Attorney-Advisor (Open Continuous)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Washington, D.C
Posted
Jul 30, 2021
Closes
Aug 07, 2021
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This position is located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Immigration Law Division (IMM).

The primary purpose of this position is to serve the Office of the General Counsel as a legal advisor. This individual will provide legal advice, litigation support and occasional training for DHS Headquarters activities and programs in the area of immigration law.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

As an Attorney-Advisor (Open Continuous) GS 0905 14/15, your typical work assignments may include the following under supervision:
  • Conduct extensive legal research and draft timely, accurate, and error-free written work products (e.g., informal analyses, formal legal opinions) on matters relating to immigration and nationality.
  • Conduct timely legal review and analyses of draft legislation, regulations, correspondence, policy memoranda, field guidance, memoranda of understanding, international agreements and arrangements, congressional reports, and congressional testimony; coordinating as appropriate with other Office of the General Counsel (OGC) divisions and component counsel offices.
  • Provide oral and written advice to OGC leadership and DHS headquarters clients on a wide range of immigration law issues, including family- and employment-based immigration; asylum and refugee resettlement; naturalization and nationality; arrest, detention, and removal; E-Verify and worksite enforcement; Visa Waiver Program; grounds of inadmissibility and deportability (including criminal and terrorism-related grounds) and related waiver and exemption authorities; inspection and border enforcement authorities; administrative and federal court litigation of immigration cases; and constitutional law relating to noncitizens and immigration (e.g., Fourth and Fifth Amendments, federal preemption).
  • Provide legal advice in the development, negotiation, and execution of memoranda of agreement and understanding and other documents for international, interagency, and intergovernmental projects in support the mission.
  • Provide legal advice to OGC leadership and DHS headquarters clients and collaborate with attorneys in other OGC divisions and with DHS component counsel (e.g., U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)).
  • Provide litigation support to the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (e.g., significant appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Attorney General) and to the Department of Justice (significant federal court litigation) in immigration matters.
  • Represent DHS in discussions, negotiations, briefings and consultations with other Executive Branch agencies (e.g., Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor), Congress, international organizations, advocacy organizations, regulated entities, and the public in regard to legal matters of interest.


Travel Required

25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
15

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • U. S. Citizenship Required
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for Selective Service
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation
  • You must be able to obtain a (SECRET) Security Clearance
  • You must submit to a pre-employment drug test
  • You must submit a OGE 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Form
  • Employees hired under an Excepted Service appointment are required to serve a two (2) year trial period


Qualifications

Basic Requirements:

GS-14 or GS-15:
1. The first professional law degree (LL.B. or JD); or
2. The second professional law degree (LL.M.) AND
3. Specialized professional legal experience in excess of three (3) years that is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position. The quality of the individual's background may be evidenced by the relatedness of his or her specialization.

Specialized Experience:
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will evaluate eligible candidates based on the following criteria:
OGC will rate qualified applicants by comparing each candidate's qualifications to those pertinent to the position. OGC will consider relevant skills and experience, education and training, performance, and awards. The skills and experience listed immediately below are of particular importance to the position, and applicants should provide specific detailed information in these areas, where applicable, as part of their application.

For this position, specialized experience is defined as providing legal advice and support on a wide range of immigration enforcement and benefits issues, including family- and employment-based immigration; asylum and refugee resettlement; naturalization and nationality; arrest, detention, and removal; E-Verify and worksite enforcement; Visa Waiver Program; grounds of inadmissibility and deportability (including criminal and terrorism-related grounds) and related waiver and exemption authorities; inspection and border enforcement authorities; administrative and federal court litigation of immigration cases; and constitutional law relating to noncitizens and immigration (e.g., Fourth and Fifth Amendments, federal preemption).

This position requires excellent legal research, writing and analytical skills, and demonstrated progressive responsibility. Advanced understanding of administrative law principles is preferred but not required.

Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience may not be used for this grade level.

Current General Schedule (GS) federal employees, and those that have served in GS positions within the last 52 weeks, must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade, or a combination of the next lower grade level and an equivalent band in the federal service.
All qualifications and eligibility requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.

