Naval Research Laboratory, D.C
Jul 22, 2019
Jul 29, 2019
Full Time


There is an opening for a patent attorney to serve as an Assistant Counsel within the Intellectual Property (IP) law branch of the Office of Counsel, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) within the Office of Counsel, Office of Naval Research. Applications will not be accepted through this flyer. Interested applicants must follow the directions in the "How to Apply" section of this flyer to be considered. Notice of Result letters will not be sent to applicants who respond to this flyer.
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  • You will provide NRL clients a full range of IP services, including drafting and prosecuting patent applications and reviewing research publications for potentially patentable material.
  • You will provide counseling on contract and technology transfer IP matters such as rights in inventions, patents, technical data, and computer software.
  • You will, on a more limited basis, prepare and prosecute trademark applications, provide litigation support for patent infringement claims, and resolve patent and copyright administrative claims.
  • You will work with inventors to identify patentable technology and useful trademarks, develop invention disclosures, and draft high quality patent applications.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a US Citizen.
  • Must be determined suitable for federal employment.
  • Must participate in the direct deposit pay program.
  • New employees to the Department of the Navy will be required to successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit
  • Within the Department of Defense (DoD), the appointment of retired military members within 180 days immediately following retirement date to a civilian position is subject to the provisions of 5 United States Code 3326.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain an interim and/or final security clearance prior to entrance on duty. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in the withdrawal of a job offer or removal.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for attorney positions. However, the Office of General Counsel (OGC) sets minimum qualifications for attorney positions as outlined below.

The successful candidate must:

1. Be a U.S. citizen.

2. Possess a Bachelor of Science or higher degree in an Engineering Major, Physics, Materials Science, or Chemistry (and corresponding patent application preparation and patent prosecution experience). However, applicants with extensive academic or work experience in those fields will also be considered.

3. Have graduated with a J.D. or LL.B from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

4. Be an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a State, U.S. Commonwealth, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia.

5. Be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In addition, to be eligible for selection at the GS-13 salary equivalent within the NO-IV career level, your resume must demonstrate at least two years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney. To be eligible for selection at the GS-14 salary equivalent within the NO-V career level, your resume must demonstrate at least three-and-a-half years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney. To be eligible for selection at the GS-15 salary equivalent within the NO-V career level, your resume must demonstrate at least five-and-a-half years of relevant experience working as a patent attorney.

Applicants will be evaluated on 1) the depth, breadth and quality of their experience in technical areas related to NRL's research; 2) their corresponding recent and relevant experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications; 3) their oral communication skills and ability to develop a strong attorney-client relationship; 4) their ability to work both independently and as part of a team; 5) their research, analytical, and writing skills; and 6) their interpersonal skills. A record of success developing IP client relationships and working independently is desirable. Applicants with a record of making significant contributions to the advancement of the DON OGC or equivalent Office of the General Counsel or Law Firm/Office beyond the day to day legal practice is desired.


Additional information

This position is in the excepted service and does not confer competitive status.

This position is covered by the Department of Defense Priority Placement Program.

Several vacancies may be filled.

Some telework may be available, however the patent attorney will be expected to physically work at NRL Headquarters, which is located in Southwest Washington, DC.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) funding or other relocation incentives for those eligible may be available.

A relocation incentive may be available but is not guaranteed.

NRL compensation falls under a Personnel Management Demonstration Program. This position is at the NO-IV/V career level in the NRL Demonstration Program. The Program uses career levels (aka, pay bands) for pay setting. At the NO-IV career level, salary will be set equivalent to a GS-13 salary level with salaries ranging from $97,907 to $129,162 and at the NO-V pay band, salary will be set equivalent to a GS-14 or GS-15 salary level with salaries ranging from $115,324 to $166,500. Career level and pay will be set based on the qualifications of the successful candidate. If the position is filled at the NO-IV career level, the position will have promotion potential to the NO-V level.

Vacancies filled from this announcement may be filled at any grade level listed.

