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Attorney-Advisor

Company: Office of the Solicitor
Location: Washington
Posted on: February 10, 2024

Job Description:

Summary

With an emphasis on high ethical standards, excellence in public service and the delivery of superlative advice and counsel, DOI Solicitor's Office performs the legal work for the United States Department of the Interior and manages the Departmental Ethics Office and Departmental FOIA Office. With more than 500 total employees, more than 400 of which are licensed attorneys, the Office strives to provide sound legal services to fulfill the Department's diverse and wide-ranging mission.

This job is open to

  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

    Clarification from the agency

    Excepted Service
    This position is in the excepted service and not subject to competitive service procedures.
    Merit promotion procedures do not apply.
    This vacancy may be used to fill additional positions as vacancies become available.

    Duties

    This position is located at the U.S. Department of the Interior (Department), Office of the Solicitor, Division of Indian Affairs. The incumbent serves as a legal advisor to the Secretary through representation of Department bureaus. The incumbent reviews and prepares litigation reports, oversees discovery, drafts pleadings and reviews Department of Justice filings in judicial litigation on matters within assigned areas of responsibility, arising out of the various programs and activities for the Department of Interior agencies. The incumbent also advises top officials and program managers within the Department's bureaus. This is a temporary excepted appointment not-to-exceed 3 years and may be extended for additional periods of time without further competition.

    At the full performance level, GS-14, the major duties of this position include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. Reviews and prepares litigation reports, oversees discovery, drafts pleadings and reviews all Department of Justice filings in judicial litigation on matters within assigned areas of responsibility arising out of the various programs and activities for Interior's agencies.

    2. Advises top officials and program managers within the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    3. Represents the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and other officials of the Department in quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings involving interests of the Department's bureaus and agencies.

    4. Assists with the development of proposed and final agency rules.

    5. Advises top officials and program managers within the Department's bureaus with respect to the impact and interpretation of pending and approved Federal or state legislation or regulations and recent judicial and administrative decisions relating to the bureau's activities.

    6. Advises and counsels during negotiations with other Federal agencies, states, and tribes.

    Starting Salary Range Information:

    Washington, DC: GS-14: $139,395- $181,216

    NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01

    Requirements

    Conditions of Employment

    Key Requirements:
    • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
    • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
    • Must be an active member of the bar.
    • Selectee may be subject to serving a 2-year trial period.
    • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
    • 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. See http://www.sss.gov/.
      Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

      • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment 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.
      • If selected for this position, you may be required to file one or more financial statements and/or a procurement integrity certification of compliance upon reporting and annually, some of which may be subject to public disclosure.
      • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.
      • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.

        Qualifications

        Basic Qualification Requirements

        Applicants must be law school graduates with LL.B. or J.D. degrees AND applicants must be an active member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

        Applicants must also meet the following:

        GS-14: In addition to meeting the basic qualification requirements described above, applicants must also have the following additional years of professional legal experience for the grade level indicated:

          • To qualify for a GS-14 applicants must possess at least 4.5-years of professional legal experience following law school graduation.
            Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

            For any of the grades indicated above you can substitute one year of experience with any of the following:
          • have a second professional law degree; OR
          • meet any of the criteria indicated below:

            • academic standing in top one-third of law school graduating class;
            • other equivalent evidence of clearly superior achievement.
            • significant summer law office clerk experience; or
            • significant participation in a clinical legal aid program;
            • significant participation in the law school's moot court competition.
            • significant participation on the law school's law review;
            • graduation with academic honors.

              Candidates should have excellent oral communication, writing, research and analysis skills, and the ability to work effectively with other people, and exercise sound judgment.

              In order to better assess your qualifications for this position, when preparing your resume and cover letter please be sure to address experience, skills, and substantive knowledge in the following areas of legal work:

              - Researching and writing legal memoranda and opinions and providing legal advice or recommendations to clients, judges, and/or senior attorneys.

              - Litigating in Federal court and preparing transactional agreements and other documents; and evidentiary privileges and e-discovery, including familiarity with technology associated with the electronic search, retrieval, and review of documents

              - Experience in or familiarity with federal administrative law issues, such as matters arising under the Administrative Procedure Act (including rulemaking), 25 C.F.R. Part 151, the Indian Reorganization Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Long-Term Leasing Act, the Indian Rights of Way Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

              Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM's website:https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/indexes/num-ndx.asp

              All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

              Education

              Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements.

              Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=e4

              Additional information

              Other Information:

              The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

              Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position. The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

              NOTICE: This employer participates in E-Verify and will utilize your Form I-9 information to confirm you are authorized to work in the U.S.

              Notice of Financial Disclosure Report Requirement: The position to which you will be appointed is subject to a financial disclosure reporting requirement and you will be required to complete a new entrant Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days of your appointment.

              THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

              Agency Benefits:

              Working for the DOI, Office of the Solicitor offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; health, life, dental, vision, and long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.

              SOL has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework in accordance with the DOI Telework policy and with supervisor approval. The official worksite for the selectee is the duty station identified in this vacancy announcement. The selectee will typically report to this duty location on a regular and recurring weekly basis.

              For additional information on telework you may access the Department of Interior's Telework Handbook at https://www.doi.gov/telework/policies.

              • Benefits

                A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

                Review our benefits

                Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

                How You Will Be Evaluated

                You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

                Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation and responses to the online questionnaire will be made.

                Please note applicants must meet the all qualifications requirement and submit all required documentation by closing date of the announcement for consideration for this position. Failure to meet all qualifications requirement and/or submit all required documents will result in an ineligible for consideration rating.

                Applicants who are found to be qualified and referred to the selecting official for consideration may be asked to provide a writing sample. Instructions will be included in the email communication sent to qualified candidates

                Basis of Rating: Applicants will not be rated or ranked. All applicants that meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements of the position will be referred to the selecting official for consideration

                To preview the announcement questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12305059

                DUE WEIGHT

                Please submit 1) a copy of your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation and 2) a list of any awards (e.g. superior performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increase, etc.) you received in the last 5 years. Any performance appraisal/evaluation and award documentation you provide will be forwarded to the selecting official. The selecting official will review this documentation and give it due weight consideration during the overall selection process. If you do not have your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation, please submit a statement as to why it is not available. Please indicate if any prior performance appraisals/evaluations were at an acceptable level.

                • Benefits

                  A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

                  Review our benefits

                  Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
                • Required Documents

                  As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

                  To apply for this position, you must submit a complete application package by the closing date of this announcement. Failure to submit documentation may result in not receiving consideration for this position.

                  Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is available at: https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/How_to_create_your_resume

                  Current & Former Federal Employees

                  If you are a current or former Federal employee, please submit the following by the closing date of this announcement:

                  • a copy of a recent SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" documenting tenure, position title, occupational series, grade level, step and salary; and
                  • your most recent performance appraisal (if you do not have your most recent performance appraisal, please submit an explanation as to why it is unavailable)

                    All Applicants

                    You must meet the qualifications and submit all required documents by closing date of the announcement. NOTE: Documents will not be accepted after the closing date and you will be marked ineligible for consideration.

                    You must submit proof that you are licensed and authorized to practice law. Such proof can include a current active bar card, a screen print from a bar website that reflects you are an active member of the bar or a letter/certificate from the bar certifying you are licensed and authorized to practice law. Documents (bar card, screen print, letter/certificate) must be dated within 3 months of the closing date of the announcement. If using a screen print, make sure it is clear when the screen print was taken. For bar cards that do not have a date on them, please also submit a screen print or letter/certificate certifying you are licensed and authorized to practice law dated within 3 months of the announcement closing date.

                    You must submit transcripts. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted at the time of application, but official transcripts will be required before entry on duty.

                    A 1-2 page cover letter is desired expressing your interest and qualifications for this position.

                    If you are claiming veterans' preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by the closing date of this announcement. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans preference and that your character of military service is honorable. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the VetGuide.

                    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

                    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from
                    schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

                    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
                  • How to Apply

                    Applications (resume and application questions) for this vacancy must be received on-line via USAJOBS BEFORE midnight Eastern Time (Washington, D.C. time) on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete online resume, you will not be considered for this position. Requests for extensions will not be granted.

                    Instructions for Applying Online for this Vacancy Announcement:1) Click the blue "Apply Online" button.2) If you are not a registered USAJOBS user, please create a new account and follow the instructions to complete your application process. If you are a registered user, login to access your existing USAJOBS profile.3) As a registered user, select a stored resume and select one or more of your stored documents to attach to your application.4) Check the "Certification" box and click the "Apply for this position now!" button located at the bottom of the screen.5) Address the eligibility questions as well as the questionnaire containing questions and/or task statements that address the knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies for this vacancy.6) Submit required documents using one of the available methods listed below.7) If you experience technical difficulties during the online application process, please contact the USAJOBS helpdesk.

