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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
District of New Mexico
Job ID
P.O. Box 607
Albuquerque, NM 87103 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

If you care about justice, if you want to make a difference, or if you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, this is the position for you! With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, the Department of Justice leads the Nation in ensuring the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. You can be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty, and the property of citizens.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico is one of 94 U.S. Attorney's Offices in the nation. But this U.S. Attorney's Office is unique. New Mexico is home to 23 tribes and pueblos, 4 military bases, and 2 national labs. New Mexico is the fifth biggest state of the union in size, shares a border with Mexico, and is a major international and economic corridor. The U.S. Attorney's Office is primarily responsible for prosecuting federal crime occurring in the District of New Mexico. The U.S. Attorney's Office partners with tribal, state, county, and city governments to ensure our communities are safe and prosperous.

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

The mission of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico is to uphold the rule of law, keep New Mexico and the nation safe, and to protect civil rights. The Office earns the public trust by following the facts wherever they lead, without fear or favor. The Office adheres to the highest standards of excellence and ethical behavior, interested not in winning cases but in ensuring justice is done. And the Office values differences in people and in ideas, treating defendants, victims, witnesses, and colleagues with dignity, compassion, and fairness.

Assistant US Attorneys located in the District of New Mexico prosecute a wide variety of federal crime, breaches of national security, child exploitation, public corruption, transnational organized crime, and violent crime.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.


The U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking qualified, experienced AUSAs to:

  • Partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement to manage criminal investigations and prosecutions brought in the federal courts in the District of New Mexico.
  • Advise federal agents on questions of law and Departmental policy.
  • Recommend charging decisions and proposes dispositions with regard to assigned cases.
  • Research and draft all legal pleadings and be prepared to try cases in federal court.
  • Investigate and pursue asset forfeiture related to prosecutions.
  • Oversee and coordinate the preparation of litigation assignments for legal support staff.
  • Participate in outreach and training conducted by AUSAs throughout the District.

Required Qualifications:

Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 1* year post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience.

United States citizenship or nationality is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

Hiring preference will be given to applicants with prior felony trial experience and those who have demonstrated the ability to handle complex cases from the initial investigative stage through trial.

Hiring preference will also be given to applicants with prior experience working with New Mexico's unique communities, as well as Spanish or other language proficiency.

Applicants must demonstrate a quick analytical ability and the facility to accurately and precisely articulate the critical issues in a case.

Applicants must demonstrate superior oral and writing skills, as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment.

Applicants must possess excellent communication and courtroom skills and exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff and client agencies.

Applicants must have a demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding office and courtroom environment. Applicants will be expected to conduct their own legal research and writing and must be substantially self-sufficient in preparing day-to-day correspondence and pleadings. Applicants must also possess computer literacy skills to include experience with automated research, electronic court filing, electronic e-mail and word processing systems.

You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.

Albuquerque, N.M., Salary is $66,750 to $174,590 which includes a 17.14% locality pay.
Las Cruces, N.M., Salary is $66,214 to $173,189 which includes a 16.20% locality pay.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must follow the instructions listed in the link below:     

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Required - Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process).
  • Required - Your resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include month/year). date J.D. was awarded (include month/year), and date of Bar Admission (include month/year).
  • Required, if applicable - A recent copy of an SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade, and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Required, if applicable - To get Veterans' Preference, you must indicate your preference in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire and you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. See the "How you will be Evaluated" section for details regarding what is appropriate Veterans' Preference documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.
  • Required - A cover letter expressing your interest in the position as well as your interest in relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico, if you are not currently a resident.
  • Required - A writing sample, preferably a legal brief filed in court or an excerpt from a brief.
  • Optional - Letters of recommendation


Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.


United States Attorney's pay is a administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience.

Number of Positions
You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized

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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.

Updated November 16, 2022