Assistant General Counsel (General Law and Regulation)

Expiring today

Washington, D.C
Jun 10, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Full Time


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The Office of the General Counsel is a small law firm (12 staff) that practices across multiple areas. We review recommendations for Commission action, draft Commission documents reflecting agency decisions on rulemakings and adjudications, and litigate on behalf of the Commission before courts and administrative agencies. We also administer the FMC's international program and provide legal counsel on in-house matters.

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NOTE: The opening period for this announcement has been extended until 6/18 and additional information/requirements have been added to the Required Documents. Please read that section carefully before submitting an application.

The duties of the Assistant General Counsel for General Law and Regulation include overseeing the provision of, advice on Commission rulemakings, including the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, Congressional Review Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Regulatory Flexibility Act. The incumbent's responsibilities also include the provision of advice and opinions on the Freedom of Information Act, Government in the Sunshine Act, fiscal and appropriations law, procurement law, and other general law issues, such as personnel. Additionally, the incumbent oversees the legal review of competitive agreements under the Shipping Act. The general duties include:
  • Supervise at least four attorneys at the GS-13/14/15 level
  • Provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on legal and policy matters related to the Commission's responsibilities.
  • Prepare rulemaking documents and analyses, regulations, orders, and formal opinions, for Commission approval and issuance.
  • In collaboration with other Commission program offices, review agreements, draft orders, notices of inquiry, rulemaking notices, policy statements, and other documents to be considered or issued by the Commission.
  • Review staff recommendations for Commission action to ensure materials take into account the legal and policy precedents established by the Commission.
  • Provide technical and policy assistance to other government agencies engaged in bilateral and multilateral international negotiations or discussions on shipping matters.
  • Provide legal opinions to the Commission, its staff, and the general public in appropriate instances. Provide advice to the Commission on legal matters concerning investigative proceedings.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • The experience may have been gained in the public sector, private sector, or Volunteer Service. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your resume states complete information for each job entry. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year (MM/YYYY), and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume. If your resume does not provide enough information regarding your work history for us to make a creditable qualification determination, your application package may be rendered disqualified and you will no longer be considered for this position.
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Candidates must meet the following by the close of the announcement:
  • Minimum educational requirements include a professional law degree (LL.B or J.D.) from an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school. NOTE: Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. An ABA-approved law school may allow students to receive credit for law study or activities at a foreign institution and grant credit for the J.D. degree if those studies or activities are approved in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Criteria adopted by the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
  • Current active membership in a bar of any State, territory, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. Active bar association and a certificate that the member is in good standing will be verified prior to appointment and employees must maintain active bar membership in good standing while employed as an attorney with the FMC.
  • Applicants must possess excellent research and oral and written communication skills. Experience in one or more of the following areas is strongly preferred:
  • Providing advice on regulatory strategy, Federal agency rulemakings, and preparing rulemaking notices and documents.
  • Working within the maritime industry such as for an ocean common carrier, non-vessel-operating common carrier, ocean freight forwarder, marine terminal, public port authority, or another federal agency with a maritime nexus.
  • Experience with antitrust review and application of competition standards.
  • Experience that shows leadership potential and results.

  • Education

    Please refer to the qualifications section for education information.

    Additional information

    • A relocation incentive may be offered to eligible selectees.
    • A recruitment incentive may be offered to eligible selectees.
    • Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Moderate Risk Public Trust background investigation.
    • Federal employees are required to adhere to the 14 Principles of Ethical Conduct .
    • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
    • We may fill like positions within 12 months of the close of the announcement.
    • This is a non-bargaining unit position.
    • A 1-year probationary period is required.
    • A 2-year supervisory or managerial probationary period is required.
    • Must be able to obtain and maintain 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.
    • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
    • May be required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days of appointment and annually from then on.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    We will review your resume and supporting documentation to determine that you possess at least one year of professional, specialized law experience. Please ensure your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position.

    Professional law experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position being filled. Law clerk experience (post J.D.) can be considered professional law experience if the candidate performed attorney duties.

    Specialized experience is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Examples of specialized experience include experience working on complex rulemaking or policy proceedings; reviewing and editing policy statements, position papers, and other decisional documents; conducting civil litigation including discovery and of trial practice; and providing legal guidance to attorneys and other professionals.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

  • A resume (of no more than 3 pages). Do not use a resume created with the "build resume" feature on Instead, upload a resume of not more than 3 pages to
  • Cover letter (of no more than 2 pages) that tells us how you will add value to the FMC and that clearly indicates your regulatory experience, including a listing of the regulatory projects that you have personally been involved in over the past five years, your level of involvement, the result, and any federal register citation.
  • Law School Transcript (official or unofficial).
  • SF-50 that depicts your title, series, grade/step/salary (if applicable).
  • A copy of the most recent final performance appraisal (elements and standards for achievement, if not indicated clearly on the annual performance appraisal).
  • A writing sample of no more than 10 pages reflecting your ability to clearly state, analyze, and discuss complex factual and legal issues .
  • Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you will not be considered for this position (or will not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible).

    Education Documentation:
    • An official transcript may be required if you are selected.
    • 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 website.
    • If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. Refer to the OPM instructions .
    Notice of Veterans Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Federal Maritime Commission considers veterans' preference eligibility a positive factor for attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documents (e.g., DD Form 214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty") to their submissions.

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