Deputy Senior Counsel

Dispute Resolution Unit
Washington, DC 20530
United States
OLP ATY 16-001
About the Office: 

The Office of Legal Policy (OLP) Dispute Resolution Unit, located in Washington, DC, promotes the effective use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  OLP also coordinates the development of the Department’s major policy initiatives, represents the Department in interagency efforts to coordinate and advance the policies of the Administration; manages the Department’s role in selecting, and seeking the confirmation of, the President’s judicial nominees; and reviews and coordinates regulations promulgated by the Department and all of its components.

Job Description: 

OLP’s Dispute Resolution Unit is seeking an experienced attorney to serve as Deputy Senior Counsel.  Among other things, the Dispute Resolution Unit develops policy and best practices for effective use of ADR processes in Department litigation; monitors and evaluates the use of ADR throughout the Department; represents the Department in exchanges regarding ADR with the private sector, others in the federal government, and representatives of foreign governments; and facilitates use of ADR through training of attorneys, as well as by funding private mediation of litigation and agency administrative disputes.  More information is available at

The Deputy Senior Counsel will be expected to provide legal assistance, advice, and policy guidance to civil litigators in Department components and United States Attorney’s Offices throughout the country; participate in developing programs to assist attorneys in the use of ADR, including training; provide advice in specific cases as needed; perform legal research on issues relating to ADR; develop programs to promote and measure the successful use of ADR; and disseminate information about the office’s mission and goals through outreach to Department litigators and other federal agencies.  Willingness to work on topics outside a specific area of expertise and with OLP’s policy, nominations, or regulations units, if needed, is also expected. 


Required Qualifications:  Interested 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.

Grade-specific qualifications:  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 such specialized experience include: independently performing legal analysis; composing pleadings, briefs and other court documents involving unique and/or difficult legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting highly complex civil or criminal litigation; and leading paralegals and support staff.

Preferred qualifications:  Applicants should have significant litigation experience, preferably on behalf of the United States and its agencies.  It is preferred that the candidate possess at least seven years of post J.D. legal experience in active litigation and the practice of various forms of ADR.  It is also preferred that applicants have management or administrative experience in the legal field, with demonstrated program and financial management experience, as well as experience in training or teaching ADR to attorneys.  Applicants should have a strong interest in ADR, excellent writing and interpersonal skills, the ability to manage multiple projects with competing priorities, and should excel at working independently, as well as collaboratively with other attorneys and federal government officials.

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary at GS-15 ($128,082 - $160,300, which includes locality pay) and/or its AD equivalent.
Occasional travel will be required.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a cover letter (highlighting relevant experience), writing sample (not to exceed 15 pages), and a resume or OF-612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment) to: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy (Attn: M. Matthews)  via email to, via mail to 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 4517, Washington, D.C. 20530, or via fax to 202-616-4566.  Email submission is preferred.  No telephone calls please.  Please reference this announcement, OLP ATY 16-001, in your cover letter. 

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated September 1, 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 and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  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, 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 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.