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General Attorney

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Oct 3, 2023

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel, is seeking Attorney Advisors to join the Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (OCC/IS) to focus on providing cutting-edge legal advice and support to impactful enforcement and regulatory matters pertaining to export controls and related areas. These matters are expected to include responsibility for representing the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in administrative enforcement cases; supporting the U.S. Department of Justice in criminal prosecutions; drafting and reviewing proposed BIS rules and policies; and developing various program initiatives. Representative duties may include:

  • Investigating, charging and litigating administrative enforcement cases, including acting as lead counsel representing BIS in administrative export control enforcement cases before Administrative Law Judges.
  • Assisting U.S. Attorneys' Offices across the country and the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in the criminal prosecution of export control cases.
  • Providing legal advice to federal law enforcement agents, including special agents of the BIS Office of Export Enforcement, on a variety of routine enforcement activities and specialized topics, such as detentions, searches, seizures and forfeitures.
  • Working with the U.S. Department of Justice in defending challenges in federal court to BIS programs and enforcement actions.
  • Drafting and review of enforcement-related proposed rules and policies.
  • Developing and implementing enforcement program initiatives, including law enforcement training.
  • Coordinating with other federal government agencies to further the investigation and prosecution of export control violations.

Regulatory-related duties:
  • Providing legal counsel to BIS on a range of matters relating to, inter alia , the implementation of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (50 U.S.C. 4801-4852) and the Export Administration Regulations (15 C.F.R. 730-774).
  • Advising on proposed rules, pending legislation, responses to Congressional inquiries, and national security-related matters affecting export controls.
  • Supporting the review of matters before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), particularly as to export control-related issues.
  • Providing legal guidance on matters related to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. 1862), addressing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum arising from threats to U.S. national security.
  • Advising BIS on topics related to export license applications and draft advisory opinions.
  • Coordinating with other Department components and U.S. Government agencies' legal offices.
  • Supporting the Department's efforts to implement its Information and Communication Technology and Services (ICTS) supply chain authorities under applicable Executive Orders.
  • Supporting the U.S. Department of Justice on litigation matters related to BIS, including entering appearances on behalf of the U.S. before the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Further responsibilities:
  • Performing additional duties on a variety of legal issues (varying in legal and factual complexity), including the analysis of international agreements and U.S. administrative and criminal law.
  • Carrying out duties with varying degrees of preliminary instruction and review (depending on grade level at which hired and the nature of the assignment) requiring independent legal research, approach planning, and the development of legal recommendations.
  • Participating in international export control technical assistance programs for foreign officials and in training programs for BIS and other Departmental personnel on enforcement and regulatory related topics.
  • Participating as a speaker at BIS public outreach events, such as BIS Update-the agency's annual conference on export controls and policy.

The attorney in this position may also be required to perform other duties as assigned.

This Job Opportunity Announcement may be used to fill other General Attorney GS-0905-13/14/15 FPL-15 positions within the Office of the Secretary in the same geographical location with the same qualifications and specialized experience.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation. This may include a credit check, a review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use of possession of drugs.
  • A probationary period may be required.
  • Selective Service: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see
  • If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application.
  • All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
  • Drug Test Required: Yes
  • Bargaining Unit Position: No
  • Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE form 450): Yes
  • Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Expense: will not be paid


Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at:

Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work completed through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic, religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies; knowledge, and skills, and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Basic requirement for all grade levels:
  • You must be a graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or equivalent from an accredited law school; AND
  • You must have bar membership in one of the 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • To qualify at the GS-13 level:

    Applicants applying at the GS-13 grade level must have two years relevant experience in either the private or public sectors, with a strong preference for experience working on export control-related matters and/or litigating corporate enforcement actions.

    To qualify at the GS-14 level:

    Applicants applying at the GS-14 grade level must have three years of relevant experience in either the private or public sectors, with a strong preference for experience working on export control-related matters and/or litigating corporate enforcement actions.

    To qualify at the GS-15 level:

    Applicants applying at the GS-15 grade level must have four years of relevant experience in either the private or public sectors, with a strong preference for experience working on export control-related matters and/or litigating corporate enforcement actions.

    Note: The General Counsel or designee retains the discretion to waive minimum qualifications as described above.


    Applicants must meet the General Professional Experience requirements set forth above and the below specialized experience by the closing date of the announcement. Specialized experience equips applicants with particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled.

    Applicants may be hired at any of the grades shown in this announcement, commensurate with the candidate's experience and qualifications. You are encouraged to identify the grade level(s) or salary for which you wish to be considered.


    Applicants must possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or equivalent from an accredited law school. Official or unofficial transcripts must be submitted with your application package.

    Additional information

    This position does not confer non-competitive conversion to the competitive service. Acceptance of an excepted service appointment from applicants in the competitive service will require a written statement of understanding when voluntarily leaving the competitive service.

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