This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Trial Attorney

Department:Department Of Justice

Agency:Offices, Boards and Divisions

Job Announcement Number:12-ATT-007

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$74,872.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, March 7, 2012 to Friday, April 6, 2012




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent




3 vacancies - Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map


Applications will be accepted from all qualified candidates


This announcement was recently modified to extend the closing date to April 6, 2012. 

The U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency charged with enforcing federally-protected civil and constitutional rights.  The Civil Rights Division's mission comprises two prongs:  (1) vigorous enforcement of the criminal laws prohibiting civil rights abuses, including "color of law" violations by state officers, trafficking in humans, conspiracy to violate federally protected rights, and criminal interference with housing rights; and (2) defending individuals' federal civil rights through a panoply of means including civil litigation, consent orders, settlements, technical assistance, public outreach, and education programs.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, is seeking up to three experienced attorneys for the position of Trial Attorney in the Voting Section in Washington, D.C.  The Civil Rights Division is primarily responsible for enforcing federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit, among other things, unlawful discrimination in voting, education, employment, housing, police services, public accommodations and facilities, and federally funded and conducted programs.  The Voting Section enforces federal statutes designed to safeguard the right to vote.  These statutes include the Voting Rights Act; the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act; the National Voter Registration Act; and the Help America Vote Act.

All Civil Rights Division offices are ideally situated near metro stations or other public transportation, and are conveniently accessible to restaurants, museums and other D.C. area attractions.  Most jobs in the Division offer alternative work schedules and other family friendly opportunities.  Most employees who commute by public transportation are provided a transit subsidy benefit.




  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Background and/or Security Investigation required.
  • Relocation expenses have not been authorized.


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The core duties of Trial Attorneys in the Voting Section are: conducting investigations to assess alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and other voting statutes enforced by the Section, including reviewing investigative files, materials and records, and applying relevant case law, interviewing witnesses, requesting additional information and documents, analyzing data and evidence, and drafting written recommendations for further investigation and/or enforcement litigation; developing cases for trial, including conducting written discovery and depositions, developing litigation and trial strategy, drafting complaints, motions and other court filings, representing the United States in federal court at arguments, evidentiary hearings and trial; negotiating settlement agreements and/or consent decrees resolving enforcement matters; assisting in coordinating the federal observer program during elections; and assisting in the administrative review of voting changes submitted pursuant to the preclearance requirements of the VRA. The complexity of the matters assigned, and the level of supervision required, varies depending on the Trial Attorney's years of specialized experience.


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Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and have a minimum of one (1) year post-J.D. experience.  Applicants must have excellent interpersonal skills, be mature and self sufficient, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and possess excellent professional judgment.

In addition, the following qualifications are preferred: (1) substantive litigation experience, such as handling discovery, litigation strategy, motions practice, brief writing, interviewing witnesses, taking and defending depositions, trial preparation, trial practice, and negotiations; (2) substantive knowledge of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and other statutes enforced by the section; (3) familiarity with the various analytical approaches utilized to review voting changes under Section 5 of the VRA; (4) experience investigating and/or litigating voting rights or civil rights cases; (5) experience serving as the lead attorney in federal court cases; (6) familiarity with statistical methodologies used in civil rights cases; (7) federal judicial clerkship experience; and (8) sufficient fluency in one of the languages covered by the Voting Rights Act (such as Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese) so that it can be used in the work of the section, including, inter alia, investigations and election monitoring (claimed proficiency may be tested).




Applicants will be evaluated relative to the qualifications set forth above.


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The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:


You must submit all required information by the closing date.  If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.


The materials you send with your application will not be returned.


The Civil Rights Division participates in the E-Verify Program.


Relocation expenses have not been authorized.


The position requires extended hours and a significant amount of travel.


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.  See


The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any non merit factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities. The Department 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 of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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 documents).  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).


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.  


Additional information about the Division’s hiring process is available on our website at:


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To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and a writing sample (a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product) by one of the two following means:
Diane Turner
Fax: 202-514-6603
No telephone calls please.

Application mailed using government postage or through an internal government mail system will not be accepted.


The following documents are required and must be received by the closing date of this announcement:
1.  Your resume;
2.  A cover letter; and
3.  A writing sample


Diane Turner
Phone: (202)514-3934
Fax: (202)514-6603
Agency Information:
U S Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
20530 Fax: (202)514-6603


Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your eligibility for consideration.  Qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.   Final selection for these positions will be subject to budgetary funding constraints.

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