This job has expired

Honors Attorney Program, Law Clerk/Attorney, GS-0904/0905-11/12/13/14

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Sep 30, 2022


The Office of the Solicitor serves as the legal counsel for the U.S. Department of Labor. The approximately 516 attorneys in SOL enforce and interpret occupational and mine safety and health laws, civil rights laws, pension and health benefit laws, minimum wage and overtime requirements, whistleblower protections, and international labor standards. SOL also provides legal services to programs that pay Federal benefits to the victims of certain occupational diseases and accidents, provide grants in support of employment and training programs, and administer unemployment benefits. In all, SOL attorneys work with more than 180 labor and employment laws.

SOL has more independent litigating authority than virtually any other cabinet department outside the Justice Department. SOL attorneys represent the Secretary of Labor in proceedings before federal district courts, federal courts of appeals, and administrative law judges. SOL attorneys also play a leading role in important and high-profile federal rulemakings and policy decisions.

About half of SOL's attorneys serve in the National Office in Washington, D.C., and the remainder work in one of the 14 regional and branch offices across the country. Those offices are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland, Denver, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Arlington, Virginia.

The Department of Labor's mission is to promote the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees, to improve working conditions, to advance opportunities for profitable employment, and to ensure work-related benefits and rights. Honors Attorneys play a crucial role in enabling the Department to carry out its mission. Like the Department, the Honors Program is more effective when its workforce includes highly qualified individuals whose backgrounds reflect our nation's richly diverse workforce.


Attorneys in the Honors Program who are located in the National Office in Washington, DC, will spend their first two years in SOL handling a broad variety of assignments from divisions in the National Office.

Past National Office Honors Attorneys have:
  • Argued cases in federal courts of appeals on pension and wage and hour law
  • Drafted critical new mine safety regulations.
  • Participated in negotiations regarding international trade and labor law
  • Advised the Department on conducting effective occupational safety investigations
  • Prepared the Department for litigation against contractors with discriminatory hiring practices
  • Arbitrated and resolved internal union grievances and ensured the legitimacy of labor union elections.

Honors Attorneys in the National Office may also receive assignments from SOL's Regional Offices, which typically involve trial work, including discovery, motions practice, and co-chairing trials. After the first six to nine months in the program, Honors Attorneys in the National Office begin a series of three-month rotations to various SOL divisions. National Office Honors Attorneys may also volunteer to work in a Regional Office for one of their rotations.

After two years, National Office Honors Attorneys will be permanently placed in a specific office in SOL. All efforts will be made to accommodate attorneys' preferences among the National Office divisions and regional offices, consistent with the needs of the Department.

The Honors Program gives attorneys a unique opportunity to help interpret and enforce a broad range of labor and employment laws while working in one of the largest legal offices in the Federal government. Honors Attorneys will gain experience that would be difficult to obtain in years of private practice and will share the honor and privilege of representing the United States Government and engaging in public service.


Conditions of Employment

  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • This position is outside the bargaining unit.
  • Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements.

Eligibility is limited to graduating law students who will graduate from law school between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, and recent law school graduates who began participating in eligibility preserving employment within 9 months of law school graduation. Eligibility preserving employment includes full-time activities starting after law school graduation that can preserve a law school graduate's eligibility for the Honors Program such as judicial clerkships or time-limited court staff attorney positions; federal agency or state government Honors Attorney programs; or legal fellowships.

Notification Concerning COVID-19 Vaccinations. As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal executive branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit documentation of proof of vaccination or to be in the process of requesting an exception to the vaccination requirement before appointment or onboarding with the agency. The agency will provide additional information regarding which forms of documentation can be accepted and how you can request to be considered for a legally required exception from this requirement.


All applicants must be ranked or have graduated in the top half of their class or have a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the time of application (if currently enrolled in law school) or upon graduation from law school.


Applicants who have not been admitted to a state bar may be selected for a Law Clerk, GS-0904-11 position. Appointments as a Law Clerk are limited to 14 months during which time the appointee must be admitted in good standing to the bar of a court of general jurisdiction of a state, territory or possession of the United States, after which the Law Clerk will be appointed to a permanent appointment as an Attorney.


Applicants applying for the General Attorney, GS-0905 positions, must possess a professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.); be a member in good standing of the bar of a court of general jurisdiction of a state, territory or possession of the U.S.; and have acquired the amount of experience indicated below for each grade level.

GS-11, applicants must possess progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at this level.

GS-12, applicants must possess (1) year of progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at this level.

GS-13, applicants must possess (2) years of progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at this level.

GS-14, applicants must possess (3) years of progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at this level.


Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information

Position Telework eligibility is determined by management based on position duties during the recruitment process. Employee participation in telework on a routine or situational basis is determined by management primarily based on business needs. Employees participating in telework are subject to the terms and conditions of the Department of Labor's Telework Program.

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert