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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Assistant General Counsel
Agency:  Federal Housing Finance Agency
Job Announcement Number:  OGC-13-01

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$111,471.00 to $218,978.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States
United States Citizens


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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is a small, dynamic, fast-paced federal agency whose work has far-reaching impact. If selected, you will be part of an integrated team playing a key role in the current and future U.S. housing market. 

At FHFA, every employee is critical in meeting our mission. Our team primarily consists of examiners, accountants, economists, financial analysts, information technology specialists, and attorneys – which make up our Mission Critical Occupations (MCO).  However, we also employ budget and procurement specialists, human resources specialists, administrative, facilities and space management professionals and student interns.

We offer competitive salaries and a great benefits package.

This position is located in the Office of General Counsel



  • U.S. Citizen Required


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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is a small, dynamic, fast-paced federal agency whose work has far-reaching impact. FHFA is responsible for providing effective supervision, regulation and housing mission oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) to promote their safety and soundness, support housing finance, support affordable housing and community investment, and support a stable and liquid mortgage market.


FHFA is seeking an Assistant General Counsel to serve on the Housing & Community Investment Team within FHFA's Office of General Counsel (OGC). The Assistant General Counsel will be responsible for analyzing and recommending solutions for complex legal and factual questions concerning the interpretation and application of statutes, regulations, policies, actions, legal instruments and other documents as they apply to FHFA, the Enterprises, and the Banks and their members. Given the size of the Enterprises and the Banks and the breadth of their involvement in the financial markets, the legal issues presented to the employee may involve complex matters of first impression. Such issues typically require detailed and creative legal analysis to determine how best FHFA may address the underlying matters. The resolution of standard and complex legal issues relating to the Enterprises and the Banks, which are among the largest financial institutions in the country, may affect depository institutions and housing finance markets throughout the United States. Typical work assignments include: Provide legal assistance and advice to the Director, senior management, OGC supervisors, Housing & Community Investment policy staff, and FHFA examiners (Clients) with respect to supervisory issues pertaining to the Enterprises' and Banks' affordable housing and community investment missions, as applicable, and the Enterprises' charter act authorities and activities, including supporting FHFA's role as the Enterprises' conservator.

Resolve complex factual, legal or policy issues requiring appropriate research and analysis in all areas of applicable law and regulation. Provide technical assistance to the Enterprises, the Banks, Bank members and the public on program law matters, programs and activities of FHFA, the Enterprises and the Bank System.

Prepare, and assist in the preparation of, issues papers, legal opinions, memoranda, decision documents and proposed and final regulations, and assist the Clients in analyzing regulations or policies of other agencies as they may affect FHFA, the Enterprises or the Banks.

Serve as an advisor and liaison to senior FHFA staff to ensure that the legal advice provided by OGC is consonant with their needs and with FHFA's policies.

Participate in, or may lead, team projects involving FHFA representatives or inter-agency groups charged with developing specific policy options and recommendations for the Director. May appear as legal representative of FHFA before the Enterprises, the Banks, executive departments, Congress, other Federal agencies and inter-agency groups as necessary.

Analyze proposed legislation, regulations, and policies that may affect FHFA, the Enterprises, and the Banks. May assist in the preparation of legislative proposals and FHFA testimony, and provide legislative drafting assistance to Congressional staff.

May provide guidance to lower-level employees.


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Qualifying experience for the EL-15 level includes six years of post J.D./LL.B experience five years of which involved the following specialized experience. 

Qualifying experience for the EL-14 level includes five years of post J.D./LL.B experience four years of which involved the following specialized experience. 

Provided legal advice generally on affordable housing and community-investment law, administrative law, and the general law of federal agencies;

Provided legal advice on mission statutory and regulatory compliance by the Enterprises and the Banks;

Drafted regulations, regulatory interpretations and other legal memoranda;

Knowledge of the operations of the Enterprises and the Banks;

Knowledge of residential mortgage finance and housing laws generally.


All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.


Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sectors. Qualifying education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the Department of Education. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review in our office, in other Federal agency personnel offices, and on OPM's web site at  


Basic Qualification Requirements:  Applicant must have at least 5 years of post-J.D./LL.B. experience, four years of which were in the specialisty area of the position, and be and active member of the bar in good standing in any state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.



Applicants must meet all qualifications requirements (listed above) by Wednesday, April 03, 2013 to be eligible for further consideration. Eligibility will be based on clear documentation indicating that the applicant's training and experience are of the scope, quality and level of responsibility sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of  position.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, color, religion, gender, status as a parent, sexual orientation, political affiliations, national origin, age, disability, or any other non-merit factor.


Candidates who meet the basic qualification requirements for this vacancy will be rated according to Category Rating Procedures. Based on your veteran's status and responses to the job specific questionnaire you will be assigned to a pre-defined quality category. There will be three quality categories: Highly Qualified, Well Qualified and Qualified. Generally, only candidates in the top quality category will be referred to the hiring manager.

