Attorney-Adviser (General)

Washington, D.C
Apr 07, 2021
Apr 13, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The incumbent renders legal advice and opinions to the Director, Deputy Director, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, and other supervisory and non-supervisory officials on legal matters pertaining to FinCEN's mission, which includes administering the Bank Secrecy Act, and providing support to law enforcement and other governmental agency components.

Learn more about this agency


4-Security Clearance: This position has been designated National Security Level IV, Special Sensitive and requires the incumbent to obtain and maintain eligibility for a Top Secret (TS) clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access. Applicant must meet and continue to adhere to the requirements of a Tier 5 level background investigation. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination. Continued employment with FinCEN is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the Tier 5 level background investigation, the results of which fully meet the FinCEN's special employment criteria. All employees are subject to satisfactory completion of periodic reinvestigation and a continuing life style in conformity with applicable national and FinCEN directives. Any unfavorable information developed during an investigation or other official inquiry may result in termination of employment in accordance with established security policies and procedures.

This position serves as the FinCEN Chief Counsel Office's lead subject matter expert on civilian personnel law and provides legal advice and assistance to the FinCEN Director, Deputy Director, Associate Directors, management officials, supervisors and FinCEN's Office of Human Resources regarding the interpretation and application of civil service personnel laws, statutes, decisions, opinions, rules and regulations as they pertain to FinCEN civilian personnel. Due to the senior status and high grade level of the management officials and supervisors, the issues are highly sensitive and must be handled with sound judgment and great care. The duties of this position include:
  • Providing advice on all aspects of personnel and employment law, including staffing, performance management, employee relations, equal employment opportunity (EEO) actions, and other related subject matter. The position requires familiarity with the Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Equal Pay Act as they apply to civilian employees. The Attorney Adviser will serve as FinCEN's representative in proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Merit Systems Protection Board. In that capacity, the Attorney Adviser will handle all aspects of the litigation process, including discovery, motions, trial, and settlement negotiations. The position will present sensitive and challenging issues on novel and complex factual and legal scenarios in a rapidly evolving area of the law. The position also requires collaboration with and assistance to the United States Department of Justice in civil proceedings involving FinCEN in Federal District Court and in U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, and representing FinCEN and/or the FinCEN Office of Chief Counsel in meetings with other government and non-government agencies, as appropriate.
  • Conducting legal research and providing legal and practical conclusions in the form of oral advice, briefings, presentations, and legal decision memoranda on extremely complex and difficult factual, legal, and policy issues. Analyzing, interpreting, and applying statutes, regulations, court decisions, Departmental precedents, FinCEN policies, and technical publications involving many fields of law including: personnel law, EEO, ethics, Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, and the Federal Tort Claims Act. These opinions are likely to be the primary document where review at higher levels of FinCEN and the Department occurs. Such assignments can include highly sensitive assignments to include providing legal support to the Treasury Department and FinCEN national security and law enforcement mission involving Top Secret/SCI information and/or materials.
  • Providing counsel to FinCEN officials on the broad range of issues that arise in the performance of their respective duties. Fostering and maintaining good working relationships with clients for the coordination and development of FinCEN policy and procedures. Responding timely to client requests for legal and business advice, directly and/or as assigned by the Chief Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel, and/or Assistant Chief Counsel(s); reacting to changing priorities; and anticipating, identifying, and informing clients of legal issues that may arise in the context of specific matters. Exercising a high degree of independent judgment and initiative in recognizing problems, managing sensitive issues, and offering creative solutions in a clear and straightforward manner.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Please refer to "Conditions of Employment." Click "Print Preview" to review
  • Must be U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals

The experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/day/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week on your resume.


You must meet the following requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Specialized experience for the GS-15: You must have one year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the federal service. The expectation for selection for grade GS-15 will be at least the following: 12 months of pertinent legal experience at the GS-14 (or equivalent).

For this position, specialized experience is described as experience at the next lower grade (or equivalent) in the following areas of responsibility:

- Providing legal advice on employment law and litigating administrative proceedings arising in the employment context, including cases brought before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and/or comparable employment law-related experience.

This experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis.


Applicants must (1) be a graduate of an accredited law school with a LL.B., J.D. or equivalent; (2) be an active member in good standing of the bar in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia; and (3) have at least one year of legal experience, which may include, for example, the private practice of law, practice in a government legal office, or a judicial clerkship.

The education generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

It is preferred that applicants submit an official or unofficial copy of their final law school transcript.

Additional information

Become part of the team that safeguards the financial system from the abuses of financial crime. At the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), we are at the forefront in preventing and detecting terrorist financing, money laundering, and other financial crime. Serve at the nation's financial intelligence unit and protect the United States financial system from criminals and terrorist financiers.

- We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
- Relocation expenses: No
- This is a non-bargaining unit position.
- We offer opportunities for telework.
- We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.

- A one year probationary period may be required.
- Must successfully complete a background investigation.
- Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment, at the time requested by the agency
- If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
- Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
- Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9 . Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
- Submit to a drug test prior to your appointment and random drug testing while you occupy the position.
- Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.

All candidates will be considered regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status of a parent, lawful political affiliation, marital status, physical/mental disability (if not a job factor), membership, non-membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factor. To file a complaint of discrimination, contact FinCEN, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity on (703) 905-5052 or TDD (703) 905-3838.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your application includes your resume, responses to the online questions, and required supporting documents. Please be sure that your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your resume may result in a "not qualified" determination.

Rating and Referral: You will be rated on the extent and quality of experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position. All candidates who meet the basic requirements listed above will be considered best qualified applicants and may be sent forward to the selecting official. All application materials and interviews, if conducted, will be used in the final evaluation and selection process.

Ideal candidates for this position will have at least five years of experience providing employment law advice. This experience should include litigation arising in the employment context. Employment law experience should include providing advice concerning employment matters and litigating cases brought before the MSPB and EEOC. Ideal candidates will also have experience with one or more of the other types of issues that frequently arise in the Office of Chief Counsel, such as the Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), ethics, appropriations, or administrative law.

Application of Veterans' Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Office of Chief Counsel considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. If you are claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214 (Member 4 copy), or other official documentation from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veterans Affairs showing the dates of service and type of discharge.

If you are a displaced or surplus Federal employee (eligible for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) ) you must be assigned the middle category or better to be rated as "well qualified" to receive special selection priority.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Required Documents

A complete application includes 1. A resume, 2. Vacancy question responses, and 3. Submission of any required documents. Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you may not be considered for this position (or may not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible). Any required documents should be submitted at the time that you apply as documents will not be accepted after the vacancy closes.

All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. (Cover letters are optional.) To receive full credit for relevant experience, please list the month/date/year and number of hours worked for experience listed on your resume. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. Please view resume tips .

VETERANS' PREFERENCE DOCUMENTATION: If you are claiming veterans' preference, please see applicant guide for required documentation . In order to be considered for veterans preference, you must submit all required documentation as outlined in the applicant guide.

CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PLAN (CTAP) OR INTERAGENCY CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PLAN (ICTAP) DOCUMENTATION: If you are a displaced or surplus Federal employee, click CTAP/ICTAP for eligibility and a detailed list of required documents.


You are not required to submit transcripts for this initial phase of the application process. Candidates will be referred for consideration based on their self-certification. If you are selected for a position which has a positive education requirement (as described in the vacancy announcement) and/or you are qualifying solely on your education, you will be required to submit official transcripts verifying your qualifications prior to a job offer being issued.

A college or university degree generally 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, if you are selected. Refer to the OPM instructions.

**It is preferred that applicants submit an official or unofficial copy of their final law school transcript.

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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