Immigration and s Enforcement General Attorney Senior Litigation Counsel (Employment Law) in Washington, District Of Columbia

  • Duties



The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the second largest investigative agency in the Federal government. Created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries around the world. ICE is a key component of the DHS layered defense approach to protecting our nation. For additional information about ICE and career opportunities go to

Who May Apply:

  • United States Citizens . View Common Definitions of terms found in this announcement.

Organizational Location: This attorney position is located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Field Legal Operations (FLO), Washington, DC.

NOTE:One or more positions may be filled using this vacancy announcement.

This is non-bargaining unit position. Learn more about this agency


As a Senior Litigation Counsel, the incumbent renders specialized expert advice to OPLA's Field Legal Operations (FLO) managers, field managers and employment law attorneys with respect to the most complex and challenging employment law matters facing ICE. The issues addressed will include those that are novel or without clear legal precedent, have a significant or national impact, are sensitive in nature, or involve highly skilled or high profile adversaries. The legal work performed is of the utmost complexity, requires strategic thinking and excellent judgment, and often involves innovative or precedent-setting solutions. The incumbent's responsibilities will primarily involve:

  • providing advice and serving as a subject matter expert to FLO, OPLA field mangers and field employment law attorneys;
  • assisting in providing national/regional trainings for field employment attorneys and managers;
  • maintaining an active caseload including, but not limited to, the handling of OPLA attorney cases and matters;
  • collaborating with the OPLA Labor and Employment Law Division (LELD) on matters of national significance;
  • reviewing significant written product drafted by the field employment law attorneys;
  • assisting the OPLA field managers in mentoring inexperienced field employment law attorneys; and
  • assisting OPLA managers in assigning work to the field employment law attorneys.

Applicants must also possess the following characteristics and competencies: integrity, judgment, organizational skills, communication skills, reliability, perseverance, decisiveness, initiative, professionalism, the ability to function independently and as part of a team, interpersonal relationship skills, and outstanding written and oral advocacy skills. The selectee will be required to have or be able to obtain a security clearance at the Top Secret level.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

US Citizens

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0905 Attorney

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  • Attorneys

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation and drug screen
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must certify registration with Selective Service
  • Complete Application Package (see How to Apply Tab)
  • Relevant Experience (see Qualifications and Evaluation Tab)

Applicants must possess a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school.


Applicants must have at least 5 years of experience handling federal sector employment law issues at the GS-15 grade level or equivalent experience in the private sector, including significant experience litigating cases in hearings before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), arbitrators, and other fora.

Qualifications by Closing Date: Unless otherwise noted, you must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement, . Please note that qualification claims will be subject to verification.


Applicants must be a graduate of a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Additional information

E-Verify: DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

Promotion Potential: This position is at the Full Performance Level (FPL) of the position, GS-15.

Trial Period: New attorneys to the Federal government will be required to serve a trial period of 2 years.

Direct Deposit: All federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

Veterans Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veteran's preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor considers veteran's preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring.

  • Are you a Veteran? DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 5-point preference.
  • SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 10-point preference. Financial Disclosure: If you are hired, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days after appointment.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your resume and other applicant information should reflect the breadth of your experience, expertise, and/or training in the following areas:

  • Subject matter expertise handling federal sector employment law issues;
  • Excellence in legal writing and research as evidenced by briefs, memoranda, and/or advisory position papers;
  • Excellent oral communication skills;
  • Dedication to the job and positive attitude towards work conducted for clients, colleagues, and stakeholders;
  • A superior work ethic as evidenced by strong case and time management skills, strong organizational skills and the capability to handle a large volume of work with very limited supervision.
  • Strong leadership skills, including a demonstrated ability to suggest innovative solutions to solve complex and difficult problems while dealing tactfully and diplomatically with multiple stakeholders;
  • The use of good judgment; and
  • The ability to lead, mentor, and train others.

The cover letter is required as part of this application. It must specifically address - item by item in separate, numbered and bulleted paragraphs - the applicant's knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience for each of the relevant duties listed above and must also discuss his or her characteristics and competencies for the position.

Your qualification for this position will be evaluated based upon the responses you provide on the job specific questionnaire and other required documents as part of the application process for this position.

All the 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 other means, including the interview process. This verification could occur at any stage of the application process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible, not hiring you, or for firing you after you begin work.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

In addition to completing an on-line questionnaire and submitting an on-line Resume, the documents listed below MUSTbe received by the closing date of this announcement.

Bar Membership: You must submit proof of your current membership (card or other documentary evidence) or certificate of good standing from the bar to which you are licensed. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Certificate of Good Standing: If you are selected, before you enter on duty you must submit proof that you are a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. If you do not have a bar card or other documentary evidence as proof of your current membership, you must submit a certificate of good standing. The proof must be dated within the previous six months.

Writing Sample:A writing sample must be submitted as part of your application package. It should not exceed ten (10) double-spaced pages. Please do not submit attachments. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

Cover Letter: You must submit a cover letter detailing the skills, legal experience, and interests that qualify you for the position with your application package. This documentation must be submitted with your application package.

It must contain the following information:

  • your full name;
  • home address;
  • home and work e-mail addresses;
  • home, work, and cell telephone numbers;
  • name of the law school, year of graduation, and year admitted to the bar. Are you a current or former Federal employee?Submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action which shows competitive service appointment, tenure group, and salary. If you are applying for a higher grade, please provide the SF-50 Form which shows the length of time you have been in your current/highest grade.

You must submit all required information by the closing date. Also if you do not provide an email address, you will not be notified of the outcome of your application.

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.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave

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 to Apply


How to Apply

To apply for this position, you must complete the Occupational Questionnaire and submit the required documentation outlined under the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS section below.

The complete initial Application must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 10/02/2017 to receive consideration.

  • To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log into your existing USAJOBS account . Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire.
  • Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. Note:To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position.

Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or email. If you need further assistance, please contact the OPLA representative listed on this announcement.

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Agency contact information
Lynn Phillips

(214) 905-5311




Learn more about this agency

Next steps

Notification Process: Once the online questionnaire is received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made, you will be notified of your rating and/or if you were referred to the hiring official for further consideration.

After review of the application packages is complete, highly qualified applicants may be contacted for interviews. All qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. The process of consideration of applicants may take several weeks. You will be notified of the outcome. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted. If you are selected, a suitability/security background investigation will be conducted.

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, DHS requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation.

NOTE: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

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

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 09/15/2017 to 10/02/2017

Salary: $131,767 to $161,900 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 15

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent