Attorney Advisor-CELA

Washington D.C.
Aug 01, 2017
Aug 23, 2017
Full Time

About the Agency

The Federal Election Commission is an independent agency with exclusive jurisdiction over the administration, interpretation, and civil enforcement of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which requires disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures by candidates for Federal office and committees supporting those candidates, and imposes limitations on the amount and sources of such contributions. The FEC also administers the federal programs that provide public funding to qualified candidates for President and Vice President. By ensuring that the campaign finance process is fully disclosed and the rules are effectively and fairly enforced, the Commission seeks to foster the electorate's confidence in the integrity of the nation's political process. Legal work regularly involves important and complex issues implicating the First Amendment. The FEC is headed by six Commissioners, no more than three of whom may represent the same political party, who are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) has approximately 120 personnel including over 70 attorneys, as well as investigators, paralegal specialists, docket technicians, administrative assistants, and secretaries. OGC supports the FEC's role of regulating the financial aspects of political campaigns for Federal office by directing FEC enforcement activities, representing the Commission in litigation, interpreting the FECA, and advising the Commission on legal matters brought before it.

The position is located in OGC's Enforcement Division, Team 6, which is designated the Office of Complaints Examination and Legal Administration (CELA). CELA is responsible for four critical functions for OGC. First, CELA serves as the point of entry and initial review for all complaints alleging violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) filed with, or matters referred within, the Commission and is responsible for making recommendations to the Commission pertaining to closing matters that do not require substantive action. Second, CELA handles all statistical and performance-related data compilation for Enforcement. Third, CELA is responsible for information systems management, electronic and paper document retention, and coordination within the Enforcement Division. Finally, CELA is responsible for tracking all conciliation data and monitoring debt collection activity for matters arising within the Enforcement Division.

  • Not Required

  • No

  • You must possess a J.D. Degree
  • You must be an active member of the bar in good standing
  • If selected for this position you may have to serve a two year trial period
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for selective service.
  • Direct deposit of pay is required.
  • This position is excluded from the bargaining unit
  • All qualification requirements, including time-in-grade, must be met by the closing date of this announcement.
    BASIC REQUIREMENT: Applicants 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, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.(Note: proof of bar membership will be required before entry on duty).
    Applicant must possess a J.D. Degree

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENT: In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, applicants must also meet the minimum qualification requirement.
    Applicants must have one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in the federal government. Specialized experience is that which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Qualifying specialized experience for this position must have three years of experience as a practicing attorney with knowledge of election law, constitutional law, or administrative law is desirable, but not required, and should be highlighted in the cover letter or resume.

    Time-in-Grade: Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements for consideration.

    Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sector. 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). 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.

    Applicant must possess a J.D. Degree and be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association.

    All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see
    Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at
    All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.

    Applicants are required to submit a cover letter of no more than two pages that demonstrates the duties described above and a brief unedited writing sample, no longer than 10 pages double-spaced.

    Applicants that do not provide a cover letter and writing sample will not receive further consideration and will be deemed ineligible for this position.

    Public Trust - Background Investigation


    As an Attorney in OGC's Enforcement Division, Team 6 the incumbent will perform the below duties:

    • Manage cases assigned to CELA, and work is done in consultation with and/or at the direction of the Assistant General Counsel. When the Assistant General Counsel is not available, the incumbent will be expected to perform the duties of that position on a temporary basis. These duties include managing the office through a subordinate staff.
    • Strategically analyze, rate, and activate cases. Assist the Associate General Counsel for Enforcement in prioritizing cases and allocate OGC resources efficiently. Identify matters that warrant expedited activation and handling, present an opportunity to bring clarity to an unsettled area of the law, present a potential violation that has been identified as a primary concern of the Commission, and would be best placed on the same track as other similar matters.
    • Serve as a reviewer and initiator, which may include, responding to inquiries from respondents and complainants about the status of matters, drafting reports to the Commission, assisting in the preparation of statistical compilations concerning OGC's performance, including the Enforcement Division, tracking and monitoring case development in the Commission's databases, conducting legal research, completing projects related to status of cases, trends, and other aspects of the work that require application of legal research and analytical skills, overseeing the digital docket and ensuring that digital files are properly maintained and archived, reviewing civil penalty payments submitted for processing and ensuring timely and accurate recordation. Coordinating with the Office of the Commission Secretary regarding archiving functions related to CELA and the Enforcement Division.

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