Attorney Advisor

Washington, D.C
Sep 23, 2021
Oct 01, 2021
Full Time


As an Attorney-Advisor in the Law and Policy Section, you will join a well-respected team that is responsible for providing critical legal advice in support of the Environment and Natural Resources Division's litigation and other work.
Learn more about this agency


The Law and Policy Section advises and assists the Assistant Attorney General on environmental legal and policy questions; handles legislative work on behalf of the Division; serves as the Division's ethics officer and counsel; and handles amicus and other special litigation work. The Section also processes all requests for Environment and Natural Resources Division records made pursuant the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, and assists U.S. Attorney's Offices in advocating the Division's position in civil litigation filed under these statutes.

As an Attorney-Advisor within the Law and Policy Section, your specific duties will focus on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and will include:
  • Provide legal support for the processing of Division records, requested pursuant to the FOIA or Privacy Act (PA), and ensure searches and processing are conducted in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures;
  • Coordinate with Division records custodians on complex requests to ensure complete and efficient records collection, and ensure that releases of Division information are properly coordinated within the Division;
  • Review Division records located as a result of FOIA or PA requests and have first-line responsibility for determining whether these records should be released in full, in part, or withheld;
  • Communicate with FOIA requesters and other stakeholders to facilitate efficient processing of requests;
  • Assist in preparation of pleadings and in the defense of the Environment and Natural Resources Division in litigation brought under the FOIA/PA;
  • Provide direction and advice to FOIA professional staff when needed.
  • Make recommendations to supervisors in presenting the Division's views to the reviewing official in administrative appeals of the Division's initial response to a FOIA request;
  • Assist in the establishment of Division policy and procedures regarding FOIA/PA. As appropriate, comment on, or initiate regulations, and prepare or supervise the preparation of Division directives relating to the application and implementation of the FOIA and/or PA.
  • Monitor developments in FOIA/PA law, communicate these developments to appropriate management and staff, and recommend changes to Division processing practices, as necessary.
  • Assist in the preparation of statistical and narrative reports to reflect Division's activities under FOIA and PA during each fiscal year.
  • As time allows, assist with other duties of the Section.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or national; JD required.
  • Pre-employment drug testing required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable.
  • You must maintain a bank account for direct deposit of salary.
  • Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a full field background investigation.


The Section's docket is demanding and requires top caliber work products. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated record of analysis of complex legal problems, initiative and creativity, and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards. Applicants must also demonstrate outstanding legal research, analytical, and writing abilities, good judgment, and be able to balance a diverse and constantly evolving workload. Ability to work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of individuals, both orally and in writing, is essential.

The ideal candidate is one with experience in the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, or similar information laws. Litigation experience is highly desirable. Experience managing document collection, privilege reviews, and document production is also valuable.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, territory, or the District of Columbia; have at least 4 years of post-J.D. legal experience; and be a U.S. citizen.

Years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is GS-14 ($122,530- $159,286), GS-15 ($144,128- $172,500) per annum.

Specific grade level requirements :
  • GS-14: At least 4 years of post-J.D. experience
  • GS-15: At least 5 years of post-J.D. experience

YOUR RESUME MUST provide specific details as to how your experience meets the specialized experience as described in the vacancy announcement if you are using experience to meet all or part of the qualification requirements. Please ensure that your resume includes the month and year that you began and ended each position held or that position will not be credited toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. Part-time employment will be prorated in crediting experience. Failure to provide details will result in an ineligible rating.

Only experience and education obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered.


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

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: .

Suitability and Citizenship : It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys' Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please Note : Additional candidates may be selected if more positions become available in the Division within 90 days after the announcement closes.

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 based on your qualifications for the position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position. An in-person (in Washington, D.C.) or video interview may be required for this position prior to final selection. Finalists for the position may be asked to provide a timed writing sample related to the application of FOIA exemptions.

Veterans : 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 Member Copy 4, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. To determine your eligibility for veterans' preference or for additional information, see: .

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 Veteran 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).

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
High Risk (HR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

  • Resumé demonstrating relevant experience and dates the experience was obtained
  • Copy of transcripts for J.D.
  • Writing Sample
  • OF-306, Declaration of Employment, Signed/dated line 17A
  • DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation, if applicable.
Your resumé MUST include full employment information such as periods of employment with month/year started and ended, title of position(s), PT hours worked, and description of duties. If you have Federal employment, you must include the grade of the position(s).

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