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Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel

Posted Nov 19
Full Time
Washington, District of Columbia


As a Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel , You Will:

  • Manage the activities and work product of the staff attorneys and other personnel within the Regulatory Affairs Law Division.
  • Research, or supervise the research of, each of statutes, legal opinions, policies, regulations, guidance, case law, and historical PHMSA and Department practice, on matters for which the Regulatory Affairs Law Division is responsible, including those involving complex or high- profile issues of law or policy.
  • Serve as a supervisory attorney for the Regulatory Affairs Law Division and an authoritative resource within PHMSA on matters for which the Division is responsible, including those involving regulations, guidance, and pertinent procedure.
  • Serve as a liaison, or supervision of the liaison, with stakeholders within PHMSA, the Department, OMB, and other pertinent stakeholders, on matters for which the Regulatory Affairs Law Division is responsible. The position represents PHMSA in meetings and conferences with representatives of other Federal Government executive departments and agencies, State regulatory officials, industry, and the public on matters for which the Division is responsible.
  • Prepare, or supervise the preparation of, briefs, memoranda, and pleadings or filings in administrative proceedings and court cases involving PHMSA regulations and guidance.
  • Review and comment on the accuracy and significance for PHMSA regulatory oversight activities of draft legal materials including legislation, hearing testimony, Departmental regulations and guidance, and regulations and guidance of other Federal agencies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisors.

The Ideal Candidate: This position is perfect for an experienced supervisor in a busy legal office in the federal or state government or in the private sector (e.g., as a partner, counsel, or senior associate at a law firm). The incumbent is responsible for managing the activities and work product of the staff attorneys and other personnel within the Regulatory Affairs Law Division, and in so doing exercises strong program and project management skills (to include the creation and management of action plans, milestone tracking, and identification of need for supplemental resources) in ensuring the timely development and delivery of legally sound, high- quality work product. The incumbent, as a supervisory attorney, performs those duties in a manner demonstrating independence, initiative, creativity, precision, accountability, knowledge of Federal administrative law, understanding of the content and technical bases for PHMSA safety regulations, as well as superior judgment and strategic thinking.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • This is an Excepted Service position.
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.


  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: This is an Excepted Service position. This job will be filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive service. Applicants selected for an excepted service position may be subject to a two-year trial period.
  • ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties. Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 263.
  • SUPERVISORY PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year supervisory probationary period (unless already completed).
  • WRITING SAMPLE: If selected for an interview, a writing sample may be requested and there may be an editing exercise.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.


To qualify, your experience should include experience and education equal or equivalent to the following:

To Qualify For This GS-15 Position, You Must Meet The Following Experience Requirements. Applicants Must Have Current, Relevant Experience Which Is Related To The Work Of This Position, Such As:

  • Experience conducting briefings for and providing legal advice and assistance to executives and senior managers in carrying out their respective responsibilities.
  • Experience managing attorneys or leading teams or projects in a legal office within Federal or state government, or the private sector (e.g., a law firm).
  • Experience in Federal administrative law or other high-stakes legal practice areas (e.g., corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, utilities, or antitrust law) requiring skills--independence, initiative, creativity, precision, accountability, judgment, and strategic thinking-- analogous to those involved in development and review of regulations, guidance, and other legal materials, and coordinating legal issues and professional application of legal principles, precedents and rulings.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, considering the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Written Communication - Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.

Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, legal practices and documents, Government regulations, Executive orders, agency rules, Government organization and functions, and the democratic political process.

Problem Solving - Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link:

All applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



In order to qualify for this position, candidates must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and have a professional law degree, and must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a State or Territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.


  • Applicants must have a law degree (J.D. or equivalent) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.


  • Applicants must be an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Additional Information


TELEWORK: Managers may exercise discretion to allow a limited amount of regular or task-based telework for this position.

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if similar vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

Referrals will be issued every two weeks, upon selection of a candidate the vacancy will close and notifications will be sent.