Attorney Advisor
Office of the General Counsel - Washington, DC

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USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Our vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

The Office of the General Counsel provides legal advice and services to all agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture in administering USDA programs and activities within the defined geographic area.

The position is located in the Office of General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, Civil Rights, Civil Rights Labor and Employment Law Division Litigation Section.
This is a term, time-limited appointment with an initial duration no less than 13 months and can be extended up to a total of 4 years.

  • Occasional Travel
  • 4 times per year

  • No

  • Must be a U.S Citizen
  • Must clear a background investigation.

DUTIES: Back to top As a Attorney-Advisor, you will be responsible for the following:
  • The incumbent performs legal services primarily in connect ion with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, governing employment discrimination matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the federal sector, other civil rights matters, and in complaints/appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), other litigation responsibilities related to employment discrimination, labor and employment law in other forums and such others duties as may be assigned by the Associate or Assistant General Counsel .
  • Reviewing investigative reports, preparing complaints and other pleadings in administrative proceedings; preparing exhibits and interviewing witnesses in the preparation for trial or hearing of such matters; participating in prehearing or pretrial conferences; examining and cross-examining witnesses; arguing motions in the course of such proceedings; preparing briefs in support of the Government’s case; preparing and participating in the oral arguments of such matters; preparing complaints and other pleadings in civil or criminal court actions, conferring with appropriate officials regarding case work.
  • Serving as an advisor and consultant to departmental and agency officials and attorneys in other divisions of the Office, attending and giving oral advice at conferences and meetings both internal and external to the Department; maintaining routine contact with administrative officials of the different client agencies; frequently contacting opposing counsel and respondents involved in administrative proceedings and DOJ attorneys; consulting with representatives of other Federal agencies, members of various industries, public interest groups and other members of the general public.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Back to top For consideration, applicants must meet the minimum qualification for attorney positions:
  • Successful completion of a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the America Bar Association (ABA) and have the first professional law degree (LLB or JD) ( Law School transcript required) and
  • Currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Applicants should have demonstrated experience in litigation of federal sector employment discrimination complaints and appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board, excellent writing and excellent negotiation/advocacy skills.

  • Applicants must have 5 years of experience in EEO and/or federal sector employment litigation

Foreign Education : If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.

Bar Membership: Applicant must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-Verify" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
  • Have your salary sent to financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may require a Confidental, Secret, or Top Secret security clearance or be subject to a Public Trust background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations in a condition of employment.
  • May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.

  • Attorney positions are in the excepted service, not the competitive civil service. There is no formal rating system for applying veteran's preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service.
  • However, if you are eligible for veteran's preference in hiring, you are encouraged to included that information in your application along with the supporting documentation,e.g., SF-15, DD-14, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other supporting documentation.
  • You will be evaluated based on your qualification for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you describe in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies listed below:
  • Mastery of statutes, regulations and precedents related to employment discrimination, labor and personnel law, as appropriate in order to 1) Defend the Secretary in federal sector complaints of employment discrimination or appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board; (2) develop litigation strategies and procedures; 3) aid the Department of Justice in the trial of complaints of employment discrimination or involving decisions appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board, and other complaints related to employment matters; and (4) determination of the strengths and weaknesses of cases in order to determine whether to negotiate or participate in negotiating settlements on behalf of the Department, including those involving large and small sums of money.
1. Based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by your academic credentials: law school ranking, class ranking, specialized training or experience related to the areas of law handled by the Office of the General Counsel.

2. Ability to analyze data, draw conclusions and recommend solutions/gather and compile data and information.

3. Ability to negotiate.

4. Ability to analyze complex legal problems and make sound decisions.

5. Ability to communicate in writing.

6. Ability to communicate orally.

7. Knowledge of administrative law and procedures, and experienced litigation in Federal court and before administrative bodies.

8. Knowledge of relevant statutes and regulations.

Note : If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be adjusted to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To view the application form, visit:

BENEFITS: Back to top You can review our benefits at:

The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: .

OTHER INFORMATION: • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
• BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
• If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
• Relocation expenses are not authorized.
• This is a bargaining unit designated position.
• Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

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