Patent Attorney

Washington D.C.
Jun 13, 2017
Jun 27, 2017
Full Time

Thank you for your interest in the Department of the Navy's (DON) Office of the General Counsel (OGC). We offer rewarding opportunities to practice law within the Navy legal community.

OGC consists of approximately 800 civilian attorneys, including about 60 intellectual property attorneys, plus uniformed Navy JAGs and Marine Corps Judge Advocates, and approximately 200 support staff located throughout the United States and overseas and includes multiple grade levels. Approximately 300 attorneys are located in Washington D.C.; the remaining attorneys are located in 95 field offices throughout the country and abroad. Interested applicants should apply following the specific instructions below.

OGC provides advice to the various components and activities that make up the Department of the Navy by offices attached to those components. Civilian Navy OGC attorneys help clients address legal concerns in virtually every area of the law related to business, including government contracts, public employment ethics, environmental concerns, personal and real property law, fiscal issues, and intellectual property law. There are numerous benefits of being an OGC attorney:

  • You'll have an immediate opportunity to directly serve clients assigned to you on significant matters.
  • You'll have a clear opportunity to advance so that your skills increase, and
  • You'll enjoy a sense of satisfaction from meaningful service.


The position is that of a patent attorney to serve as an Assistant Counsel within the Intellectual Property (IP) law branch of the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) within the Office of Counsel, Office of Naval Research. Though some telework may be available, the patent attorney will be expected to physically work at NRL Headquarters, which is located in Southwest Washington, D.C.

NRL is a premier research facility with cutting-edge research programs in basic sciences and advanced technology development. NRL is the corporate research laboratory for the Navy and Marine Corps and conducts a broad program of scientific research and development of advanced technologies. NRL's Office of Counsel supports these efforts by providing the full range of legal services related to the protection of government developed technologies, technology transfer, and contracting related to technology development.

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel is dependent upon position description and availability of funding

  • Yes
  • Permanent Change of Station (PCS) funding or other relocation incentives for those eligible may be available

  • You must be a US Citizen.
  • You must obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, see Legal & Regulatory Guidance.
  • Suitable for Federal employment as determined by background investigation.
  • Selectee may be required to successfuly complete a probationary period.
  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for attorney positions. However, the Office of General Counsel (OGC) sets minimum qualifications for attorney positions as outlined below.

    The successful candidate must:

    1. Be a U.S. Citizen.

    2. Possess a Bachelor of Science (or more advanced degree) in either Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Computer Engineering (and corresponding patent application preparation and prosecution experience). However, applicants with extensive academic or work experience in those fields will also be considered.

    3. Have graduated with a J.D. or LL.B. from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association;

    4. Be an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a State, U.S. Commonwealth, U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia;

    5. Be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    NRL compensation falls under a Personnel Management Demonstration Program. This position is at the NO-IV/V career level in the NRL Demonstration program. The Program uses career levels (aka, pay bands) for pay setting. At the NO-IV career level, salary will be set equivalent to a GS-13 salary level which currently ranges from $93,590 to $123,467 and at the NO-V pay band, salary will be set equivalent to a GS-14 or GS-15 salary which currently ranges from $110,239 to $161,900. Career level and pay will be set based on the qualifications of the successful candidate. If the position is filled at the NO-IV career level, the position will have promotion potential to the NO-V level. To be eligible for selection at the GS-13 salary equivalent within the NO-IV career level, the individual must have at least two years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney. To be eligible for selection at the GS-14 salary equivalent within the NO-V career level, the individual must have at least three-and-a-half years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney. To be eligible for selection at the GS-15 salary equivalent within the NO-V career level, the individual must have at least five-and-a-half years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney.

    Applicants will be evaluated on 1) the depth, breadth and quality of their experience in a technical area related to NRL's research; 2) their corresponding recent and relevant experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications; 3) their oral communication skills and ability to develop a strong attorney-client relationship; 4) their ability to work both independently and as part of a team; 5) their research, analytical, and writing skills; and 6) their interpersonal skills. A record of success developing IP client relationships and working independently is desirable. Experience and familiarity with other legal matters as assigned within OGC areas of practice described above is a plus.

    PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social) in a legal field/environment. 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 legal experience, including volunteer experience. You must clearly identify the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the total number of hours per week.


    Selectee is required to participate in the Department of Defense direct deposit of pay program.


    A security clearance is a requirement of this position. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in the withdrawal of a position offer or removal.  If you possess a security clearance, please indicate the level and termination date in your resume.



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