• Help



    The Office of General Counsel (OGC) plays a vital role in the USPTO's mission. The Deputy Solicitor position is located in the OGC under the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor (“Solicitor”) and is responsible for developing, in coordination with the Solicitor, legal positions on patent, trademark and copyright litigation before the Federal Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S district courts, and regional U.S. courts of appeals.

    Learn more about this agency


    The Deputy Solicitor is responsible for: 

    • Supervising, in coordination with the Solicitor, all intellectual property litigation involving the USPTO as a party or amicus, for example litigation involving the USPTO Director in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other federal district and appellate courts as consistent with delegations from the U.S. Department of Justice;
    • Arguing cases at the Federal Circuit and other courts;
    • Participating in discussions with Department of Justice and Department of Commerce attorneys regarding intellectual property issues before the Supreme Court, and representing the USPTO in discussions about potential positions taken by the United States on intellectual property matters in the federal courts;
    • In coordination with the Solicitor, managing the Office of the Solicitor (including hiring employees, staffing cases, training employees and budget management), Senior Counsels and Associate Solicitors on all intellectual property related matters, including intellectual property litigation;
    • Supervising prosecution of disciplinary proceedings concerning alleged violations of rules governing practice before the USPTO;
    • Participating in the development of intellectual property policy;
    • Participating in the development of proposals for, and implementation of, revisions to Manual of Patent Examining Procedures, Trademark Manual of Examining Procedures,  the Code of Federal Regulations involving patent and trademark law and other substantive policy guidance documents;
    • Providing administrative clearances on proposals to amend the Code of Federal Regulations or publish a notice in the Federal Register involving patent and trademark law;
    • Providing accurate and reliable legal advice in all areas of intellectual property law within the authority of the General Counsel of the USPTO;
    • As requested, representing the Director or General Counsel in meetings, on committees, and in connection with a wide variety of legal and other issues and performing other duties of a legal nature as assigned or delegated by the General Counsel; and
    • Engaging in public outreach and speaking engagements with various organizations involved in intellectual property law matters.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0905 Attorney

  • Help


    Conditions Of Employment


    This position is in the Senior Executive Service (SES). As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience indicative of senior executive-level management capability. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the federal service or its equivalent in the private sector. 

    The applicant’s experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional/technical qualifications and executive core qualifications set forth below.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Please Note: Current career SES members, former career SES members with reinstatement eligibility, and SES Candidate Development Program graduates who have been certified by OPM, only need to submit a resume and narrative statement covering each of the Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs) requirements and do NOT need to address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).

    Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). The PTQs for this position are:

    1. Demonstrated experience in litigating intellectual property cases at both federal district and preferably appellate court levels and applying knowledge of intellectual property law in cases involving complex legal and technological issues.
    2. Demonstrated ability to express orally and in writing, complex legal issues in clear and succinct language so that the concepts are understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers. This includes possession of effective presentation skills in business meetings and public forums.
    3. Demonstrated administrative, managerial, and interpersonal skills and experience to effectively (a) lead a highly skilled team of experienced professionals, (b) collaborate with individuals, groups, and organizations having diverse perspectives, and (c) deal with, negotiate successfully with and relate well with the Judiciary, government officials, and external audiences.

    Each response should include a brief summary of the applicant's experience in relation to the specific PTQ and specific examples of accomplishments.

    Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): Applicants must also clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess managerial attributes in the five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Each response should include a brief summary of the applicant's experience in relation to the specific ECQ and specific examples of accomplishments.  For more information about the Executive Core Qualifications please visit this site: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/reference-materials/guidetosesquals_2012.pdf

    • Leading Change - This core qualification involves the 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.
    • Leading People - This core qualification involves 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.
    • 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.
    • Business Acumen - This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial and information resources strategically.
    • Building Coalitions - This core qualification 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.


    A graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be an active member in good standing of the Bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Additional information

    Conditions for Employment: You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.

