Attorney- Advisor

Washington, D.C
Jul 30, 2021
Aug 07, 2021
Full Time


The administrative law judges (ALJs) in the OST's Office of Hearings (OH) preside over nation-wide regulatory litigation formally adjudicated under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Attorney-Advisor (AA) provides legal research; fact and law analysis; docket management; and comprehensive legal writing and Blue-book editing in complex, difficult, and potentially precedential cases. The AA's work has a direct and long-term impact on DOT, private businesses, and the American public.

Learn more about this agency


As an Attorney-Advisor:
  • This position's primary focus is the broad area of administrative and regulatory litigation, in which the candidate assists the OH Judge in all phases of a formal, nation-wide, civil regulatory enforcement litigation docket. Duties includes timed case docket management; issue identification; fact and law analysis; intensive legal research; comprehensive and precise legal writing and Blue-book editing; and providing legally sound interpretations of law and policy to the assigned Judge in draft memos, briefs, orders and decisions. The candidate must demonstrate the ability for self-directed and independent legal research, analysis, writing, editing, and oral communication skills; possess samples of high quality legal analytical writing; and demonstrate civil litigation knowledge and experience. S/he must have the intellectual curiosity and capability to research, analyze, and clearly write about a wide breadth of legal issues (e.g., contract interpretation, corporate shield piercing, constitutional law and defenses, etc.) that arise within the Judge's regulatory litigation docket. The candidate must have the ability to identify, analyze, and solve emerging, unprecedented, and/or unresolved legal issues in both procedural and substantive matters, and to work within litigation deadlines. Candidate should be able to work well in a small and unique chambers environment.
  • Responsible for independent, self-directed work in a highly variable, vigorously contested, nationwide federal litigation caseload. The position requires proactive docket management, as well as oversight, research, analysis, and recommendations regarding emerging regulatory actions in all aspects of transportation, as well as oversight and analysis of relevant case issues and case appeals in other federal litigation.
  • Demonstrates knowledge, experience, and competency with the various stages of formal, on-the record, civil litigation, as well as with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, Bluebook Citation, and a wide variety of legal research programs (e.g., HeinOnline, Westlaw, LexisNexis,, etc.).
  • Able to precisely and timely research, write, and Bluebook edit authoritative, and descriptive reports, memoranda, Orders, and Decisions, which are characterized by substantial breadth and depth of research and analysis, and that covers all pertinent facts, law, and legal analysis. Able to provide alternate resolutions (i.e., other than promoted by any party) to complex issues, and persuasively adapt or adjust research and preliminary written work to support the Judge's decisions on pending issues.
  • Organized and efficient docket management includes utilizing each mode's unique rules of practice in conjunction with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal caselaw interpretation, and other agencies' rules of practice, as well as serving as the Judge's nation-wide public representative. Must demonstrate professional maturity, tact, and kindness in all communications.

The ideal candidate is a legal professional with litigation experience, as well as experience in interpreting public and/or administrative law, and providing advice in the handling of cases involving these issues.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • This is an Excepted Service position.
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: This is an Excepted Service position. This job will be filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive service. Applicants selected for an excepted service position may be subject to a two-year trial period.
  • ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties. Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 263.
  • SELECTIVE FACTOR: This position has selective factors.


This position has a two Selective Factors, you must meet these (and the specialized experience and education requirements) in order to qualify:
  • You must have civil litigation experience.
  • You must have legal writing and blue-book editing experience.

To qualify, your experience should include experience and education equal or equivalent to the following:

To qualify for the GS-13, you must have either:
  • A law degree, a second law degree (LLM), bar membership in good standing, AND at least two (2) years of professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature.

  • A law degree, bar membership in good standing, AND at least three (3) years professional legal work experience of a progressively responsible nature.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link:

All applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



In order to qualify for this position, candidates must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and have a professional law degree, and must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a State or Territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Additional information

TELEWORK: Managers may exercise discretion to allow a limited amount of regular or task-based telework for this position.

This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions within 90 days.

Position is in the bargaining Unit.


This position is FLSA Exempt

The U.S. Department of Transportation strives to ensure that equity, transparency, accountability, collaboration, and communication permeate all that we do for the betterment of the Department, the traveling public, and our nation. As such, DOT values a highly diverse workforce of persons who promote a culture of belonging by respecting the personal dignity and worth of each individual and fostering a positive environment where all feel safe and welcome. If these commitments coincide with your personal ideals and professional aspirations, please consider joining the DOT family .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level

For this announcement, all applicants will be reviewed to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for this position, specifically the educational and specialized experience requirements.

Applicants will not be rated or ranked.

All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official.

The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process

Required Documents

ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:

The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position. Please review each of the following sections to determine which documents you need to provide with your application.

RESUME - Needs to be created within USA Jobs Resume Builder. It must show relevant experience, education and fully support the required specialized experience.



TRANSCRIPTS - Transcripts are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements.
  • If you have previously held a government position in the same series as this position, you may be able to provide an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.

WRITING SAMPLE: If selected for an interview, a writing sample may be requested.

VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) ( ), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

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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