Chief - Appellate Section

Washington, D.C
Jan 23, 2022
Jan 31, 2022
Executive, Chief
Full Time

The incumbent serves as the Chief of the Appellate Section and manages complex appellate legal matters in many of the Attorney General's mission-critical areas such as public corruption, financial crimes, terrorism and violent crime, child exploitation, and sentencing reform. The Chief also:
  • Supervises and coordinates the handling of legal issues of substantial precedential importance assigned to the Appellate Section, which is charged with carrying out one of the heaviest caseloads in the Department. Serves, along with the Deputy Chiefs, as the Department's expert on appellate cases. Oversees the preparation of briefs and petitions in government cases in the United States courts of appeals and in the Supreme Court. Prepares attorneys for oral arguments.
  • Assigns and reviews, for policy and substance, recommendations to the Solicitor General prepared in the Appellate Section as to the advisability of taking appeals to the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court from adverse decisions of the lower courts. Reviews briefs prepared by Section attorneys for filing in the federal appellate courts. Advises and consults with federal prosecutors and Department leadership on the status of the Division's cases in the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, and on ongoing and emerging priorities.
  • Advises and consults regularly with United States Attorneys on questions arising in their daily work of preparing indictments, preparing and trying cases, and handling appeals, which calls for quick solutions by means of ready knowledge of the relevant legal precedents.
  • Prepares legal memoranda and correspondence on a wide spectrum of Division matters, including domestic terrorism, public corruption, financial fraud, violent crime, drug offenses, child exploitation, investigative techniques, jurisdictional questions, and grand jury issues vital to protecting the interests of the United States. Also provides advice and analysis to the Assistant Attorney General on proposed amendments to the federal rules and the criminal code.
  • Drafts Supreme Court briefs, briefs and argues cases in the courts of appeals, and drafts appeal recommendations to the Solicitor General.
  • Assumes responsibility for a broad range of management, financial, and administrative functions that are critical in the planning, policy direction, operation, and problem solving of the Section. Mobilizes the Section's prosecutorial resources to provide significant litigative support on quick-response issues. Reviews programs to identify need for improvements in quality, timeliness, or productivity. Monitors and evaluates plans and measures attainment of outcomes. Provides solutions to organizational problems.
  • Acquires and leverages needed fiscal and human resources to achieve results oriented outcomes. Develops budget enhancements which include both performance measures and outcomes that reflect the Section's, Division's, and Department's strategic goals and objectives.
  • Provides strong advocacy for and commitment to the Division's priorities concerning workforce diversity and equal employment opportunity. Affirms merit promotion principles in all aspects of personnel recruitment, selection, development, and performance management.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
  • If the selectee is not a current employee of the Offices, Boards, or Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice, he/she will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.
  • The managerial qualifications of a selectee who is not a current or former career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before appointment.
  • Individuals entering the SES career service for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please see "Next Steps" for additional information.


Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Applicants must be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing and have at least 5 years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have extensive appellate experience in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Applicants must also have a high level of management/supervisory experience.

Applicants must submit a resume and a separate narrative statement/response that addresses each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification factors related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications can assist you in writing an effective SES application. In particular, please note the Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model that is recommended and very helpful when drafting ECQ narrative responses. The Guide is available on OPM's Website at: .

Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements
  • Experience in handling criminal appellate cases in the United States Supreme Court and the federal circuit courts.
  • Experience in supervising appellate attorneys and reviewing the work product of attorneys.
  • Ability to establish and maintain harmonious relationships with the United States Attorneys, the Office of the Solicitor General, and other Department offices and law enforcement agencies.
  • Executive/Managerial Requirements:

    ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE . This core qualification encompasses the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision, which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent to it is the ability to balance change and continuity--to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic Government framework, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.
    • Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, Continual Learning, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Service Motivation, Strategic Thinking, Vision
    ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE . This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies, which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
    • Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Cultural Awareness, Integrity/Honesty, Team Building
    ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN . This core qualification stresses accountability and continuous improvement. It includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.
    • Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
    ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN . This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision making.
    • Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Technology Management, Human Resources Management
    ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS . This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. It also involves the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.
    • Leadership Competencies: Influencing/Negotiating, Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Partnering, Political Savvy, Written Communication


    A J.D., or equivalent, degree.

    Applicants who possess an equivalent degree rather than a J.D. may be subject to additional review by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management.

    Additional information

    The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any non merit factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department 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 of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    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.

    The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.