Attorney Advisor

Reston, Virginia
Nov 06, 2019
Nov 14, 2019
Full Time


This is a mid-level attorney position within the Office of Chief Counsel for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet is an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and is responsible for deploying, operating, and maintaining a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network
Learn more about this agency


  • Provide legal advice and counsel on a wide range of legal topics including environmental law, personal and real property law, employment and labor law, federal fiscal law, government contracts and intellectual property law.
  • Provide legal advice and counsel on statutory and regulatory compliance matters in fields including, but not limited to telecommunications, information technology, and cyber security.
  • Performs a variety of legal duties relative to difficult legal issues that are often factually complex or of such a novel nature that no clear precedents apply or it is arguable which precedents apply.
  • Assist attorneys at the U.S. Department of Commerce?s Office of General Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice in litigation, to include the preparation of pleadings and briefs for federal, state, or administrative tribunals.
  • Participates in administrative hearings and provides legal representation before the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce?s Office of Inspector General.

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.
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation. This may include a credit check, a review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.
  • A probationary period may be required.
  • If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application.
  • All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
  • License required: Active Bar Membership in the bar of the highest court of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • 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.


This position is being advertised at the ZA-IV pay band, which encompasses the GS-13/14 grade level.

To qualify, you must met the following requirements below:Education:Applicants must possess a professional law degree (LLB or JD) from an ABA-accredited school.


Professional Attorney Experience:You must provide proof of an active bar membership from a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Specialized Experience:You must have at least three (3) years of specialized legal experience equivalent to the ZA-IIV (GS-12) or equivalent band in the Federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience in:
1) C onducting research or investigations to obtain data and recommending a course of action.
2) Drafting, negotiating, or examining contracts or other legal documents.
3) Preparing interpretative or administrative orders, rules, or regulations to give effect to the provisions of governing statutes or legal requirements.
4 ) Preparing formal comments or making substantive recommendations with respect to proposed legislation.
5) Drafting and reviewing decisions for consideration and adoption by senior leaders.

Applicants must meet the educational, professional attorney experience, and the grade-specific specialized experience requirement set forth above by the closing date of the announcement.

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification claims will be subject to verification.

NOTE: Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


Education Requirement: Applicants must possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree from an ABA accredited law school.

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. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:

Foreign Education: Education completed outside the United States must have been evaluated by a private U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service or education that is recognized by the Secretary of Education from an accredited body . You must provide valid documentation or you will be found ineligible for consideration. You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

Additional information

Veterans' Preference Information: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Commerce considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include the information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documents e.g., DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documents to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documents required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit OPM website, www. for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preference and required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF15 requires supporting documents associated with service-connected disabilities or receipt of non service-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more). The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:
  • VRA
  • VEOA
  • 30% or more disabled veteran
  • Persons with disabilities
By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or you may be fired or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.)

Career Transition Assistance Program: This program applies to Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed, or employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: 1) meet eligibility criteria for CTAP or ICTAP; 2) will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100 ; and 3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your CTAP or ICTAP eligibility. Well-Qualified includes those applicants whose knowledge, skills, and abilities clearly exceed the minimum qualification requirements for the position. For information on eligibility criteria and required documentation, go to:

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

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will use an Assessment Questionnaire to place you in one of three categories based on your experience, education and training. The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:
  • Ability to provide legal advice on moderate to complex legal issues with respect to regulatory activities.
  • Knowledge of statutes and regulations authorizing agency action as well as knowledge of relevant case law or knowledge of procedural rules and regulations.
  • Knowledge of research strategies and techniques sufficient to research legal issues where no clearly applicable precedents are available or it is arguable which precedents apply.
  • Ability to provide legal advice on moderate to complex legal issues with respect to a full range of general law issues.
  • Knowledge of statutes and regulations authorizing agency actions as well as knowledge of relevant case law or knowledge of procedural rules and issues where no clearly applicable precedents are available or it is arguable which precedents apply.
  • Ability to effectively interact and communicate with the highest level officials within an organization in order to provide expert legal advice and information.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." Your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview. To preview the assessment questionnaire, click the following link:

The Category Rating Process does not add veteran's preference points but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet the minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category (except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher). For more information on category rating, please go to: .

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Commerce requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for Secret Level clearance as a condition of placement in this Noncritical-Sensitive/Moderate Risk position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume should list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire. Your resume should also indicate your citizenship and if you are registered with the Selective Service System if you are a male born after 12/31/59.

2. Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your Law School transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

3. Bar Membership Documentation: You MUST submit documentation showing that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. Examples of acceptable bar documentation may include one of the following: 1) Copy of Bar Card; 2) Screen shot of state of licensure with your name identified; 3) Copy of Certificate of Good Standing.
4. Other supporting documents ( only submit if applicable to you)
  • Are you claiming veterans' preference? Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 or other (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or notice form. Those applying for 10-Point preference must fill out the SF-15 and provide an official document dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces, and/or any other associated documentation based on your preference. If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the Armed Forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the date on the certification. This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions.
  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP/CTAP)? If so, submit:
    • A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement;
    • A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action'', documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;
    • A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
    • Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.
  • Are you a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee? Submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:
    • Position title;
    • Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee);
    • Agency; and
    • Beginning and ending dates of appointment.

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.

Similar jobs