Associate General Counsel, Litigation

Washington, D.C
Sep 16, 2020
Sep 23, 2020
Full Time


The Department of Housing and Urban Development is the nation's housing agency committed to strengthening the Nation's housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

Learn more about this agency

Learn more about this agency


This position is located in the Office of General Counsel (OGC), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). OGC provides legal opinions, advice, and services with respect to all departmental programs and activities. OGC has primary responsibility for the development of HUD program regulations and assists in the development of HUD programs and policies.

The Office of Litigation, which the Associate General Counsel manages and supervises, consists of two Divisions, the Assisted Housing and Civil Rights Litigation Division and the Insured Housing Community Development Litigation Division. Each Division is headed by an Assistant General Counsel, respectively, the Assistant General Counsel for Assisted Housing and Civil Rights Litigation and the Assistant General Counsel for Insured Housing and Community Development Litigation. The activities assigned to each Division are identical, except as to the substantive content of the cases assigned to it. Each of the two Assistants is responsible for directly supervising trial attorneys and senior trial attorneys in handling the assigned cases.

Both Divisions are responsible for handling lawsuits involving the Secretary, the Department, and its officials in their official capacities. Lawsuits are those critical lawsuits which are regarded as most significant from the standpoint of HUD's mission, policy, program operation or legal precedent, which can advance or affect the Department's programs or activities nationwide, or which involve unusually sensitive issues for the Secretary or the Department.

The function of the Office of Litigation is to ensure the provision of the highest quality of litigation representation for HUD. The Office also performs a central coordinating role with respect to all litigation brought against HUD.

Major Duties include:
  • Overseeing the provision of legal services in connection with the management of litigation in which HUD and its officials are involved or interested. For all such litigation, the Associate is charged with primary responsibility for interacting with the Department of Justice on behalf of the General Counsel in connection with litigation.
  • Within the organizational and functional framework described above, the incumbent of this position is responsible for supervising the activity of the Department in dealing with defensive litigation regarded as significant from the standpoint of policy, legal precedent or program impact.
  • Monitors and directs complex civil defensive litigation on a diverse range of legal issues.
  • Develops appropriate litigation strategies addressing the legal risks and exposure to the Department.
  • Identifies precedent-setting matters involving new policy that may affect Department programs.
  • Institutes and develops an effective litigation monitoring system.
  • Recommends, selects, and manages outside counsel to ensure proper litigation strategies and direction of the cases.
  • Provides counsel to internal program clients on applicable laws to maximize the Department's legal position and to reduce and avoid litigation risks.
  • Provides leadership and training to OGC Litigation staff to ensure all matters are responded to in a timely manner and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Monitors developing trends and judicial decisions impacting the Department.
  • Reviews pending or potential litigation actions and recommend any necessary changes in HUD policy to minimize liability risk.
  • Provides advice and guidance to Regional and Field attorneys involved in a variety of HUD litigation matters.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Work related travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this position.
  • Obtain/Maintain Security Clearance (i.e. Public Trust, Secret, Top Secret).
  • First time SES appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • Must meet Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs).
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • Excess pages will not be considered if documents exceed specified limits.
  • Political Appointees may require OPM approval prior to onboarding.
  • Financial Disclosure Required.
  • Drug Testing may be Required.

Failure to follow explicit instructions provided will result in loss of consideration for this position. Before applying for this position, please read the entire announcement and follow the instructions in the How to Apply Section.


Current or Former Political Appointees: 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 five (5) years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Noncareer SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information on your resume and to the Human Resources Office.

As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible executive leadership and supervisory experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability. This experience should be sufficiently broad in scope and at a major management level in a large or complex organization. The ideal candidate will have experience supervising many employees through subordinate supervisors and have experience hiring, developing, and evaluating employees. Typically, experience of this nature is at the GS-15 or equivalent level in the federal service or its equivalent in the private sector.

Your application should demonstrate that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully fulfill responsibilities inherent in SES positions such as:
  • Leading the work of an organizational unit
  • Ensuring the success of one or more specific major programs or projects
  • Monitoring progress toward strategic organizational goals, evaluating organizational performance and taking action to improve performance
  • Supervising the work of employees, developing policy and other executive functions

If your experience does not include these basic qualifications, you will not be determined qualified for this position.

To meet the minimum qualifications for the position, you must show that you possess the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)listed below. We recommend that your resume and ECQ responses are clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.

Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement, executive and technical qualifications automatically disqualifies an applicant.

**Noncompetitive status - If you are a current or reinstatement eligible Career SES or a graduate of an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved SES Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) and your ECQs have been certified by OPM's Qualifications Review Board (QRB), you are not required to address the ECQs. You must address the mandatory technical qualifications (MTQs) and include with your application a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting your SES Career Appointment. SES CDP graduates must include a copy of their OPM SES CDP graduation certificate or other proof that your ECQs have been OPM QRB certified. **

The application process used to recruit for this position the TRADITIONAL METHOD.


All applicants must submit a written narrative addressing each ECQ, generally not to exceed two (2) pages per ECQ for a total of no more than 10 pages. Any information more than 10 pages WILL NOT be considered.

OPM has identified five ECQs. The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential - not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions - not whether they are the most superior candidates for a position. Successful competence in the SES requires competence in each ECQ. Candidates must demonstrate executive experience in all five (5) ECQs.

