Staff Attorney

US U. S. Sentencing CommissionWashington, District of columbiaFull TimeOn Site


Duties

Responsibilities include, but are not be limited to:
(1) Analyzing federal case law and circuit conflicts.
(2) Conducting in-depth legal research related to the application of the federal sentencing guidelines, administrative law, and federal agency practice.
(3) Preparing correspondence, legal memoranda, and analytical reports.
(4) Participating in staff working groups that focus on new legislation, guideline amendments, or other sentencing issues.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

    • This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service.
    • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
    • Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Employment_of_Non-citizens. For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
    • A background security investigation is required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to a selectee's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. A background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
    • All new Commission employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment, mandated by the Federal Compensation Act.
    • All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire.
    • Commission employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the agency, if after November 22, 2021. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.

Qualifications

MANDATORY QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must possess a law degree (JD) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member of the bar of a state, territory, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a Federal court of general jurisdiction. Applicants must have demonstrated experience as listed below. Applicants must have one year of specialized experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. This one year of specialized experience must have been at, or equivalent to, the next lower grade from the grade being considered. For example, to qualify for the GS-13, one year of specialized experience must have been gained at, or equivalent to, the GS-12.

To be considered for this position, applicants must submit a resume and cover letter or separate narrative statement that addresses each KSA factor listed below. Each factor should be addressed separately and include a description of the demonstrated experience that is directly related to the duties, responsibilities, and KSA factors for this position.
  • Excellent legal analysis, writing, and editing skills. The applicant must possess the ability to express, orally and in writing, complex legal issues in clear and succinct language so that the concepts are understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers;
  • Skill in planning, organizing, setting priorities, and completing multiple tasks of varying complexity;
  • Administrative and interpersonal skills; and
  • Demonstrated technical abilities, such as computer experience and knowledge of software applications used to conduct legal research and document preparation.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
Preference will be given to applicants who have one or more of the following qualifications:
  • Federal criminal trial or appellate experience.
  • Experience as a state appellate law clerk or federal judicial law clerk.
  • Outstanding academic credentials and/or law review or moot court experience.

Education

Applicants must possess a law degree (JD) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member of the bar of a state, territory, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a Federal court of general jurisdiction.

Additional information

BENEFITS
The Commission participates in the following federal benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program; the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, federal retirement, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the federal leave program. In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, and the government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.

The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays.

The Commission offers limited regular telework (not full-time) to employees in positions deemed eligible by the staff director and who meet the requirements of an approved telework arrangement in which an employee performs official duties at home or at an approved telework center.

The Commission also offers training opportunities to employees through LinkedIn Learning, and the Judiciary's Online University, which offers academic credit and professional credit programs through web-based learning. These training tools assist Commission employees with taking online courses in a flexible way, by offering training courses in the areas of: staff training and development; credit toward undergraduate degree programs; continuing education and non-credit certificate programs; executive education; contract training; credit credentials courses for continuing professional education and credit for individuals who hold credentials and achieve certifications associated with several globally-recognized sponsored organizations.


  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview.

Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.

  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • Required Documents

    As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

    Resume

    Cover letter or separate narrative statement that addresses each KSA factor listed below. Each factor should be addressed separately and include a description of the demonstrated experience that is directly related to the duties, responsibilities, and KSA factors for this position.
    (1) Excellent legal analysis, writing, and editing skills. The applicant must possess the ability to express, orally and in writing, complex legal issues in clear and succinct language so that the concepts are understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers;
    (2) Skill in planning, organizing, setting priorities, and completing multiple tasks of varying complexity;
    (3) Administrative and interpersonal skills; and
    (4) Demonstrated technical abilities, such as computer experience and knowledge of software applications used to conduct legal research and document preparation.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • How to Apply

    In order to be considered, all applicants must submit an electronic resume and cover letter that address all of the qualification requirements listed in this announcement, and if available, provide a recent job performance evaluation and college transcripts. Applicants will also need to complete the online occupational questionnaire. All applications must be submitted at www.usajobs.gov.


    Agency contact information

    Ann Hanlon

    Phone

    202-502-4500

    Email

    hr@ussc.gov

    Address

    United States Sentencing Commission
    One Columbus Circle NE Suite 2-500
    Washington, DC 20002
    US

    Next steps

    The Office of Human Resources:

    (1) Reviews the applicant's application to ensure the proper materials are submitted.
    (2) Ensures that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) as stated in the vacancy announcement.
    (3) Determines whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for the particular position and notifies the applicant about the status of his or her application.
    Applicants who meet the mandatory qualification requirements will be considered and their application materials will be forwarded to the screening panel for review.

    Applicants who do not meet the mandatory qualification requirements for the position are automatically disqualified from consideration. In addition, some applicants may be tested using various assessment tools not listed on the vacancy announcement to verify an applicant's experience, knowledge, and training directly related to the job in order to identify the best qualified applicants for consideration and selection.
  • Fair and Transparent

    The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
    • Reasonable accommodation policy
    • Financial suitability
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period
    • Signature and false statements
    • Privacy Act
    • Social security number request

Required Documents

Resume

Cover letter or separate narrative statement that addresses each KSA factor listed below. Each factor should be addressed separately and include a description of the demonstrated experience that is directly related to the duties, responsibilities, and KSA factors for this position.
(1) Excellent legal analysis, writing, and editing skills. The applicant must possess the ability to express, orally and in writing, complex legal issues in clear and succinct language so that the concepts are understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers;
(2) Skill in planning, organizing, setting priorities, and completing multiple tasks of varying complexity;
(3) Administrative and interpersonal skills; and
(4) Demonstrated technical abilities, such as computer experience and knowledge of software applications used to conduct legal research and document preparation.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


Help

This job is open to

  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

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