FOIA appeals nationwide;
  • Developing policies and procedures concerning the implementation of the FOIA within the USTP, including continually evaluating the effectiveness of the FOIA program;
  • Providing training and guidance to Program employees, supervisors and senior leadership on the policies and procedures and requirements of the FOIA;
  • Acting as the Program’s representative on the open government working group, and as liaison with the DOJ’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) and other federal agencies when necessary; and,
  • Managing all matters with minimal or no supervision.

 

Additional Responsibilities:

As a member of the OGC’s General and Administrative Law Practice Group, you may also be called upon from time to time to handle other assignments that vary based on short- and long-term legal objectives, but typically involve critical policy, program or operational matters that are especially complex, controversial, or precedent-setting. These assignments may include:

  • Providing legal and policy research;
  • Preparing analyses and recommendations for EOUST and Program staff on certain areas of federal administrative law, such as the Administrative Procedure Act, Ethics in Government Act, or Privacy Act, and a variety of DOJ regulations, policies or procedures, as well as the regulatory and rulemaking process;
  • Initiating and maintaining effective communications with EOUST management, U.S. Trustees and their staff, DOJ officials, and other federal agencies;
  • Representing and presenting the position of the Program in a variety of settings including meetings, working groups, and task forces;
  • Monitoring DOJ issues affecting the EOUST and the Program and providing authoritative analyses and recommendations regarding matters that impact ongoing or proposed EOUST or USTP operations, initiatives, goals and objectives; and,
  • Working on other projects and priorities as assigned.
Qualifications: 

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, and the ability to function with minimal guidance in a demanding legal environment. Further, an applicant must have a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing, have at least 4 years post-J.D. professional legal or other relevant experience advocating on behalf of clients.  

Preferred Qualifications:  In addition to the required qualifications listed above, the ideal candidate will have:

  • A demonstrated record of analyzing complex legal problems, interpreting statutory, rule, and regulatory provisions;
  • Have 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 the critical issues in a wide variety of cases and projects;
  • The ability to set, manage, and balance diverse, evolving, and challenging projects and priorities;
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity;
  • Strong information technology skills including using data bases and IT systems to  manage and track work;
  • Experience working with or for federal agencies; and,
  • A commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.
Salary: 
Position is on the GS pay scale, full-time and permanent, FPL of GS-15, and possible current annual salary range is: GS-14 ($117,191–$152,352); or, GS-15 ($137,849– $166,500). Years and type of experience will determine the appropriate grade level.
Travel: 
Periodic travel is required throughout the district, the region, and the country, depending on work assignments and for training.
Application Process: 

This vacancy announcement is open to ALL U.S. CITIZENS

To apply, interested candidates must submit as one PDF document:

  • A cover letter that highlights the applicant’s interest in the position and addresses in detail how all qualifications are met;
  • A current resume that details months and years of education and employment, and states the month and year of earliest bar admission;
  • A short writing sample, or part of a longer writing sample (not to exceed ten pages), which should be exclusively or primarily the applicant’s work and should include legal analysis;
  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member 4 copy) (if applicable);
  • If you are a current or former Federal employee, most recent (non-award) SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action;
  • CTAP/ICTAP documentation (if applicable); and,
  • Schedule (A) documentation, (if applicable).

Email the document to: ustp.employment@usdoj.gov with the subject line Trial Attorney-FOIA-DC-05-2019

If email submission is not possible, please forward your application materials to the following address:

U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Trustee Program
Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
Attention: Assistant Director for Administration - Trial Attorney-FOIA-DC-05-2019
441 G Street, NW
Suite 6150
Washington, DC 20530


No telephone calls please.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, June 3, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses may be authorized to current USTP employees only, based on USTP policy.
Number of Positions: 
1
Updated May 13, 2019

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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.