Attorney Advisor (Freedom of Information Act)

Washington, D.C
Jun 12, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Full Time


Applicants must submit their applications packages to: Laurie A. Day at . Please reference OIP-ATY-0521 in all of your cover letter and put your name in the subject of the email, as well as include your name on all submitted materials. Applications must be received no later than midnight March 2, 2021. Please review the entire content of this announcement to ensure that you meet the criteria and submit the required documentation.

Learn more about this agency


OIP is hiring multiple FOIA Attorneys to work on OIP's Administrative Appeals Staff. The incumbent will perform varied legal work involving the interpretation and application of laws, executive orders, regulations, precedents, and agency practices relating to the FOIA. Specific responsibilities may include:
  • Recommending proposed actions to be taken in the adjudication of administrative FOIA appeals by evaluating actions taken by Department of Justice components in processing initial FOIA requests;
  • Conducting legal research and providing legal advice involving inquiries and assignments related to the application of FOIA access laws;
  • Developing a mastery of assigned area(s) of expertise and updating corresponding section(s) of the United States Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act ;
  • Providing expert advice and guidance to agency personnel concerning the application of the FOIA;
  • Providing instructional training and guidance to various federal Departments regarding compliance with the FOIA; and
  • Providing written and oral legal advice to litigators, or infrequently serving as litigators in defending
    certain FOIA lawsuits.

  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Very limited travel may be associated with this position.

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential


    Conditions of Employment

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
    • Must complete a Background Investigation, including drug testing, and be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances.
    • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
    • May require completion of two-year trial period
    • Financial Disclosure: If selected, you may be required to disclose financial information in accordance with DOJ and Federal ethics guidelines.


    Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least 1 year post-J.D. work experience before your start date. (Please note that the time from selection of an applicant to the start date is typically about 3 months.) No exceptions can be made regarding the required one year of experience.

    Preferred qualifications:
    It is preferred that applicants have knowledge of and a demonstrated interest in the Freedom of Information Act, and have administrative law and/or civil litigation experience.

    Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, tax and credit checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation. Applicants will be required to qualify for a Top Secret security clearance.


    Applicants must possess a J.D. degree from an accredited university or college.

    Additional information

    Equal Employment Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-based factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

    Reasonable Accommodations: This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities: The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements. Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department's Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    Applications will be reviewed by OIP. If selected for an interview, a Hiring Official will contact you directly.

    Suitability and Citizenship: It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, ).

    Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee's Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement.

    Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Veterans: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Top Secret

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process
    Suitability/Fitness , National security

    Required Documents

    Interested candidates should submit all of the following:
  • Cover letter (highlighting relevant experience),
  • Resume (see this USAJOBS Resume Writing Tutorial ),
  • Unofficial law school transcript,
  • Professional legal writing sample (not to exceed 20 pages),
  • Official certificate showing that the applicant is an active member in good standing of a state bar,
  • Copy of your latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if a current federal employee).
  • Please reference announcement OIP-ATY-0521in the e-mail subject line and in your cover letter.

    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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