District Court Litigation Division Chief
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) is seeking an attorney to serve in its headquarters office in Washington, DC, as Chief of the District Court Litigation Division (DCLD). DCLD defends ICE's operational prerogatives and activities, its people, and its budget by zealously representing agency interests in civil litigation and through the adjudication of administrative claims. DCLD's attorneys serve as agency counsel and manage federal civil litigation against ICE and cases that otherwise impact ICE equities. DCLD attorneys work closely with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Headquarters Office of General Counsel (OGC HQ) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). DCLD assists ICE personnel and provides litigation support to DOJ in all aspects of civil federal litigation, including the development of legal strategy and arguments, motion practice, discovery, and settlement negotiations, in cases ranging from common-law tort suits, lawsuits under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 US 388 (1971), and claims seeking declaratory or injunctive relief. DCLD also provides oral and written advice to ICE leadership and employees regarding potential litigation risks, represents ICE's interests in litigation-related discussions with other agencies and DHS components, and adjudicates administrative claims for personal injuries and property damage pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The DCLD Chief supervises a team of approximately 25 attorneys, including three deputy chiefs, and support personnel; manages the division's financial resources; and applies a Collective Bargaining Agreement in conformity with federal labor law. Within the broad DCLD portfolio, the DCLD Chief ensures that high-quality, timely, and accurate advice and communication are provided to the ICE Office of Director, OPLA Senior Leadership, OGC HQ, ICE program offices, OPLA field locations, and other agency partners, clients, and stakeholders. The DCLD Chief must also promptly and accurately identify and elevate significant cases and legal issues to OPLA Senior Leadership, the ICE Office of the Director, and OGC HQ; coordinate closely with other OPLA headquarters divisions, OPLA field locations, and ICE program offices on a variety of litigation matters; assess litigation risks associated with planned operations; and anticipate litigation trends and develops strategies to minimize legal exposure. The DCLD Chief is also responsible for overseeing the successful and timely completion of formal DHS and ICE taskings assigned to the division, such as the drafting and review of congressional testimony, responses to congressional inquiries, and other executive correspondence; developing briefing materials for agency leadership; and reviewing memoranda, directives, and proposed legislation and regulations. The DCLD Chief also identifies, collects, and analyzes metrics on the division's performance and efficacy; develops internal standard operating procedures to make DCLD more effective; and ensures appropriate coordination across OPLA and DHS to ensure unified and consistent legal guidance. Applicants must possess the following characteristics and competencies: leadership, integrity, organizational skills, communication skills, reliability, perseverance, decisiveness, initiative, professionalism, discretion, the ability to function independently and as part of a team, interpersonal relationship skills including managing conflict and fostering productive relationships with internal and external partners, and outstanding written and oral advocacy skills. A strong knowledge of immigration law, experience handling complex legal and policy issues, and litigation experience - including with regard to electronic discovery - are preferred.