Attorney Advisor

Washington, D.C
Jun 28, 2022
Jul 05, 2022
Full Time

DSO administers the hybrid system of federally appointed counsel consisting of federal defender organizations and private Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorneys. DSO also serves as staff and counsel to the Judicial Conference's Defender Services Committee (DSC). LPD supports the DSC and the federal defense community by providing legal and policy guidance. For more information, visit: .

The incumbent will be committed to upholding the Defender Services program mission, which is to ensure that the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, the CJA, and other statutory mandates are enforced on behalf of the clients who cannot afford to retain counsel and other necessary defense services.

Job duties may include but are not limited to:
  • Supporting the work of the Defender Services Committee by writing briefs and serving as an expert on rules and regulations pertaining to the CJA.
  • Preparing written materials on a variety of legal, policy, and resource issues as part of the bi-annual meeting cycle.
  • Supporting standing and ad hoc subcommittees of the Defender Services Committee.
  • Responding to requests for information and research from the Chair and members of the Committee.
  • Researching various legal and policy issues affecting the delivery of services under the CJA and related statutes.
  • Developing and communicating program policies and guidance through facilitation of stakeholder advisory and working groups and assisting courts in maintaining consistency in the application of laws and statutes.
  • Interpreting policies and guidance related to the CJA, consulting with Administrative Office and court personnel, federal defenders, and panel attorneys to implement related policies and guidance.
  • Responding to telephone and written inquiries from judges and other court personnel, Congress (in coordination with other AO offices), federal defenders, CJA panel attorneys, and the public concerning the appointment and payment of counsel and experts in federal capital and non-capital cases and the operation of federal defender organizations.
  • Developing long-term programmatic strategies and initiatives to support federal defenders and CJA panel attorneys appointed to represent defendants in complex non-capital cases, federal capital habeas corpus proceedings, and federal capital prosecutions.
  • Supporting Defender Services Office leadership and members of the Defender Services Committee, with data-informed communications to advance public defense advocacy through the development of talking points, presentations at small meetings and large conferences, and other forms of written and oral communications materials.
  • Improving the integration and use of data in policy decisions and communications efforts within the DSO, and the LPD.
  • Providing guidance on major legislative matters.

  • Requirements

    Conditions of Employment

  • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
  • Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration of Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship for competitive status positions or conversion to a competitive status position with the AO. If non-citizens are considered for hire into a temporary or any other position with non-competitive status or when it is confirmed by the AO Human Resources Office there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a competitive status position (unless prohibited by a law or statue), non-citizens must provide proof of authorization to work in the U.S. and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at USAJOBS Help Center | Employment of non-citizens / . For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification .
  • All new AO employees will be required to complete an FBI fingerprint-based national criminal database and records check and pass a public trust suitability check.
  • New employees to the AO will be required to successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights/responsibilities, visit .
  • All new AO employees are required to identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment.
  • You will be required to serve a trial period if selected for a first-time appointment to the Federal government, transferring from another Federal agency, or serving as a first-time supervisor. Failure to successfully complete the trial period may result in termination of employment.
  • If appointed to a temporary position, management may have the discretion of converting the position to permanent depending upon funding and staffing allocation.

  • Qualifications

    Applicants must have demonstrated experience as listed below. This requirement is according to the AO Classification, Compensation, and Recruitment Systems which include interpretive guidance and reference to the OPM Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions.

    Bar Membership : Applicants must currently be an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a federal court of general jurisdiction. Applicants are responsible for citing minimum qualifications such as J.D. and bar membership information (institution name, state(s) for bar, and dates) on their respective resumes. Failure to supply details will constitute an incomplete application. All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

    Post J.D. Experience : Applicants must also possess at least 2 y ears of post J.D. experience.

    Specialized Experience : Subsequent to graduation from law school, applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position. Specialized experience for this position is demonstrated experience in federal criminal defense representation (capital or non-capital), interpreting and analyzing complex legal and policy issues, drafting legal memoranda, opinions, and guidelines.

    Submission of a cover letter is highly desired.


    Applicants must possess a law degree (J.D.) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Qualifying education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the Department of Education. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on OPM's website at .

    Additional information

    The AO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.