    Probationary Period: You will be required to serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed the probationary period in the SES.

    Mobility: Organizational and geographical mobility is essential in developing and managing SES leaders and generally is a key to advancement. Therefore, applicants are expected to be mobile and once appointed SES members may be reassigned at the discretion of the appointing authority.

    Non Bargaining Unit position: This is a Non Bargaining Unit position. This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "high".

    Drug Testing: The Deputy Solicitor may be required to submit to a drug test to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and if appointed, the Deputy Solicitor will be subjected to random drug testing procedures.

    Suitability Check: If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.

    E-Verify: The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm

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

    Relocation: Relocation expenses may be authorized.

    Financial Disclosure Report: The Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires senior officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches to file public reports of their finances as well as other interests outside the Government. If selected for this position you will be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278). The OGE 278 is available to the public. The primary purpose of disclosure is to assist agencies in identifying potential conflicts of interest between a filer's official duties and the filer's private financial interests and affiliations.

    Veterans Preference: Veterans preference is not applicable for the SES.

    Selective Service Law: If selected, a male candidate born after December 31, 1959, must certify that he has registered with the Selective Service System or if exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, the candidate must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information. Certification forms are available at most Federal agency personnel offices or from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    Privacy Act: Privacy Act requirements (PL 93-579): the application forms prescribed are used to determine qualification for promotion, reassignment, or employment and are authorized under Title 5, USC sections 3302 and 3360.

    Declaration for Federal Employment: Candidates outside of the USPTO who are referred for consideration will be required to complete the Declaration for Federal Employment, OF-306.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your application. Applicants are encouraged to include in their resume, clear and concise examples of activities or tasks undertaken that shows the scope and quality of work experience, accomplishments, and executive potential. Your application will be evaluated by a rating and ranking panel, and highly qualified candidates will be submitted to the Selecting Official for further review and consideration.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Required

    Drug test required


  • Help

    Required Documents

    A complete application consists of:

    1) A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience. Please Note: Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating.

    2) Your narrative responses to the Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs) and the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Do not write "see resume". Input narrative responses when prompted.

    3) Documentation showing membership in good standing of the Bar.

    Please submit the most current SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal Employee. 

    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.

  • Help


    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.

    Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at https://uspto.entellitrak.com. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate 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 factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (oeeod@uspto.gov) or phone (571-272-8292).

    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.

  • Help

    How to Apply

    The Office of Human Resources strongly encourages applicants applying for positions to read the vacancy announcement in its entirety before submitting application materials for this position. 

    You must submit your application, which demonstrates all eligibility requirements by 11:59pm Eastern time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. 

    All applications must be submitted online. Please be sure to include the information in the "Required Documents" section.

    Submit only the documents requested. Additional documents will not be reviewed by the rating panel. FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT CALL: Clarie Clemons at 571-272-1392 TTD#: (800) 828-1120.   

    United States Patent and Trademark Office programs are accessible to people with disabilities. This document will be converted to an appropriate alternative form for applicants with disabilities. Requests for this or other assistance and accommodation should be directed to the contact above. Vacancy announcement supplemental information; All qualified applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, color, sex, creed, national origin, lawful political affiliation, non-disqualifying handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, affiliation with an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

    Agency contact information

    Clarie Clemons


    550 Elizabeth Lane
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an organization driving toward an ideal intellectual property system for our country and the global economy, is seeking a high performing professional and leader to join its Senior Executive Team as the Deputy Solicitor and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law (“Deputy Solicitor”).

    Next steps

    Candidates are evaluated by an executive rating panel based on the degree to which they meet the PTQs and ECQs, considering the applicant's education, work-related experience, training, awards, and professional recognition.

    You will receive notification through USAJOBS at each of the following points during the application process: (1) application received; (2) applicant assessed for qualifications; (3) applicant referred or not referred; and (4) selected or not selected.

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/529982500. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.