Assistant General Counsel (Science and Technology)

Washington, D.C
Jul 01, 2022
Jul 04, 2022
Full Time

The Assistant General Counsel for STAA and ARM is part of the management team of GAO's Office of General Counsel (OGC). The STAA-ARM Assistant General Counsel reports to their group's Managing Associate General Counsel and collaborates with OGC's other Assistant General Counsels. The STAA-ARM Assistant General Counsel is responsible for supervising the review and resolution of all legal matters that arise in the STAA and ARM areas (described in more detail below). The Assistant General Counsel's management responsibilities include:
  • Leading the team of STAA-ARM attorneys in addressing complex, controversial, and far-reaching legal problems;
  • Assigning and ensuring the quality and timeliness of the attorneys' work on multiple performance audits, reviews, technology assessments, and other products and projects simultaneously, with a high degree of independence and agility and an ability to prioritize and multi-task;
  • Providing direct legal support when necessary to maintain responsiveness to clients or address issues of unusual complexity or sensitivity;
  • Mentoring and supporting the professional development of the group's attorneys, who may range in their level of experience, and creating an inclusive work environment;
  • Monitoring the attorneys' performance, including setting expectations, providing regular feedback, conducting annual performance appraisals, and managing performance challenges;
  • Building and sustaining constructive, collaborative relationships with staff and leadership in the STAA and ARM mission teams, the Office of General Counsel and GAO, and Congress and agencies; and
  • Exercising strong organizational and time-management skills, interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, and sound professional judgment.
The work of the STAA-ARM attorneys includes:
  • Providing innovative, timely, and solution-oriented legal support to GAO's STAA and ARM mission teams;
  • Providing legal counsel on a broad range of science, technology, and data policy topics, including emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and health, weapons, and climate technologies); data science, analytics, and governance; oversight of federal science, intellectual property, and engineering activities; and compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies;
  • Researching and applying the law to support GAO's performance audits of agency programs and activities, and performing legal analysis in areas of novel and evolving legal frameworks related to cutting-edge science and technology;
  • Providing legal support and creative legal solutions for GAO's Innovation Lab (a leading-edge, "sandbox" environment designed to help facilitate the use of advanced data science across GAO mission teams);
  • Reviewing GAO products for legal sufficiency before publication, focusing on legal accuracy, legal sophistication, and readability;
  • Collaborating across teams within OGC and GAO to ensure high-quality products;
  • Reviewing GAO products to ensure they reflect an accurate and objective understanding and application of the law;
  • Drafting legal memoranda and sections of GAO reports;
  • Providing legal assistance and support to GAO senior executives providing Congressional testimony;
  • Analyzing legislative proposals to determine potential effects and implications for federal policies and GAO, and providing technical and legislative drafting assistance to Congress;
  • Providing concise oral presentations of legal issues at high-level GAO meetings and Congressional briefings; and
  • Learning new areas of technology and working collaboratively with technical experts (technical background not required).


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Suitability for Federal employment, as determined by a background investigation
  • Completion of a two-year probationary period unless you previously completed a trial period at GAO after October 1, 1980.
  • Completion of a financial disclosure statement is required.


You must meet the minimum qualification requirements by the closing date of this job opportunity announcement

1. Must have a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
2. Must be an active member in good standing of a bar of a state, a territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
3. Must have a minimum of four years (208 weeks) of legal experience working with and applying the laws, policies, and regulations related to the duties of the position.


See qualification section.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Most foreign education is not accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

Additional information

This position is not in a bargaining unit.

A current security clearance or willingness to obtain a clearance is preferred.

Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see )

Based on the staffing needs, additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement.

VETERANS' PREFERENCE: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, GAO 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 Veterans' 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 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.

TRAVEL & RELOCATION EXPENSES: Travel and relocation expenses related to this hiring process will not be paid.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: GAO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please email

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity.