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Legislative Attorney (Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, or Courts and Civil Procedure)

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Oct 14, 2022

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is currently seeking several Legislative Attorneys for its American Law Division (ALD). The Legislative Attorneys will analyze legal questions that emerge from the work of Congress related to constitutional law, administrative law, or courts and civil procedure in particular and American public law in general. This is a non-litigating position emphasizing legal research, analysis, and writing in a public service legislative context.

The Legislative Attorney will work within ALD, one of CRS's five research divisions. ALD's areas of research, analysis, and consultative support include all facets of law in the United States, including administrative, business, civil rights, constitutional, energy, environmental, health, immigration, intellectual property, international, labor, military, national security, procurement, tax, and trade law.

The Legislative Attorney prepares objective, non-partisan analytical studies, descriptive and background memoranda, and reports on legal issues of national significance; provides personal consultation and assistance to congressional committees, Members, and staff on legal issues throughout the legislative process; and participates in or leads team research projects and seminars. The incumbent is expected to develop the skills necessary to provide legal analysis and consultation to congressional committees, Members, and staff at increasingly sophisticated levels.

Candidates with research experience in and broad general knowledge of legal issues regarding constitutional law, administrative law, or courts and civil procedure in particular and American public law in general AND strong research, writing, and oral communication skills AND who possess a portfolio of high-quality legal analytical writing are encouraged to apply. Experience as a judicial clerk would be particularly beneficial.

The position's primary focus is the broad area of constitutional law, administrative law, or courts and civil procedure in particular and American public law in general. However, given ALD's relatively small staff and the breadth of issues ALD covers for Congress, candidates must be capable of working in a number of different areas of the law and have the intellectual curiosity to seek out and maintain a broad portfolio of legal issues.

CRS works exclusively for the U.S. Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.

CRS is well known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective, and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has immediate access to the nation's best thinking on legal and public policy issues of interest to its Members and Committees.

Legislative Attorney duties include:

Preparing authoritative reports on legal issues of legislative interest, including surveys and explanations of existing law, comparisons of laws and bills, the activities and legal positions of government and private entities, the progress and implications of significant litigation, and analysis of the legal framework that applies to topics of current legislative focus.

Preparing probing and innovative legal memoranda in response to inquiries from congressional offices and committees. These memoranda often address complex legal questions within the attorney's specialized field of law and relate to the development, interpretation, or implementation of important public policies.

Responding to congressional office and committee requests for oral briefings and consultations. In such consultations, CRS legislative attorneys educate congressional personnel about existing law, clarify legal questions, identify and discuss legal options, and assist them in understanding the legal framework necessary to develop and implement their legislative purposes.

Making full use of the Library of Congress's research capabilities to locate, organize, summarize, and interpret legal information in support of service to Congress, and drawing on information available from other institutions, research materials, or professionals in the field.

Ensuring that the Constitution Annotated of the United States , the official record of the U.S. Constitution, remains accurate and timely through historical research, analysis of current developments in constitutional law, and review and assimilation of practice materials and academic discourse.

Advising and assisting other legislative attorneys, analysts, and specialists through provision of legal analysis and information in support of their service to Congress.

Preparing and delivering oral presentations at CRS seminars and other outreach programs.


Conditions of Employment

Conditions of Employment

Library of Congress employees are prohibited from using illegal drugs, including marijuana. The Library is part of the Federal Government and abides by federal law, so regardless of individual state or District of Columbia laws, marijuana use is illegal, considered criminal activity, and can affect your employment at the Library. In addition, past or current drug use and activities (e.g., selling or distributing) may deem you ineligible for employment.


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

  • Knowledge of constitutional law, administrative law, or courts and civil procedure in particular and American public law in general**
  • Ability to analyze legal issues**
  • Ability to write in a legal context**
  • Ability to work effectively in a high pressure environment
  • Ability to convey legal analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations and other presentations
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others
  • Ability to exercise objectivity in all phases of analysis and consultation
  • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion
  • Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing


Basic Requirements

Applicants must possess an LL.B. or J.D., or higher degree from a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association or a state-accredited school of law and be an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Appointees must maintain active membership in good standing of the bar throughout their employment.

The following documents MUST BE ATTACHED to your online application:
  • Legible copies of transcripts demonstrating that applicant is a graduate from an LL.B. or J.D., or higher degree program in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association or a state-accredited school of law must be attached to your online application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of the application. Official documents will be required if selected.
  • Proof of bar membership demonstrating that applicant is an active (or equivalent) member in good standing of the bar of a state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

  • Failure to submit the required legible documentation at the time of application will result in disqualification of your application.

    Finalists for these positions may be required to submit a writing sample and/or participate in a presentation exercise.

    Additional information

    The Congressional Research Service, within the Library of Congress, is part of the Legislative Branch of the federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.

    The salary range indicated reflects the locality pay adjustment for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. While it is the Library's policy to afford the maximum pay benefit to employees when setting rates of pay, a new appointee who has had no previous federal service will generally be paid the minimum step of the grade.

    This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position. As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.

    The tour of duty for this position is full-time.

    The position description number for this position is 004712. While there is promotion potential to a GS 15, the selectee may not be hired at a level above GS 13, regardless of current salary or position at the time of application.

    The incumbent of this position may elect to work a flexitime work schedule.


    The Library reserves the right to fill a lesser or greater number of vacancies indicated during the life of this vacancy announcement.

    Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.

    Applicants who are referred for interview will be required to submit a completed OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment .

    Initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify this agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of eligibility when applying for this position. The certificate of disability may be issued by a State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, Disability Services or Career Services office of an applicant's college or university, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The date of certification must be within one year of the vacancy closing date and must be submitted with your application. For more information view the directive on the Library's Selective Placement Program and/or contact the Library's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Programs at 202-707-6024 (voice or TTY) or email . FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

    Are you a veteran? Please indicate the type of Veterans' Preference you are claiming in your application materials and/or applicant profile and provide the appropriate supporting documentation to validate your claim. Those applying for 5-point preference must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference , and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please see the Library's Merit Selection Plan , Section X.D. IF REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION IS NOT ATTACHED, VETERANS' PREFERENCE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS.

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