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

Job Title:Experienced Attorney (FOIA)

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Citizenship and Immigration Services

Job Announcement Number:CIS-831107-COU

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$89,033.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, February 13, 2013 to Wednesday, February 27, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States


United States Citizens


Do you desire to be a part of the vibrant United States immigrant admission process, to protect American interests, and to secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and its Office of the Chief Counsel are calling.

As part of both USCIS and the DHS Office of the General Counsel, you will work with other highly talented attorneys and colleagues on a rich array of intellectually challenging, critically important, cutting edge legal issues. DHS components work collectively, and USCIS strives, to enforce and administer immigration laws fairly, efficiently, and in keeping with the law, at the same time that we seek to prevent terrorism, secure borders, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission are achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join OCC, USCIS, and DHS.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), seeks an experienced attorney with demonstrated experience in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act (PA), the Federal Records Act, and other laws related to the disclosure of federal records for the Commercial and Administrative Law Division. The selectee will work at USCIS Headquarters in Washington, DC.


  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Background Security Investigation
  • Drug Screening


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The selectee for this vacancy will serve as a senior attorney providing advice to the Chief of the Commercial and Administrative Law Division, the Chief Counsel, the National Records Center (NRC) in Lee's Summit, MO, and USCIS officials in USCIS Headquarters. The attorney would report to the Deputy Chief of the Commercial and Administrative Law Division. This position has a particular focus on FOIA, privacy, records, and disclosure law. Among other duties, this position involves supporting the United States Attorney's Office in federal district court FOIA and PA litigation (e.g. drafting declarations and Vaughn indices, preparing and/or reviewing court pleadings, etc.), responding to administrative appeals of FOIA/PA requests, advising the NRC and USCIS Headquarters program offices on FOIA, privacy, records, and other disclosure issues, and responding to federal, state, and administrative court subpoenas . This position involves substantial written work product and requires outstanding writing and editing skills. The successful candidate will have strong communication skills and excel at managing multiple priorities, meeting difficult deadlines, and working cooperatively with both attorneys and non-attorneys. The attorney will provide oral and written legal advice and develop and conduct training. The attorney will also need to demonstrate the ability to represent and advocate for USCIS interests in federal court litigation. Demonstrated experience in FOIA, privacy, records, and disclosure law is an essential qualification for this position.


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Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have three or more years of professional legal experience, acquired after being admitted to the bar, commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

All applicants will be rated against the following factors:

1.  Broad working knowledge of the FOIA, PA, the Federal Records Act, and disclosure law.

2.  Ability to represent and advocate for USCIS effectively in federal court litigation.

3.  Ability to resolve questions and provide accurate legal advice to both attorneys and non-attorneys on complex legal matters.

4.  Ability to handle a heavy workload and meet deadlines.

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

The candidate selected will be required to obtain a Secret security clearance and continued employment is contingent on being able to maintain a Secret clearance.

A Certificate of Good Standing with a state's bar licensing authority will be required prior to entering on duty.

U.S. Citizenship: Candidate must be a United States citizen and present proof of citizenship, if selected.

Qualifications by Closing date: You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement. Please note that qualification claims will be subject to verification.

Background Security Investigation: A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment 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.

A Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (SF-450) will be required for certain positions. You may be asked to complete the necessary Financial Disclosure Report to meet that requirement.

Drug Testing: If position has been identified as a Testing-Designated position under DHS's Drug-Free Workplace Plan, any individual tentatively selected will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

Selective Service Registration: Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will be required to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.

Residency Requirement: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The residency requirement states that candidates must have, for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position(s); (1) resided in the United States; or (2) worked for the United States Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or Military capacity; or (3) been dependent of a U.S. Federal or Military employee serving overseas. Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant's personnel file is located, the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant's "Study Abroad" program, the church records for the applicant's overseas church mission, and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas. Applicants must be able to provide information at a later date if deemed necessary.

Probationary Period: The candidate selected is required to serve a probationary trial period.


You will be evaluated based upon your resume, citing qualifications and work experience, your writing samples, and if, selected for interview, your responses provided during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain what you did and the outcome.

All information you provide may be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references and through means, such as the interview process. The verification could occur at any stage of the application process. An exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible, not hiring you, or firing you after you begin work.


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Working with the Federal Government offers comprehensive packages that include; annual and sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, flexible spending and dependent care accounts, long term care insurance, and participation in the Federal Employment Retirement System. In some localities, USCIS also offers benefits/flexibilities that may be attractive to a new professional, e.g. flexible work schedules, and transit subsidies. The following web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits to most federal employees. To find out more, click here: http://www.opm./insure/health.




Promotional Potential: This position starts at the GS-13, GS-14, or GS-15 level, depending on such factors as the selectee's experience and current salary, and has promotion potential to the GS-15/10. When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

This job is being filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive civil service.


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Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

To begin, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section.

We strongly encourage you to apply online.

If you cannot apply online, you must contact the office listed below at least one day prior to the closing date for instructions.

Applications will NOT be accepted by mail, email or fax.

Relocation expenses will NOT be reimbursed for this position.


In addition to completing an online questionnaire and submitting a resume, the following supporting documents must be received by the closing date of this announcement.

Applicants must submit:

Examples of writing skills as demonstrated by legal briefs, etc. of no more than 10 pages.

If your resume does not contain specific information showing how you meet the five qualification factors listed below, you are encouraged to include this information in a cover letter.

1.  Broad working knowledge of FOIA, PA, the Federal Records Act, and disclosure law. Candidates should identify experience in other areas of administrative law.

2.  Ability to represent and advocate for USCIS effectively in federal court litigation.

3.  Ability to resolve questions and provide accurate legal advice to both attorneys and non-attorneys on complex matters.

4.  Ability to handle heavy workload and meet deadlines.

5.  A declaration under penalty of perjury that the applicant is a member in good standing with the bar of a state, territory of the U.S., the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and that his or her fitness to practice law or conduct as an attorney have never been challenged in any jurisdiction, OR if either has been challenged, a sworn declaration concerning the facts and circumstances together with any explanation the applicant may deem appropriate. This notarized sworn statement must be dated within 3 months of the date the application is submitted, and must be submitted by all applicants.

If you are or have been a FEDERAL EMPLOYEE, please submit a copy of your last Notification of Personnel Actions, Form SF-50, which show tenure group, promotion potential and salary, and your most recent or last performance appraisal.

Your application and all supporting documentation must be received by 11:59PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date.

Note that you will be allowed to apply more than once but the last application is the only one that will be used.


Phone: (202)272-1420
Agency Information:
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 4210
Washington, DC


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. You will be notified of the outcome.

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