The position appears to be open to new attorneys.
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
- 1 vacancy – Washington DC, DC
Work Schedule is Full-Time – Permanent
Opened Monday 8/29/2016(1 day(s) ago)
Closes Monday 9/26/2016(27 day(s) away)
$64,650.00 to $84,044.00 / Per Year
Series & Grade
Who May Apply
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Job Announcement Number
This position is located in the Natural Resources and Environment Division (NRED) of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Department of Agriculture. NRED provides legal counsel, advice and services to the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service with regard to natural resource and environmental law. The primary purpose of this position is to provide professional legal services to these agencies with regard to mineral and mining law, special use permit administration, and water law.
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Our vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation’s natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is an independent legal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Attorneys in the Office of the General Counsel provide legal advice and services to the Secretary of Agriculture and all other officials and agencies of the Department with respect to all USDA programs and activities. The primary purpose of the position is to provide professional legal services to major components of USDA and its agencies within the geographic area of the assigned office.
This position will start at the GS-11 level however, the full performance level is a GS-14. Listed below are the salary ranges for each grade level.
GS-11: $64,650 – $84,044
GS-12: $77,490 – $100,736
GS-13: $92,145- $119,794
GS-14: $108,887 – $141,555
Please Note: Applicants must have 52 weeks of time-in-grade at the next lower grade level (or its equivalent) in order to move to the next higher grade level.
Conducting legal research and advising agency officials and OGC attorneys on complex legal questions, preparing pleadings, motions, briefs and other related documents, determining the nature of action along with the legal issues involved and the most effective course of action and the most advantageous legal strategies.
Advising USDA agency officials and other OGC attorneys on complex legal questions or factual issues and recommending final action on many matters regarding litigation.
Serving as a liaison between the U.S. Attorney’s Offices or Department of Justice and USDA agencies and officials.
Conducting extensive research to ensure any advice is based on a sound understanding of relevant facts and law, anticipating significant foreseeable consequences of advice and recommended actions to ensure that decisions made and actions taken are practical, effective, legally sound and supportable.
Reviewing certain agency reports, documents, and policy statements for legal sufficiency; conducting all legal research related to the above matters; and acting as a legal advisor to the administrative officials of the Department.
Negotiating with highly skilled and knowledgeable opposing counsel while acting within the parameters of delegated authority consistent with statutory authority and agency policy and objectives.
Planning, organizing, and conducting independent activities required in furnishing the legal services assigned.
Performing legal services in areas pertaining to the application of the complex United States mineral laws to various categories of National Forest System lands, the assessment of rights created by mining claims, mineral leases, and mineral sales contracts, the regulation of operations on mining claims, the authorization of mineral leasing and regulation of off-lease access and facilities, the withdrawal of land from the United States mineral laws, the authorization and regulation of oil and gas pipelines, the issuance and administration of discretionary permits authorizing other uses of National Forest System lands, and general administrative law.
Developing expertise in the minerals, special use permit administration, and water law practice areas and providing training to clients as needed.
Drafting of legal opinions, memoranda and regulations related to federal mineral laws and related topics.
- Occasional Travel
- Travel depends on the needs of the office.
- US Citizenship is required.
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
- Cover Letter, Resume and Law School Transcripts are mandatory documents.
- Proof of Bar Membership (if admitted) is also a mandatory document.
Applicants should have demonstrated experience in legal research, and have excellent writing and communication skills, and a strong academic record.
USDA handles a wide array of legal issues impacting all facets of the practice of law with the federal government and programs operated by USDA. Examples include work on commercial matters such as financing and securing loans touching on commercial lending, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues; personnel issues involving claims of discrimination; agriculture matters involving programs operated by USDA; and contract claims involving the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
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.
Education: An applicant must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and have the first professional law degree (LLB or JD) at time of entry on duty.
Bar Membership: Applicant must currently be either a member, (either active or inactive), in good standing of the bar or be a candidate for admission to the bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Selectee must have an active bar license at time of entry on duty.
• If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS “E-VERIFY” system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
• To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory. This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.
• Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
• May be subject to satisfactory completion of one-year probationary or trial period.
• Additional selections may be made from this announcement.
Public Trust – Background Investigation
Department Of Agriculture
Office of the General Counsel
AddressOffice of the General Counsel
1400 Independence Ave., SW RM 2039