Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Chief Counsel, Office of Assistant Chief Counsel, located in Indianapolis, IN.
Clarification from the agency
This announcement is open to the Public.
This position starts at a salary of $69,741.00 (GS-11, Step 1) to $152,698.00 (GS-14, Step 10) with promotion potential to $152,698(GS-14, Step 10).
In this position, you will become a key member of the legal team for The Office of The Chief Counsel. Typical work assignments include:
- Providing legal advice to, and legal representation of, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices located in Indianapolis and throughout the United States, including CBP's Financial Accounting Division; Revenue Division; Procurement Directorate; Office of Facilities and Asset Management, including its Environmental and Energy Division; Office of Trade; Office of Field Operations; and U.S. Border Patrol;
- Providing legal advice on a wide variety of fiscal and trade issues to clients and other counsel offices, and performing legal research into laws, regulations, decisions and other precedents bearing on legal issues involving CBP, particularly in the areas of federal appropriations, bankruptcy, collections (primarily customs duties, liquidated damages, fees and charges), contracts, construction, employment, environmental, international trade, real property, and tort law;
- Assisting the Department of Justice in civil actions involving CBP by preparing litigation reports, affidavits, and other pleadings, and participating in discovery, motion drafting, settlement discussions, and providing litigation support in a variety of matters such as complex trade cases generally involving the collection of revenue, actions brought under federal statutes such as the False Claims Act, procurement disputes filed in federal courts, and condemnation actions. Also directly representing CBP in various third-party administrative hearings involving matters such as employee discipline and adverse actions, arbitrations, EEO discrimination complaints, Merit Systems Principles Board (MSBP) appeals, contract and travel/relocation disputes before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, bid protests before the Government Accountability Office, and employee overpayment hearings;
- Advocating, identifying and pursuing affirmative claims and counterclaims on behalf of the Government and providing legal opinions, negotiations assistance, and advice concerning resolution of claims filed against the Government arising out of CBP operations; and
- Training, developing, and providing formal legal instruction and presentations to both client offices and other counsel colleagues.
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
- Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
- Primary U.S. residency for at least three of the last five years (additional details below)
- You may be required to pass a background investigation
- CBP follows the DHS Drug-Free Workplace Plan for drug testing procedures
- As an employee of CBP, you will be joining a workforce that is dedicated to accomplishing our mission while maintaining the trust of our Nation by strictly adhering to all government ethics standards. Your conduct will be subject to the ethics rules applicable to all Executive Branch employees, and to CBP employees specifically, as well as the criminal conflict of interest statutes. Once you enter on duty, these rules include obtaining approval for outside employment or business activity, to ensure such employment or business activity is not prohibited and does not interfere or conflict with performance of your official duties. Please review further details via the following link.
Applicant must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Recent law school graduates may be appointed to attorney positions at the GS-11 level with the following additional qualifications: rank in the top 1/3 of graduating class; participation on the school's official Law Review; membership in the Order of the Coif; or winning of a moot court competition. An interim appointment of 14 months may be made pending the selectee's admission to the bar. Selectee will be required to provide admittance and standing to the Bar and must provide a copy of their official law school transcript.
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.
You must meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process by 12/01/2023.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. For additional information, review the following links: Background investigation
and the e-QIP process
There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two of the last five years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency waiver by meeting one or more of the following conditions:
- Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
- A dependent who was authorized to accompany a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. government
- Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
- Working as a contractor, intern, consultant or volunteer supporting the U.S. government
Please see the Qualifications and Required Documents sections for more information if education is applicable to this position.
