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"CI-R5-OT-2021-0003" Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency
Position Title:
Attorney Adviser
Open Period:
10/19/2020 - 10/28/2020


GS - 0905 13/14
USD $101,176 - USD $155,424
Work Schedule:
Full-time -
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Chicago, IL, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Melanie Elliott


Hiring Path:
• Excepted service
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
U.S. Citizen
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Marketing Statement:

Earth Day is every day at EPA!  At EPA, you can protect human health and the environment of all Americans, and you’ll discover that EPA is one great place to work!  We offer great benefits and work flexibilities, and our diverse workforce connects to more than just a career--we share a common passion to promote a cleaner, healthier environment.  Discover how exciting safeguarding our natural resources and protecting human health can be.  Find yourself at EPA.  Learn more about EPA at


This position is in Region 5, Office of Regional Counsel, Multi-Media Branch 1, Section 3. If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement.  About Region 5: Region 5 Webpage

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
50% or less

You may be required to travel up to 50% of each month.


At the entry level of this position, you will:

  • Provide legal advice, perform legal research, prepare legal documentation, and provide policy recommendations.

  • Prepare memoranda or reports describing legal issues involved, providing basis of legal analysis and conclusions, summarizing legal principles involved.

  • Research any number of the legal questions which arise under regulations, statutes, and executive orders in the course of lawsuits, enforcement actions, and other administrative actions affecting the Agency’s/Region’s programs.  

  • Assist in developing the factual bases for enforcement actions, including field sampling, inspections, and other types of compliance activities.

  • Perform the full range of litigation activities. Coordinate difficult defensive and enforcement litigation in connection with regional matters arising under the statutes. Conduct discovery and prepare motions, briefs and other litigation documents.

  • Work closely with EPA’s Office of Enforcement, Office of General Counsel, and the Department of Justice. Coordinate with state Attorneys General as required. Represent the Region in administrative proceedings of EPA and other agencies.

  • Conduct negotiations, informal and formal dispute resolution, and Regional representational work. Represent the Region in its dealings with outside parties, including negotiation of bilateral agreements, consent orders and judgments, and memoranda of understanding.Represent the Region in negotiating the settlement of disputed matters in order to avoid protracted and expensive litigation and facilitate expeditious administration of Agency programs.

  • Serve as a coordinator of one or more subject matter areas of interest to the Office of Regional Counsel. Maintain specialized expertise in such area(s) and serve as a consultant to other attorneys in the Agency. May serve on task forces of regional  attorneys in seeking solutions to common legal problems or in preparing guidance documents, model agreements, regulations, pleadings, etc. Arrange conference calls, meetings, and other means of exchanging information among regional attorneys.

When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses.

Qualifications and Evaluations


Current Bar membership in good standing/law license is required.

You must self-certify annually and in writing that you hold an active bar membership.

If you are selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure form within 30 days of your first day of employment and annually thereafter.

This position is designated as High Risk and requires a background investigation.  Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.  All conditions of the pre-employment security process must be met before an official letter of employment can be issued with a report for duty date.

If you are selected, you may be required to complete a one-year trial period.



Key Requirements:
  • An LL.B. or J.D. is required.
  • If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required.
  • You must submit a resume and required documents--see How to Apply section.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.
  • Education Requirements:

    Traditional rating and ranking of applications does not apply to this vacancy.  Applications will be evaluated against the basic qualifications and then may be subject to additional assessments.

    EPA considers veterans’ preference as a positive factor.  Applicants who have veterans’ preference are encouraged to include their information in their cover letters or resumes and attach supporting documentation to substantiate their preference.

    Excepted service positions are not covered by regular civil service hiring procedures.


    You must be admitted to practice before the highest court of a state, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and must maintain active status as a member of the bar of one of these jurisdictions.

    In addition, the following specialized training or experience is desired:

    To qualify for the GS-13 level, you need to have at least one year of full time substantial experience equivalent to the GS-12 level defined as experience working on a wide variety of complex matters requiring knowledge and expertise in the area of federal environmental law, requiring legal research and analysis of complicated policy issues.

