The Natural Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) is seeking experienced litigators to represent the United States in Fifth Amendment takings litigation before the Court of Federal Claims and federal district courts across the country.
The Natural Resources Section handles litigation arising under more than 80 natural resource, environmental, and cultural resource statutes, various treaties and international agreements, interstate compacts, and congressional referrals. The Section’s cases involve the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Park Service Organic Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and the National Trails System Act, among others. The Section’s cases involve the stewardship of our national parks, forests, rangelands, wildlife refuges, and offshore resources; the Nation’s trust relationship with Native Americans and Tribes; vital federal programs ranging from nuclear materials management to military preparedness to energy policy and resource extraction; and original actions in the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve boundary and water allocation disputes.
Among the Section’s varied responsibilities is the defense of real property claims brought in the United States Court of Federal Claims arising under the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. These inverse condemnation cases cover the full spectrum of governmental activity relating to land use and environmental regulation and involve issues such as border security, military readiness, transportation infrastructure, and flood control.
The Section’s cases are tried throughout the United States and its possessions and territories in both state and federal court, including the Court of Federal Claims. The Section represents virtually every major federal agency.
The attorneys selected will represent the United States in Fifth Amendment takings litigation before the Court of Federal Claims and federal district courts throughout the nation. Cases will involve energy infrastructure, flood control, national security, and military readiness. Selected attorneys will also have the opportunity to litigate matters arising under the National Environmental Policy Act and other natural resources statutes.
The cases handled by the Section require attorneys to achieve intellectual command of complicated facts, scientific principles, and legal issues, often rapidly. Successful candidates will demonstrate an aptitude and desire for primary responsibilities in all aspects of civil litigation, including pre-trial discovery, presentation of oral argument, and proficiency in working with fact and expert witnesses. Creative thinking and considerable talent in problem-solving—whether in a litigation or settlement context—are indispensable.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and be a U.S. citizen or national. Applicants should have a strong interest in federal litigation and/or trial work and an exceptional academic background. Judicial clerkship experience and familiarity with defensive civil litigation is highly desirable and knowledge of Fifth Amendment takings, natural resource law, or Indian law is a plus. Applicants must demonstrate superior research, analytical, and writing abilities.
Specific grade level requirements:
- GS-14: At least 4 years of post-J.D. litigation experience.
- GS-15: At least 5 years of post-J.D. litigation experience.
You must complete a background investigation, including pre-employment drug testing.
Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter highlighting relevant experience, writing sample, and OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment (https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of0306.pdf), and DD-214 (if applicable) to:
Lisa Lynne Russell
Chief, Natural Resources Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Email applications to: [email protected].
If email submission is not possible, please forward your application materials to the following address:
U.S. Department of Justice
Environment and Natural Resources Division
Natural Resources Section
P.O. Box 7611, Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-7611
Attn: Lisa Lynne Russell, Chief
No telephone calls, please.
You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.
You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.
Please note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 90 days after the announcement closes.
For more information about the Environment & Natural Resources Division, visit the Justice Department’s web site at: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd.
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.
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Equal Employment Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-based factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.
Reasonable Accommodations: This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities: The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements. Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.
Suitability and Citizenship: It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department’s mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.
Veterans: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans’ preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans’ preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the “point” system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).