This position is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The incumbent serves as an attorney providing legal advice, research, analysis and interpretation of federal, state and local laws, as well as oral and written opinions, memoranda, pleadings, briefs and legal support of all USDA programs and litigation, and performs other legal services as assigned.
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Provides legal advice and counseling to USDA agencies. Duties in both litigation and non-litigation matters (including liaising with Department of Justice), require assisting USDA in developing and implementing a plan to resolve client issues and problems in ways that serve and further the clients' mission and objectives (including adherence to USDA's civil rights policies). Duties include conducting thorough factual inquiry and legal research into statutes, regulations, agency notices/directives/handbooks, and case law to acquire legal knowledge and familiarity to effectively counsel clients.
Drafts written work product for USDA agencies, in both litigation and non-litigation matters, to help clients achieve their mission and objectives. Duties include being responsible for protecting the legal interests of USDA and providing legal advice to ensure that agency programs and policies are carried out in a legally supportable manner involving: 1) drafting documents (letters, briefs, deeds, contracts, loan documentation, legal opinions, and agency documents); and 2) providing written legal advice both in advisory and litigation contexts. Duties include drafting written work product that is clear and concise, and based on sound legal research that reflects a clear understanding of legally supportable and applicable laws.
Duties include interacting on an interpersonal level in a manner that establishes effective and engaged working relationships with OGC colleagues, USDA clients, and USDA stakeholders to interact and communicate in a highly professional manner.
Duties require productively managing time to efficiently deliver legal services to USDA clients, as well as engage in efforts to make OGC more efficient in delivering services.
Duties include making contributions to organizational efficiency and development that promote productivity and efficiency both on an individual level as well as an institutional level.
Conditions of Employment
You must be a US Citizen or US National
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
Must submit Cover Letter, Resume, Proof of Bar membership, Law School Transcripts, and Narrative
Review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory
Requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation
Additional selections may be made from this announcement
Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance
Obtain and use a Government issued charge card for business-related travel
May be subject to satisfactory completion of a two year probationary or trial period
Subject to limited telework after six months completed and only by managerial approval and subject to change at any time from the Agency or Department
The duties listed below are described at the FPL GS-14, the GS-11, GS-12, and GS-13 are developmental leading to such performance.
Mastery of statutes, regulations, and legal precedents related to major USDA program areas or relevant subject matter expertise to provide expert legal advice in regard to the assigned program area, develop or recommend litigation strategies and procedures, aid the Department of Justice in the trial of important or precedent-setting cases, and negotiate or participate in negotiating settlements on behalf of the Department
Mastery of a large and complex body of law in which precedents are frequently conflicting or non-existent to make determinations and reach conclusions which guide the Department or the Agency in resolving subsequent, similar problems; provide legal advice to heads of programs and Agencies on complex and difficult legal questions or factual issues; and write opinions and case assessment memoranda after conducting detailed factual and legal research
Mastery of the principles and techniques of legal analysis and practice in order to prepare pleadings, motions, briefs, litigation reports, and related documents in connection with suits by and against the Government and determine in each case the nature of action or defense, the legal issues involved, the most effective course of action, and optimal strategies and tactics to be employed.
Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of missions and functions of the USDA and its agencies or relevant subject matter expertise, as appropriate in order to provide legal services in support of USDA programs and activities that are consistent with the strategic goals of USDA and the priorities of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Mastery of the principles and techniques of written and oral communication to speak and write with clarity and tact to provide guidance on complex legal issues, secure acceptance of recommendations, prepare complex legal opinions, and effectively represent the Department in a variety of external interactions.
For consideration, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for attorney positions:
Successful completion of a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the America Bar Association (ABA) and have the first professional law degree (LLB or JD) (Law School transcript required); and
Currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Applicants should have demonstrated specialized experience in legal research, excellent writing and communication skills, and a strong academic record. This experience should be clearly documented in the cover letter and resume.
GS-11: Meet minimum qualifications, above, and demonstrate: Federal service or equivalent responsibility in the private sector/pay systems that has equipped you with the particular competencies to successfully perform as an Attorney Advisor. Examples of such experience include: Under direction providing legal advice, research, analysis and interpretation of federal, state, and local laws; Assisting in writing opinions, memoranda, pleadings, briefs, and legal support of agency/organization programs and litigation; Performing other legal services as assigned; Preparing various kinds of legal documents, both for specific case use and for general use under guidance; Ability to conduct legal research to handle cases involving the Department's programs; Ability to apply legal analysis and make sound legal judgment to find appropriate precedent or distinguish applicable law or facts to support or justify legal positions with advice from senior attorneys.
GS-12: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the (GS-11) level in the Federal service or equivalent responsibility in the private sector/pay systems that has equipped you with the particular competencies to successfully perform as an Attorney Advisor. Examples of such experience include: Providing legal advice, research, analysis and interpretation of federal, state, and local laws; Writing opinions, memoranda, pleadings, briefs, and legal support of agency/organization programs and litigation; Performing other legal services as assigned; Rendering of legal advice, oral or written, to administrative officials in connection with the day-to-day operations of programs; preparing various kinds of legal documents, both for specific case use and for general use; Ability to conduct substantial research to handle cases involving the Department's programs; Ability to apply creative legal analysis and sound legal judgment to find appropriate precedent or distinguish applicable law or facts to support or justify legal positions.
GS-13: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the (GS-12) level in the Federal service or equivalent responsibility in the private sector/pay systems that has equipped you with the particular competencies to successfully perform as an Attorney Advisor. Examples of such experience include: Providing professional legal services to major components of an agency or organization; Knowledge of the principles and techniques of legal analysis and practice in order to (1) prepare pleadings, motions, briefs, litigation reports, and related documents (2) determine nature of legal issues involved; and (3) effectively represent agencies or organizations; Thorough knowledge of activities and program initiatives of agencies or organizations to provide timely and relevant legal advice regarding program operations to management officials and to expertly represent clients in negotiations and legal proceedings.
GS-14: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the (GS-13) level in the Federal service or equivalent responsibility in the private sector/pay systems that has equipped you with the particular competencies to successfully perform as an Attorney Advisor. Examples of such experience include: Ability to plan and assign priorities to tasks and assignments to further develop knowledge of complex assignments. Works independently to determine methodologies, milestones, goals, and termination points for most assignments. Completes assignments to management requirements with satisfaction of organizational objectives.
NOTE: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents.
Bar Membership: Applicant must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico by the time you begin the position.
Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.
Narrative: You must submit a written statement, in your cover letter or in a separate document, explaining your interest in working for USDA's Office of the General Counsel, and noting any relevant course work, training, or prior experience that you believe should be considered in evaluating your application.
It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above requirements (education and bar membership). Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements: You MUST submit a copy of your transcript if you want to substitute your education for experience. If you claim qualifications based on education, and do not submit a transcript, your education will not be used in making a qualification determination and you may be found "not qualified".
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.
Department Of Agriculture