If selected below the full performance level, you may be noncompetitively promoted to the next higher grade level after meeting all regulatory requirements, and upon the recommendation of management. Promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

A tentative offer of employment will be rescinded if the selectee fails to meet the pre-employment requirements, including failure to report to any of the scheduled appointments.

Federal annuitant information: The selection of an annuitant is subject to the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy policy on the employment of annuitants. Policy information may be found at: .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

In order to qualify for this position, your resume must provide sufficient experience and/or education, knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the specific position for which you are being considered. Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to be clear and specific when describing your experience.

As vacancies occur, the Human Resources Office will review your resume to ensure you meet the hiring eligibility and qualification requirements listed in this flyer. You will be rated based on the information provided in your resume, along with your supporting documentation.

If selected, you may be required to provide additional supporting documentation.

If after reviewing your resume and supporting documentation, a determination is made that you inflated your qualifications and/or experience, you may be found ineligible/not qualified.

Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

All qualification requirements must be met before being considered for any vacancies.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

The documents you are required to submit vary based on what you are claiming (i.e., applying as a veteran or disabled veteran, etc). The following documents are required to be submitted when applying for OGC attorney positions:
- Cover letter explaining the applicant's interest in the position;

- Resume. The resume must include the applicant's employment and educational history; a listing of state bars that the applicant is an active member; and the applicant's registration number to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In lieu of a resume, applicants may submit an OF-612, Optional Application for Federal Employment or SF-171, Application for Federal Employment (no longer available but still accepted), and the information requested above must be included;

- Two legal writing samples up to fifteen pages each. Excerpts, to avoid exceeding the fifteen page limit, are acceptable;
- Copy of law school transcripts, including class rank, if candidate graduated from law school less than 5 years prior to the announcement closing date;
- Names and telephone numbers of at least three references, including your current supervisor, who may be contacted as part of the application process; though we will let applicants know before current supervisors would be contacted;
- Veterans' Preference Documentation, if applicable (SF-15, DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other supporting documentation).

Are you claiming membership in any professional organizations, or possession of a license, certificate or credentials? Check the Conditions of Employment section above to see if any are required. If you claim membership, license, certification, or credentials, you must submit a copy of said document in your application package.

Are you using education as a substitute for some or all of the experience requirement? Is there a basic education requirement for this position? Check the Education section above to see what is allowed and what is required. Any claims you make in your resume or assessment questionnaire regarding education or degrees must be supported by unofficial transcripts or a list of courses, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned issued from your school. You may submit a copy your degree(s) if specific coursework does not have to be verified. Claims for approved "grandfather" clauses must be fully supported with documentation.

If you are selected, we will request official/sealed transcripts directly from the school(s). All education and degrees claimed by you in your application package will be verified before you can report for work.

Are you a veteran claiming 5-point veterans' preference or claiming sole survivorship preference? You must submit a copy of your latest DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (any copy that shows all dates of service, as well as character of service [Honorable, General, etc.] is acceptable) OR a VA letter that shows dates of service or service connected disability AND character of service. If you have more than one DD-214 for multiple periods of active duty service, submit a copy for each period of service. If you were issued a DD-215 to amend aforementioned information on the DD-214 you must submit that too. If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor's website: Veterans' Preference Advisor

Are you a disabled veteran or claiming 10-point veterans' preference?
If you are eligible to claim 10 point veterans preference you must submit a DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty as described above for 5-point preference.

You must also provide the applicable supporting documentation of your disability (e.g. disability letter from the VA) as described on Standard Form-15 (SF-15). .

Are you an active duty service member? Active Duty Service Members are required to submit a statement of service printed on command letterhead and signed by the command. The statement of service must provide the branch of service, rate/rank, all dates of service, the expected date of discharge and anticipated character of service (Honorable, General, etc.).

Documents submitted as part of the application package, to include supplemental documents, may be shared beyond the Human Resources Office. Some supplemental documents contain personal information such as SSN and DOB and some documents such as military orders and marriage certificates may contain personal information for someone other than you. You may sanitize these documents to remove said personal information before you submit your application. You must provide an un-sanitized version of the documents if you are selected.

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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