Trial Attorney

Washington, D.C
Jan 12, 2022
Jan 20, 2022
Full Time

OFL is seeking experienced attorneys to work in the Washington, D.C. office. The incumbent will not litigate in court, but will work closely with client agencies and foreign counsel to investigate and litigate civil and/or criminal cases abroad. The work with foreign counsel entails providing detailed instructions and advice relating to the handling of assigned cases. An important aspect of the position is to maintain close overall supervision of assigned cases and to develop appropriate litigation strategies that are consistent with the policies of the United States, the Department of Justice, the client agencies, the local law of the forum, doctrines of public international law, and the overall foreign policy and programmatic interests of the United States.

In addition, the incumbent will provide legal advice to other DOJ components, federal agencies, and U.S. embassies on a wide variety of issues involving current or potential foreign litigation, international law, and the impact of foreign and international law on programs or activities undertaken abroad. Because foreign litigation impacts the foreign policy of the United States as well as other U.S. government policies and activities, the incumbent will closely coordinate with other agencies, including the Department of State and U.S. embassies abroad, regarding pending or potential foreign litigation.

Defensive cases handled by the office include employment, property, contract or tort litigation; criminal actions against U.S. officials acting within the scope of their duties; and other lawsuits challenging U.S. activities abroad. In addition to defensive matters, OFL conducts affirmative litigation, including civil litigation aimed at combatting fraud perpetrated against the United States, contract and other commercial claims, debt collection matters, and fighting cross-border fraud that targets American citizens, as well as affirmative criminal suits when the United States is a victim of a criminal act abroad.

OFL has litigated in the courts of over 100 countries. In addition to its Washington, D.C. office, OFL maintains field offices in London and Rome that are responsible for litigation in European countries and a field office in Panama that is responsible for litigation in Latin America. This announcement is limited to the Washington, D.C. office only.

Because OFL attorneys are not licensed to practice law in foreign jurisdictions, they do not appear in foreign courts. Instead, OFL handles litigation through the retention of foreign counsel who represent the interests of the United States in foreign proceedings. OFL attorneys closely supervise and instruct the foreign counsel with regard to litigation positions taken on behalf of the United States. The litigation handled by the office may involve issues of foreign law, as well as public and private international law, and covers the broad range of federal programs under which the United States operates abroad.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation to include drug testing
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of a fourteen month trial period
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access depending on organizational assignment / duty location.
  • You will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.) subject to such exceptions as required by law.


Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a 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.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.

An exceptional academic background, experience in international law or foreign comparative law, and significant experience in investigating and managing complex litigation are desirable.

Applicants should have a strong interest in litigation, as well as excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills. Excellent writing skills and good judgment are critical. Foreign language skills are desirable.

The incumbent must be comfortable in communicating with people, some of whom may have limited oral or written English skills or come from foreign cultures, and must be willing to adjust work schedules, as required, to accommodate international time zones and imminent deadlines. The successful applicant must be able to work independently.

All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement.


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

Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veterans' 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: .

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, 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).

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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: .