Selectee will be required to complete an OGE 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Form.
Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Expenses will (not) be paid.

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.

Application of Veterans' Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Homeland Security considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference are encouraged to include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., DD form 214 or other substantiating documents) to their submissions.

Education

Applicants must be a graduate of a school of law school accredited by the American Bar Association and an active 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. If qualifying based on your education, you must submit a copy of your college transcript OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify education. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. Official transcripts will be required if you are selected for the position.

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; applicant's resumes and supporting documentation should only reflect education received from schools accredited by such institutions. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following Website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html .

If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency (a U.S. private organization's interpretation that such education has been deemed at least equivalent to conventional U.S. education programs) with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For more information regarding evaluation of foreign education for federal employment, please visit the U.S. Department of Education webpage.

Additional information

For Alternate Application Information please go to: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Alternate_Application_Information

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select "Employee Benefits."

This position may be filled at the GS-14 or GS-15 grade level. If selection is made at the GS-14 level, promotion to the next higher level may occur without further competition.

Promotion Potential: GS-15

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for SECRET clearance as a condition of placement in this Non-Critical Sensitive position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Pursuant to Executive Order 12654 and DHS policy, DHS is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and, therefore, conducts random and other drug testing of its employees in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Headquarters personnel in safety- or security-sensitive positions are subject to random drug testing and all applicants tentatively selected for employment at DHS Headquarters are subject to drug testing resulting in a negative test result.

Current or Former Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the HR Office. Failure to disclose this information could result in disciplinary action including removal from Federal Service.

This position does not confer non-competitive conversion to the competitive service. Acceptance of an excepted service appointment from applicants in the competitive service will require a written statement of understanding when voluntarily leaving the competitive service.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies within 90 calendar days of the initial issue date of the referral list. Multiple selections may be made from this announcement.

By applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for other similar positions.

You may be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and is subject to random drug testing for the duration of service with DHS.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will assess your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education and training will be rated using a job questionnaire based on the following competencies or knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform this job:
  • Ability to conduct and direct complex legal research, engage in extensive legal analysis, and present the analysis and recommendations in a clear, precise, and persuasive manner, both in writing and orally, often in the face of a substantial volume of work, tight deadlines, and changing priorities.
  • Knowledge of the areas of law and policy as related to a wide range of immigration enforcement and benefits issues and of administrative law, reflecting a command of relevant case law, statutes, regulations, and other applicable sources of law.
  • Ability to serve as an effective advisor and counsel to high-level officials of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and the Department. Must have strong interpersonal and communication skills and be able to collaborate effectively with colleagues in other OGC divisions and in DHS component counsel offices and to present cogent arguments regarding the Department's position in an effective, diplomatic manner to other Federal agencies and the Executive Office of the President.
  • If you are assessed in the Best Qualified category, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.

    Please note that one vacancy may be filled with an attorney-advisor responsible primarily for immigration enforcement-related matters, and the other vacancy may be filled with an attorney-advisor responsible primarily for immigration benefits-related matters.

    This is a permanent appointment in the excepted service and will be filled on a full-time permanent basis. Employees hired under an Excepted Service appointment are required to serve a two (2) year trial period. Upon successful completion of the required trial period, this position will be permanent.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Secret

    Drug test required
    No

    Position sensitivity and risk
    NCS/High Risk

    Trust determination process
    National security

    Required Documents

  • Your résumé.
  • Cover Letter.
  • Your responses to the job questionnaire. https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11094808
  • Submit a copy of your law school transcript(s) (unofficial is acceptable). Applicants must be graduates of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • A legal writing sample not to exceed 10 pages.
  • Submit proof that you are an active 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.
  • Are you a current or former Federal employee? You must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which shows competitive or excepted service appointment, tenure group, and salary. If you are applying for a higher grade, please submit the SF-50 showing the highest (permanent) grade ever held, if different from your current grade. Please note: Performance award, Details, and Realignments are not acceptable SF-50s.
  • Consideration may be given to performance appraisals and incentive awards as an indicator of quality of prior experience. If you are determined to be best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. Please provide a copy of your recent performance appraisal and/or incentive awards.


  • 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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