Trial Attorney (Labor)

Washington, D.C
Jun 12, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Division of Black Lung and Longshore Legal Services (BLLLS), one of the national office divisions in the Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor. BLLLS seeks an attorney to primarily litigate appellate cases before the U.S. courts of appeals and administrative tribunals, and perform other functions as assigned, such as regulatory, opinion, advice, and enforcement work. We invite you to apply!

Learn more about this agency


The mission of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States. DOL's Office of the Solicitor (SOL) provides legal advice regarding how to achieve those goals. In doing so, SOL ensures that the Nation's labor laws are forcefully and fairly applied to protect the Nation's workers.

This position is located in the Division of Black Lung and Longshore Legal Services (BLLLS), one of the national office divisions of SOL. BLLLS seeks an attorney to primarily litigate appellate cases before the U.S. courts of appeals and administrative tribunals, and perform other functions as assigned, such as regulatory, opinion, advice, and enforcement work. Strong analytical and legal writing skills are a must. Experience as an appellate advocate is a plus, but not required. Prior experience with the Black Lung or Longshore programs is not required.

BLLLS represents the Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, in all legal matters arising under the Black Lung Benefits Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and its extensions, including the Defense Base Act. The Division's responsibilities include conducting litigation, furnishing legal advice, providing the legal services necessary to promulgate regulations and support the Director's legislative activity, and enforcing the payment of benefits by liable employers or their insurers.

BLLLS attorneys conduct appellate litigation before the U.S. courts of appeals and DOL's Benefits Review Board on behalf of the Black Lung and Longshore programs. Attorneys develop and present both written and oral arguments before these tribunals in cases presenting important and complex legal and factual questions under the Black Lung Act and the Longshore Act (including its extensions), as well as the regulations implementing the statutes. Attorneys also review adverse decisions issued by administrative law judges, the Benefits Review Board, and the U.S. courts of appeals and recommend whether to appeal them or take other appropriate action, such as filing a motion for reconsideration or rehearing. In certain cases, attorneys may also support the Office of the Solicitor General in Supreme Court litigation arising in these programs, including drafting petitions for writ of certiorari and merits briefs.

In addition to appellate litigation, the attorney may research and prepare legal advice and opinions for the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. The attorney may also partner with staff in regional SOL offices to address novel or difficult issues in cases pending before DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

The attorney may also assist in revising existing regulations and developing new ones, including analyzing the issues being addressed, researching relevant legislative history and decisional law, and drafting related documents for publication in the Federal Register.

The attorney may assist in reviewing proposed legislation, and developing such legislation as requested by members of Congress or the Executive Branch.

The attorney may contribute to enforcement of orders that liable entities pay benefits and other costs.

The attorney may also work directly with Office of Workers' Compensation Programs staff members, Benefits Review Board and court personnel, opposing counsel, and private parties.

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high-performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued, also allowing DOL to better meet the varying needs of our clients. DOL fosters an inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility, and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

For more information on DOL's and SOL's commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit: Interested persons can also obtain information about working at SOL through the SOL Ambassadors Program; visit: .

This position is inside the bargaining unit.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
14 - This position is at the Full Promotion Potential (FPL).


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship or Non-Citizen as allowed by law.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid
  • This position is inside the bargaining unit.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements. Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


To qualify for an attorney position, applicants must possess a professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.); be a member in good standing of the bar of a court of general jurisdiction of a state, territory or possession of the U.S.; and have acquired the amount of experience indicated below for each grade level.

Three (3) years of progressively responsible legal experience of a professional nature which demonstrates the ability to perform the work at the GS-14 level. At least one year of qualifying experience, at this level, must be specialized experience as defined below.

Specialized experience, for this position, is experience consisting of one (1) year as a practicing attorney or law clerk engaged in appellate or trial litigation at the GS-13 grade level or its equivalent.

Note: An LL.M may be substituted for a maximum of one year experience.


Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


Position Telework eligibility is determined by management based on position duties during the recruitment process. Employee participation in telework on a routine or situational basis is determined by management primarily based on business needs. Employees participating in telework are subject to the terms and conditions of the Department of Labor's Telework Program.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants meeting the minimum qualification requirements for this position will be further evaluated against the following evaluation factors. Current and/or past supervisors may be contacted unless specified otherwise. A panel and/or the selecting official or their designee may interview applicants.

Evaluation Factors:

1. Demonstrated skill in performing thorough legal research and analysis.

2. Substantial experience in litigation involving complex issues, with knowledge of federal court practice and procedure.

3. Demonstrated ability to prepare well-written, organized, and persuasive briefs and other legal documents.

4. Ability to make effective oral presentations in a clear and concise manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to supply sufficient information to provide a basis for rating each of the evaluation factors listed above.

INFORMATION FOR CTAP/ICTAP ELIGIBLE(S) ONLY: If you are eligible for special priority selection under CTAP or ICTAP, you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration. CTAP/ICTAP eligible(s) who are placed into Category well-qualified or higher will be considered "well-qualified." Be sure to review DOL Account Eligibility Question #23 to reflect that you are applying as an ICTAP or CTAP eligible and submit supporting documentation.

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references, and through other means (e.g., interview).

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. You are not required to submit a document if it does not apply to you.

-Resumes are required - provide a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one from your profile. To receive full consideration for relevant and specialized experience, please list the month, year, and the number of work hours worked for the experience listed on your resume. We also suggest that you preview the vacancy questions, and confirm that your resume supports your question responses.

- Writing Sample: is required. Please provide a sample of your legal writing, limited to 8 pages.

- Cover Letter(s) are highly encouraged.

- Bar Certification: Should you be selected for this position, you will be required to submit documentation verifying that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. This letter and/or certificate should be dated within the last six months of the closing date of this job announcement.

- Transcript(s): Should you be selected for this position, you will be required to submit documentation verifying that you have completed your first professional law degree. Applicants who claim substitution of education for experience with an LL.M must submit a copy of their transcripts for verification.

- Veterans Documents (if applicable): Attorney appointments within the Department of Labor are positions in the excepted service, not the competitive service. There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference in attorney appointments; however, the Department of Labor considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. In order to receive positive consideration, you must indicate your eligibility, in response to the appropriate item on the vacancy questionnaire. Additionally, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD214 showing the type of discharge and dates of active duty and, if applicable, a VA letter certifying the present existence of the service-connected disability which indicates the percentage of your disability. (For active duty service members expecting to be honorably discharged or released within 120 days, click Active Duty ) Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's consideration. Additional information is available in the Vet's Guide .

You may also find more information on positive consideration for attorney hiring .

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents: These documents are only required if you are requesting priority consideration under ICTAP/CTAP Eligibility. Applicants with disabilities (SCHEDULE A) applying under the area of consideration must submit proof of certification by counselors, State vocational rehabilitation agencies, or the Veterans Administration.

Applicants selected for employment that are not current DOL employees will be required to provide proof of citizenship, or non-citizenship as allowable in Excepted Service hiring through P.L. 112-10, and the E-Verify system will be used to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.

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.

Similar jobs