Attorney-Adviser (General)

US Government, Department of the Interior

What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position? The selectee will be involved in all aspects of SMCRA enforcement, including administrative litigation in DOI’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, and occasionally in federal courts system. Review and prepare litigation reports, oversee discovery, draft pleadings and review Depart of Justice filings in judicial litigation on matters within assigned areas. Along with advising top officials and program managers.

For more details on eligibility, requirements, and evaluation. Please click “Apply Now”, which will take you to the US Gov job platform.

Job Grade: 12
Total Openings: 1

Duties:

As an Attorney-Adviser with the Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Knoxville Field Office located in either Knoxville, Tennessee or Alton, Illinois your specific duties will include: Advising the Solicitor and his designees and the Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and her designees on general OSMRE legal work under SMCRA and other applicable statutes; Representing the Secretary of the Interior, and other officials of the Department in quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings involving interests of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; Participating in administrative litigation to include planning legal strategies, participating in the discovery process, submitting legal argument and assembling and presenting evidence, both oral and documentary; Advising the Solicitor of DOI and the Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on very complex legal matters that arise when a coal mining operation regulated under SMCRA seeks protection in bankruptcy; Mentoring staff attorneys and preparing continuing legal education (CLE) and agency training on assigned areas of law; Reviewing and preparing opinions, briefs, pleadings, and oral arguments in cases before the U.S. District Courts, Claims Courts, Appeals Courts, State trial and Appellate Courts, and Federal administrative hearings involving original research and preparation; Preparing and negotiating transactional documents on behalf of the Department; and Advising and counseling during negotiating transactions with other Federal agencies and the states; and Providing input and recommendations regarding bankruptcy and other legal matters relating to SMCRA. Areas of practice include, but are not limited to: The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. ???? 1201 – 1327 (SMCRA); The Federal regulations that implement SMCRA, 30 C.F.R. Parts 700 – 955; and The Federal regulations that govern administrative hearings on SMCRA issues, 43 C.F.R. Parts 1 – 4, with emphasis on Subpart L of 30 C.F.R. Part 4. Environmental laws relating to the enforcement of SMCRA, including Federal statutes that also apply to coal mining operations, e.g., National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA); Other statutes and regulations that deal with damage to the environment; State statutes and regulations that are similar to SMCRA and its implementing regulations; The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, local court rules, and rules of evidence; Constitutional law; and Freedom of Information Act, Touhy regulations, and ethics laws.

Qualifications:

In order to better assess your qualifications for this position, when preparing your resume and cover letter please be sure to address any experience you may have or familiarity with the following areas of legal work: researching and writing legal memoranda and opinions and providing legal advice or recommendations to clients, judges, and/or senior attorneys; litigating in Federal court and preparing transactional agreements and other documents; evidentiary privileges and e-discovery, including any familiarity with technology associated with the electronic search, retrieval, and review of documents. In addition, please address your experience in or familiarity with the following subject matter areas and legal authorities: natural resource and environmental law; Federal administrative law issues, such as matters arising under the Administrative Procedure Act; the Federal Land Management and Policy Act; National Environmental Policy Act; or other areas of law relating to management and use of public lands. Basic Qualification Requirements Applicants must be law school graduates with LL.B. or J.D. degrees AND must be an active member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar. To qualify for a GS-12 applicants must possess at least 2-years of professional legal experience following law school graduation; To qualify for a GS-13 applicants must possess at least 3-years of professional legal experience following law school graduation; To qualify for a GS-14 applicants must possess at least 4.5-years of professional legal experience following law school graduation; For any of the paygrades indicated above you can substitute one year of experience with any of the following: have a second professional law degree; OR meet any of the criteria indicated below: Academic standing in top one-third of law school graduating class; Graduation with academic honors; Significant participation on the law school’s law review; Significant participation in the law school’s moot court competition; Significant participation in a clinical legal aid program; Significant summer law office clerk experience; or Other equivalent evidence of clearly superior achievement. Candidates should have excellent oral communication, writing, research and analysis skills, and the ability to work effectively with other people, and exercise sound judgment. All applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement

Job Requirements:

Key Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. Citizens. Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation. Must be an active member of the bar. Selectee may be subject to serving a 2-year trial period. More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information. Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position? If selected you may be asked to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as those related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination. If selected for this position, you may be required to file one or more financial statements and/or a procurement integrity certification of compliance upon reporting and annually, some of which may be subject to public disclosure. Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system. Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.

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