Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Position: Trial Attorney (Litigation), Department of Energy (Deadline: Nov. 17, 2014 Washington, DC)

Job Title:Trial Attorney (Litigation)
Department:Department Of Energy
Agency:Department of Energy
Job Announcement Number:GC-15-0001


$63,091.00 to $157,100.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, October 21, 2014 to Monday, November 17, 2014




Full-time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC View Map


Applications will be accepted from United States citizens.


Not Applicable




The Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Litigation is seeking an attorney to join the legal team supporting litigation involving challenges to DOE programs, actions and interests.


  • Occasional Travel
  • 5% or less.


  • No


  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • This employer participates in the e-Verify program.
  • Relocation expenses will not be provided.
  • See "Other Information" section regarding Selective Service requirements.


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The incumbent represents DOE's interests in litigation before administrative bodies, Federal district courts, courts of appeal, and other courts to provide legal advice and counsel on highly complex and difficult legal issues, and coordinates and prepares cases with the Department of Justice (DOJ). Cases may include issues of civil procedure, Federal court jurisdiction, and energy, administrative, Constitutional, environmental, contract, civil rights, or other areas of law. Cases assigned to the incumbent may have broad impact on government-wide programs and involve complex factual questions and significant legal issues. Given the scope, complexity, and sensitivity of cases, and the amount of potential damages, the incumbent maintains close working relations with officials at various levels within and outside DOE to resolve substantive problems and issues.


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The following five paragraphs describe many of the duties of a trial attorney in the litigation section of the Department of Energy. In your cover letter, or in a separate memorandum, please describe how your legal experience, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities you have gained from that experience, would prepare you to handle at a high level of professionalism the work described in the following five paragraphs:
  1. Trial Attorneys represent DOE's interests in complex Federal court and administrative litigation. Litigation often involves issues of first impression and complicated facts that are difficult to analyze and prove. negotiate settlements to avoid expensive and time-consuming litigation; provide legal advice to all levels of DOE; and prepare formal litigation assessments and reports for internal use or for use by the DOJ in the prosecution or defense of litigation.
  2. Trial Attorneys coordinate and manage litigation, including formulating the strategy and developing the presentation of the Government's case. Trial Attorneys prepare legal briefs, complaints, answers, memoranda, motions, pre-trial statements, and other court pleadings and documents necessary to the orderly and appropriate conduct of litigation on cases involving extremely complex and difficult legal, policy, and factual issues and conflicting interests. Trial Attorneys prepare discovery papers, including interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admissions, and responses to same. Trial Attorneys conduct oral depositions, and prepare and counsel government witnesses to testify at depositions, trials, hearings, and other proceedings. Government and opposing witnesses may include experts in highly complex technical or scientific fields. Trial Attorneys oversee and coordinate activities of field counsel and others involved in assigned litigation. Trial Attorneys appear in Federal and state courts and before administrative bodies to represent Government's interests, argue motions, knowledgeably examine witnesses, conduct trials, hearings and appellate arguments, and perform all other functions associated with such proceedings.
  3. Trial Attorneys coordinate with DOJ and advance DOE's interests by preparing litigation assessments and reports, supplying necessary information and recommendations, resolving conflicts, and closely guiding the position taken on legal and factual issues. Trial Attorneys review legal pleadings written by DOJ attorneys, suggest legal arguments and procedures to be followed, prepare all types of legal pleadings, and attend trials and other court proceedings to provide immediate expert advice and assistance, present arguments, and otherwise participate in the Government's case presentation.
  4. Trial Attorneys provide legal advice to DOE officials at all levels concerning the subject matter of pending or potential litigation, questions regarding the interpretation of statutes administered by or applicable to DOE and its activities, and DOE issues and actions. Trial Attorneys prepare and review regulations, policy and staff papers, Congressional and other correspondence, and Freedom of Information Act responses having litigation implications. Trial Attorneys respond to subpoenas involving production of documents and requests for testimony of DOE officials in cases in which DOE is not a party. Trial Attorneys provide professional advice on legal issues and policy questions of concern to DOE that arise in the development of proposals for various activities germane to the assignment area related to litigation activities. Trial Attorneys render legal advice and counsel on issues related to DOE's regulatory authority, and advise on pertinent proposed legislation, orders and regulations.
  5. Trial Attorneys handle extremely broad and complex legal problems and issues including statutory interpretations, preparation of legal papers, and review of documents for legal sufficiency. They consult with other attorneys and program officials throughout DOE to delineate legal and policy issues and to negotiate resolutions. Legal questions are often controversial and unique.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: All candidates must meet the minimum education requirements of successful completion of a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) with a professional law degree (LLB or JD) and be a current member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR THIS VACANCY: A preliminary background investigation must be completed before a new employee can begin work. Current Federal employees or other individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background investigation. If selected for this vacancy, you will be required to file the OGE Form 450 (Confidential Financial Disclosure Statement).


You application will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications and that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for this position. When describing your knowledge, skills, and abilities, please be sure to give specific examples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge required, the level of the people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc.

GS-11: Membership in good standing in the bar of a State, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

GS-12: The GS-11 requirement plus one year of professional legal experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled or the GS-11 requirement or a second professional law degree (LL.M) which requires one full year of graduate study.

GS-13: The GS-12 requirement plus one year of professional legal experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled.

GS-14: The GS-13 requirements plus one additional year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled.

GS-15: The GS-14 requirement plus two years of additional experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled. However, the General Counsel may waive one year of additional experience if the ability to perform at the GS-15 level can be demonstrated by previous work experience.

Submit proof of your education with a transcript or list of courses with credit hours, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Unofficial copies are acceptable, official transcripts can be requested if hired for the position. Application materials will not be returned. You can receive credit for education received outside the United States if you can provide evidence that it is comparable to an accredited educational institution in the United States when you apply. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.

You must have a Bar Membership or Certificate of Good Standing for this position. Please provide a copy with your resume.

To preview questions please click here.


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

Applicants eligible for veteran’s preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documents (e.g., DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) to their submissions.
  • Although the point-preference system is not used, applicants eligible to claim a 10-point preference must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, “Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference,” and supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed. SF-15, which lists the types of 10-point preference and the required supporting documents, is available from the Office of Personnel Management website at


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Please submit your application to the mailbox

A complete application should include a cover letter and a current resume with 3 references, and a writing sample sufficiently complex in nature to demonstrate the applicant's skills in the qualifications for this position. 


You must have a bar membership and professional law degree. You do not need to provide official documentation at the time of application; official proof of bar membership and law degree will be requested if selected.

  • 1. SUBMIT YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION WHICH INCLUDES YOUR RESUME and all required supplemental documents in order to be considered.
  • 2. Veterans: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Energy considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their online application. If applicant is eligible to claim a 10-point preference, the applicant must also submit an SF-15 and any other proof that the applicant is eligible for a 10-point preference. If you are currently on active duty, you must submit an official statement of service from your command or other official documentation that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. You can find additional information on veteran's preference at VET GUIDE


Valerie Mills
Phone: 000-000-0000
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC
Fax: 000-000-0000


Once completed applications are received an evaluation will be performed and the most qualified candidates will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration and possible interview. A selection is expected to be made within 60 days. Notification to non-selected candidates is optional, but not expected. 

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