Attorney Advisor (Assistant General Counsel)

Alexandria, Virginia
Apr 15, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Full Time


The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for a, Attorney Advisor (Assistant General Counsel) position for the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) within the Office of the Director (OD), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on OGC please click here .

For more information on OD please click here .

Learn more about this agency


The OGC is the legal advisor and advocate for the Foundation, providing legal advice and assistance on all aspects of the Foundation's programs, policies, and operations, as well as areas affecting science and technology more broadly. Advice is provided in a wide variety of areas, such as: grants, contracts and cooperative agreements; intellectual property; conflicts-of-interest; employee and labor relations; civil rights; health, safety and environment; Federal fiscal and administrative law and procedure; and international law and agreements. OGC coordinates with U.S. Department of Justice regarding litigation matters involving the foundation.

The individual selected for this position will serve as an Assistant General Counsel. The Assistant General Counsel will be responsible for providing advice and guidance related to the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA), PRIVACY ACT, AND/OR FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT (FACA).

Additionally, the Assistant General Counsel will:
  • Counsel management of Directorate(s) with respect to legal and policy aspects of major awards and declined proposals, and other matters of government information law and regulation
  • Author and present substantive, procedural, and administrative regulations and policies. Determines need for implementation of rule- making procedures. Consults with and renders opinions to all levels of management in interpreting and applying such regulations.
  • Facilitates NSF partnerships and memoranda of understanding by advising on government information and data considerations.
  • Provides advice on matters related to litigation holds, third party subpoenas and Touhy regulations.
  • Identifies facts and issues to determine the nature of the legal problem, conducts legal research, and provides written and oral legal advice.
  • In disputed cases and appeals, prepare Foundation's case and written legal responses
  • Prepare proposed complaints and other legal documents such as trial briefs, subpoenas, motions, answers, depositions, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and appeal briefs.
  • Serve on working groups related to government information issues and data use and sharing.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs ( Foreign Talent Definitions ). Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General.

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

This position is excluded from the bargaining unit.

Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.


Candidates must have a J.D. from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), plus after award of the J.D., eight or more years of professional legal experience.

Candidates must have; expertise related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy Act, and/or Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and four years of federal government attorney experience.

Bar Membership: Member in good standing of the bar of a State, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Also, desirable, but not required, is experience involving: Federal Grants and Contracts law and practice

This position is outside the competitive civil service.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Additional information

Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

This announcement is open to All US Citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements.

Federal Appropriations Law requires that Non-Citizens meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered.

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. In some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used.

We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors
  • Knowledge of Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  • Ability to analyze legal problems, including consideration of applicable legal rules, the issues they present, the policy considerations that underlie them, and the legal and programmatic benefits and risks that arise from them.
  • Ability to represent the Agency in administrative and judicial proceedings, interagency and executive branch meetings, and negotiations as demonstrated by an ability to write and argue clearly, succinctly, and persuasively.
  • Ability to manage a varied workload and work concurrently and collaboratively with other attorneys and staff.
  • Knowledge of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, the Evidence Act, the Federal Records Act, and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA).
  • Ability to understand and effectively advocate on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Moderate Risk (MR)

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.

    In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered. Non Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    You should upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to ; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

    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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