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    Department of the Interior structures its SES positions into categories to determine the minimum pay for each position. This is a Category 3 position. The minimum pay for this position is $164,200. Pay is set based on consideration of the selectee's current salary and other factors.

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    The Associate Solicitor has primary responsibility for managing the Division of Water Resources, which includes the Branch of Water and Power and the Branch of Indian Water Rights. Management of the Division includes working with the Solicitor and the Deputy Solicitor in formulating policies of the Solicitor's Office with respect to organization, budget, personnel, and legal activities. Additional responsibilities include:

    • Providing legal advice and service to the Secretary and his or her staff, the Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, the Solicitor, other offices, bureaus, and agencies for the management of water resources litigation in the interest of the Department.
    • Ensures that Departmental and bureau initiatives to address water crises and conflicts are supported through the delivery of sound and timely legal advice and counsel.
    • Ensures that important institutional interests of all bureaus are vigorously represented and coordinated.
    • Supports and defends Departmental and bureau efforts to enhance sustainable, renewable hydropower generation at Federal facilities. Advises on the integration of Departmental activities with programs of other departments and agencies of Federal, State, and local governments.
    • Suggests and develops proposed legislation for recommendation to Congress.
    • Coordinates and communicates with Members of Congress about Departmental programs, and assists other Departmental officials in testifying on matters within the Division's areas of responsibility.
    • Works closely with the Justice Department in representing the Department as counsel in litigation brought by the Department or against the Department in areas falling within the Division's responsibility. This representation involves advising the Solicitor and the Department of Justice on legal strategy and substantive presentations. The litigation responsibilities also include participating in settlement negotiations and meetings with other government agencies and others on the subject.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - -

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    Applications will be accepted from all groups of qualified individuals who are U.S. Citizens.

    Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

  • Job family (Series)

    0905 Attorney

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens
    • More requirements are listed within the Qualifications and Evaluations Tab.

    -A public trust background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
    - Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs.
    -The incumbent of this position will be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278) and the supplemental form, Confidential Statement of Employment and Financial Interest (DI-278). All forms must be filed within 30 days after the selection for this position.
    -Persons selected for initial appointment to the career Senior Executive Service must have their Executive Core Qualifications certified by an Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board prior to appointment and will be required to serve a one-year probationary period.


    As a basic requirement, applicants must demonstrate the specialized legal experience for this position and demonstrate experience directly related to managing a legal program including responsibility for the development, implementation, monitoring, and review of policies, procedures, and operations of a legal program. A qualified candidate must demonstrate progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability as outlined under the Technical Qualifications (TQs) and Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. Failure to meet this basic qualification requirement, all of the executive and technical qualification factors, and education requirement will automatically disqualify an applicant.

    You must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of an executive. All applicants must address each of the TQs listed below. Unless you are currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM and been certified by OPM, you must also submit a narrative statement covering each of the ECQs listed below. EACH TQ AND EACH ECQ MUST BE ADDRESSED SEPARATELY. Your examples should be clear and concise, and emphasize your level of responsibility, scope, and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives, and level of contacts. The narrative addressing ECQs should follow the format provided at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/executive-core-qualifications/. Narrative statements may not exceed 2 pages for each individual TQ and 10 pages total for the ECQs. If you exceed these limits or fail to address TQ or ECC specifically, YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Applicants who use "see resume" as a response will not receive consideration for this position.

    Technical Qualifications
    1. Knowledge of water law, Tribal water rights and trust responsibilities, and Reclamation Law.
    2. Ability to manage a geographically dispersed legal program; to provide responsive client legal services; and to coordinate litigation and administrative proceedings involving water rights and operations of federal water facilities.
    3. Ability to provide professional legal advice and counsel to high-level officials.
    4. Knowledge of legal issues, laws, and legislation impacting the Department’s interests, programs, and goals in the area of water and power, Indian water rights, and Federal facilities compliance.
    Executive Core Qualifications

    ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE: You must have demonstrated an ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. Leadership Competencies: Creativity & Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision.
    ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE: You must demonstrate the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building.
    ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility.
    ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN: This ECQ involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management.
    ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS: This ECQ involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating.

    FUNDAMENTAL COMPETENCIES: The following competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Written Communication, Continual Learning, Public Service Motivation.


    You must be a graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar. Proof of bar certification will be required prior to appointment.

    Additional information

    -Relocation expenses are not authorized.
    -Veterans Preference does not apply to the Senior Executive Service SES
    -Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs.
    --The duties of this position are suitable for telework with supervisor approval.
    --If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, upon selection, 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.
    --OPM must authorize any employment offers we make to current or former (within the last 5 years) political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employees in the executive branch. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employee in the executive branch, you must disclose that to the Human Resources Office.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Applicants who meet all the mandatory technical and executive core qualifications will be evaluated by a panel of SES members to determine the degree to which they possess each of the listed qualifications. This evaluation will determine which applicants are best qualified. Total background, including experience, education, awards, self-development, and training will be reviewed. This information will be obtained from the application package, including the required narrative statements for the technical and executive core qualifications.
    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

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    Required Documents

    1. REQUIRED. Your resume – it must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement. Insufficient information will result in a not qualified rating. It is recommended that you include the following information: Full name, address, telephone numbers, bar membership information, educational information, information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position.
    2. REQUIRED. A narrative statement addressing each of the TQs and ECQs. Each ECQ and TQ must be addressed separately. ECQ narrative statements must not exceed 10 pages total and 2 pages for each individual TQ and each individual ECQ. OR... If you are a graduate of an approved SES Candidate Development Program, you must include a copy of the OPM certification of eligibility and a narrative statement addressing only the technical qualifications. OR...If you are a current or former SES member, you must submit documentation of your SES status and a narrative statement addressing only the technical qualifications.
    3. REQUIRED. If you are a current Federal employee, a copy of a recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that indicates Federal status, grade, tenure, and type of service. Please remove your social security number and birth date.
    4. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Copy of your most recent annual performance appraisal.
    Note: If a pdf is larger than 4MB, you will need to split the contents of the file.

    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.

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    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.


    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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    How to Apply

    The application package must be received on-line via USAJOBS before 11:59 pm Eastern Time (Washington, DC time) on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete application, you will not be considered. If applying online poses a hardship for you, please speak to a Servicing Human Resources Office for assistance, prior to the closing date.

    Instructions for Applying Online: 1) Click the blue "Apply Online" button. 2) If you are not a registered USAJOBS user, please create a new account and follow the instructions to complete your application. If you are a registered user, login in to access your existing USAJOBS profile. 3) As a registered user, select a stored resume and documents to attach to the application. 4) Check the "Certification" box and click the "Apply for this position now!" button located at the bottom of the screen. 5) Address the eligibility and narrative questions. 6) Submit required documents. 7) If you experience technical difficulties during the online application process, please contact the USAJOBS helpdesk.

    If you experience technical difficulties during the online application process, please contact the USAJOBS helpdesk. Note: USAJOBS is compatible with the following browser versions: Internet Explorer 9 or higher, Safari v 5 or higher, Chrome, and Firefox.

    Agency contact information

    Sharon Benitez








    INTERIOR, Office of the Solicitor
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    Mail Stop 157
    Reston, Virginia 20192
    United States
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    Learn more about what it's like to work at Office of the Solicitor, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    We will conduct a qualifications evaluation of applicants who supply all requested material. Qualified applicants will be rated and ranked by a panel. Best qualified candidates will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified of the outcome after completion of the selection process.

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.

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 process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants 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.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/490385300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.