GENERAL ATTORNEY

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Camp Springs, Maryland
Posted
Jan 13, 2022
Closes
Jan 19, 2022
Hours
Full Time
Duties

As part of both USCIS and the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will work with other highly talented attorneys and colleagues on a rich array of intellectually challenging, critically important, cutting edge legal issues. Working along-side other components of DHS, USCIS strives to administer immigration benefit applications fairly, efficiently, and in keeping with the law, while simultaneously safeguarding our borders, our cyber space, and other elements of our nation's security. This vital mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join, OCC, USCIS, and DHS!

The Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, is seeking an experienced attorney for an Associate Counsel position in the Refugee and Asylum Law Division (RALD) to be located at HQ, Camp Springs, MD OR Arlington, VA (Asylum Office).

The attorney selected will serve as an advisor to the RALD Division Chief and Deputies, the Chief Counsel, and to USCIS and other Departmental components on U.S. immigration laws relating to humanitarian protection issues and international treaty obligations. This attorney would be responsible for providing legal advice on a number of protection issues, including but not limited to asylum, refugee resettlement, temporary protected status, parole, DACA, VAWA, T and U visas, intercountry adoptions, special immigrant juveniles, and the Convention Against Torture. This attorney would also be responsible for providing litigation support in federal litigation on these and other humanitarian protection issues.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Full COVID vaccination as required by Executive Order 14043


U.S. Citizenship: Candidate must be a United States Citizen and present proof of citizenship, if selected.

Qualifications by Closing date: You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement. Please note that qualification claims will be subject to verification.

Background Security Investigation: A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment 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.

A Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (SF-450) will be required for certain positions. You may be asked to complete the necessary Financial Disclosure Report to meet that requirement.

Drug Testing: If position has been identified as a Testing-Designated position under DHS's Drug-Free Workplace Plan, any individual tentatively selected will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

Selective Service Registration: Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will be required to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.

Residency Requirement: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The residency requirement states that candidates must have, for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position(s);
  • resided in the United States; or
  • worked for the United States Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or Military capacity; or
  • been dependent of a U.S. Federal or Military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination.

Examples of state-side coverage information include:
  • the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant's personnel file is located,
  • the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant's "Study Abroad" program,
  • the church records for the applicant's overseas church mission,
  • and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas. Applicants must be able to provide information at a later date if deemed necessary.


Qualifications

You qualify at the GS-13 level if you: are currently an attorney in federal employment with the equivalent of being a GS-12 and at least one year experience at that level, or if not a federal employee and you have at least one year of post-J.D. professional legal experience commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

You qualify at the GS-14 level if you: are currently an attorney in federal employment with the equivalent of being a GS-13 and at least one year experience at that level, or if not a federal employee and you have at least two years of post-J.D. professional legal experience commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

You qualify at the GS-15 level if you: are currently an attorney in federal employment with the equivalent of being a GS-14 and at least one year experience at that level, or if not a federal employee and you have at least three years of post-J.D. professional legal experience commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Applicants must possess a J.D. or LL.M. degree from an ABA-accredited law school or serve a legal apprenticeship in California, Virginia, Vermont, or Washington and pass the bar exam in order to be permitted to practice law in one (1) of those jurisdictions.

Bar Requirement GS-13 thru GS-15: Be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction).

Experience Requirement GS-13-GS-15: Have at least one year of experience, including any relevant experience gained prior to becoming an attorney.

Prior to entering on duty, all selected attorneys must provide a Certificate of Good Standing in holding an active Bar License to practice law in any state or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

All applicants will be rated against the following factors:
  • Ability to resolve questions and provide accurate legal advice to both attorneys and non-attorneys on complex legal matters.
  • Ability to handle a heavy workload and meet deadlines.
  • Legal aptitude as reflected in the resume provided.
  • Quality of writing sample not to exceed 10 pages.
  • Quality of the cover letter addressed to OCC summarizing interest in the position not to exceed 1 page.
  • Quality of recommendations provided (No more than 3 recommendations total).


Additional information

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position. The candidate selected will be required to obtain a "Secret" clearance and continued employment is contingent on being able to maintain at least a "Secret" clearance.

Probationary Period: The candidate selected is required to serve a probationary trial period of two (2) years.

Promotional Potential: This position starts at the GS-13, GS-14 or GS-15, depending on such factors as the selectee's experience and current salary, and has promotion potential to the GS-15/10. When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

Telework: USCIS provides voluntary telework opportunities for eligible employees serving in positions conducive to working at an alternate work site in accordance with agency policy. Please Note: You may be required to telework from your personal residence or another location due to the needs of an office or an emergency situation such as severe weather, natural or manmade disasters or for public health, safety or emergency preparedness measures.

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