Supervisory Trial Attorney (Labor)

Washington, D.C
Feb 03, 2023
Feb 11, 2023
Full Time

The mission of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States. DOL's Office of the Solicitor (SOL) provides legal advice regarding how to achieve those goals. In doing so, SOL ensures that the Nation's labor laws are forcefully and fairly applied to protect the Nation's workers.

This position is located in the Division of Black Lung and Longshore Legal Services (BLLLS), one of the national office divisions of SOL. Strong analytical, legal writing, and time-management skills are a must. Experience as an appellate advocate is preferred.

The Counsel for Appellate Litigation is responsible for the review and direction of legal work carried out on behalf of the Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), and related regulations.

The Counsel, along with a co-counsel, assigns, coordinates, and reviews the work of staff attorneys in cases pending before the United States Courts of Appeals. The Counsel advises and directs the preparation of briefs, reviews and edits them, and guides staff attorneys in preparing for oral argument. As the importance of the cases demands, the Counsel may personally prepare and argue more complicated cases in rare circumstances.

The Counsel reviews all court of appeals decisions under the BLBA and LHWCA to determine whether the division should seek rehearing or further appeal. The Counsel also assists the Solicitor General in representing OWCP before the United States Supreme Court.

The Counsel advises high-level officials in OWCP and SOL on significant decisions and positions the division is taking. The Counsel assists the Associate Solicitor in developing litigation to further the evolution of case law in support of the Department's substantive policies.

The Counsel also provides legal advice to OWCP and regional attorneys in the Solicitor's Office, helps review cases pending before the Benefits Review Board as needed, and carries out special projects on behalf of the Associate and Deputy Associate Solicitors.

The Counsel performs supervisory duties typical of first-level supervisors, including evaluating job performance, addressing supervisees' needs, and resolving personnel matters.

The Division seeks a Counsel for Appellate Litigation who offers diversity in background and experience, and who will contribute to the Division's promotion of equity and inclusion for its employees.


Conditions of Employment

  • Relocation expenses will not be paid
  • Candidate required to obtain the necessary security/investigation level.
  • U.S. Citizenship.
  • Requires a supervisory probationary period if requirement has not been met.
  • This position is not in the bargaining unit.
  • Subject to financial disclosure requirements.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.

This position is subject to the confidential financial disclosure requirements of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-521). Therefore, if selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) to determine if a conflict or an appearance of a conflict exists between your financial interest(s) and your prospective position with DOL. This information will be required annually.

You may not be aware, but in the regulations for agency ethics programs, there are requirements for supervisors. Section 2638.103 of Title 5 of the CFR states:

Every supervisor in the executive branch has a heightened personal responsibility for advancing government ethics. It is imperative that supervisors serve as models of ethical behavior for subordinates. Supervisors have a responsibility to help ensure that subordinates are aware of their ethical obligations under the Standards of Conduct and that subordinates know how to contact agency ethics officials. Supervisors are also responsible for working with agency ethics officials to help resolve conflicts of interests and enforce government ethics laws and regulations, including those requiring certain employees to file financial disclosure reports. In addition, supervisors are responsible, when requested, for assisting agency ethics officials in evaluating potential conflicts of interest and identifying positions subject to financial disclosure requirements.

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 an attorney position, applicants 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-15, four (4) years of progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at this level. At least one year of qualifying experience, at this level, must be specialized experience as defined below.

Specialized experience, for this grade level, is defined as experience with 1) conducting federal and/or administrative litigation or conducting litigation of appellate cases; and 2) the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, procedural rules of the Benefits Review Board and the Office of Administrative Law Judges, and the rules adopted by the various U.S. courts of appeals and district courts to effectively pursue litigation.

Note: An LL.M may be substituted for a maximum of one year experience.


For this position education is a requirement. You must have obtained a professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.) from a qualifying educational institution. You must submit academic transcripts demonstrating that you meet the qualifying educational requirements. If you do not submit sufficient academic documentation necessary to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility and minimum qualification requirements described in this announcement, your application will be deemed incomplete, and you will be ineligible for further consideration for this vacancy.

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

The Department of Labor has determined that this position is eligible for telework and may be allowed to telework with supervisory approval. 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.