The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania was created in 1801 when Pennsylvania, one of the original thirteen judicial districts, was divided into the Eastern and Western Districts. The Middle District was carved from these districts in May 1901.
On March 11, 1801, James Hamilton was commissioned as the district's first United States Attorney. Since that time, there have been several United States Attorneys in this district which have had notable subsequent careers. These include William A. Stone, who won election to the United States Congress in 1890 and later became Governor of Pennsylvania; Harry Alvan Hall, who had previously served in the Pennsylvania Senate; and the Honorable Dick Thornburgh, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the Attorney General of the United States, and who served as Governor of Pennsylvania for two consecutive terms.
The United States Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh currently consists of more than 100 employees, including more than 50 lawyers - in addition to the United States Attorney and First Assistant United States Attorney - who are called Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs). The principal office is located in downtown Pittsburgh and branch offices are located in Erie and Johnstown.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania has three major divisions - Criminal, Civil, and Appellate - and a non-lawyer Administrative Division.