Washington, D.C
Nov 24, 2021
Dec 01, 2021
Full Time

The Environmental Defense Section ("EDS" or "Section") represents the United States in complex civil litigation arising under a broad range of environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

EDS offers one of the Department's most diverse dockets. It is one of the only DOJ components whose attorneys routinely handle cases in the federal courts of appeals and district courts, as well as both affirmative and defensive litigation. EDS defends petitions for review brought in the courts of appeals pursuant to special statutory judicial review provisions of the environmental statutes, as well as claims for judicial review brought in district courts pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. The substance of these cases ranges, for example, from complex, multi-party challenges to major national EPA rules (such as Clean Air Act rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions and rules defining the scope of "waters of the United States" subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act) to more site-specific wetlands permit decisions made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EDS also handles complex claims of liability against federal agencies under the pollution control laws, such as for costs of response actions at Superfund sites, federally-owned facilities and private sites. The Section also brings affirmative civil enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act against those who fill wetlands and other regulated waters.

Section attorneys are responsible for all aspects of complex litigation. This includes pre-trial tasks up to and through trial, such as preparation and filing of dispositive motions, drafting merits briefs, written and document discovery, taking and defending expert and fact witness depositions, presenting oral argument in court, handling witnesses at trial and other evidentiary hearings, and negotiating settlements. Cases range from simpler matters typically handled by a single attorney, to more complex matters typically handled by a small litigation team. EDS cases present attorneys with the opportunity to regularly appear and argue cases in the district courts and courts of appeals, and to periodically try cases or handle other evidentiary proceedings. EDS attorneys also frequently provide counsel to our client agencies and other DOJ components on litigation, environmental and administrative law issues related to our work.

For more information about the Environmental Defense Section, visit /


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or national.
  • You must complete a background investigation to include pre-employment drug testing.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable.
  • You must maintain a bank account for direct deposit of salary.
  • You are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


The Section's docket is demanding and requires top caliber work product. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated record of outstanding legal writing, complex case management, initiative and creativity, strong courtroom skills, and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and be a U.S. citizen or national. The ideal candidate should possess an excellent academic record and strong analytical, writing, and advocacy skills. The ideal candidate should possess an excellent academic record and strong analytical, writing, and advocacy skills. The ideal candidate should also have a comprehensive understanding of federal civil procedure, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to work effectively in a team environment. Prior environmental law experience is desirable but not required.

Specific grade level requirements:
  • At least 4 years of post J.D. relevant civil/environmental litigation experience to qualify for the GS-14 grade level.
  • At least 5 years of post J.D. relevant civil/environmental litigation experience to qualify for the GS-15 grade level.

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)

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

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veteran 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: . To verify your veteran preference entitlement, submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214; official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions.

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.

Benefits: DOJ offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Please review the link below for an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees.

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

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