Trial Attorney-Torts Branch/Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation-Bivens Section

Washington, D.C
Jul 15, 2021
Jul 22, 2021
Full Time


The Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Torts Branch is seeking experienced trial attorneys with varying degrees of relevant experience for positions with Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation, located in Washington, D.C. Attorneys in this office represent individual federal employees who face personal liability as a result of their on-the-job conduct. The Constitutional Torts Staff also defends claims brought against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Learn more about this agency


This position offers a unique and challenging experience in public service. It is one of the few positions in which a government attorney's clients include individuals with whom the attorney has a personal attorney­ client relationship. The majority of cases involve claims for damages against individual federal employees who are personally sued for alleged constitutional violations under the authority of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), but attorneys are responsible for all manner of cases involving individual liability. Constitutional Tort attorneys typically handle cases involving complex legal questions and often litigate cutting-edge questions of constitutional law. Attorneys also play a vital role in the administrative processing of requests for representation from federal employees nationwide; and provide guidance to U.S. Attorneys' Offices on the immunities and individual defenses that are available to federal officials sued personally for job-related acts. The office represents federal employees in the U.S. District Courts nationwide, with a practice which emphasizes complex dispositive motions; however, attorneys are also involved in discovery and taking cases to trial and evaluating appellate issues. Further information about the Constitutional Torts Staff is available at­-section

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation to include drug testing
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of a fourteen month trial period
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access depending on organizational assignment / duty location.


Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least one year of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-12 level; have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.

Applicants should be outstanding writers, have strong interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have an interest in litigation. Experience with federal court motions practice is preferred. The ideal candidate would also be interested in developing expertise in all and have relevant experience in several of the following areas: dealing with individual clients; representing public officials; asserting personal defenses by way of complex dispositive motions; defending a variety of statutory, common law, constitutional or civil rights claims; handling discovery and preparing cases for trial; analyzing appellate issues. Applicants should enjoy working independently and as part of a team, feel comfortable in varied federal courtroom settings, and enjoy occasional travel. Applicants must exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with clients, staff, attorney supervisors, and Department officials.


All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see


Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at .

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation. .

Additional information

Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veterans' preference (VP), you should indicate the type of veteran preference (5 or 10 points) you are claiming on your resume. In order to determine your eligibility, you can find additional information at: .

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 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).

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Schedule A: DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and 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. DOJ also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes to, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at: .

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Additional information is found at: .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications. Your application will be evaluated by a reviewing panel.

Please Note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 120 days after the closing date of the vacancy.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, including the required documents indicated below. The Application Package must be received by midnight, Eastern Daylight Time, on the listed closing date. A complete application package must include:
1. Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience). Address the cover letter to Sal D'Alessio, Acting Director, Torts Branch-CSTL.
2. Résumé - Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.
3. Writing Sample (not more than 15 pages in length).
4. If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214 (Member-4 copy), and/or other documentation that you may have.

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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