Trial Attorney - Environmental Torts Section

Washington D.C.
Sep 28, 2017
Sep 28, 2017
Full Time

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career? Join the U.S. Department of Justice! Join us in serving the United States with honor and integrity!!

The Civil Division, with more than 1,000 Attorneys and 14 litigating components, represents the United States, its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet and other Federal employees.

The Environmental Torts Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice defends the United States in complex, high stakes civil litigation in federal courts nationwide. Its attorneys handle all aspects of wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage cases that often involve hundreds of plaintiffs. The cases typically stem from alleged exposure to environmental contaminants, such as biological agents, chemicals, and other substances. They also involve complex issues of causation, novel issues of federal and state law, and numerous expert witnesses. Given its unique expertise, the section has primary litigation responsibility for all suits brought against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act where the alleged injuries/damages are attributed to some form of environmental contaminant. Many of the section's cases are litigated as mass torts or multidistrict litigation. Recent cases litigated by the section have related to: the Flint water crisis; releases of mustard-colored wastewater from Gold King Mine; incidents of limited Hantavirus exposure at Yosemite National Park; Legionella bacteria at a government hospital facility; groundwater contamination at large military bases; alleged formaldehyde exposure in FEMA trailers in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; the September 11th World Trade Center attacks; the anthrax attacks of Autumn 2001; herbicide application over a stretch of government rangeland; alleged heavy metal exposure from computer recycling at a federal correctional institution; and buried World War I-era chemical weapons beneath a major metropolitan area. Complex jurisdictional questions, a need for creative case-management solutions, and overlapping issues of history, law, and science are often the norm. At capacity, the section is comprised of approximately twenty attorneys and ten members of support staff.

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25% or less - This position requires occasional to frequent travel.

Relocation expenses reimbursed No

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation to include drug testing
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of one year probationary period
  • YOUR RESUME MUST provide specific details as to how your experience meets the specialized experience as described in the vacancy announcement if you are using experience to meet all or part of the qualification requirements. Please ensure that your resume includes the month and year that you began and ended each position held or that position will not be credited toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. Full-time employment will be assumed unless otherwise stated on your resume. Part-time employment will be prorated in crediting experience. Failure to provide details will result in an ineligible rating.

    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.

    Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.

    Applicants should also have excellent academic credentials, experience handling complex federal civil litigation (including experience handling discovery, depositions, and researching and writing motions or briefs), outstanding advocacy and legal writing skills. Experience arguing motions, developing expert witness testimony, trying cases, and a federal judicial clerkship are highly desirable. Lead counsel/first-chair civil litigation important experience is preferred. No scientific or technical background is necessary - only a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and a desire to take on significant responsibility litigating important cases for the United States is preferred. Applicant with experience supervising, teaching, or mentoring newer lawyers are also preferred. Applicants with demonstrated success in both leadership and operating in a team environment are preferred.

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

    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.

    Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veteran preference (VP), you should indicate the type of veteran preference (5 or 10 points) you are claiming on your resume. In order to determine your eligibility, you can find additional information at:

    NOTE: To verify your veteran preference entitlement, please submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214(Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty); official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions. (1) If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reserves side of the SF-15, Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference. (2) If you are claiming 10-point DERIVED PREFERENCE as a relative you must submit Member Copy of the veteran's DD-214, and an SF-15, Application for 10-point veteran preference" in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reverse side of this form. If you fail to do so, you will receive consideration as a non-veteran.

    DOJ EEO Statement/Policy:

    Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Schedule A: DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department. DOJ also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes to, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at:

    Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Additional information is found at:

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    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Your application will be evaluated by a reviewing panel.

    Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience).

    Résumé - Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.

    Writing Sample (12 pages or less).

    Read more Security clearance Public Trust - Background Investigation

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