Attorney Advisor

Washington, D.C
Aug 06, 2022
Aug 09, 2022
Full Time

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking an experienced attorney to work in the Office of Information Policy (OIP), located in Washington, DC. OIP manages the Department's responsibilities related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which includes coordinating and implementing policy development and compliance government-wide for the FOIA, processing FOIA requests for the senior leadership offices within the Department, adjudicating all administrative appeals from denials by any Department component under the FOIA, and assisting in the defense of certain FOIA matters in litigation. OIP attorneys may be assigned/reassigned to any one of several distinct but inter-related teams based on mission-critical office needs. Those teams include: the Administrative Appeals Staff, which adjudicates administrative appeals from Department components' FOIA determinations; the Initial Request (IR) Staff, which processes FOIA requests on behalf of the Department's leadership offices; the IR FOIA Litigation Staff; which handles FOIA requests subject to litigation; or the FOIA Compliance Staff, which supports the Office's responsibilities to oversee and encourage government-wide compliance with the FOIA.

OIP places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified individuals from all ethnic and racial background, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.

As a Attorney Advisor GS-0905-12/13/14, your typical work assignments may include the following:

OIP is hiring an Attorney-Advisor to be assigned to its FOIA Litigation Staff. Primary duties of this position include handling FOIA requests made to the Department's senior leadership offices that have become subject to litigation in federal court and assisting in the defense of FOIA lawsuits. The incumbent in this position also performs varied legal work involving the interpretation and application of laws, executive orders, regulations, precedents, and agency practices relating to the FOIA. Specific responsibilities may include:
  • Processing high-visibility and highly complex FOIA requests for DOJ senior leadership office records, including processing those records pursuant to court deadlines;
  • Reviewing records in-depth for consultation and disclosure determinations;
  • Drafting declarations and Vaughn indices, drafting or reviewing court filings, and assisting in the formulation of litigation strategies and legal arguments;
  • Coordinating and collaborating with litigators in the Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney's Offices, Department senior leadership office stakeholders, and other agency contacts;
  • Negotiating request scope and processing schedules with FOIA plaintiffs through assigned litigation counsel;
  • Providing instructional training and guidance to various federal agencies regarding compliance with the FOIA;
  • Conducting legal research and providing legal advice involving inquiries and assignments related to the FOIA;
  • Developing a mastery of assigned area(s) of expertise and updating corresponding section(s) of the United States Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act ;
  • Providing expert advice and guidance to agency personnel and Department of Justice litigators concerning the application of the FOIA;
  • Presenting or teaching at OIP training programs and events; and
  • Maintaining awareness of developments in FOIA and Privacy Act law, regulation, and policy.

    Please note this position requires at least some in person work in the office and is not fully remote telework.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation to include drug testing
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of one year probationary period
  • COVID vaccination status may be requested for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) and have at least 1 year post-J.D. work experience before your start date. (Please note that the time from selection of an applicant to the start date is typically about 3 months.) No exceptions can be made regarding the required one year of experience.

Preferred qualifications : It is preferred that applicants have knowledge of and a demonstrated interest in the Freedom of Information Act and have administrative law and/or civil litigation experience. Candidates must have at least one year FOIA processing / FOIA litigation experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; and at least two years experience to qualify at the GS-14 level.

Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, tax and credit checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation. Applicants will be required to qualify for a Top Secret security clearance.

Salary and grade level determinations are made based on the number of years of qualifying experience and current salary level.
GS-12 salary range (89,834 - 116,788)
GS-13 salary range (106,823 - 138,868)
GS-14 salary range (126,233 - 164,102)
Limited travel may be associated with this position.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) and have at least 1 year post-J.D. work experience before your start date. No exceptions can be made regarding the required one year of experience.

Additional information

COVID-19 Vaccination:
1. To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement Safer Federal Workforce Task Force 2 pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

2. Due to COVID-19, if selected, you may be expected to telework for an undefined period under the Department's evacuation authority, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Employees in this status may be notified of a requirement to report in person to the component workplace with an advance notice of not less than 30 days. Prior to a requirement to report to the workplace, employees may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of the component's telework policy.