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About the Office:

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California is one of the largest in the country. This office prosecutes federal crimes and defends the interests of the United States Government in civil cases. The Southern District of California encompasses San Diego and Imperial Counties and includes a branch office located in El Centro, California.

Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is currently seeking attorneys for a limited number of Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) positions in the Criminal Division for both its San Diego and Imperial County offices. The Criminal Division is organized into six sections, which consist of the General Crimes Section, Major Frauds Section, Narcotics Enforcement Section, Appellate Section, National Security and Cyber Crimes Section, and Financial Litigation and Asset Forfeiture Unit. The Criminal Division caseload includes a large volume of drug and immigration cases, along with a variety of such other federal offenses as major narcotics cases involving Mexican drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, terrorism offenses, bank robberies, child pornography, postal theft, credit card fraud, murder for hire, counterfeiting, organized crime, money laundering, computer crimes, and other sophisticated white collar fraud offenses (such as defense procurement fraud, health care fraud and environmental fraud).


Applicants must currently be an Assistant United States Attorney serving on a permanent appointment and must have at least two years of relevant legal experience with Department of Justice, with most successful candidates having more than two years’ experience.

Qualifying legal experience may include work as an attorney, a judicial law clerk in either federal or state court and/or litigation experience in either the private or public sector.

Applicants must be current active members of a state bar.

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 also demonstrate excellent computer literacy skills, to include experience with automated research on the Internet, electronic court filing, and electronic e-mail and word processing systems.

All AUSAs are given training by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Appointment is subject to FBI Background investigation, including credit, arrest, reference and drug use inquiries. U.S. citizenship is required.


Occasional travel, both within and outside the District, may be required, depending on the needs of particular cases.

Salary Information:

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


San Diego, California and El Centro, California. The Southern District of California is home to the largest concentration of Navy and Marine Corps installations in the world. The entire southern boundary of the District borders the Republic of Mexico. Contained within the District are international ports of entry at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico (two ports, East and West) and Andrade. The entire western boundary of the District lies on the Pacific Ocean, with a major port in San Diego. .

Relocation Expenses:

Relocation expenses will not be paid.

Application Process and Deadline Date:

Application materials must be submitted by the deadline date of January 18. 2013 Please reference Vacancy Announcement #13-SDCA-AUSA-CR-01 in your cover letter.

Applicants should fill out the Southern District of California’s application form, and send the application, a cover letter, resumé and writing sample to:

Laura E. Duffy
United States Attorney
Southern District of California
880 Front Street, Room 6293
San Diego, CA 92101-8893

A copy of the application form may be viewed as an attachment on our web-site or may be obtained in Word or WordPerfect format by e-mail request to, or by telephone request to Nitza Williamson at (619) 546-9273. Any other inquiries may also be directed to Ms. Williamson.

APPLICATION FORM - Application Form can be located HERE

Internet Sites:

This and other attorney vacancy announcements can be found at:

Department Policies:

Assistant United States Attorneys generally must reside in the district to which they are appointed. See 28 U.S.C. § 545 for district-specific information.

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, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism. 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. 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.

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. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys’ Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are 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.

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 documents). 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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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 July 23, 2015

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