General Attorney

Washington, D.C
Jun 20, 2019
Jun 27, 2019
Full Time


Organizational Location: This attorney position is located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Homeland Security Investigations Law Division (HSILD), Washington, D.C.

This is a non-bargaining unit position.

NOTE: One or more positions may be filled using this vacancy announcement.

Salary: General Schedule locality pay tables may be found under Salaries & Wages .
Learn more about this agency


HSILD attorneys perform a crucial role in ICE's efforts to investigate a wide range of domestic and international activities related to the movement of people and goods into, within, and out of the United States. In particular, HSILD attorneys:
  • Provide customs law (administrative, criminal, and civil), criminal immigration, and general criminal law advice to ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Office of the Director;
  • Advise and train HSI Special Agents on a broad spectrum of topics, including: asset forfeiture and the repatriation of cultural property, confidential informants and undercover operations, criminal gang enforcement, customs fraud and intellectual property rights, cybercrime and child exploitation, export enforcement, financial crimes, identity and benefit fraud, intelligence, international affairs including agreements and arrangements with foreign law enforcement and customs, the smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband, search and seizure, surveillance issues, and worksite enforcement;
  • Craft and adapt legally supportable opinions quickly to address the pressing needs of HSI Special Agents;
  • Assist OPLA's field offices in matters in the HSILD portfolio;
  • Provide timely reporting and briefings to OPLA, ICE, and DHS senior leadership;
  • Liaise with attorneys from other law enforcement agencies; and
  • Draft and review congressional testimony, responses to congressional inquiries, and legislative proposals regarding matters in the HSILD portfolio.
HSILD attorneys serve as part of a dynamic team that provides legal advice to HSI officers and agents; their work contributes to significant policy decisions that are integral to ICE's overall mission. Assignments within HSILD are typically fast-paced and involve high-profile work. The applicant selected for the position will be given significant responsibilities on an immediate basis. As such, the applicant must have the ability to meet short deadlines and should possess exceptional legal research and writing skills, sound professional judgment, flexibility, an exemplary cooperative spirit, and the ability to work well in a team environment. The selectee will be required to have or obtain a security clearance at the Secret level.

Applicants' cover letters should detail the knowledge, skills, and abilities that qualify them for the position, consistent with those outlined in this announcement. Writing samples will be assessed based on the sophistication of the legal reasoning presented, coherency, proper grammar and syntax, and conformity to applicable formatting and citation guidelines. This position, which is excluded from the collective bargaining unit, is physically located at ICE Headquarters in Washington, D.C., but occasional travel may be required.

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 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.

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.
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 possess a Juris Doctor degree from an American Bar Association-accredited law school. If you have less than five (5) years practicing law, you must submit a copy of your transcripts to prove that you possess a degree from an accredited law school.

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: This position has full promotion potential to the GS-0905-15. This position will be filled at the GS-0905-12, GS-0905-13, or GS-0905-14 grade level. If a selection is made at either grade level, promotion to the next higher level is without further competition. Applicants selected below the full performance level of GS-15 will have promotion opportunity to the full performance level without further competition when the incumbent is eligible and recommended by management for promotion. When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

Trial Period: New attorneys to the Federal government will be required to serve a trial period of 2 years .

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.

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

Your resume and supporting documentation will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum qualification requirements. Your resume, cover letter, and other applicant information should reflect the breadth of your experience, expertise, demonstrated ability, and/or training.

(1) Advising, counseling, and/or training on relevant legal authorities, best practices, and policies in the area of national security;
(2) Litigating in federal or state court, highlighting any experience with issues relating to criminal and/or immigration enforcement;
(3) Providing timely and concise legal opinions for clients and agency management;
(4) Prioritizing multiple assignments, exercising sound legal judgment, and efficiently producing quality legal analyses of complex legal issues;
(5) Producing high-quality written work that is compelling and concise; and
(6) Ability to take initiative and work in a reliable, decisive, and professional manner.

Your qualification for this position will be evaluated based upon the responses you provide on the job specific questionnaire and other required documents as part of the application process for this position.

The cover letter is required as part of this application. It must specifically address the applicant's skills and experience for each of the skills listed above and must also discuss his or her characteristics and competencies 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, such as 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

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 must be submitted as part of your application package. It should not exceed ten (10) double-spaced pages. Please do not submit attachments. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Cover Letter: You must submit a cover letter detailing the skills, legal experience, and interests that qualify you for the position with your application package. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

It must 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. 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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