Attorney Advisor

Washington, D.C
Jun 13, 2019
Jun 21, 2019
Full Time


The primary purpose of this position is to serve as a legal advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel to provide legal advice, analysis, interpretation, and guidance regarding issues related to fiscal and appropriations law.

Learn more about this agency


The individual selected for this position will be part of a small team of attorneys, co-located with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The selected individual must be able to analyze complex legal and factual issues, perform underlying legal research, provide counsel to agency officials, and must have excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as well-developed and refined interpersonal skills.

When disaster strikes, America looks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Now FEMA looks to you. Join our team and use your talent to support Americans in their times of greatest need. FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages Federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. We foster innovation, reward performance and creativity, and provide challenges on a routine basis with a well-

EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT: Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites. All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

This position is within the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and reports to a Deputy Associate Chief Counsel or Associate Chief Counsel. OCC is responsible for all legal activities within FEMA. OCC's mission is to support FEMA's efforts to reduce loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards by providing the Agency with high quality legal advice, counsel, risk analysis, and dispute resolution services through a knowledgeable, accessible, responsive, and solution-oriented network of innovative and ethical legal professionals.

The individual selected for this position will advise the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the rest of the agency on legal matters pertaining to fiscal and appropriations law. Additional support is provided to all FEMA program offices and within the Office of the Chief Counsel. Typical assignments include:
  • Providing oral and written advice, analysis, interpretations, and guidance on complex and sensitive legal and policy matters, such as federal appropriations, the Federal Travel Regulation, financial management, recoupment actions, internal controls, and other fiscal law issues.
  • Drafting and reviewing documents for consistency with all applicable legal authorities and requirements, to include: analysis and advice, directives and other internal policies and procedures, correspondence, reports, memoranda, testimony, regulations, legislation, agreements, and other such documents.
  • Developing and presenting training on fiscal and appropriations law to agency personnel.

The ideal candidate will be a well-rounded individual who demonstrates the following:
  • Excellent oral and written communication;
  • Well-developed and refined interpersonal skills;
  • Strong problem-solving ability;
  • Solution-orientation; and
  • Exceptional legal acumen.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional non-emergency travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to be considered for this position.
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation.
  • Financial disclosure is required.
  • Proof of law degree and bar membership is required.
  • Selective service registration is required for males born after 12/31/59.
  • Please review "Other Information" section for additional key requirements.

Please ensure you meet the qualification requirements described below.


The qualification requirements listed below must be met within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

All applicants must possess the following:
  • A J.D. or LL.B. degree from an ABA accredited law school; and
  • An active membership, in good standing, of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

You qualify for this position at the GS-13 level if you possess the following:

At least two years of full-time professional legal experience gained after being admitted to the bar. This minimum legal experience must include at least one year of specialized experience that is directly related to the position being filled and that is at the level of difficulty and responsibility to that of an attorney at the IC-12 level.

You qualify for this position at the GS-14 level if you possess the following:

At least three years of full-time, professional legal experience gained after being admitted to the bar, which must include at least two years of experience that is directly related to the position being filled and that is at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the IC-13 level.

Specialized Experience: Specialized experience for this position includes experience providing legal advice and guidance on matters pertaining to fiscal and appropriations law.

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 provides valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Your application must show that you meet all requirements for this position. You may be found "not qualified" if you do not possess the minimum competencies required for the position.

NOTE: Qualifications are based on breadth/level of experience. In addition to describing duties performed, applicants must provide the exact dates of each period of employment (from MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY) and the number of hours worked per week if part time. As qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, failure to provide this information may result in disqualification. Applicants are encouraged to use the USAJOBS Resume Builder to develop their federal resume. For a brief video on How to Create a Federal Resume, click here.

Current or former FEMA Reservists/DAE employees: To accurately credit your experience for these intermittent positions, make sure to list the dates (from MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY) of each deployment, along with the job title and specific duties you were responsible for during each deployment. Failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.


Applicant must be a graduate of a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association and an active 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. Transcripts must be provided.

Additional information

  • This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.
  • To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo, successfully pass, and maintain a background investigation for Public Trust clearance as a condition of placement into this position. This may include a credit check after initial job qualifications are determined ( Mythbuster ), review of financial issues, such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. For more information on background investigations for Federal jobs please visit the OPM website at .
  • If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment , and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
  • DHS uses E-verify, an internet based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify , including your rights and responsibilities.
  • All candidates must be able to deploy with little or no advance notice to anywhere in the United States and its territories for an extended period of time. Deployments may include working in excess of eight hours a day, or in excess of 40 hours per week, including weekends and holidays, and under stressful, physically demanding, and austere conditions. When activated and deployed, you serve in a federal travel status and are entitled to lodging, transportation and per diem reimbursements for authorized expenses in accordance with federal travel regulations.
  • If selected for this position, and you have not previously completed these requirements, you are subject to (1) completion of a 2 day onboarding program at your primary duty location; and, (2) completion of a subsequent, multiple day orientation program within 90, 120 days of hire, at a location to be determined. Travel associated with the orientation portion of this requirement may be at FEMA's expense.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualification requirements listed above. We will review the information and materials you provide to evaluate whether you meet the basic qualification and eligibility requirements for this position.

Applicants who meet the qualifications for the position and submit a resume and law school transcript will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration.

This vacancy is being advertised/filled under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, FEMA's Cadre of On-Call Response/Recovery Employee (CORE) Program, and FEMA's Attorney Hiring and Promotion Plan. Veterans' Preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply to positions filled under these authorities. This vacancy will result in an Excepted Service appointment.

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Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • Your cover letter.
  • Your resume.
  • Your responses to the job questionnaire - You will be directed to the online job questionnaire once you begin the application process for this position.
  • Are you a current or former federal employee? Submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that verifies the Federal service indicated on your resume e.g., length of time you have been in your current/highest grade (examples of appropriate SF-50s include promotions or within-grade/range increases); your current promotion potential; proof of permanent appointment, etc.
  • A copy of your law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable).
  • Proof of current, active bar membership (i.e. letter of good standing).
  • Writing Sample (up to ten pages)

  • If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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