Senior Staff Attorney/Senior Attorney (Physical Infrastructure)

Washington, D.C
Jun 14, 2021
Jun 19, 2021
Full Time


GAO is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress and is rated as one of the Federal Government's Best Places to Work. GAO's Office of the General Counsel seeks an experienced attorney to provide legal support to GAO's Physical Infrastructure team, which reviews aviation and surface transportation; telecommunications; Postal Service; and federal assets. Attorneys with relevant subject matter expertise and/or experience conducting oversight are particularly encouraged to apply.

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Major responsibilities will include:
  • Working collaboratively with multi-disciplinary audit teams to address a variety of complex, far-reaching, and significant legal issues related to the nation's physical infrastructure systems.
  • Reviewing GAO products to ensure they reflect an accurate and objective understanding and application of the law as it relates to the federal program or activity under review.
  • Identifying and interpreting authoritative legal sources, such as statutes, regulations, legislative history, case law, and administrative opinions.
  • Ensuring that positions taken by GAO are legally correct and constitute the best objective view of the law, including in circumstances of first impression and matters of national significance.
  • Communicating with agency counsel and briefing congressional staff on legal issues covered by GAO reviews.
  • Providing legal assistance and support to GAO officials providing congressional testimony.
  • Drafting legal memoranda, legal opinions, and sections of audit reports.
  • Analyzing legislative proposals to determine potential effects and implications for federal policies and GAO and providing technical and legislative drafting expertise.
  • Exhibiting GAO's core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability; and demonstrating the agency's people values by making others feel respected, valued, and treated fairly.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - .

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You will be required to submit a financial disclosure statement.
  • You must be suitable for federal employment.
  • You will be required to complete a two-year probationary period unless you previously completed a trial period at GAO after October 1, 1980.
  • If you are a male born after 12/31/1959 and at least 18 years of age, you must be registered with the Selective Service System.
  • You must meet the requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date.
  • Complete application package must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date.
  • You must pass a background investigation


You must meet the minimum qualification requirements by the closing date of this job opportunity announcement.
  • Must be an active member in good standing of a bar of a state, a territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Band II Senior Staff Attorney candidates must have a minimum of two years (104 weeks) of legal experience related to the duties of the position.
  • Band III Senior Attorney candidates must have a minimum of four years (208 weeks) of legal experience related to the duties of the position.

  • Education

    See Qualification section.

    Additional information

    BARGAINING UNIT STATUS: This position is not in a bargaining unit.

    OPTION FOR ADDITIONAL HIRES: We may use this announcement to hire more people.

    TRAVEL & RELOCATION EXPENSES: Travel and relocation expenses related to this hiring process will not be paid.

    REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: GAO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please email

    VETERANS' PREFERENCE: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, GAO 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 Veterans' 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.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    If your submission demonstrates that you meet the criteria listed in the Qualifications section and includes the required cover letter and resume, your application will be further evaluated based on:
    • Your years and level of experience researching and analyzing complex legal issues relevant to the issues and responsibilities described under Summary and Responsibilities
    • Experience and expertise that demonstrates superior legal research, analytical skills, and writing on complex legal issues.
    • Experience that demonstrates excellent written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and sound judgment.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

  • Cover letter.
  • Resume.
  • A statement that you are U.S. citizen.
  • Information sufficient to establish that you have a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • Information sufficient to establish you are an active member in good standing of one of the bars listed in the Qualifications

  • Your application materials will not be returned. Do not submit original documents that you may need in the future.

    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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