Closing Date: 15th February, 2023


These positions are located in:
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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.

  • Acting as in-house counsel in litigation of cases and appeals in Federal Civil and Bankruptcy Courts, including drafting litigation strategy memos and pleadings, interviewing witnesses, conducting depositions, and negotiating with opposing parties.
  • Provides written and oral legal advice to USDA officials in connection with the day-to-day operations of their programs.
  • Conducts legal research to ensure that advice provided is based upon a sound understanding of the law and facts, anticipates foreseeable consequences of advice provided, and recommends actions that are legally sound and defensible.
  • Conducts administrative litigation of cases and appeals such as cases before Civil Board of Contract Appeals, as well as civil enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act matters.
  • Advising on commercial transaction matters involving secured property interests and other real estate issues for USDA agencies including reviewing and preparing various legal documents and advising on account servicing.
  • Milwaukee: Provides legal advice to Forest Service officials regarding land management issues, including national forest land management plans, special uses of National Forest System lands, and compliance with environmental statutes and regulations.
  • Milwaukee: Reviews and prepares various kinds of legal documents for general and specific use, including documents related to contracts, real property transactions, and special use permits, Forest closure orders and law enforcement issues.

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.
  • Direct Deposit - Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at
  • Must submit Cover Letter/Narrative, Resume, Proof of Bar Membership, and Law School Transcripts.
  • 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.

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.

Specialized Experience:
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; 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.

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.
  • 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.

Kindly refer to the following link for a detailed description of the job -