Attorney Advisor

Washington, D.C
Sep 27, 2020
Oct 05, 2020
Full Time


The National Security Division (NSD) provides legal and policy advice on national security matters, litigates counterterrorism, counterespionage, and foreign intelligence surveillance matters, represents the Government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and other federal trial and appellate courts, and conducts oversight over the activities of various United States Intelligence Community (USIC) agencies.
Learn more about this agency


NSD's overarching mission is to prevent and combat terrorism and protect the national security, which continues to be the Department's top priority. The Office of Intelligence (OI) of the National Security Division is seeking experienced attorneys for its Oversight Section. Attorneys in the Oversight Section oversee foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities of the USIC, including activities pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), to ensure compliance with governing authorities and executive branch policies.

Duties of the Oversight Section Attorneys include the following:
  • Coordinate with representatives of USIC agencies to conduct reviews of the USIC's national security activities, including the collection, retention, and dissemination of foreign intelligence information.
  • Analyze large volumes of information to assess the USIC's compliance with procedures governing the United States' foreign intelligence programs.
  • Develop policies relating to oversight and compliance matters.
  • Deliver training to large groups and are expected to travel, resulting in the attorney being out of town for up to several (non-consecutive) weeks per year, in order to conduct oversight reviews at USIC agencies and to conduct training during such reviews.
  • Fulfill various reporting obligations, including statutorily required reporting to congressional oversight committees, including tracking and synthesizing significant amounts of information and for drafting comprehensive reports for Congress.
  • Work closely with other components of the DOJ and with USIC agencies, often in collaboration with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to provide guidance on the interpretation and application of governing authorities. The Oversight Section also works closely with OI's Operations and Litigation Sections.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation, including drug testing, and be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of two year trial period
  • Must be able to occasionally travel out-of-town.
  • Candidates selected for an attorney position with NSD are expected to make a three-year commitment.


  • J.D. degree with at least one and half years of post-J.D. experience and be an active member of a bar (any jurisdiction).
  • Superior academic credentials, possess excellent analytical and writing skills, and have the dedication and capacity to work both independently and collaboratively in a very demanding environment.
  • Demonstrate aptitude and interest in designing, developing, analyzing, managing, and implementing compliance programs and performing oversight to ensure compliance, improvement through remedial measures, management controls, and/or long-range planning of program activities.
  • Ability to develop and maintain close and collaborative working relationships with colleagues within the Department and the USIC.
  • Ability to both successfully organize and lead projects, including collaborating effectively with attorneys and other personnel at external audits and reviews, and to work well as a member of teams led by other attorneys.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple work assignments and competing priorities concurrently.
  • Mature interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to exercise sound judgment and keen focus for extended periods of time.
  • Strong analytic skills so that identified issues are fully investigated and resolved.

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 must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-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. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.


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 .

Additional information

Department 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, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 .
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.
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 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 .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Grade and Salary Information: Current salary and years of experience determine the appropriate grade and salary level:

(GS-13) $102,663 - $133,465 per annum
(GS-14) $121,316 - $157,709 per annum
(GS-15) $142,701 - $170,800 per annum

Although past experience in national security/intelligence collection or in oversight/compliance areas is not required, please explain clearly in your cover letter your experience and skills that bear on the work of the Oversight Section and explain clearly why you desire to perform oversight and compliance work related to national security and intelligence collection.

Veterans: 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 (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) 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 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 nonservice-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).

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Please submit the following documents:
  • Cover Letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience, describing your interest in oversight and compliance, and explaining how your professional experiences relate to the qualifications listed above
  • Copy of your Resume
  • Writing Sample (we encourage you to submit a legal memorandum or brief)
  • Current performance appraisal (if a current performance appraisal is available)
  • Applicants with three or fewer years of J.D. experience must submit a copy of their law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable)

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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