Closing Date: 23rd January, 2024

Description:

Summary:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) is seeking an energetic and dedicated attorney to serve as an Associate Legal Advisor with the Labor and Employment Division (LELD) in Washington, D.C.

One or more positions may be filled using this vacancy announcement.

General Schedule locality pay tables may be found under Salaries & Wages.

Duties:
Ice Opla (LELD) is seeking an attorney for an Associate Legal Advisor position in Washington, D.C. to handle issues relating to:
  • Providing legal advice, training, and support to ICE programs, including top-ranking officials, on Federal employment law issues, including performance and conduct issues; complaints of prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation/reprisal; and prohibited personnel practices and whistleblower retaliation;
  • Serving as agency counsel in proceedings before administrative and judicial forums, including arbitration, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the U.S. Federal Courts;
  • At higher grade levels, working on more complex third-party proceedings including those of national importance to ICE and providing legal advice to top-ranking officials.

Experience in practicing Federal labor and/or employment law, including matters involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Family Medical Leave Act, Rehabilitation Act, the Federal Services Labor Management Relations Statute, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, is strongly preferred but not required. In addition, the selectee must possess the ability to represent ICE in high-level meetings and to provide legal advice to top-ranking officials.

LELD provides legal advice to ICE program offices. LELD's work contributes to significant policy decisions integral to ICE's mission. Assignments within LELD are fast-paced and involve high-profile work. LELD attorneys advise, counsel, and train ICE program offices on legal authorities, best practices, and agency policies on a wide array of issues, including but not limited to those listed above.

LELD attorneys work closely with a wide range of ICE program offices, including the Office of Human Capital and the Office of Professional Responsibility. They also work occasionally with various departmental components as well as other federal agencies and departments.

The selected attorney will immediately be given significant responsibilities. The attorney will be expected to routinely provide timely legal opinions to ICE management officials and LELD management, and leadership within OPLA, ICE, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the General Counsel Headquarters. The selected attorney may be expected to craft legally supportable policies to address the needs of agency operational components or to assess litigation risk and provide litigation support to the Department of Justice.

OPLA is the largest legal program in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), employing over 1,000 attorneys nationwide. In addition to Headquarters in Washington, D.C., there are 25 OPLA field locations in more than 60 cities throughout the United States. Pursuant to statute, OPLA serves as the exclusive representative of DHS in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review litigating cases involving criminal aliens, terrorists, human rights abusers, and other priority aliens. OPLA also provides a full range of legal services to all ICE programs and offices.

OPLA provides legal advice and prudential counsel to ICE personnel on their law enforcement authorities, legal liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, ethics, and a range of administrative law issues, such as contract, fiscal and employment law. OPLA represents the agency before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Contract Board of Appeals. OPLA attorneys support the Department of Justice in the prosecution of ICE cases and in the defense of civil cases against the ICE.

OPLA fosters an environment in which all voices are heard and values the unique perspectives and opinions that inhere among a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Comprising a far more diverse workforce than its private sector counterparts, OPLA is proud to strive to further diversify the experiences, perspectives, and characteristics of its workforce and is committed to celebrating our differences and embracing practices that foster a fair, safe, and inclusive workplace by promoting equitable access to opportunities.

Requirements:
Conditions of Employment:
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation and drug test for federal employment.
  • Selective Service registration is required for males born on, or after, December 31, 1959. Those not registered should have an approved exemption on file.
  • You must have relevant experience (see How You Will Be Evaluated and Qualifications tabs).
  • You must meet all requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
  • You may be required to serve a two-year trial period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Current OPLA attorneys must have completed two years of service with OPLA by the announcement closeout to be considered for this position.
  • You must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a U.S. state, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

Qualifications:
Qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification claims will be subject to verification.

Applicants should be able to efficiently produce quality legal analyses of complex and novel issues, exercise sound legal judgment, prioritize competing assignments, and work effectively independently, as part of a team, and across work units. Applicants should be detail-oriented and have a strong interest in supporting and providing stellar client services to diverse program offices, including law enforcement officers, policymakers, attorneys, and agency senior leadership, and must be able to tailor communications to a particular audience. Applicants should be able to take initiative and work in a reliable, decisive, and professional manner. Applicants should possess the following characteristics and competencies: integrity, sound professional judgment, organizational skills, decisiveness, initiative, stellar client services, the ability to function independently and cooperatively, and superior written and oral advocacy skills.

Bar Membership: You must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a U.S. state, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

Current or Former Political Appointees: 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 five 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.

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 C.F.R. 213.3102(u), and Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more as defined by 5 C.F.R. 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.

Vaccination: To ensure compliance with existing court orders, the federal government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement appearing in Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 does not apply as of the date of this job opportunity announcement. ICE will request information about the vaccination status of selected applicants to implement other workplace safety protocols, including those related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Education:
Applicants must be a graduate of an American Bar Association accredited law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Please see Required Documents for more information.

A student loan repayment incentive may be available; if such an incentive is available and is authorized, a service agreement will be required.

Kindly refer to the following link for a detailed description of the job - https://www.usajobs.gov/job/701909000