Assistant United States Attorney-Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking

Washington, D.C
Sep 24, 2020
Sep 25, 2020
Full Time


The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is unique in the size and the scope of its work. It serves as both the local and the federal prosecutor for the nation's capital. On the federal side, cases prosecuted by AUSAs assigned to the Criminal Division include, but are not limited to, drug trafficking; violent crime and firearm possession; cyber crimes; fraud and public corruption; and national security.

This position is located in Washington, D.C
Learn more about this agency


The Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is seeking one or more experienced prosecutors to serve as Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) with the experience necessary to lead complex and challenging violent crime and/or narcotics trafficking investigations and serve as first-chair in trials arising from those investigations. The mission of the Section is to investigate and prosecute criminal activity involving violence and narcotics trafficking, including wiretap investigations, international drug cartel investigations, gang investigations, and matters involving VICAR, RICO, and conspiracy statutes. These investigations involved both local law enforcement agencies such as the Metropolitan Police Department, as well as federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Treasury Department.

AUSAs in the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section are expected to:
  • Have extensive background and experience handling complex violent crime investigations, including RICO and/or VICAR;
  • Have extensive background and experience in utilizing court-ordered wiretaps;
  • Have experience leading long-term investigations, including consulting with and advising law enforcement;
  • Have extensive trial experience;
  • Have a broad understanding of the applicable federal criminal statutes;
  • Have thorough knowledge and understanding of charging decisions in criminal matters in compliance with Department of Justice policies;
  • Be able to effectively organize and manage documents and evidence for grand jury and trial presentation;
  • Be knowledgeable about the grand jury process;
  • Be proficient in drafting legal documents in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner;
  • Have the ability to work with other AUSAs and support staff in a professional and collegial manner;
  • Understand the ethical requirements of an AUSA;
  • Be able to handle all types of court matters, including jury trials, at times on short notice;
  • Be proficient in the government's discovery and Brady obligations;
  • Be effective and prompt in updating supervisors on matters assigned;
  • Be able to effectively negotiate with defense counsel;
  • Be proficient in handling post-conviction matters such as motions for new trials and resentencing matters.
This announcement may be used to fill additional positions for the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the Criminal Division.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required, 1-5 days per year as needed for training.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • United States Citizen or National
  • J.D. degree and active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) required.
  • Background Investigation, credit and tax checks, and drug test required.
Security Requirements : All initial attorney positions to the Department of Justice are made on a 14-month (temporary) basis pending a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
Residency Requirements : Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the District or within 25 miles thereof. See 28 U.S.C. § 545 for district-specific information.
Selective Service : If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.


Required Qualifications :Applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction); and have at least 3 years post-J.D. legal experience.

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

A four-year commitment is required.

Preferred Qualifications : The ideal candidate will have at least three years of experience; outstanding legal ability, high morale character, mature judgment, a keen desire for public service, and an exceptional aptitude for litigation, including significant federal violent crime or drug trafficking investigative and trial experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and law enforcement partners;
  • Experience with a broad range of investigation tools, including but not limited to subpoenas, search warrants and wiretaps.
Selections are made of the most highly qualified attorneys who apply, without regard to race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin, handicap, age, marital status, gender identify, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Significant prior criminal and/or civil ligation experience is preferred.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experience and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and person with disabilities.

Applicants should review D.C. Bar Opinion 210 and ascertain whether they have a conflict of interest that they need to address.


Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree

Additional information

Salary Information : Assistant United States Attorney's pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay is $77,392 to $170,700, which includes 30.48% locality pay.
Other Benefits: The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. The Benefits link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal Employees.
Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be authorized.This announcement may be used to fill additional positions for the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section.* * *This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships . The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.
Travel : Occasional domestic travel may be required, (i.e., 1-5 days per year as required for training).
Type of Position : All initial attorney appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a 14 month (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Evaluation Method: Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all job requirements. An attorney interview panel will then review all qualified applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview. You will be notified if selected for an interview. The Occupational Questionnaire will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.Veterans' Preference: 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 indicate their preference in response to the appropriate question in their assessment questionnaire (it is also recommended that information is included in their cover letter or resume) and they must submit supporting documentation (e.g., DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) which verifies their eligibility for preference. 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 documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation 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 the 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 (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).
Reasonable Accommodations : This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness , National security

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
  • Required - Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process).
  • Required - Your resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment.
  • Requested - Cover letter.
  • Requested - Law school transcript.
  • Requested - Legal writing sample. The writing sample selected should be the applicant's exclusive work product. If the writing sample was edited, or if there were other contributors, applicants are expected to identify those portions of the writing sample not exclusively their own work product and the extent of the editing done by others.
  • Optional - Letters of reference from persons recommending appointment.
  • Required, if applicable - A recent copy of an SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade, and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal. (Applicable if you are a current/former federal employee).
  • Required, if applicable - To get Veterans' Preference, you must indicate your preference in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire and you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. See the "How you will be Evaluated" section for details regarding what is appropriate Veterans' Preference documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.
Department of Justice Policies
Equal Employment Opportunity : The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status as a parent, or any other non-merit-based factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department 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 of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO statement .
Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities :The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements. Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Individuals with targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department's Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs .
Suitability and Citizenship : It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee's Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement.

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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