Deputy Director of the Legal Division (Chief Deputy Staff Attorney II)

Washington, D.C
May 10, 2021
May 18, 2021
Executive, Director
Full Time


The Legal Division of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has an opening for a highly qualified attorney to serve as Deputy Director of the Legal Division. The Deputy works directly with the Director to manage and lead the Legal Division, and acts as the Director's backup.
Learn more about this agency


The Legal Division's principal responsibility is to recommend to the court the disposition of substantive and procedural motions, appeals decided without oral argument, and emergency matters. The staff attorneys confer with the judges, conduct legal research, prepare legal memoranda, and draft proposed orders and opinions.

Major Duties

Supervise and review the work of staff attorneys. Provide guidance and training to staff attorneys. Attend regularly scheduled meetings with the judges where staff attorneys present their recommendations. Advise the judges and the Clerk on a wide variety of legal and procedural issues related to specific cases as well as court operations. Stay abreast of legal developments and recommend any needed changes to the Division's procedures or work product. Work in collaboration with other supervisors in the Division and the Clerk's Office. Provide day-to-day management of the Division and advise the Director on institutional goals and strategies. Evaluate effectiveness of current practices and suggest improvements as necessary. Coordinate the personnel management system, including recruiting, hiring, and evaluating employees. Oversee the court's attorney discipline matters. Periodically act as after-hours supervisor for emergency matters.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
16 - JSP-16.


Conditions of Employment

Because the D.C. Circuit entertains a large number of high-profile and sealed cases, employees are subject to strict confidentiality requirements.

Your continued employment is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background records check. A full background investigation for a security clearance will also be required.

The successful applicant must be a United States citizen or eligible to work in the United States. This position is an excepted appointment and is "at will." The United States Court of Appeals is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. The successful applicant will be subject to mandatory electronic transfer of funds for payment of net pay. The United States Courthouse is a smoke-free building.


Because the Deputy must be able to advise the judges, Director, and Clerk on difficult, varied, and important legal issues, the court is highly selective in its hiring. The court is looking for an individual who has demonstrated the ability to analyze complex legal issues quickly and to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. The court is also looking for an individual with a general knowledge of management practices and administrative processes, and skill in working cooperatively with others. The ability to exercise mature and sound judgment is essential.

Prior experience working for a federal court, especially in a Clerk's Office, or a Staff Attorney Office, is preferred. Supervisory or management experience is beneficial. A judicial clerkship, law review membership, or comparable legal research and writing experience is helpful. Other desirable qualifications include litigation experience, and graduation in the top 25% of your law school class.

At a minimum, applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be a member of the bar of a state or the District of Columbia, and have at least three years of general legal experience and three years of specialized experience.

Specialized Experience

Progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, in legal research, legal administration, or equivalent experience, gained after graduation from law school.

TERMS: The first year of employment is considered a probationary period.


Please read the "Qualifications" section.

Additional information

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants will be evaluated based on their application and an interview.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

Please read the "Required Documents" section.

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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