District of Columbia, D.C
Sep 10, 2019
Sep 14, 2019
Full Time


EPA's Office of General Counsel (OGC) contains eight law offices that serve as the chief legal advisors to the Agency's senior management and program offices. OGC is hiring multiple Attorney-Advisers, at least two of which will be assigned to the Air & Radiation Law Office (ARLO), three to the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office (PTSLO), one to the Water Law Office (WLO), and one is split assignment with WLO and the Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office (CCILO).

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EPA OGC provides legal advice to the Agency's senior management and program offices on Agency rules, permits, response actions, and legislation. OGC lawyers also work with attorneys in the Department of Justice to represent the Agency in defensive litigation in the federal courts. For more information on OGC, visit our website:

The Attorney-Adviser hired for each position will work under the supervision of the Associate General Counsel in their respective law office on matters arising under the statutes mentioned below.

ARLO consists of six practice groups that provide legal counsel to EPA Headquarters and regional offices on several federal environmental statutes, primarily the Clean Air Act (CAA).

PTSLO consists of three practice groups that provide legal counsel to the EPA Headquarters and regional offices on several federal environmental statutes governing pesticides, toxic substances, and pollution prevention including the Toxic Substances Act, the Pollution Prevention Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Food Quality Protection Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

WLO consists of three practice groups that provide legal counsel to EPA Headquarters and regional offices on several federal environmental statutes governing water protection, including the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

CCILO consists of three distinct practice groups (two of which are relevant for purposes of this announcement) that provide legal counsel to EPA Headquarters and regional offices on a diverse set of issues and statutes, ranging from administrative law and rulemaking statutes (Administrative Procedure Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Paperwork Reduction Act), to Indian law, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

In these positions, you will:
  • Work under the general supervision of the Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel (OGC), and, as appropriate, under the guidance of one or more practice group leaders. Receive preliminary and established instructions as to methods of approach, source material available, and Agency policy and precedent.
  • Provide advice and counseling in support of all EPA Headquarters program offices on a broad array of legal matters consistent with the attorney's law office and other legal issues within the attorney's areas of responsibility.
  • Assist the U.S. Department of Justice in defending the EPA in litigation filed against the Agency in federal courts. Serve as EPA's legal counsel to ensure the Agency's views are represented in proceedings filed before courts.
  • Analyze and anticipate legal issues with a problem-solving approach to support EPA Headquarters program offices (and in some cases other law offices) on a wide variety of issues.
  • Conduct research of laws, legal opinions, precedent cases, and relevant Agency guidance and actions, as needed, to address complex and difficult legal issues, either on their own or as a member of a team in a larger case or rulemaking.
  • Analyze factual and legal issues presented to determine what further facts are needed and what legal sources are applicable.
  • Initiate contacts with program officials and other persons having knowledge of the facts involved in the regulatory matter or case at issue.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be required to travel less than 1 to 5 days per month.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
14 - When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses.


Conditions of Employment

Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required
  • You must submit a resume and required documents (See How to Apply)
  • You may be required to travel occasionally


Applicant must have an LL.B. or J.D. degree from an accredited law school; must be admitted to practice before the highest court of a State, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and must maintain active status as a member of the bar of one of these jurisdictions. Incumbent should have experience in providing legal advice and counsel at EPA, other federal, state or local agencies, or courts, non-governmental organizations, or in private practice.

If you are selected, you must complete a one-year trial period.

The ideal candidate will possess knowledge and relevant experience in administrative and environmental law and will have a strong academic and employment record, including evidence of nuanced legal analysis with respect to both statutory construction and applicable case law, excellent research and writing skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills, initiative and self-motivation, the ability to work effectively in a team and independently, a commitment to public service, and mature judgement.

Please identify in your written statement of interest and resume any specialized experience in administrative and environmental law, if applicable. Note: Please include a separate business-style resume with your application in lieu of the automated USAJobs resume. This document should be uploaded as part of your complete application packet described below under the Supporting Documentation Tab.

To qualify for the GS-14 level, you should have three (3) or more years of post-J.D. legal experience, at least one of which included specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-13 grade level or higher. More information on GS levels for the 0905 Attorney position are available at

If you are selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Form prior to your first day of employment and annually thereafter.

This position is designated as a Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation


Additional information

It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual's employment experience will be used only to determine the person's qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual's personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information, visit

These positions are in the bargaining unit.

EPA participates in e-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information:

If you have part-time work experience, read this:

If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.

Position has portable work and selectee may be eligible to telework.

This position is in the excepted service. Selection under this appointment authority does not confer civil service competitive status; however, this position is covered for the purpose of federal retirement and benefits.

Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.

If you are selected, you will be expected to report to work as soon as practical but no later than thirty (30) days from the date you receive a final job offer. Extension of this reporting requirement may be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.

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.

Initially, you will be evaluated based on the information contained in your resume packet. If an interview is granted, you will be evaluated based on the responses you provide during an interview. In responding to interview questions, you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did and the outcome.

There is no numerical rating system for applying veteran's preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Office of General Counsel considers veteran's preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

Documents to be submitted should be in PDF format only:
  • Resume (Please include a separate business-style resume with your application in lieu of the automated USAJobs resume.
  • Written statement (no more than two single-spaced pages) specifically addressing your qualifications for this position
  • Writing sample (of no more than ten pages)
  • References (names and contact information of three professional references)
  • Copy of law school transcript (unofficial or official)
  • Copy of bar certification
  • Veterans' Preference Documents - DD-214 Member 4 copy (or other copy indicating character of service), VA letter stating overall/combined disability rating (percentage), and SF-15, if applicable; active duty service members: submit certification from the armed forces documenting active duty dates, expected discharge/release date, campaign medals/badges, and character of service (a certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged/released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after you submit the certification).

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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