About the Office: The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Western District of Washington is responsible for representing the federal government in nearly all litigation involving the United States in the Western District of Washington (WDWA). This includes civil lawsuits by or against a Department or agency of the United States government (both affirmative and defensive litigation), representation of government officials under certain circumstances, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers. The USAO has an office size of approximately 74 Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) and is divided into two litigating Divisions (Criminal and Civil) as well as an Appellate Division. The USAO’s main office is in Seattle, Washington, with a branch office located in Tacoma, Washington.
Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from qualified people from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBTQ individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: This position will be located in the Civil Division of the WDWA. AUSAs in the Civil Division are responsible for representing the United States government and its Departments, agencies and employees in civil litigation filed in the District. Principle areas of the Division’s defensive practice include cases bought under Title VII alleging discrimination in hiring and employment practices by agencies and Departments of the United States; matters brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, covering a wide range of personal injury claims including medical malpractice arising from treatment received at various federal medical facilities; and immigration litigation. Other areas of practice include judicial review of administrative findings, injunctive proceedings, and defending federal employees accused of constitutional violations.
The AUSAs in the Civil Division participate in litigation at both the trial and occasionally at the appellate levels. They take and defend depositions, propound and answer written discovery, negotiate for settlement, engage in motions practice, try cases in the United States District Court and, at times, write appellate briefs and argue before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The attorney hired for this position will be assigned a variety of defensive civil matters involving various areas of federal law, with a focus on employment litigation. Applicants with prior experience handling one or both of the following types of matters should describe that work in their cover letter:
Due to COVID-19, if selected, you may be expected to telework for an undefined period under the Department’s evacuation authority, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Employees in this status may be notified of a requirement to report in person to the component workplace with an advance notice of not less than 30 days. Prior to a requirement to report to the workplace, employees may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of the component’s telework policy.
Who May Apply: Any United States citizen.
Qualifications: The applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least three years post-J.D. experience. Ideal qualifications include at least five years of post-J.D. litigation experience.
Applicants must demonstrate strong analytical skills and the ability to accurately identify the critical issues in a case. Applicants must also possess superior oral and writing skills, strong research skills, and the ability to exercise good judgment. To be successful, applicants must possess excellent communication and courtroom skills, and exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff and client agencies. Applicants must have a demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment and in the highest ethical manner.
Applicants will be expected to do their own legal research and writing, and will be substantially self-sufficient in preparing day-to-day correspondence and pleadings. Applicants also must demonstrate excellent computer literacy skills to include experience with automated research on the Internet, electronic court filing, and electronic e-mail and word processing systems.
Travel: Occasional travel within and outside the District will be required.
Salary Information: Assistant United States Attorneys’ pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of pay with locality is $78,538 – 176,200.
Location: Seattle or Tacoma, Washington.
Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Application Process and Deadline Date: Interested persons must email the following items in pdf format to the email address listed below:
(a) A cover letter referencing Vacancy Announcement: 22-WDWA-AUSA-08 (Civil) that states
whether the applicant is interested in the Seattle Office, the Tacoma Office or both;
(b) A detailed resume; and
(c) A writing sample meeting the criteria set forth below
Writing Sample: Include a sample of your legal writing, such as a portion or all of an appellate brief, memorandum of points and authorities, or opinion letter. The writing sample should be a recent example of your work and demonstrate your ability to analyze legal issues and present that analysis in written form. The sample should be predominantly your own work. If the document was edited by others, include a cover memo that briefly describes the level of editing that occurred.
No telephone calls please.
Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint and credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
COVID-19 Vaccination: Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.
Equal Employment Opportunity: 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 race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental 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. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.
Reasonable Accommodations: 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.
Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities: The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements. Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.
Suitability and Citizenship: 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. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is 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. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.
Veterans: 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).