Legislative Attorney (Courts and Civil Procedure Law)
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), American Law Division (ALD), seeks a Legislative Attorney to analyze legal questions that emerge from the work of Congress related to courts and civil procedure law in particular and American public law generally. This is a non-litigating position emphasizing qualifications and interest in legal research and writing in a public service legislative context. Candidates with research experience in and broad general knowledge of legal issues regarding courts and civil procedure in particular and American public law in general; who demonstrate strong research, writing, and oral communication skills; and who possess a portfolio of high quality legal analytical writing are encouraged to apply. Experience as a judicial clerk would be beneficial.
The position’s primary focus is the broad area of courts and civil procedure law. However, given ALD’s relatively small staff and the breadth of issues ALD covers for Congress, candidates must also be capable of working in a number of different areas of the law and have the intellectual curiosity to seek out and maintain a broad portfolio of legal issues. Thus, applicants should also have knowledge of administrative law, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation.
The Legislative Attorney prepares objective, non-partisan analytical studies and descriptive and background memoranda and reports on legal issues of national significance; provides personal consultation and assistance to congressional committees, Members, and staff on legal issues throughout the legislative process; and participates in or leads team research projects and seminars. The Legislative Attorney is expected to develop over time the skills necessary to provide legal analysis and consultation to congressional committees, Members, and staff at increasingly sophisticated levels.
CRS works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.
CRS is well known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective, and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has immediate access to the nation's best thinking on legal and public policy issues of interest to its Members and Committees.
- Not Required
BASIC REQUIREMENT: Applicant must be a graduate from a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
In addition, applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.
- Knowledge of courts and civil procedure law in particular and American public law generally**
- Ability to analyze legal issues**
- Ability to write in a legal context**
- Ability to convey legal analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations and other presentations
- Ability to work effectively in a high pressure environment
- Ability to work collaboratively with others
- Ability to exercise objectivity in all phases of analysis and consultation
- Ability to exercise judgment and discretion
- Ability to build and maintain a professional network.
- Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.
No additional requirements to those listed above.
Public Trust - Background Investigation
Prepares probing and innovative written legal analyses, arguments, briefs, or other analytical documents that relate complex variables within the attorney's specialized field of law to the development, interpretation, or implementation of important public policies.
Provides congressional staff with consultations and oral briefings that clarify legal questions, identify and discuss legal options, and inform congressional staff of CRS informational and analytical capabilities within the scope of the attorney's subject areas.
Prepares authoritative descriptive and background reports, memoranda, bill digests, surveys of laws, comparisons of laws and bills, and other types of written responses for congressional committees, Members, and staff that are characterized by substantial breadth and depth and that cover all pertinent factors and relationships.
Advises and assists other legislative attorneys and analysts and specialists through provision of legal analysis and information in support of their service to Congress.
Prepares and delivers oral presentations at CRS seminars and other outreach programs.
In response to congressional inquiries, locates, organizes, summarizes, and interprets legal information and other pre-existing legal materials, on difficult or misunderstood policy issues through research, including search of the reference collections and databases of CRS, the Library, other institutions or through contacts and networking with Executive Branch officials or other professionals in the field.