The United States Department of Justice
The position is located in San Diego, California – America’s Finest City! San Diego has year-round perfect weather with 70 miles of coastline and amazing beaches. Some local major attractions include: Balboa Park, the World Famous San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, Belmont Park and Seaport Village. San Diego has beautiful golf courses, hiking trails, the Del Mar Race Track, and Comic-Con. San Diego is home to nationally recognized colleges and universities including University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California is one of the largest in the country. The office prosecutes federal crimes and defends the interests of the United States Government in civil cases. The Southern District of California encompasses San Diego and Imperial Counties and includes a branch office located in Imperial, California.
The SDCA is home to the largest concentration of Navy and Marine Corps installations in the world. The entire Southern boundary of the District borders the Republic of Mexico. Contained within the district are international ports of entry at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico (two ports, East and West) and Andrade. The entire west boundary of the District lies on the Pacific Ocean, with a major port in San Diego.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is currently seeking experienced attorneys for one or more positions as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (“AUSA”) in the Criminal Division. Positions are available in the San Diego office.
The Criminal Division is organized into seven sections, which consist of the Border Enforcement Section, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF Section), the Violent Crimes and Human Trafficking Section, the Major Frauds and Public Corruption Section, the National Security and Cybercrimes Section, the Asset Recovery Section, and the Appellate Section. (See the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s website www.justice.gov/usao-sdca for a detailed description of each section.)
Commensurate with experience and needs of the Office, AUSAs may be assigned to different sections in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. New hires are expected to start in the Border Enforcement Section. The Border Enforcement Section is the largest section in the Criminal Division and accounts for approximately 95 percent of the cases prosecuted in the Southern District of California.
The Border Enforcement Section handles a large volume of reactive cases that arise from policing the 141-mile long border between California and Mexico, six Ports of Entry, and the roughly 70 miles of coastline stretching from the U.S.-Mexico border to the northernmost tip of San Diego County. Cases commonly include illegal entry and reentry, drug importation and alien smuggling prosecutions. This section consists of an Intake Team, Fast-Track Team, Immigration Team and four Trial Teams. Border Enforcement Section attorneys try a large number of cases and often oversee the use of investigative tools like search and tracking warrants, undercover operations and confidential sources.
Enclosed is a link to the Southern District of California’s web page for more information about the office.
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. The Benefits link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal Employees.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree and must currently be an active member of a state bar in order to be considered. Proof of an active bar membership is required. One full year of postgraduate legal experience is required.
Preferred Qualifications: Applicants must demonstrate a quick analytical ability and an aptitude for accurately articulating the critical issues in a case. Applicants must demonstrate superior oral and writing skills, as well as strong research and interpersonal skills and good judgment. 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 also have demonstrated excellent computer literacy skills, to include experience with automated research on the Internet, electronic court filing, and electronic e-mail and word processing systems.
AUSAs receive training by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Appointment is subject to an FBI background investigation, including credit, arrest, and drug use inquiries.
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a United States Citizen or National.
- J.D. degree and active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) required.
- Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication to include fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing.
- In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
- Assistant United States Attorneys generally must reside in the district to which he or she is appointed or within 25 miles thereof. See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district-specific information.
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 www.sss.gov
Applications must be submitted through the following link:
Required Application Documents
- You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
- Required – Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process).
- Required – Your cover letter and resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include day/month/year).
- -Required-You will have to upload two (2) Legal Writing Samples. Please attach this document as an “Other” document.
- -Required- The Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Application Form found at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/assistant-u-s-attorney-positions
(Under the Application Form Section in Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word). Please attach this document as an “Other” document
- Required, if applicable – A recent copy of an SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade, and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
- Required, if applicable – To get Veterans’ Preference, you must indicate your preference in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire and you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. See the “How you will be Evaluated” section for details regarding what is appropriate Veterans’ Preference documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans’ preference information in your cover letter or resume.
The point of contact for this Vacancy Announcement is Nitza Williamson, who can be reached at 619-546-9273 or [email protected]
The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 5/25/2020 to receive consideration.
1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
2. Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package. (It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation are submitted prior to the closing date.)
3. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. However, should you not be able to apply online, please contact Southern District of California at (619) 546-8973 or email at [email protected], prior to the closing date of this announcement to request an alternate method of applying.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Evaluation Method: Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all job requirements. An attorney interview panel will then review all qualified applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview. You will be notified if selected for an interview.
The Occupational Questionnaire will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Veterans’ Preference: 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 indicate their preference in response to the appropriate question in their assessment questionnaire (it is also recommended that information is included in their cover letter or resume) and they must submit supporting documentation (e.g., DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) which verifies their eligibility for preference. 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, http://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).
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.
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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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).
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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.