Relocation: Should relocation funding be available, expenses may be offered to the selectee as a lump-sum payment under CBP's Voluntary Relocation Plan test program (VRP) in lieu of any relocation benefits available under the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR), 41 C.F.R., Subtitle F, Chapter 302. New appointees to the Government non-CBP employees are not eligible to participate in the VRP. The amount of the lump-sum payment will vary depending upon whether you rent or own your current residence and whether your residence is a single or multiple-person household. Any relocation expenses incurred that are greater than the VRP lump-sum payment amount will be your responsibility, and no subsequent claims for relocation expenses will be granted by CBP. The lump-sum payment, which will be made through direct deposit, will be treated as wages and, thus, will be subject to all applicable employment tax withholdings. To be eligible for the VRP, you must sign an employment agreement by completing CBP Form 334C-1 at the time of selection. Additional information can be found in CBP Directive 5330-026a, which is available on the CBPNet Policy Page.
Probationary Trial Period: You may be required to serve a probationary trial period of 2 years.
Travel: You will be required to travel as needed for any mandatory training, and to provide legal support to or on behalf of CBP clients or to deliver training, in various field operating locations.
Bargaining Unit: This position is not covered under the bargaining unit.
This job is being filled by an alternative hiring process (Excepted Service) and is not in the competitive civil service.
Veterans Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veteran's preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however the Office of Chief Counsel considers veteran's preference eligibility as a positive factor in the hiring process.
Positions with known promotion potential do not guarantee promotion, nor is the promise of promotion implied.
CBP uses E-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.
The Department of Homeland Security encourages persons with disabilities to apply, to include persons with intellectual, severe physical or psychiatric disabilities, as defined by 5 CFR § 213.3102(u), and/or Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more as defined by 5 CFR § 315.707. Veterans, Peace Corps/VISTA volunteers, and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the required documentation, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applicants will be rated based on their education, experience, demonstrated legal research and writing abilities, and performance during the interview process, which may include personal interview(s) and a writing exercise.
You must include the following information (in addition to specific information requested elsewhere in the vacancy announcement) to receive consideration for this position:
Cover letter: Your application package must include a cover letter expressing your interest in this position. Please do not exceed two pages. Application packages received without a cover letter will not be given consideration.
Resume: A resume that includes announcement number, veteran's preference, your full name, address, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number and a detailed description of your experience, education, training and self-development and the dates you performed them (MM/DD/YY), as well as your work schedule and salary. Examples of appropriate SF-50s include promotions, within-grade and accesssions.
Transcripts: From an ABA approved law school or equivalent is required. Education must be from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Education obtained from a foreign university or college is not creditable unless it has been evaluated by an organization that specializes in interpretation of education credentials. Note: If submitting documentation of an evaluation, transcripts are still required. For a listing of some accrediting agencies, please see http://www.naces.org/members.htm. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.
Writing Sample: A writing sample is required as part of the application package and may not exceed five pages.
It is your responsibility to verify that information submitted (i.e., resume, veterans documentation, and SF-50's) is received and accurate and must be in English. Applications and supporting documentation will only be accepted by mail at the address listed under the "How to Apply" section. The section also outlines the contact information for inquires.
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.
Submit your application to:
All application should be sent via email and in the subject line of your email you must reference Indianapolis Vacancy Announcement CC/23-41.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information visit this link. Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.
Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by fax, hand-delivery, USA jobs or U.S. mail. You may apply more than once, but the most recent application is the only one that will be used. You must submit your resume, and any supporting documents by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on 12/01/2023. If all materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible. Inquiries regarding this job opportunity announcement should be directed to: Jeffrey Sajdak at JEFFREY.M.SAJDAK@CBP.DHS.GOV
GS Salary: Visit this link to view the locality pay tables by geographic area. If you do not see your geographic area listed, select the "Rest of United States" pay table.
The open period for this job opportunity announcement may be extended to allow for a sufficient applicant pool.
After review of the application packages, highly qualified applicants may be contacted for interviews.
Additional selections may be made beyond the total number of vacancies specified using this vacancy announcement. Further selections may also be made for additional organizational divisions and/or units within the duty location(s) listed above.
If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306 (Declaration for Federal Employment), and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.