Posted on Wednesday, 4th January 2017 by

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The Attorney-Advisor (GS-905) job occupation is prevalent in all parts of the Government.  The federal government employs 35,640 attorneys of which 393 are stationed in US Territories or in foreign countries. The Department of Justice is the largest employer with 10,265, the Department of Homeland Security has 2,088, and the Department of Treasury employs 2,146. All of the cabinet level and large agencies employ substantial numbers of attorneys in multiple areas.

Duties

  1. Advises and provides legal counsel to officials relevant to studies, reports, analysis prepared by program offices.
  2. Advises officials on pending and proposed legislation developed by members of Congress, other federal agencies that significantly impacts an agency’s policies and other factors.
  3. Represents an agency and Federal Executive Agencies before Federal and State regulatory bodies, that can impact an agency’s policy matters.
  4. Represents an agency in meetings and conferences with high level personnel, interagency, industry, Congressional, state, local and foreign officials, groups, committees and task forces convened to deliberate the legal and policy aspects of proposed legislation, regulations, litigation, issues, questions and activities as they affect an agency, other governmental organizations, or the general public.

Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
  • The salary range for GS-12-15 is $77,490.00 to $160,300.00 per year.

Job Listings

 

Qualifications

GS-12: Have a professional law degree (LL.B or J.D.) and membership in a State or District of Columbia bar association and one year of professional (attorney) legal experience and advanced educational attainments that clearly indicate the ability to independently perform complex legal work. The educational background should include course work beyond the first professional degree in a field directly related to the work for which he/she is being considered.
GS-13: Have a professional law degree (LL.B or J.D.) and membership in a State or District of Columbia bar association and one year of professional (attorney) legal experience and advanced educational attainments that clearly indicate the ability to independently perform complex legal work and one additional year of professional (attorney) experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled.

GS-14: Have a professional law degree (LL.B or J.D.) and membership in a State or District of Columbia bar association and one year of professional (attorney) legal experience and advanced educational attainments that clearly indicate the ability to independently perform complex legal work, plus one additional year of professional (attorney) experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the grade immediately below the one being filled.

GS-15 have a professional law degree (LL.B or J.D.) and membership in a State or District of Columbia bar association and one year of professional (attorney) legal experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the next lower grade level.

Additional Information from ooh.gov

Attorneys also work for federal, state, and local governments.Prosecutors typically work for the government to file a lawsuit, or charge, against an individual or corporation accused of violating the law. Some may also work as public defense attorneys and represent individuals who could not afford to hire their own private attorney.

Others may work as government counsels for administrative bodies of government and executive or legislative branches. They write and interpret laws and regulations and set up procedures to enforce them. Government counsels also write legal reviews on agencies’ decisions. They argue civil and criminal cases on behalf of the government.

Corporate counsels, also called in-house counsels, are lawyers who work for corporations. They advise a corporation’s executives about legal issues related to the corporation’s business activities. These issues may involve patents, government regulations, contracts with other companies, property interests, taxes, or collective-bargaining agreements with unions.

Legal aid lawyers work for private, nonprofit organizations that work to help disadvantaged people. They generally handle civil cases, such as those about leases, job discrimination, and wage disputes, rather than criminal cases.

In addition to working in different industries, lawyers often specialize in a particular area. The following are just some examples of the different types of lawyers that specialize in specific legal areas:

Environmental lawyers deal with issues and regulations that are related to the environment. They may represent advocacy groups, waste disposal companies, and government agencies to make sure they comply with the relevant laws.

Tax lawyers handle a variety of tax-related issues for individuals and corporations. Tax lawyers may help clients navigate complex tax regulations, so that they pay the appropriate tax on items such as income, profits, or property. For example, they may advise a corporation on how much tax it needs to pay from profits made in different states to comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.

Intellectual property lawyers deal with the laws related to inventions, patents, trademarks, and creative works, such as music, books, and movies. An intellectual property lawyer may advise a client about whether it is okay to use published material in the client’s forthcoming book.

Family lawyers handle a variety of legal issues that pertain to the family. They may advise clients regarding divorce, child custody, and adoption proceedings.

Securities lawyers work on legal issues arising from the buying and selling of stocks, ensuring that all disclosure requirements are met. They may advise corporations that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering (IPO) or in buying shares in another corporation.

Litigation lawyers handle all lawsuits and disputes between parties. These could be disputes over contracts, personal injuries, or real estate and property. Litigation lawyers may specialize in a certain area, such as personal injury law, or may be a general lawyer for all types of disputes and lawsuits.

Education

Becoming a lawyer usually takes 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA accreditation signifies that the law school—particularly its curricula and faculty—meets certain standards.

A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into most law schools, and courses in English, public speaking, government, history, economics, and mathematics are useful.

Almost all law schools, particularly those approved by the ABA, require applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This test measures applicants’ aptitude for the study of law.

A J.D. degree program includes courses such as constitutional law, contracts, property law, civil procedure, and legal writing. Law students may choose specialized courses in areas such as tax, labor, and corporate law.

Licenses

Prospective lawyers take licensing exams called “bar exams.” When a lawyer receives their license to practice law, they are “admitted to the bar.”

To practice law in any state, a person must be admitted to the state’s bar under rules established by the jurisdiction’s highest court. The requirements vary by individual states and jurisdictions. For more details on individual state and jurisdiction requirements, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Most states require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school, pass one or more written bar exams, and be found by an admitting board to have the character to represent and advise others. Prior felony convictions, academic misconduct, or a history of substance abuse are just some factors that may disqualify an applicant from being admitted to the bar.

Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state often must take the bar exam in each state.

After graduation, lawyers must keep informed about legal developments that affect their practices. Almost all states require lawyers to participate in continuing legal education either every year or every 3 years.

Many law schools and state and local bar associations provide continuing legal education courses that help lawyers stay current with recent developments. Courses vary by state and generally cover a subject within the practice of law, such as legal ethics, taxes and tax fraud, and healthcare. Some states allow lawyers to take their continuing education credits through online courses.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Lawyers help their clients resolve problems and issues. As a result, they must be able to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions.

Interpersonal skills. Lawyers must win the respect and confidence of their clients by building a trusting relationship, so that clients feel comfortable enough to share personal information related to their case.

Problem-solving skills. Lawyers must separate their emotions and prejudice from their clients’ problems and objectively evaluate the matter. Therefore, good problem-solving skills are important for lawyers, to prepare the best defense and recommendation.

Research skills. Preparing legal advice or representation for a client commonly requires substantial research. All lawyers need to be able to find what applicable laws and regulations apply to a specific matter.

Speaking skills. Clients hire lawyers to speak on their behalf. Lawyers must be able to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries.

Writing skills. Lawyers need to be precise and specific when preparing documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

There are many facets to the Attorney-Advisor job occupation. It is both hard work , but  rewarding and can give you the satisfaction that you are part of helping others.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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