Application Requirements

An application for a position with this Office should include a letter of application, resume, legal writing sample, an official law school transcript and a list of at least three references. The writing sample selected for submission should be the applicant's exclusive work product. If the writing sample was edited, or if there were other contributors, applicants are expected to identify those portions of the writing sample not exclusively their own work product and the extent of editing done by others. Applicants may also submit letters of reference from persons recommending appointment. Applicants interested in being considered for a position with the Civil Division of this Office should so specify in the letter forwarding their application.


Depending upon the nature of your practice, your application to this Office may create the possibility of a conflict of interest. If you handle any cases -- criminal or civil -- in which this Office represents an adverse interest, it is incumbent upon you immediately to advise your client of the fact that you are seeking employment here and obtain his consent to your continued representation. It may also be necessary for you to advise the court that you have applied for a position here. If you are handling any cases in which a conflict may exist, you will be expected to provide this Office with a written waiver of the potential conflict signed by your client before you will be interviewed. Furthermore, if you are a resident of the District of Columbia and you are called for jury duty in the Superior Court or U.S. District Court after you have submitted your application for a position here, you must make the fact of your application known during voir dire in any case in which this Office represents a party.


Interviews are scheduled when actual vacancies occur. Because we receive a very large number of applications, it is impossible to interview all who apply. Our objective, however, is to give full and fair consideration to each applicant and make hiring commitments to the most highly qualified.

The first step of the hiring process is an initial review of all applications. Upon the completion of this initial review, a limited number of applicants are scheduled for interviews. The first series of interviews is conducted by two or three senior attorneys. Based upon the recommendations made by the initial panel of interviewers, an interview may be scheduled with the United States Attorney. After the completion of all interviews, final hiring decisions are made following an analysis of writing samples, consideration of letters of recommendation, and a reference check.


All employment offers are made subject to successful completion of an FBI background investigation, a drug test, and the normal budgetary constraints of the Department of Justice. At the time an employment offer is made, a prospective Assistant United States Attorney will be advised of a precise starting date, generally within six to eight weeks following the date of the offer.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducts an extensive background investigation of each applicant who receives an employment offer. In addition, during the interviewing process, applicants will also be asked questions concerning their background. Any applicant who may be concerned about his or her background is encouraged to discuss the matter with the Executive Assistant US Attorney for Management.


As a prerequisite to employment, attorneys are asked for a commitment that they will serve with the Office for a period of not less than four years. Assistant United States Attorneys must also agree to provide at least 60 days' notice before resignation.


Pursuant to the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 545, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Columbia must reside within the District of Columbia or within 25 miles thereof.


Assistant United States Attorney positions are in the "Excepted Service," and entering salaries are established by the Department of Justice based upon each applicant's pre-employment qualifications and amount of legal experience. Salaries are not established within the "GS" schedule. Questions concerning health insurance, life insurance, salaries, and retirement programs may be directed to the Personnel Office within the United States Attorney's Office.

If you are interested in applying to the Civil Division, please forward your application to the attention of Daniel Van Horn, Deputy Chief of the Civil Division. Applications for positions in the Criminal Division are accepted throughout the year.

All applications and supporting documentation should be mailed to:

Principal Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
District of Columbia
555 Fourth St., N.W.
Room 5810
Washington, D.C. 20530


Applicants who have tentatively been selected for positions with the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia will find below a list of security and administrative forms required for employment.

AUSA Security & Administration Forms

Updated February 25, 2015

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