Associate Solicitor, Division of Plan Benefits Security

Washington, D.C
Nov 23, 2022
Nov 30, 2022
Full Time

This position is located in the Plan Benefits Security Division (PBSD), which is one of the ten national divisions reporting to the Solicitor of Labor. PBSD provides legal services to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the agency within the Department of Labor that administers the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The Associate Solicitor directs the work of PBSD, including the provision of legal advice, the development of regulations, and the conduct of-litigation, and is ultimately responsible for the performance of the division's approximately 40 lawyers and support personnel.

Subject to the general direction and control of the Solicitor, the Associate Solicitor is responsible for (1) supervising litigation in the U.S. District Courts and Courts of Appeals in the name of the Secretary and the preparation of legal analyses, pleadings and briefs at all levels of the federal judicial system, (2) overseeing PBSD's role in the preparation, review, and coordination of rules, Advisory Opinions, Field Assistance Bulletins, exemptions, and other public guidance documents, (3) directing the provision of legal advice to EBSA leadership and other senior Department officials and providing technical advice to other federal agencies and Congress, (4) overseeing the preparation and filing of briefs and participation in oral argument as amicus curiae in the Courts of Appeals and assisting the Office of the Solicitor General in the preparation of briefs in the Supreme Court, (5) providing legal support to the Department of Justice in litigation brought against the Department, (6) coordinating with Regional Solicitors in providing legal services to EBSA (7) coordinating work between the Department of Labor and numerous other federal agencies and entities, including the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Treasury, Health and Human Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others.

The Associate has ongoing responsibility for the proper organization, staffing, direction, and training of approximately 40 subordinate attorneys and support staff, as well as the preparation of budget justifications, estimates, and long range legal and policy issues. The Associate is additionally responsible for any other legal work assigned by the Solicitor of Labor, as appropriate.


Conditions of Employment

  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Subject to financial disclosure requirements.
  • Must meet Mandatory Technical and Executive Core Qualifications.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.

You must have one year of specialized experience at a level close to the work of this job (typically equivalent to the GS-15 level) that has given you the particular subject-matter knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform. Typically, we would find this experience in work within the field or a field that is closely related. You must demonstrate possession of specialized experience in the described duties.

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.

Currently, implementation and enforcement of Executive Order 14043 has been suspended pursuant to an injunction pending further litigation.


To qualify for this position, all applicants must write a narrative in the spaces provided detailing accomplishments that would satisfy each of the ECQs and MTQs. You must address each ECQ and MTQ separately. If you fail to do so, your application will be rated ineligible.

In writing your responses to the ECQs, your narrative must address each ECQ separately in the spaces provided. Each ECQ should contain at least two examples describing your experiences and accomplishments/results. Responses to ECQ's must not exceed 10 pages. It is recommended that applicants draft their ECQs in a Word document first, then cut and paste into the spaces provided following each ECQ to ensure length requirements. For additional guidance, applicants may visit the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Senior Executive Qualifications . Applicants are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action, and Result model outlined in the guide.

1. Leading Change: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
2. Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
3. Results Driven: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
4. Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
5. Building Coalitions: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): In writing your narrative responses to the MTQs, please give examples and explain how often you used your skills, the complexity of the knowledge possessed, the level of people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc. APPLICANTS SHOULD LIMIT THEIR RESPONSES TO ONE (1) SINGLE SPACED PAGE PER EACH MTQ WITH THE FONT SIZE NO SMALLER THAN POINT 12. It is recommended that applicants draft their MTQs in a Word document first, then cut and paste into the spaces provided following each MTQ to ensure length requirements.

1. Substantial trial litigation, appellate litigation, or rulemaking experience with regards to the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

2. Successful experience in leading and managing legal offices, components, or significant teams engaged in a broad range of client services.

3. Demonstrated ability to develop and implement long range strategies within an organization and/or its components.


The Department of Labor does not recognize academic degrees from schools that are not accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. 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.

Education for this position is a requirement and applicants must possess a J.D. You will be required to provide an original copy of your transcripts at a later time. Applicants are required to be active members of the Bar in any US State or US Territory Court under the U.S. Constitution. Documentation of Bar License will be required before selection.

Additional information

The Department of Labor (DOL) seeks to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. This position is an opportunity for a mission-driven senior executive seeking a collaborative, fast-paced, and collegial work setting to achieve far-reaching impacts across the nation. DOL seeks to be a model employer, and offers flexible work schedules, Employee Assistance Programs (which provide counseling and/or referral services for a variety of life events), and a comprehensive and competitive benefits package, including for retirement, dependent care, and transit benefits.