Deputy Assistant Director and Specialist (American Law Division)

Washington D.C.
Jul 28, 2017
Sep 04, 2017
Executive, Director
Full Time

About the Agency

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing objective, nonpartisan research and analysis to committees and Members of the House and Senate. The CRS American Law Division (ALD) seeks a senior manager to serve as Deputy Assistant Director and Specialist. The selectee will support the Assistant Director in managing ALD, which addresses all legal questions that arise in a legislative context or are otherwise of interest to Congress. Some issues relate to the institutional prerogatives of Congress under the Constitution. Other questions involve constitutional and legal principles of statutory analysis that cross legislative policy areas, such as federalism, commerce powers and individual rights. ALD also focuses on the intricacies of legal precedent and statutory construction as they relate to business, crime, the environment, civil rights, international law and other issues. CRS reports and memoranda, while not legally binding, are used by Members and committees of Congress in their legislative deliberations and decision making.

This is a senior leadership position. Applications received for this position will not be considered for any other CRS vacancies. To be considered you must meet the critical competency requirements of the job at the levels described below.

  1. Ability to apply knowledge of American law to address legal questions in a public policy setting: I am recognized by decision makers as a professional resource in specific areas of American law at the federal level.
  2. Ability to manage legal analysis in a public policy setting: I have routinely managed legal research and analysis in specific areas of American law at the federal level.
  3. Ability to lead people and manage a workforce: I have led, supervised, and managed a professional research workforce.
  4. Ability to review the written products of others: I have evaluated and critically reviewed diverse written research products on legal aspects of public policy issues for compliance with established substantive and qualitative standards and made independent judgments on acceptability of material.
Continue with the application process only if you are able to document on your resume that you meet the four requirements listed above.

  • See requirements listed below under Qualifications 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 an active 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, the competencies below are required for this position. Those marked with a double asterisk (**) are considered the most critical competencies for this position.

    Ability to apply knowledge of American law to address legal questions in a public policy setting.** The ability to apply knowledge of the theories, relevant laws and regulations, concepts, processes, techniques, principles, and/or practices of American law to address legal questions in a public policy setting and in the context of federal law and legislation. This includes knowledge of the history, trends, interrelationships, and current status of the fields of American law and interrelationships with other key fields and disciplines.

    Ability to manage legal analysis in a public policy setting.** The ability to manage, organize, and evaluate the legal analysis of public policy issues at the federal level. This includes ensuring that the legal components of public policy problems are appropriately conceptualized and defined; information and research are fully analyzed and synthesized; the implications of statutory and case law are identified and appropriate conclusions are drawn; alternatives are generated and assessed; the consequences of choosing each alternative are evaluated; and established requirements are applied (e.g., objectivity and authoritativeness) in the development, evaluation, and maintenance of products and services. This also includes understanding the big picture, the inter-relationships of all aspects of law and the public policy issue, and the appropriate array and design of products and services to meet client needs.

    Ability to lead people and manage a workforce.** The ability to conduct workforce planning activities by identifying staffing needs and recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and mentoring highly qualified, diverse staff to meet those needs. This includes setting realistic but challenging goals and standards and providing regular, constructive feedback towards goal attainment. This also includes the ability and willingness to ensure that tasks are appropriately delegated and satisfactorily completed by monitoring and evaluating performance against a predetermined deadline and/or measure of quality.

    Ability to review the written products of others.** The ability to evaluate the written products of others to meet the substantive and qualitative standards of a public policy organization. This includes making suggestions to improve these written products.

    Ability to exercise judgment and discretion. The ability to demonstrate awareness of the likely consequences or implications of one’s own actions and work within the context of agency/organizational/departmental standards. This includes behaving appropriately in a given situation (e.g., with colleagues, clients, media/press), using discretion, and honoring confidentiality.

    Ability to think and act strategically. The ability to establish a strategic direction for an organization or group. This includes identifying strategic opportunities and developing strategic and annual plans and performance targets to take advantage of those opportunities. This also includes evaluating organizational progress and performance and making appropriate adjustments.

    Ability to collaborate. The ability to work well and cooperate with others and promote collaborative efforts. This includes seeking input from colleagues with diverse expertise, skills, and abilities and using that input to inform and enhance one’s own work as well as the work of the Agency. This also includes showing respect for and relating well to people from varied and diverse backgrounds.

    Ability to define and solve problems and make decisions. The ability to identify the problem or issue, and to gather, examine, and interpret information to generate effective solutions to problems and make sound decisions. This includes the ability to seek, logically examine, analyze, interpret, and synthesize information from different sources; and generate and evaluate reasonable alternative solutions and their implications.

    Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing. Ability to effectively express ideas and recommendations other than in writing in various settings to peers, staff, managers, supervisors, and external audiences to both provide and seek information. This includes actively listening to or understanding communicated information and answering questions thoughtfully and completely.

    Your resume is important to this application process. It will be reviewed to determine whether you possess the qualifications referenced above. All applicants are required to submit a resume that provides specific information (to include accomplishments, work experience and education/training) that clearly describes what you would bring to the position.

    The Supervisor leads his/her staff toward meeting the Library’s vision, mission, and goals by acting decisively, leveraging diversity and inclusiveness, demonstrating flexibility and resilience, fostering continuous improvement and innovation, and fostering integrity and honesty. To view the Library’s Supervisory Core Competencies click the following link:

    Public Trust - Background Investigation


    The Deputy Assistant Director counsels the Assistant Director on all aspects of the administration and operations of the division; monitors research, administration and operations of the division in relation to its capacity for and actual experience in meeting needs of the Congress; ensures that the division is working toward identifying the legal components of public policy problems facing the Congress and follows through with analysis that provides an objective, authoritative framework in which the Congress can assess the consequences of legislative/policy options; demonstrates intellectual leadership in monitoring congressional needs in policy areas within the research management responsibility of the division; collaborates with other senior research division managers to assure full identification of significant issues and develops analytical approaches; and serves with full delegated authority as the Assistant Director in his/her absence. The Deputy Assistant Director performs special research, consultative, or administrative assignments as requested by the Director.

    Major duties of this position include:

    • Demonstrates intellectual leadership in the formulating, framing, conducting and communicating of legal policy and analysis conducted in the division, in terms of subject matter expertise, methodology and relevance to congressional needs. Reviews the written products of staff to ensure that the Service’s quality standards are met.
    • In collaboration with other senior managers, ensures coverage of all issues identified throughout the Service. Oversees implementation of the research agenda, including approaches, frameworks, or methodologies. Monitors, updates, and adjusts the research agenda to meet the changing needs of Congress, reassesses/reallocates capacity and communicates adjustments to supervisors and staff. Coordinates research activities with managers in other divisions to promote research and analysis across the Service.
    • Performs the human resource management functions relative to the staff supervised. Ensures that supervisors and staff conduct research and analytical activities in a collaborative manner that incorporates expertise from multiple disciplines available from both inside and outside the division. Establishes and clearly communicates performance expectations for staff members in support of agency goals. Provides informal feedback and periodically formally evaluates staff on performance measures and results.
    • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with various high-level individuals, including committees and officers of the United States Congress, other legislative agencies and the Library of Congress, executive branch departments and agencies, professional organizations, universities, and other research organizations in order to advance the programs and objectives of the Congressional Research Service.
    The Deputy Assistant Director leads staff toward meeting the Library’s vision, mission, and goals by acting decisively, leveraging diversity and inclusiveness, demonstrating flexibility and resilience, fostering continuous improvement and innovation, fostering integrity and honesty, communicating effectively, and managing conflict and crisis. Exhibits commitment to the Library’s Supervisory Core Competencies

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