Job Overview

Summary

The Bureau of Justice Assistance's PSOB Program allows the DOJ to recognize the ultimate sacrifice of law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty by providing federal death and disability benefits, and educational assistance to the spouses and children of fallen and catastrophically injured officers.

This position is located in the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and performs those duties of counsel to the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program that may be specified in any OJP Order relating to such duties. The incumbent is well versed in the statutes, orders, rules, and regulations applicable to the adjudication of Federal claims, and is responsible for providing legal advice to the Assistant Attorney General for OJP, the BJA Director, and to the officers, appointees, contractors, and staff of the PSOB Program on the adjudication of PSOB death, disability, and education claims. The incumbent is expected to conduct legal research, to develop legal advice, and to reach legal conclusions. The incumbent is expected to have experience working with public safety officers and/or national public safety organizations. The incumbent has knowledge of the mission, structure, and overall responsibilities of public safety agencies at the state and local level.

This job is being filled at many locations nationwide. Click through to Avue to select the specific location(s) for which you are interested in applying.

Duties

Reviews claims filed under the PSOB Act to render legal advice to PSOB deciding officials as to the legal sufficiency of PSOB claims and as to whether the proposed adjudication of claims is legally supported under the PSOB Act and implementing regulations, affording due deference to the finders of fact in factual determinations.

Reviews and advises on matters concerning the legality of any obligation or claim presented for approval, certification or payment, including as provided for in DOJ Order No. 2110.39A.

Ensures that the language of claim determinations is legally sufficient in articulating the legal and factual grounds for the claim determinations.

Assists with the PSOB deciding officials and PSOB Program staff in obtaining relevant information related to claims from state, local, and Federal agencies, as well as healthcare providers, including through the use of administrative subpoena power.

Serves as the principal attorney in charge of legal matters regarding claims filed under the PSOB Act.

Oversees and manages the process for legal review of the PSOB claims. Responsible for training legal personnel assigned to the PSOB Program, and for the management, assignment, supervision and efficiency of the work of legal personnel.

Reviews and edits the work product of legal personnel assigned to the PSOB Program, ensuring legal and factual accuracy and Program consistency.

Performs legal research in connection with issues that arise in particular claims of the Program and advises on Federal laws and regulations, rules and policies of the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies, opinions of the Agency's General Counsel, the common law, administrative law, and state laws (among others).

Prepares and renders well-reasoned and thorough legal advice, as required, for claims before the Program.

In coordination with the BJA and PSOB Directors, recommends policies and develops procedures and regulations to implement the PSOB Act.

Develops briefs, opinions, and work products pertaining to PSOB claims and determinations. Addresses extremely complex and difficult legal matters which require applying a high order of original and creative legal thought.

In collaboration with the OJP General Counsel, prepares litigation reports that arise out of the processing and adjudication of PSOB claims and assists DOJ litigating divisions in bringing and defending lawsuits related to the processing and adjudication of such claims.

In coordination with the BJA and PSOB Directors and General Counsel, reviews and provides guidance and advice to the OJP Office of the Chief Financial Officer on PSOB-related submissions to the provisions of the President's Budget, including Office of Management and Budget data-call submissions and DOJ spend plans.

Develops policies and procedures to streamline the PSOB legal review process and improve the timeliness of PSOB claim determinations.
Provides guidance to national public safety organizations, survivor groups and the public about the PSOB laws and regulations.
Assists the BJA and PSOB Director in responding to inquiries and correspondence regarding the PSOB Program.

Prepares materials, guide books, and updates to websites to educate stakeholders and the public about the PSOB Program and the PSOB claims process.

Special Requirements: 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). 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).