All of the information you provide will be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references or through other means, such as 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.


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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes all of the standard federal benefits plus additional agency specific benefits.  Our unique benefits package includes the following:

DENTAL. FREE comprehensive dental coverage to employees and their family members. There is a $2,500 annual maximum per employee and a separate orthodontic benefit for dependent children to age 19. (Annual deductibles apply.)

VISION. FREE vision care coverage. This benefit covers the employee and all eligible dependents. (Co-pay applies.) Coverage includes reimbursement according to a fee schedule for eye examinations, frames and contact lenses once every 12 months.

TRANSPORTATION - 100% of the cost of your public transportation commuting expenses (e.g., vanpool, metro bus, metro train). The first $230 is tax-free and up to $90 per month is provided to cover the cost of parking at Metro operated lots.

LIFECYCLE PROGRAM – FHFA's Life Cycle Program provides a taxable distribution each fiscal year for various health and wellness related expenses.   This benefit is based on your employment status on October 1st of each fiscal year.

HEALTH INSURANCE - A variety of Federal Employee Health Benefit plans to choose from which can be paid from pre-tax income. FHFA pays 90% of the bi-weekly premium.

RETIREMENT -The Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered program consisting of: Basic Benefit (a retirement pension) Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (see below).  As of Jaunaury 1, 2013, new employee will automacially contruibute to the FERS-RAE retirement system.  Current Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees will remain under the CSRS retirement system.

RETIREMENT SAVINGS -  The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and offers the same type of savings and tax benefits provided under 401(k) plans. A FERS employee can contribute up to $17,500 per year. The agency will match contributions up to the first 5 percent. A CSRS employee, you can contribute up to $17,500 per year. CSRS employees do not receive any agency contributions. Employees age 50 or older as of December 31, 2013, may contribute an additional $5,500 for catch-up contribution per year.

 401K PLAN . In addition to the (TSP), FHFA implements a 401(k) retirement savings plan that is administered by T. Rowe Price. Employees contributing at least 3% to the TSP may participate in FHFA's 401(k) plan. 401(k) plan participants may contribute up to 10% of their salary on a pre-tax basis, with agency matching contributions of up to 3%.

 LEAVE. The Federal leave program offers exceptional time-off benefits, including annual leave, sick leave, Family Friendly Leave, Family Medical Leave, and ten (10) paid holidays per year.

LIFE INSURANCE. The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance rogram offers numerous life insurance policy options covering employees and dependents.

COUNSELING SERVICES . The Employee Assistance Program provides free confidential counseling and referral services to you and your family members.

TRAINING. Career development and enrichment training is available in job-related areas.

FITNESS. Free use of an on-site fitness facility which includes a locker room with showers.

Please visit for more detailed information on the Federal benefits programs.


Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program: The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies.  If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if:  1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. Well-qualified candidates are those who are rated in the well-qualified or highly-qualified category. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority.  Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website 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.   See

Veterans' Preference:  If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your résumé.  Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified if selected.

Veterans claiming preference who have met the basic qualification requirements will be placed ahead of other applicants in the category to which they are assigned based upon the rating of their application. 


REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: FHFA provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, except when doing so would pose an undue hardship on the agency. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at (202) 649-3088. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Ethics: FHFA employees are subject to government-wide ethical standards of conduct, financial disclosure requirements, and post-employment prohibitions. In addition, certain FHFA employees are prohibited from accepting compensation from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a two-year period after terminating employment with FHFA. Furthermore, to avoid financial conflicts-of interest or the appearance of conflicts-of-interest, FHFA employees may need to divest or sell certain assets they, their spouse, or minor children own or control, including securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Home Loan Banks. Employees who work on Federal Home Loan Bank issues may need to sell or divest financial interests with any of the Federal Home Loan Bank members, which may include stock in bank holding companies, insurance companies, and other financial services firms. Questions regarding these requirements and prohibitions should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at (202) 649-3088.

Additional Information:

New federal employees are required to fulfill a one-year probationary period.

Favorable adjudication of the appropriate level of background investigation is a condition of employment at FHFA.

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

There is currently only one vacancy available. However, should additional vacancies become available within three months from the opening date of this announcement, eligible applicants for this position may be referred for consideration for the additional position(s).


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your Resume or CV          

2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, April 03, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to 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. 
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. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 821409.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.





  • Resume, CV or application
  • Responses to the questionnaire


Jerri Fitzpatrick
Phone: (202)649-3733
Agency Information:
Federal Housing Finance Agency
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC


After all application packages have been received, we will review your materials to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided in his/her resume and the completed Supplemental Questionnaire.  Applicants deemed best-qualified may be contacted for an interview.  We anticipate making a final job offer for this position within 45 days after the deadline for applications.  All candidates will be notified of the final disposition.

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