Supervisory General Attorney

Washington, D.C
Jun 19, 2019
Jun 27, 2019
Full Time


Organizational Location: This attorney position is located in the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), District Court Litigation Division (DCLD), Washington, D.C.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be paid.

BUS: This is a non-bargaining unit position.

Salary: The salary range indicated in this announcement. General Schedule locality pay tables may be found under Salaries & Wages .
Learn more about this agency


The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) is seeking an attorney to serve in its headquarters office in Washington, D.C., as Chief of the District Court Litigation Division (DCLD). DCLD defends ICE's operational prerogatives and activities, its people, and its budget by zealously representing agency interests in civil litigation and through the adjudication of administrative claims. DCLD's attorneys serve as agency counsel and manage federal civil litigation against ICE and cases that otherwise impact ICE equities. DCLD attorneys work closely with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Headquarters Office of General Counsel (OGC HQ) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). DCLD assists ICE personnel and provides litigation support to DOJ in all aspects of civil federal litigation, including the development of legal strategy and arguments, motion practice, discovery, and settlement negotiations, in cases ranging from common-law tort suits, lawsuits under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents , 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and claims seeking injunctive or declaratory relief. DCLD also provides oral and written advice to ICE leadership and employees regarding potential litigation risks, represents ICE's interests in litigation-related discussions with other agencies and DHS components, and adjudicates administrative claims for personal injuries and property damage pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act.

The DCLD Chief supervises a team of more than 20 attorneys, including three deputy chiefs, and support personnel; manages the division's financial resources; and applies a Collective Bargaining Agreement in conformity with federal labor law. Within the broad DCLD portfolio, the DCLD Chief ensures that high-quality, timely, and accurate advice and communication are provided to the ICE Office of Director, OPLA Senior Leadership, OGC HQ, ICE program offices, OPLA field locations, and other agency partners, clients, and stakeholders. The DCLD Chief must also promptly and accurately identify and elevate significant cases and legal issues to OPLA Senior Leadership, the ICE Office of the Director, and OGC HQ; coordinate closely with other OPLA headquarters divisions, OPLA field locations, and ICE program offices on a variety of litigation matters; assess litigation risks associated with planned operations; and anticipate litigation trends and develops strategies to minimize legal exposure.

The DCLD Chief is also responsible for overseeing the successful and timely completion of formal DHS and ICE taskings assigned to the division, such as the drafting and review of congressional testimony, responses to congressional inquiries, and other executive correspondence; developing briefing materials for agency leadership; and reviewing memoranda, directives, and proposed legislation and regulations. The DCLD Chief also identifies, collects, and analyzes metrics on the division's performance and efficacy; develops internal standard operating procedures to make DCLD more effective; and ensures appropriate coordination across OPLA and DHS to ensure unified and consistent legal guidance.

Applicants must possess the following characteristics and competencies: leadership, integrity, organizational skills, communication skills, reliability, perseverance, decisiveness, initiative, professionalism, discretion, the ability to function independently and as part of a team, interpersonal relationship skills including managing conflict and fostering productive relationships with internal and external partners, and outstanding written and oral advocacy skills.

A strong knowledge of immigration law, experience handling complex legal and policy issues, and litigation experience - including with regard to electronic discovery - are preferred.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • Must pass background investigation and drug screen for federal employment
  • Selective Service registration for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Relevant Experience (see Qualifications and Evaluations Tab)
  • Complete Application Package (see How to Apply Tab)


Applicants with fewer than five (5) years of experience practicing law must submit a copy of their law school transcript and grade point average or class ranking as part of the application package.

Qualifications by Closing Date: Unless otherwise noted, you must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement. Please note that qualification claims will be subject to verification.


Applicants 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.

Additional information

E-Verify: 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.

Promotion Potential: The full performance level of this position is GS-15.

Trial Period: New supervisors to the federal government will be required to serve a one (1)-year probationary period.

Direct Deposit: All federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

Notice to Veterans' Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the Excepted Service; however, the OPLA considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring.

Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documents (e.g., DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active duty) to their submissions. Although the point-preference system is not used, applicants eligible to claim a 10-point preference must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, and supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed. The SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preference and the required supporting documents, is available from the Office of Personnel Management Website at

Financial Disclosure: If you are hired, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days after appointment.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your resume and supporting documentation will be reviewed to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements.

Qualified candidates will be rated by comparing each candidate's qualifications to the skills and experience pertinent to the position to be filled. Experience, education, training, awards, and performance will be considered. The following factors are of particular importance to the position to be filled, and applicants should provide specific detailed information in these areas as part of their application.

A cover letter is required as part of this application. It should address the basis of your interest in the position, your knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience for the relevant duties listed above, and your characteristics and competencies for the position. An applicant need not have specific knowledge and experience with regard to each of the duties listed above in order to qualify for the position.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work through national Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g. professional; philanthropic, religious, community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that relates directly to gain employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. If such experience is on a part-time basis, you must provide the average number of hours worked per week as well as the beginning and ending dates of the experience to be fully credited.

All the information you provide may be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references and through other means, including the interview process. This verification could occur at any stage of the application process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible, not hiring you, or for firing you after you begin work.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

ALL required documents must be submitted before the closing date. You must include the documentation below (in addition to specific information requested elsewhere in the vacancy announcement) to receive consideration for this position. Review the following list to determine what you need to submit.

Resume: A resume that includes announcement number, veterans' preference, your full name, address, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number and a detailed description of your experience, education, training and self-development and the dates you performed them (MM/DD/YY). This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Transcript: You must submit a copy of your transcript and grade-point average or class ranking, to prove that you possess a Juris Doctor (JD) from an American Bar (ABA)-accredit law school if you graduated within the past five years. If you have five years or more practicing law, your transcript is not required.

Bar Membership: You must submit proof of your current membership (card or other documentary evidence) or certificate of good standing from the bar to which you are licensed. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Certificate of Good Standing: If you are selected, before you enter on duty you must submit proof that you are 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. If you do not have a bar card or other documentary evidence as proof of your current membership, you must submit a certificate of good standing. The proof must be dated within the previous six months.

Writing Sample: A writing sample demonstrating your legal analytical abilities must be submitted as part of your application package. It should not exceed ten double-spaced pages. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Cover Letter: You must submit a cover letter discussing your interest in the position, your pertinent knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience, and associated characteristics and competencies as detailed in the Duties section of this announcement. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

It must also contain the following information:
  • your full name;
  • home address;
  • home and work e-mail addresses;
  • home, work, and cell telephone numbers;
  • name of the law school, year of graduation, and year admitted to the bar
Are you a current or former Federal employee? Submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action which shows competitive service appointment, tenure group, and salary.

Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable): If you are a discharged, non-disabled veteran, you must submit a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other Documentation of Service and Separation under Honorable Conditions. If you don't have your DD-214, you may request it after discharge from the National Archives at

If you are a veteran within 120-days of discharge, you must submit signed documentation from the Armed Forces certifying: 1)your expected release/retirement from active duty, 2)under honorable conditions, 3)your pay grade/rank/rate at time of discharge, 4)dates of active duty service, 5) any campaign or expeditionary medals received, and 7) dated within 120 days of your separation.

If you are a disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipient, or mother or spouse of a disabled or deceased veteran, you must submit a completed SF-15 and all additional proof required by the SF-15, as applicable. If you don't have your Department of Veterans Affairs letter establishing proof of disability, you may request it at or call 1-800-827-1000.

You must submit all required information by the closing date. Also if you do not provide an email address, you will not be notified of the outcome of your application.

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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