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Wanted Experienced Attorney at US Department of Homeland Security

Posted on: 6 Feb 2019 188 views
: US Department of Homeland Security
: JD
: 2



Do you desire to be a part of the vibrant United States immigrant admission process, to protect American interests and to secure our nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS), and its Office of the Chief Counsel OCC ) are calling! 

The Office of the Chief Counsel is seeking one experienced attorney for an Associate Counsel position in the Commercial & Administrative Law Division (CALD ) to be located in Charleston, SC.


The selectee for this vacancy will serve as an attorney providing advice to the Chief of the Commercial and Administrative Law Division (CALD), the Chief Counsel, and USCIS officials. The attorney will report to a CALD Deputy Chief Counsel. The position has a focus on federal employment law with a particular emphasis on reviewing disciplinary and performance actions. 

The selectee will also represent the agency against complaints and appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and labour arbitrators. The selectee will also provide litigation support to AUSAs litigating employment cases before federal district and appellate courts. Other duties include reviewing reports of investigation and advising supervisors and managers on a wide range of personnel issues, including employee misconduct, poor performance and compliance with FMLA, Rehab Act, among others. The selectee will edit and review the legal sufficiency of performance improvement plans and notices of personnel decisions. The attorney will also provide oral and written legal advice and develop and conduct training on a wide variety of performance, misconduct, disability accommodation, Veterans' rights and selection issues.

  • Requirements

    Conditions of Employment


    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. The appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favourable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination. 

    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 the 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.



    Applicants must possess a J.D. 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. 

    Be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least two years 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, involving labour and employment law issues
    • Quality of the cover letter addressed to Office of the Chief Counsel summarizing interest in the position not to exceed 1 page.
    • Quality of recommendations provided (No more than 3 recommendations total).
    To preview the job questionnaire click



    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 13/14/15, 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.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    You will be evaluated based upon your resume, citing qualifications and work experience, your writing sample, and, if selected for an interview, your responses provided during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome. 

    All information you provide may be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references and through means, such as the interview process. The verification could occur at any stage of the application process. An exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible, not hiring you, or firing you after you begin work.


    Required Documents

  • In addition to completing an online questionnaire, the following supporting documents must be received by the closing date of this announcement:

    • A cover letter addressed to the Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) no more than 1 page in length summarizing your background and interest in the position not otherwise evident from the other required documents.
    • Resume.
    • A writing sample not to exceed 10 pages, involving labour and employment law issues.
    • No more than 3 optional recommendations total.
    • A declaration under penalty of perjury that the applicant is a member in good standing with the bar of a state, territory of the U.S., the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and that his or her fitness to practice law or conduct as an attorney has never been challenged in any jurisdiction, OR if either has been challenged, a sworn declaration concerning the facts and circumstances together with any explanation the applicant may deem appropriate. This notarized sworn statement must be dated within 3 months of the date the application is submitted.
    • If you are or have been a FEDERAL EMPLOYEE, please submit a copy of your last Notification of Personnel Actions, Form SF-50, which shows tenure group, promotion potential and salary, and your most recent or last performance appraisal.
    Recommendations must be scanned and uploaded into the system along with other supporting documents and addressed to the Office of the Chief Counsel. 

    To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS accounts, select the Application Status link and then select the More Information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. 

    It is your responsibility to ensure that your correct documents are uploaded and received. Please only submit documents listed in the Required Documents section. 

    This job is being filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive civil service.


    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.

  • 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. Learn 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.

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