Attorney Advisor

3 days left

Washington, D.C
Feb 20, 2021
Feb 28, 2021
Full Time


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of the Chief Counsel, is responsible for rendering legal services and furnishing legal advice on all areas of FHWA program responsibility. The Attorney-Advisor will serve as a member of the Office of the Chief Counsel, Program Legal Services Division.

Learn more about this agency


As an Attorney-Advisor, the incumbent works under the direction of the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Program Legal Services Division. Legal work performed by the incumbent involves performing legal research, including analyzing factual and legal issues, researching laws, legal opinions, and precedent cases, preparing reports, and outlining facts and relationships to legal issues. As part of a team effort, assists in litigation activities, and prepares drafts of legal documents and reports for use by other attorney(s) in issuing opinions or citing specific points of law. Researches background information and legal references in the review of proposed legislation.

Legal research, advice, and guidance for FHWA activities can include compliance with various environmental laws, other program issues such as project delivery, planning, real property, and infrastructure, safety and operations matters, FOIA requests, and a variety of litigation arising out of these matters.

Research or investigation may involve analyzing factual and pertinent legal issues; analyzing and reviewing policies, regulations, legislation, and precedent case histories; conducting research of laws, legal opinions, and policies; and conducting preliminary examination of witnesses or interviewing officials, specialists, etc.

Collaborate with senior attorney or a team of attorneys in interacting and providing legal advice with state and local counsel as well as counsel from various other agencies and organizations having a vested interest in our program activities. Assists in legal research, analysis, and provides advice regarding the distribution and reimbursement of Federal-Aid Highway funds, as well as tort, contract, and contract claim matters.

The major functions of the Division in which the incumbent is expected to perform at the level described above, include:
  • Planning, Environment, and Realty: Provides legal services as to matters related to statewide and regional transportation planning and land use. Provides legal services in connection with environmental, social, and economic aspects of FHWA's programs, and the application of environmental laws to those programs especially the National Environmental Policy Act. Provides legal services relative to highway beautification, land acquisition, land use, condemnation, control of rights of way, airspace utilization, and relocation assistance.
  • Infrastructure: Provides legal services in connection with toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and ferries. Provides legal advice and services related to current and innovative financing of highway projects, public/private partnerships (PPPs), and the Emergency Relief Program. Provides legal counsel and assistance on issues involving performance and asset management.
  • Environmental and Other Litigation: Provides legal services in connection with litigation involving planning, environment, real estate, infrastructure, and other external matters. Assists field counsel, Department of Justice, DOT Office of General Counsel, and State attorneys when appropriate.
  • Safety and Operations: Provides legal advice and services related to Federal aid highway safety programs, such as the Hazard Elimination Program, the Highway/Rail Safety Crossing Program, and those safety programs jointly administered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including the review of the States' compliance with Federal requirements. Provides legal advice and services related to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and truck size and weight limits.
  • External Civil Rights: Provides legal advice and services related to the external civil rights program, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Title VI, and other related matters.
  • Other Matters: Provides legal advice and services related to other matters which are assigned by the Chief Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel, or Assistant Chief Counsel.

The ideal candidate for this position is an individual with excellent legal research and writing skills; has great interpersonal skills; can handle and prioritize multiple competing tasks and a diverse workload while maintaining collegial working relationships; and has experience or coursework relevant to transportation law, environmental law, infrastructure development, project delivery, and/or planning.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel is required for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • This is an Excepted Service position.
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: This is an Excepted Service position. This job will be filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive service. Applicants selected for an excepted service position may be subject to a two-year trial period.
  • ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties. Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 263.


To qualify, your experience should include experience and education equal or equivalent to the following:

To qualify for the GS-11, you must have:
  • A law degree and bar membership in good standing.

To qualify for the GS-12, you must have:
  • A law degree, bar membership in good standing or a second law degree (LL.M) AND at least one (1) year of professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature.

  • At least two (2) years of professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature.

To qualify for the GS-13, you must have either:
  • A law degree, bar membership in good standing or a second law degree (LL.M) AND at least two (2) years of professional legal work experience

  • At least three (3) years professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature.

To qualify for the GS-14, you must have:
  • A law degree, bar membership in good standing or a second law degree (LL.M) AND at least three (3) years of professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature

  • At least four (4) years of professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

1. Administrative Law-Knowledge of state and Federal administrative laws, including procedures, regulations, guidelines, and precedents related to case preparation and settlements.

2. Oral Communication-Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

3. Writing-Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.

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.

For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link:

All applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



In order to qualify for this position, candidates must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and have a professional law degree, and must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a State or Territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Additional information

TELEWORK: Managers may exercise discretion to allow a limited amount of regular or task-based telework for this position.

This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions within 90 days.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level

For this announcement, all applicants will be reviewed to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for this position, specifically the educational and specialized experience requirements.

Applicants will not be rated or ranked.

All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official.

The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers.

INTERVIEW PROCESS: Top rated applicants may be afforded one or more interviews and asked to complete a practical exercise and/or provide a writing sample. The results of the interview(s), practical exercise, and writing sample will be considered in the hiring process.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:

The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position. Please review each of the following sections to determine which documents you need to provide with your application.

RESUME - Needs to be created within USA Jobs Resume Builder. It must show relevant experience, education and fully support the required specialized experience.



TRANSCRIPTS - Transcripts are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements.
  • If you have previously held a government position in the same series as this position, you may be able to provide an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.

WRITING SAMPLE: If selected for an interview, a writing sample may be requested.

VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) ( ), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

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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