The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is seeking applications for its 2024 Attorney Honors Program. Honors Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Commerce provide legal advice and counsel to help the Department meet its strategic goals in its broad mission to promote U.S. commerce at home and abroad. To be eligible for our next program starting in September/October 2024, you must be a U.S. citizen graduating from law school in Spring 2024 or a recent law school graduate completing a judicial clerkship or fellowship in Summer 2024.
The Honors Program offers new law graduates and recent law graduates completing judicial clerkships or fellowships a unique opportunity to complete a two-year rotational program, before being assigned to a permanent position in one of OGC's many practice areas. Six-month rotational opportunities will provide each Honors Attorney with substantive and challenging assignments and broad exposure to Commerce's diverse mission and the work of a Cabinet-level agency. On each rotation Honors Attorneys will work in one of nearly two dozen programmatic and administrative legal offices, including, among others, the offices of the Chief Counsel for Semiconductor Incentives (implementing the CHIPS Act), Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (enforcing export controls for security-sensitive U.S. technology), and Chief Counsel for the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (delivering on the promise of high speed Internet access to all through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program), or in one of a number of other Chief Counsels offices and administrative law offices, providing Department-wide advice and counsel on topics such as contracting and procurement, Federal personnel law, appropriations law, and ethics.
Positions within the Honors Attorney Program are permanent positions, and upon completion of the Program, successful participants will be placed in an OGC office. An attorney's placement preference will be considered but is not guaranteed.
The Federal student loan repayment program permits agencies to repay Federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current employees of the agency. The program implements 5 U.S.C. ? 5379, which authorizes agencies to set up their own student loan repayment programs to attract or retain highly qualified employees. OGC participates in the Office of the Secretary's Student Loan Repayment through the Student Loan Repayment Program in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5379. The approval is determined by the supervisor and funding must be available to support the request. For more information, please visit https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/student-loan-repayment/#:~:text=The%20Federal%20student%20loan%20repayment%20program%20permits%20agencies,programs%20to%20attract%20or%20retain%20highly%20qualified%20employees .The attorney(s) will be hired at the GS-11 or GS-12 grade level, depending on experience. Full promotion potential for OGC Attorneys is GS-15.GS-11 Level:
Performs a variety of legal duties such as: researching legal issues which are often factually complex; developing drafts of letters, memoranda, and legal documents for the use by a higher graded attorney; participating in administrative or judicial hearings; or engaging with other federal agencies in commerce-related matters.GS-12 Level:
Performs a variety of legal duties such as researching legal issues which are often factually complex; developing drafts of letters, memoranda and legal documents for themselves or a higher graded attorney; participating in administrative or judicial hearings; or engaging with other federal agencies in commerce-related matters. The incumbent is expected to be able to independently present legal conclusions to adjudicatory authorities, high level organizational officials, as well as outside counsel and other interested groups. RequirementsConditions of Employment
QualificationsBasic requirement for all grade levels:
- You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
- You must successfully pass a background investigation. This may include a review of an applicant's credit, finances and criminal history.
- A two-year trial period is required.
- Selective Service: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see https://www.sss.gov/)
- 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
- Pre-employment physical required: No
- Bargaining Unit Position: No
- Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE form 450): Yes
- Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Expense: will not be paid.
- Eligibility is limited to individuals graduating from law school in Spring 2024 or completing a judicial clerkship or fellowship in Summer 2024.
1. You must be a graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or equivalent from an accredited law school; AND
2. You must have active bar membership in one of the 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands or admission to such bar must be pending. If not yet admitted to a bar, you can be offered a law clerk position, and can be converted to an attorney position upon bar admission.Minimum Requirements:
The career ladder for attorney positions in OGC is generally GS-11 to GS-15. The minimum qualifications for hiring at each grade level (or equivalent) are as follows:GS-11:
At the time of entry into the program,J.D. from an accredited law school and active bar membership in one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. (The requirement that an applicant possess a J.D. may be waived if his or her bar membership is in a state that allows individuals to "read for the law" rather than pursue a formal academic degree).GS-12:
GS-11 qualifications plus one year or more of post-J.D. clerkship or fellowship experience. Especially relevant experience before or during law school may also merit a GS-12.
Applicants must possess the experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. The 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.EducationSee Qualifications Above.
Applicants must either be a candidate for a Juris Doctor for the Class of 2024 from an accredited law school or 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.