Trial Attorney-Torts Branch- Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation/Bivens Section

Torts Branch- Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation/Bivens Section
175 N Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States
About the Office: 

Within the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Torts Branch is seeking experienced trial attorneys with varying degrees of relevant experience for positions with Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation, located in Washington, D.C. Attorneys in this office represent individual federal employees who face personal liability as a result of their on-the-job conduct. The Constitutional Torts Staff also defends claims brought against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

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: 

This position offers a unique and challenging experience in public service. It is one of the few positions in which a government attorney's clients include individuals with whom the attorney has a personal attorney­ client relationship. The majority of cases involve claims for damages against individual federal employees who are personally sued for alleged constitutional violations under the authority of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), but attorneys are responsible for all manner of cases involving individual liability. Constitutional Tort attorneys typically handle cases involving complex legal questions and often litigate cutting-edge questions of constitutional law. Attorneys also play a vital role in the administrative processing of requests for representation from federal employees nationwide; and provide guidance to U.S. Attorneys' Offices on the immunities and individual defenses that are available to federal officials sued personally for job-related acts. The office represents federal employees in the U.S. District Courts nationwide, with a practice which emphasizes complex dispositive motions; however, attorneys are also involved in discovery and taking cases to trial and evaluating appellate issues. Further information about the Constitutional Torts Staff is available at­-section .


Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Applicants must have at least one year of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-12 level; have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level (other factors are taken into consideration as well, such as litigation experience, relevance of experience to our practice area, etc.). You must also be a U.S. citizen.

Applicants should be outstanding writers, have strong interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have an interest in litigation. Experience with federal court motions practice is preferred. The ideal candidate would also be interested in developing expertise in all and have relevant experience in several of the following areas: dealing with individual clients; representing public officials; asserting personal defenses by way of complex dispositive motions; defending a variety of statutory, common law, constitutional or civil rights claims; handling discovery and preparing cases for trial; analyzing appellate issues. Experience handling criminal defense or medical malpractice work is a plus.

Applicants should enjoy working independently and as part of a team, feel comfortable in varied federal courtroom settings, and enjoy occasional travel. Applicants must exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with clients, staff, attorney supervisors, and Department officials.

$94,199.00 to $183,500.00 annually for the GS-12 through GS-15
You may be expected to travel occasionally.
Application Process: 

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, including the required documents indicated below. The Application Package must be received by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, on the listed closing date of this announcement. A complete application package must include:
1. Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience). Address the cover letter to Sal D'Alessio, Director, Torts Branch-CSTL.
2. Résumé – (list the month and year of relevant experience) Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.
3. Writing Sample (not more than 15 pages in length).
4. If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214 (Member-4 copy), and/or other documentation that you may have.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by email to:  Please use "Trial Attorney, Torts/CSTL-Bivens" as your subject line.

Applicants may also send their materials by commercial courier service, (FedEx or UPS) to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Division, Torts Branch (CSTL)
175 N Street, N.E., 7th Floor, Mail Stop 7.1004
Washington, D.C. 20002
Attn: Sal D'Alessio, Director


Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 31, 2023
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.
Number of Positions: 
Updated March 15, 2023

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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.