    To qualify for the GS-14 level, you need to have at least one year of full time substantial experience equivalent to the GS-13 level defined as federal environmental law experience working independently on a wide variety of complex matters, requiring extensive legal research and analysis of complicated policy issues; providing policy and case-specific advice on environmental matters in a direct attorney-client relationship to leadership, senior management, or stakeholders.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.  You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    If you have part-time work experience, read this:  EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.


    Benefits and Other Info

    Benefits URL:
    Review our Benefits
    Agency Benefits:

    Join EPA in protecting human health and the environment and enjoy many work life quality options!  Working for the EPA offers you a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  To learn more about us, visit Life and Careers at EPA.

    Other Information:

    This position is excluded from provisions of the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP).

    Selection under this appointment authority does not confer civil service competitive status.

    Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at EPA.  Our excellence can only be fully realized by staff who share our commitment to these values.  Successful candidates are committed to advancing equity and inclusion in the Agency’s workplace and mission.  We encourage applications from candidates with a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance.

    About the Office of Regional Counsel, Region 5:  The Office of Regional Counsel acts as the principal legal adviser to the Regional Administrator and provides legal opinions, legal counsel and litigation support to all regional program and management divisions and offices. ORC provides legal advice on ethics issues arising within the Region. In providing legal counsel, ORC attorneys consult and coordinate with attorneys in Office of General Counsel and other ORC offices to ensure consistency in the legal positions being taken across the Agency.

    If you have questions about this position, contact Marcy Toney at

    This position is in the bargaining unit.

    EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information:  EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

    If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA.  Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.

    Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.

    Position has portable work and selectee may be authorized to telework after meeting eligibility requirements if approved by the supervisor/manager.


    How to Apply

    How to Apply:

    You are strongly encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position.

    To begin the application process, click the Apply button to the right on this screen, follow the prompts to log-in/register, submit all required documents, and complete the assessment questionnaire.  To be considered, you must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day the announcement closes.

    All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJOBS document portfolio feature.

    If you cannot apply online, you must contact the Human Resources Office listed below for assistance no later than three business days prior to the closing date of this announcement.  You must provide complete application materials by the day the announcement closes.

    For detailed instructions to assist you in ensuring your application package is received, go to EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

    Required Documents:

    Documents to be submitted online:

    NOTE:  You should ensure your social security number, date of birth, and any other personal information are redacted.

    --Cover letter expressing your interest in the position and explaining how your qualifications meet the requirements of the position.
    --Resume clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section.  In describing your experience, you need to be clear and specific.  We may not make assumptions regarding your experience. 
    --Responses to the online assessment questionnaire (you must complete this online - it is not a document you need to upload).
    --Copy of active bar membership/license.
    --Law school transcripts (unofficial) - you are not required to submit transcripts, but it is recommended if you have three years or less of experience.
    --Veterans' Preference Documents (if applicable) - DD-214 Member 4 copy (or other copy indicating character of service), VA letter stating overall/combined disability rating (percentage), and SF-15 (use current version: SF-15 Form), if applicable (see page 2 of the SF-15 for documents that can be submitted in lieu of the DD-214 and VA letter); active duty service members:  submit certification from the armed forces documenting active duty dates, expected discharge/release date, campaign medals/badges, and character of service (a certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged/released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after you submit the certification).
    --Name, address, and telephone number of three references, including a current or former employer.

    To learn more about submitting documentation, visit Uploading Documents to USAJOBS.

    Next Steps:

    You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJOBS account.  You will receive an acknowledgement from USAJOBS that your submission was successful once we have received your online occupational questionnaire, resume, and any supporting documentation.  You will be notified of the status of your application via your USAJOBS account after we conduct a qualification review of your complete application package.  You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required.  Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for employment consideration.  We may verify all information you provide in your resume and questionnaire responses through reference and/or background check, and/or verification of your education.  If you are selected, you will be contacted personally by the human resources office posting this announcement.