Attorney-Adviser (General)

Washington, D.C
Sep 17, 2021
Sep 24, 2021
Full Time


What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?

You will join attorneys striving to provide legal services to fulfill the Department's diverse and wide-ranging mission. In particular, you will provide quality advice, and representation to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and other officials of the Department.

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Learn more about this agency


As an Attorney-Adviser with the Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Division of Mineral Resources, Branch of Offshore Safety and Enforcement located in Washington, DC your specific duties will include:

The selected attorney will serve as legal adviser to the Secretary through representation of the Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management (ASLMM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and on occasion the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on matters concerning the offshore renewable energy program.

The selected attorney will be primarily responsible for providing advice and counsel to the BSEE renewable energy program as its safety and environmental enforcement functions grow and develop with the expansion of outer Continental Shelf wind energy activities. As such, the selected attorney will provide counseling to resolve complex and often novel legal problems and questions concerning the statutes, treaties, and regulations regarding offshore renewable energy oversight, in areas including but not limited to inspections, enforcement actions, report review and compliance, formulation and implementation of operational terms and conditions, regulation of safety management systems, oil spill preparedness, and consultation and coordination on activities that may implicate the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other statutes.

Responsibilities will include research and drafting of legal memoranda and briefs, presentation and communication of analysis and conclusions, review and revision of proposed actions and draft agency materials for legal considerations, legal support to the rulemaking process, and preparation of written and verbal advice and opinions on legal issues of interest and concern to BSEE, including questions of jurisdiction, authority, and statutory or regulatory interpretation.

The selected attorney will serve as agency counsel in litigation and administrative proceedings involving disputes related to the offshore renewable energy programs, including serving as lead counsel in Departmental administrative appeals and supporting the Department of Justice in Federal judicial proceedings in which BSEE or the Department is an interested party.

The selected attorney will provide counseling on compliance with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Administrative Procedure Act, National Environmental Policy Act, ESA, CZMA, and NHPA, among other statutes, as well as implementing regulations and judicial interpretations related to those laws. The selected attorney may also be called upon at times to support the legal work of the BSEE conventional energy programs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel one night per month for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements:
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • Must be an active member of the bar.
  • Selectee may be subject to serving a 2-year trial period.
  • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.
Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?
  • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
  • If selected for this position, you may be required to file one or more financial statements and/or a procurement integrity certification of compliance upon reporting and annually, some of which may be subject to public disclosure.
  • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.
  • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.


In order to better assess your qualifications for this position, when preparing your cover letter please address your experience in or familiarity with the following:
  • Experience in or training related to energy and mineral projects, particularly renewable energy, oil and gas, and/or operations in the marine environment;
  • Experience in or training related to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedure Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Oil Pollution Act, or oceans law;
  • Experience or training related to enforcement of legal and regulatory requirements; and
  • Other relevant experience or training related to litigation, negotiating agreements, and counseling on complex projects or regulatory matters.

Basic Qualification Requirements
Applicants must be law school graduates with LL.B. or J.D. degrees AND applicants must be an active member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

Applicants must also meet one of the following:
--possess at least 1-year of professional legal experience following law school graduation; OR
--have a second professional law degree; OR
--meet any of the criteria indicated below:
(a) academic standing in top one-third of law school graduating class;
(b) graduation with academic honors;
(c) significant participation on the law school's law review;
(d) significant participation in the law school's moot court competition;
(e) significant participation in a clinical legal aid program;
(f) significant summer law office clerk experience; or
(g) other equivalent evidence of clearly superior achievement.

GS-13/14: In addition to meeting the basic qualification requirements described above, applicants must also have the following additional years of professional legal experience for the grade level indicated:
--GS-13 = 2 years
--GS-14 = 3 ½ years

Candidates should have excellent oral communication, writing, research, and analysis skills, and the ability to work effectively with other people and exercise sound judgment.

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.


  • 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.
  • Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: .

Additional information

Other Information:
  • Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.
  • The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.
  • DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit .
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.
Agency Benefits:
  • Working for the DOI, Office of the Solicitor offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave , and holidays ; health, life, dental, vision, and long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts , and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System .
  • SOL has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework in accordance with the DOI Telework policy and with supervisor approval. The official worksite for the selectee is the duty station identified in this vacancy announcement. The selectee will typically report to this duty location on a regular and recurring weekly basis.
  • For additional information on telework, you may access the Department of the Interior's Telework Handbook at .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

--The information and materials you provide will be used to evaluate whether you meet the basic qualification and eligibility requirements for this position.

--Basis of Rating: Applicants will not be rated or ranked. All applicants that meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements of the position will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Applicants who are found to be qualified and referred to the selecting official for consideration may be asked to provide a writing sample and/or professional references. Instructions will be included in the email communication sent to qualified candidates.

To preview the announcement questionnaire, click here:

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

-- Resume: A detailed resume that demonstrates your professional history, education, and qualifications, along with the state in which your active Bar membership is held.

--Cover Letter - A 1-2 page cover letter is desired expressing your interest and qualifications for this position.

--Transcripts - Because this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) or list of course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement. This proof may be faxed, document uploaded, or hand delivered to the servicing Human Resources Office (see "Required Documents" and/or "Contact Information"). Please ensure that all documentation is legible. If you are currently employed by the Federal government in the same occupational series as the advertised position, you are not required to submit transcripts at this time.

--Bar Membership - You must provide information in your resume regarding the state in which your active Bar membership is held.

--Veteran's Preference - If you are claiming veterans' preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by the closing date of this announcement. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans preference and that your character of military service is honorable. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the VetGuide .

Current & Former Federal Employees
-- If you are a current or former Federal employee, please submit the following by the closing date of this announcement:
  • a copy of a recent SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" documenting tenure, position title, occupational series, grade level, step and salary; and
  • your most recent performance appraisal (if you do not have your most recent performance appraisal, please submit an explanation as to why it is unavailable)

Required documents may be:
(1) uploaded directly from your desktop; or
(2) uploaded directly from your USAJOBS stored attachments.

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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