                    Agency contact information

                    Odisa Carvajal

                    Phone

                    703-787-1517

                    Email

                    odisa.carvajal@bsee.gov

                    Next steps

                    You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJobs account. You will receive an acknowledgment from USAJobs that your submission was successful, once we have received your on-line assessment questionnaire, resume and any supporting documentation. You will be notified of the status of your application via your USAJobs account after we conduct a qualification review of your complete application package. You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for employment consideration. We may verify all information you provide in your resume and questionnaire responses, through reference and/or background checks, and/or verification of your education. If you are selected, you will be contacted personally by the Human Resources Office posting this announcement.
                  • Fair and Transparent

                    The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

                    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
                    • Reasonable accommodation policy
                    • Financial suitability
                    • Selective Service
                    • New employee probationary period
                    • Signature and false statements
                    • Privacy Act
                    • Social security number request

                      Required Documents

                      To apply for this position, you must submit a complete application package by the closing date of this announcement. Failure to submit documentation may result in not receiving consideration for this position.

                      Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is available at: https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/How_to_create_your_resume

                      Current & Former Federal Employees

                      If you are a current or former Federal employee, please submit the following by the closing date of this announcement:

                      • a copy of a recent SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" documenting tenure, position title, occupational series, grade level, step and salary; and
                      • your most recent performance appraisal (if you do not have your most recent performance appraisal, please submit an explanation as to why it is unavailable)

                        All Applicants

                        You must meet the qualifications and submit all required documents by closing date of the announcement. NOTE: Documents will not be accepted after the closing date and you will be marked ineligible for consideration.

                        You must submit proof that you are licensed and authorized to practice law. Such proof can include a current active bar card, a screen print from a bar website that reflects you are an active member of the bar or a letter/certificate from the bar certifying you are licensed and authorized to practice law. Documents (bar card, screen print, letter/certificate) must be dated within 3 months of the closing date of the announcement. If using a screen print, make sure it is clear when the screen print was taken. For bar cards that do not have a date on them, please also submit a screen print or letter/certificate certifying you are licensed and authorized to practice law dated within 3 months of the announcement closing date.

                        You must submit transcripts. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted at the time of application, but official transcripts will be required before entry on duty.

                        A 1-2 page cover letter is desired expressing your interest and qualifications for this position.

                        If you are claiming veterans' preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by the closing date of this announcement. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans preference and that your character of military service is honorable. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the VetGuide.

                        If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

                        Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from
                        schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

                        Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

                        How to Apply

                        Applications (resume and application questions) for this vacancy must be received on-line via USAJOBS BEFORE midnight Eastern Time (Washington, D.C. time) on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete online resume, you will not be considered for this position. Requests for extensions will not be granted.

                        Instructions for Applying Online for this Vacancy Announcement:1) Click the blue "Apply Online" button.2) If you are not a registered USAJOBS user, please create a new account and follow the instructions to complete your application process. If you are a registered user, login to access your existing USAJOBS profile.3) As a registered user, select a stored resume and select one or more of your stored documents to attach to your application.4) Check the "Certification" box and click the "Apply for this position now!" button located at the bottom of the screen.5) Address the eligibility questions as well as the questionnaire containing questions and/or task statements that address the knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies for this vacancy.6) Submit required documents using one of the available methods listed below.7) If you experience technical difficulties during the online application process, please contact the USAJOBS helpdesk.

                        Agency contact information

                        Odisa Carvajal

                        Phone

                        703-787-1517

                        Email

                        odisa.carvajal@bsee.gov

                        Next steps

                        You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJobs account. You will receive an acknowledgment from USAJobs that your submission was successful, once we have received your on-line assessment questionnaire, resume and any supporting documentation. You will be notified of the status of your application via your USAJobs account after we conduct a qualification review of your complete application package. You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for employment consideration. We may verify all information you provide in your resume and questionnaire responses, through reference and/or background checks, and/or verification of your education. If you are selected, you will be contacted personally by the Human Resources Office posting this announcement.

                        Fair & Transparent

                        The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

                        • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
                        • Reasonable accommodation policy
                        • Financial suitability
                        • Selective Service
                        • New employee probationary period
                        • Signature and false statements
                        • Privacy Act
                        • Social security number request

Keywords: Office of the Solicitor, Washington DC , Attorney-Advisor, Legal , Washington, DC

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