Applicants should address each ECQ using the Challenge, Context, Action and Results (C-C-A-R) model when preparing written ECQ narratives. Refer to OPM's Guide to SES Qualifications for examples.

Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.

Context : Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked to tackle a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).

Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge.

Results: Give specific examples of measures/outcomes that had impact on the organization.

These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

NOTE: Your responses to the five ECQs must describe the context and the results of your achievements in lay terminology, free of jargon and excessive reliance on acronyms.

ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE - This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment . (Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Strategic Thinking, and Vision).

ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE - This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. (Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others and Team Building).

ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN - This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. (Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving and Technical Credibility).

ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN - This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Leadership competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management and Technology Management).

ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS - This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and Local governments, nonprofit and private-sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. (Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy and Influencing/Negotiating).

Detailed information on the Executive Core Qualifications is available at Senior Executive Service Executive Core Qualifications .


The incumbent must be a graduate of an accredited law school with an LLB or J.D., or equivalent; and be an active member in good standing of the Bar in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Additional information


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development strives to ensure that the public perceives HUD as a fair and equitable agency that administers its programs in an objective and impartial manner. As such, HUD is committed to its government ethics program, which advises employees on applicable ethics laws and regulations designed to protect the agency against real and apparent conflicts of interest. As a federal employee, you will be subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct and the U.S. criminal conflict of interest statutes. As a HUD employee, you will also be subject to the HUD Supplemental Ethics Regulations which restrict the extent to which a HUD employee can engage in certain activities and hold certain investments. Depending on your position, you may also be required to file a public or confidential financial disclosure report. Upon your new appointment, you will receive guidance regarding your ethics obligations. You will also be required to attend a mandatory ethics training within 3 months of appointment.

HUD employees are prohibited under Section 7501.104, 5 Code of Federal Regulations from directly or indirectly owning, acquiring, or receiving:
  • Federal Housing Authority debentures or certificate of claim;
  • Financial interest in a project, including any single-family dwelling or unit subsidized by HUD, or which is subject to a note or mortgage insured by HUD;
  • Section 8 subsidies to or on behalf of a tenant of property you, your spouse, or a dependent child owns.

The following are exceptions to the Section 8 prohibition:

  • The employee, or the employee's spouse or minor child acquires, without specific intent as through inheritance, a property in which a tenant receiving such a subsidy already resides;
  • The tenant receiving such a subsidy lived in the rental property before the employee worked for the Department;
  • The tenant receiving such a subsidy is a parent, child, grandchild, or sibling of the employee;
  • The employee's, or the employee's spouse or minor child's, rental property has an incumbent tenant who has not previously received such a subsidy and becomes the beneficiary thereof; or
  • The location of the rental property is in a Presidentially declared emergency or natural disaster area and the employee receives prior written approval from an agency designee.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Our evaluation will be based on the information you provide. Verification of performance, suitability and security information from reference checks will be taken into consideration when making offers of employment.

You will be evaluated on the quality and extent of your total accomplishments, experience, and education. Your application will be evaluated against the ECQs and MTQs by a rating and ranking panel, and highly qualified candidates may undergo an interview and reference check.


To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

Failure to submit the required documents will result in your application being disqualified.

Your application package must include the following:

1. Resume - Should not exceed seven (7) pages. Anything more than seven (7) pages WILL NOT be considered. Exceeding the specified page limits may result in loss of consideration. Applicants typically provide the following information:
  • Vacancy announcement number
  • Full name, email and mailing address, day and evening telephone numbers
  • Job title (including series and grade if Federal job)
  • Duties and accomplishments
  • Employer's name and address
  • Supervisor's name and telephone number (indicate if we may contact your current supervisor)
  • Starting and ending dates of employment (month/year)
  • Salary
  • Educational information, including the name, city and state of the colleges or universities you attended, as well as the type and year of any degrees received. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information you may refer to the following Database of Accredited
  • Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
  • Information about your paid and non-paid work experience related to the position including:
  • Honors, awards, and special accomplishments
  • Country of citizenship

2. Executive Core Qualifications - Written narratives addressing each ECQ generally not to exceed two (2) pages per ECQ for a total of no more than 10 pages. Anything more than 10 pages WILL NOT be considered. Note: Current/former Career SES employees, or OPM QRB SES Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) candidates are not required to address the ECQs but MUST fully address the MTQs.

3. Mandatory Technical Qualifications - Written narratives addressing each MTQ not to exceed one (1) page per MTQ. Anything more than one (1) page per MTQ will not be considered.

4. Non-competitive candidates: Current or former Career SES members must provide a recent SF-50 showing their current career SES status or reinstatement eligibility.

5. OPM Certified SES Candidate Development Program graduates: Please state clearly in your resume your SES CDP certification status and provide a copy of your OPM Qualifications Review Board certification.

6. Education: This position has a positive education requirement: Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited law school with an L.L.B. or J.D. Please submit a copy of your transcripts. A college or university degree must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which meet these criteria, please refer to Department of Education Accreditation page . If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. Refer to the OPM instructions . Failure to submit transcripts will result in automatic disqualification.

7. ACTIVE BAR MEMBERSHIP:You must submit evidence of an Active Bar Membership as described in the Qualifications Section of this announcement. Failure to submit evidence will result in automatic disqualification.

Veterans Preference does not apply to the SES.

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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