The Civil Rights Division (Division) of the Department of Justice, created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), disability, religion, familial status, national origin, and citizenship status.
The FOIA/PA Unit within OCC processes requests for government records received by CRT and is responsible for providing legal advice to CRT leadership, management and human resources staff; coordinating with other offices within DOJ, as well as other federal agencies, regarding disclosure of records; and ensuring that all FOIA/PA requests are processed efficiently and consistent with applicable FOIA/PA policies, laws, and regulations.
The Division is seeking an Attorney Adviser for the OCC to handle primarily FOIA/PA, Congressional/GAO/OIG oversight audits and investigations, and eDiscovery. The FOIA/PA Unit also coordinates with DOJ’s Civil Division, United States Attorneys’ Offices and other DOJ components in defending DOJ in FOIA/PA-related litigation.
The Attorney Adviser is responsible for reviewing FOIA/PA requests, including those related to sensitive and high-profile matters, providing advice regarding search parameters and applicable privileges, and working with the FOIA/PA administrative staff to review, redact and produce documents. The Attorney Adviser works with the United States Attorney’s Office on FOIA/PA-related federal court litigation, including assisting in drafting affidavits, privilege indices, motions and briefs. The Attorney Adviser serves as an audit liaison, working with CRT leadership, CRT’s enforcement section managers, other offices/components within DOJ and other agencies, to respond to oversight audits and investigations, including conferring with CRT leadership and collecting relevant information, reviewing for applicable privileges, negotiating with requesters regarding scope, drafting responses to requests and representing CRT/DOJ on calls and in meetings with GAO and OIG. The Attorney Adviser will also work with other Division staff to advise on eDiscovery issues arising in affirmative and defensive litigation. The Attorney Adviser stays abreast of FOIA/PA, oversight and eDiscovery policy, laws, rules and regulations. Assists Chief Counsel and FOIA/PA Chief with other duties as assigned.
Applicants must possess a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, been an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and possess a minimum of five (5) years of post-professional law degree experience. Applicants also must have strong, demonstrated qualifications in the following areas: academic achievement; significant substantive knowledge and expertise in FOIA/PA policy, laws, rules and regulations; experience coordinating with governmental offices and requesters regarding FOIA/PA requests; civil litigation experience; written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze complex issues; skill and experience working collaboratively and productively with others; organizational skills; professional judgment; initiative; and the ability to excel in a fast-paced, demanding environment. In addition, applicants must have outstanding professional references.
The following qualifications are preferred: experience with FOIA/PA litigation; working knowledge of FoiaXpress and Relativity; experience with Congressional, GAO, OIG or other oversight audits or investigations; experience with eDiscovery. Judicial clerkships (especially in federal court), law review, moot court, clinical experience, and skill and experience working cooperatively and productively with a range of people, such as charging parties, witnesses, respondents, disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, opposing counsel, judicial or administrative officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement personnel, and the staff of other federal or state governmental agencies are also preferred.
Possessing the minimum post law degree legal experience does not guarantee the applicant will be selected at that grade level.
- GS-12 – minimum 1 year post-JD legal experience
- GS-13 – minimum 1.5 years post-JD legal experience
- GS-14 – minimum 2.5 years post-JD legal experience
- GS-15 – minimum 4 years post-JD legal experience
The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time Zone (ETZ) on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:
- Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience).
- Resume - Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position. Additionally, your resume must include the following information for each job listed: month and year, start/end dates (e.g. June 2007 to April 2008), and full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week).
- Law School Transcripts- Current DOJ Attorneys are not required to submit a copy of their transcripts.
- Writing Sample - A brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product. (No more than 10 pages)
- Assessment Questionnaire (you will be prompted to complete this when you apply online).
- Schedule A Documentation (if applicable) – Schedule A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing your eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u). The date of your certification letter must be within three (3) years of the vacancy closing date and must be submitted with your application.
- Current or Former Political Appointees (if applicable) – please note on your resume and attach an SF-50. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the HR Office.
- Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable)
To apply for this position, see page https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/601684700.
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.
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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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.
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