Trial Attorney (HTPU)

Washington, D.C
Oct 20, 2019
Oct 22, 2019
Full Time


The HTPU partners with USAOs on investigation and prosecution of human trafficking offenses involving forced labor, sex trafficking of adult victims by force, fraud, or coercion, and transnational sex trafficking, with an emphasis on novel, complex, multi-jurisdictional, and international human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.
Learn more about this agency


The core duties of a Trial Attorney in the Section's HTPU consist of investigating and prosecuting alleged violations of federal criminal human trafficking and involuntary servitude statutes, including: conducting grand jury investigations and trials in federal district courts around the country, in partnership with USAOs. The specialized HTPU focuses on investigating and prosecuting novel, complex, multi-jurisdictional, and human trafficking cases, including both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The HTPU also leads interagency anti-trafficking enforcement initiatives, and provides anti-trafficking subject matter expertise, guidance, and training to enforcement partners. The incumbent's investigative and prosecutorial responsibilities include, among other things: reviewing and evaluating evidence and relevant case law; interviewing witnesses; coordinating law enforcement efforts; developing investigative strategies; guiding criminal investigations, including complex,
proactive investigations; drafting written prosecutorial analyses including grand jury initiation memoranda, indictment authorization memoranda, and other prosecutorial memoranda; drafting indictments, pleadings, and other court filings; negotiating plea agreements; and representing the United States in grand jury proceedings, criminal trials, and other public appearances. Trafficking cases are often complex, potentially involving dozens of victim-witnesses, multiple subjects and defendants, wide-ranging criminal conduct, and lengthy investigations and prosecutions spanning multiple Districts over a period of months or years. Accordingly, in addition to extensively investigating and prosecuting cases in multiple Districts, HTPU Trial Attorneys also disseminate anti-trafficking expertise to additional Districts through interagency enforcement initiatives, trainings, guidance, and strategic engagements with enforcement partners.

Travel Required

50% or less - Frequent travel will be required with this position

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • All male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for the selective service. If selected, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.
  • You will need to successfully complete a pre-employment background security process pending completion and adjudication of the background investigation before you can be appointed into an attorney position.
  • You must have a Juris Doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Required Qualifications:

Applicants must possess a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and at least three years of post-professional law degree experience. Applicants also must have strong, demonstrated qualifications in the following areas: academic achievement; substantial substantive knowledge and expertise in the laws, rules and regulations applicable to the work of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, including the criminal statutes prohibiting involuntary servitude, slavery, and human trafficking codified at Title 18, United States Code, Chapter 77, Sections 1581 through 1597; strong written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze complex issues; skill and experience working collaboratively and productively with others; organizational skills; professional judgment; initiative; and the ability to excel in a fast-paced, demanding environment. In addition, applicants must have outstanding professional references.

Possessing the minimum post law degree legal experience does not guarantee the applicant will be selected at that grade level.
  • GS-14 - minimum 3 years post-JD legal experience
  • GS-15 - minimum 4 years post-JD legal experience

Preferred Qualifications:

Given the nature, volume, and complexity of this work, the Criminal Section's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit seeks candidates with significant criminal litigation experience, including federal criminal litigation and/or state criminal litigation involving human trafficking or related crimes. The following qualifications are preferred, but not required: (1) experience investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes under federal and/or state law; (2) first-chair criminal prosecution or defense experience; (3) federal criminal litigation experience, including federal jury trial experience; (4) experience leading complex investigations, especially in utilizing investigative grand juries; (5) extensive substantive knowledge of federal human trafficking statutes, federal criminal procedure, and constitutional law; (6) judicial clerkship experience; (7) experience working with crime victims or other vulnerable individuals; and (8) experience coordinating with law enforcement agencies and task force partners. Other preferred qualifications include judicial clerkships (especially in federal court), law review, moot court, clinical experience, experience with trafficking-related civil, administrative, or immigration proceedings, and skill and experience working cooperatively and productively with a range of people such as witnesses, disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, opposing counsel, judicial or administrative officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement personnel, task forces, and other federal or state governmental agencies.


You must possess a J.D. degree

Additional information

Schedule A: The Civil Rights Division welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department. The Civil Rights Division also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes directly to Diane Turner by email to

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans' preference visit: .

Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see ).

E-Verify - The Civil Rights Division uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit .

Division offices are near metro transportation systems or other public transportation, and are conveniently accessible to restaurants, museums and other D.C. area attractions. Most jobs in the Division offer alternative work schedules and other family friendly opportunities are available.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants will be evaluated based on interview performance, the qualifications set forth above, and other job-related skills, experience and qualifications consistent with merit system principles applicable to hiring for career positions with the Department of Justice.

There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice 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 documentation (see "How To Apply" for required documentation).

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Q Access Authorization

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience).
  • Resume - Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.
  • Law School Transcripts
  • Writing Sample - A brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product. (No more than 10 pages).
  • Assessment Questionnaire (you will be prompted to complete this when you apply online).
  • Schedule A Documentation (if applicable) - Schedule A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing your eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
  • Current or Former Political Appointees (if applicable) - please note on your resume and attach an SF-50. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the HR Office.
  • Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable):If you are a discharged, non-disabled veteran, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing character discharge (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 6) dated within 120 days of your separation.
    • If you are a disabled veteran, 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.

    Similar jobs