Offices, Boards and Divisions Trial Attorney in District of Columbia, District Of Columbia

  • Duties



The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking an experienced litigator for its Natural Resources Section in Washington, DC.

The Natural Resources Section handles litigation arising under more than 80 natural resource, environmental, and cultural resource statutes, various treaties and international agreements, interstate compacts, and congressional referrals. The Section's cases involve the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Park Service Organic Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and the National Trails System Act, among others. The Section's cases involve the stewardship of our national parks, forests, rangelands, wildlife refuges, and offshore resources; the Nation's trust relationship with Native Americans and Tribes; vital federal programs ranging from nuclear materials management to military preparedness to energy policy and resource extraction; and original actions in the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve boundary and water allocation disputes.

The Section's cases are tried throughout the United States and its possessions and territories in both state and federal court, including the Court of Federal Claims. The Section represents virtually every major federal agency.

Among the Section's varied responsibilities is the defense of real property claims brought in the United States Court of Federal Claims arising under the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. These inverse condemnation cases cover the full spectrum of governmental activity relating to land use and environmental regulation.

Six or more positions may be filled from this vacancy, subject to availability of funds and hiring authorization.

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The Natural Resources Section seeks to hire and cultivate talented trial attorneys and provides its lawyers with frequent and meaningful court experience in a variety of jurisdictions on a broad range of issues. Because of the diverse nature of our docket, the ideal candidate should be comfortable in a "first-chair" role in multiple complex cases, and have demonstrated and substantial experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including pre-trial discovery, presentation of oral argument, and examination of fact and expert witnesses.

The cases handled by the Section require attorneys to achieve intellectual command of complicated facts, scientific principles, and legal issues, often rapidly. Successful candidates will be intellectually curious, driven, and will enjoy having primary responsibilities in sophisticated litigation, proficiency in working with a wide range of experts, and the ability to harness leading edge technology and litigation support in the preparation of cases. Creative thinking and considerable talent in problem-solving -- whether in a litigation or settlement context -- are indispensable. Collegiality is fundamental to our Section. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working collaboratively with other attorneys and providing support and mentorship to less experienced attorneys.

Attorneys in the Natural Resources Section represent the United States in Fifth Amendment takings litigation before the Court of Federal Claims. Cases will involve issues such as border security, military readiness, transportation infrastructure, and flood control.

Travel Required

25% or less - Periodic travel is required.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • #### Job family (Series)

0905 Attorney

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  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • You must complete a background investigation to include drug testing.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable.
  • You must maintain a bank account for direct deposit of salary.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and be a U.S. citizen or national. Applicants should have a strong interest in federal litigation and/or trial work and an exceptional academic background. Judicial clerkship experience and familiarity with defensive civil litigation is highly desirable and knowledge of Fifth Amendment takings, natural resource law, or Indian law is a plus. Applicants must demonstrate superior research, analytical, and writing abilities.

Specific grade level requirements: GS-15: At least 5 years of post-J.D. experience. GS-14: At least 4 years of post J.D. experience.

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary range is:

  • GS-14 ($114, 590 - $148,967)
  • GS-15 ($134,789 - $164,200)

All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.

Additional information

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veteran preference (VP), you should indicate the type of veteran preference (5 or 10 points) you are claiming on your resume. In order To determine your eligibility, you can find additional information at: To verify your veteran preference entitlement, submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214; official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions.

Schedule A: DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department. DOJ also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes to, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at:

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. Additional information is found at:

Suitability and Citizenship: It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys' Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please Note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 90 days after the HR office issues the selection certificate.

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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.

You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position.

Veterans: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents


Required Documents
  • Résumé and cover letter highlighting relevant experience and salary history
  • Writing Sample
  • DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation, as applicable.
  • OF-306 Your resume MUST include full employment information such as periods of employment with month/year started and ended, title of position(s0, PT hours worked, and description of duties. If Federal employment, include the grade of the position(s).
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.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter highlighting relevant experience and salary history, writing sample, OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment (, and DD-214 (if applicable) to:

Lisa Lynne Russell, Chief, Natural Resources Section U.S. Department of Justice: Subject Line: ENRD-18-008-EXC Email applications to: ATTYAPPLY-NRS.ENRD@USDOJ.GOV

If email submission is not possible, please forward your application materials to the following address: U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Natural Resources Section P.O. Box 7611, Ben Franklin Station Washington, DC 20044-7611 Attn: Lisa Lynne Russell, Chief

No telephone calls, please.

You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

Internet Sites: For more information about the Environment & Natural Resources Division, visit the Justice Department's web site at:

This and selected other legal position announcements can be found on the Internet at:

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Agency contact information
Nardia Bennett

(202) 514-0106



Natural Resources Section 601 D St NW PH2232 Washington, DC US

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Next steps

Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We expect to make a selection within 80 days of the closing date of this announcement. You will be notified of the outcome.

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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) for federal employees & job applicants

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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: 03/06/2018 to 03/27/2018

Salary: $114,590 to $164,200 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 14 - 15

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent