Law Clerk/Attorney

Washington, D.C
Dec 03, 2021
Dec 11, 2021
Full Time

As a Law Clerk/Attorney, PA-0904-1 your typical work assignments may include the following:
  • Entry-level hires placed in an engagement counsel role work collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams to address a variety of complex and significant legal issues on a wide range of topics. They review GAO products to ensure they reflect an accurate and objective understanding and application of the law as it relates to the federal program or activity under review. They communicate with agency counsel and brief congressional staff on legal issues covered by GAO reviews. They provide legal assistance and support to GAO officials testifying before Congress and also draft legal memoranda, legal opinions, and sections of audit reports. They analyze legislative proposals to determine potential effects and implications for federal policies and provide technical and legislative drafting expertise.
  • Entry-level hires placed in our Appropriations Law team draft legal decisions and reports on complex matters of appropriations law and provide briefings to congressional staff and agency officials on the conclusions. They teach multi-day appropriations law courses, as well as shorter seminars, for officials and staff throughout all three branches of the federal government. They collaborate with other GAO attorneys to provide legal advice on federal budget and appropriations law issues. They provide internal legal advice and counsel to GAO on the use of its own appropriation. They draft decisions and reports as required by the Congressional Review Act, the Davis Bacon Act, and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
  • Entry-level hires placed in our Procurement Law team manage a docket of bid protest cases and are responsible for all aspects of bid protest case development, including responding to agency dismissal requests, document disputes, protective order, and admission issues. They conduct status conferences, bid protest hearings, and alternative dispute resolution, as needed, for the effective resolution of the bid protest. They draft clearly written, legally sound bid protest decisions in a timely manner, ensuring that they are reviewed, edited, and issued to the parties within the 100-day statutory deadline applicable to all bid protests filed with the GAO. They develop and analyze essential facts, research and apply governing authorities, and present legally sound conclusions and recommendations.


Conditions of Employment

Must be a U.S. Citizen
Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
Suitability for Federal employment, as determined by a background investigation
Completion of a probationary period is required.
Completion of a financial disclosure statement is required.


  • Must be a current law student scheduled to graduate law school in spring 2022.
  • Within 14 months of start date, must become an active bar member in good standing of a bar of a state, a territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Upon proof of active bar membership, This position will be converted to a permanent Staff Attorney, PA-0905-Band I. If you don't become an active Bar member within 14 month of your start date your appointment will be terminated..

  • Education

    See Qualification section

    FOREIGN EDUCATION: Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Most foreign education is not accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

    Additional information

    Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see ).

    Based on the staffing needs, additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement.

    VETERANS' PREFERENCE: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, GAO 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, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. 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 Veterans' 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.
    TRAVEL & RELOCATION EXPENSES: Travel and relocation expenses related to this hiring process will not be paid.

    REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: GAO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please email

    Placement decisions for entry-level law clerks/attorneys are made based on the needs of the office and expressions of interest from new hires in the summer before the onboarding date, and placement decisions cannot be guaranteed during the hiring process. Therefore, we are seeking candidates who are open to being placed on any team with an identified need.

    All of GAO's entry-level law clerks/attorneys participate in our Attorney Development Program (ADP), which includes a robust training curriculum, mentoring program, and close collaboration with an Assistant General Counsel and senior attorneys.

    Entry-level law clerks/attorneys are subject to performance evaluations every 6 months for the first two years and are eligible for pay increases with each evaluation. At the completion of the ADP (generally two years), attorneys are eligible for promotion to Band II; after 4 years, attorney are eligible for promotion to Band III based on performance.
    The U.S. Government Accountability Office's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity.