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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
General Attorney
Open Period:
09/18/2019 - 10/16/2019


GS - 0905 15
USD $137,849 - USD $166,500
Work Schedule:
Full-time - This is a Full-Time, Permanent
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Few Vacancies in

Alexandria, VA, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Sheryl White-Riley


Hiring Path:
• Individuals with disabilities
• Excepted service
• Open to the public
• Veterans
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Excepted Service Appointment.
Marketing Statement:

The Office of the Solicitor is looking for skilled, dedicated individuals to join their legal team and enhance the dynamics of our workforce!  Apply now for this exciting opportunity!


This vacancy has been amended to extend the closing date to 10/16/2019.

Come work for the USPTO, we have been ranked as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®!
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

15% or less


Office Overview:

The Office of the Solicitor, a division of the Office of General Counsel, is seeking an experienced and talented individual to serve as a General Attorney. The Office of Solicitor serves as legal counsel to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on intellectual property law matters. The Office of the Solicitor also represents the USPTO's Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) in disciplinary proceedings in which practitioners are charged with misconduct under the USPTO's Rules of Professional Conduct.  The work is challenging, the atmosphere is professional, and the diverse attorneys enjoy a high quality of work life rarely found in the legal field.


The duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Serving as primary counsel in representing the OED Director in disciplinary proceedings before administrative law judges, and in cases on appeal to the Director of the USPTO. Assisting in representing the USPTO in disciplinary cases in the United States district courts, and the United States appellate courts.

  • Coordinating and overseeing all aspects of the Solicitor’s Office’s OED disciplinary cases which involve prosecuting unethical conduct by attorneys and agents recognized to practice before the USPTO in patent and trademark matters.

  • Handling all aspects of highly controversial disciplinary cases from complaint filing through trial and appeal. Responsibilities include collaborating with the OED Director to complete investigations, developing litigation strategy, conducting legal research, writing complaints, motions, briefs, and other litigation documents, taking and defending depositions, presenting oral arguments, conducting trials.

  • Providing legal advice to the OED Director, OED staff attorneys, and Agency officials on ethics and disciplinary matters.

  • Advising in special projects, including teaching continuing legal education classes, contributing to the drafting of procedural rules, and other miscellaneous duties.

Qualifications and Evaluations


You must be a current member of the Bar in Good Standing of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory.

Key Requirements:
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • You must meet the definition of professional specialized experience.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Confidential Financial Disclosure filing is required for this positon.
  • Education Requirements:

    Education Requirement:  Applicants must possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree from an ABA accredited law school. 



    Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume.

    Your resume and any other supporting documentation will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you.

    Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).


    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for Attorney positions. However, the agency sets minimum qualifications for Attorney positions and sets forth these qualification for each vacancy announcement. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement.

    To be eligible for this position, you must:

    1. Be a current member of the Bar in Good Standing of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory.

    2. Be Suitable for Federal employment.

    In addition to the eligibility requirement listed above, you must have:


    Professional specialized experience is legal experience, post J.D., that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled.


    Applicants must have at least four (4) years of post J.D. professional specialized experience in litigation matters. Litigation experience in the area of attorney ethics and disciplinary enforcement is preferred. Possess experience in one of the following: (1) drafting motions and other litigation documents; (2) taking and defending depositions; (3) conducting hearings or trials before a judge or jury; Or (4) negotiating settlements.

    Familiarity with the rules applicable to practice before the USPTO, and a working knowledge of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct is preferred but not required.

    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.


    Benefits and Other Info

    Agency Benefits:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) and Telework Program are available to eligible employees.

    Please visit USPTO New Employee Information for additional information.

    Visit Working for the Federal Government to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

    Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement

    Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO job applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Other Information:

    Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen or National. 

    If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.

    This is a Non Bargaining Unit position. 

    This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of “high”. 

    This position requires a Financial OF-450 Disclosure.  For more information on 450 filing, please visit:

    If selected, you will be required to complete a two (2) year trial period.

    Telework Eligibility is available as determined by agency policy.

    Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.

    The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.

    All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.

    Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.

    Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website 

    CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the ‘Required Documents’ section of this announcement.

    More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued.

    All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.  If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act.  Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email ( or phone (571-272-8292 ). 

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

    Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as information that can be traced back to a specific individual and potentially compromise their security or privacy. Examples of PII include: date of birth, Social Security Number, and place of birth.

    Please ensure that you have removed all Personally Identifiable Information from all documents prior to submitting or uploading your applications material.

    You MUST apply online. If you experience difficulties with the application process or do not have access to a computer, please contact the HR Specialist listed as the point of contact before the closing date of this job announcement.

    If you are a new user to the USAJobs Site and have never registered for an account; you will first need to create an account profile with your basic contact information and a resume to begin applying. You must be a registered USAJobs user AND you must be signed-in to your account in order to apply for this position. For help setting up an account or for general help using USAJobs, go to USAJobs Help Page.

    Once you have gathered all of the required information and are ready to begin the application process, click the "APPLY ONLINE" button at the right side of the page. You will then be directed away from USAJobs to the Department of Commerce application site for USPTO.

    If you experience any difficulties with the application site, help is available! If you have problems completing your on-line application, contact the Monster Hiring Management Help Desk at 1-866-656-6831 or by e-mail at The help desk is available Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You may call and leave a voice mail message at all other times.

    All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJobs “Saved Documents” feature.

    You can choose ONE of the following methods to submit supporting documents:

    1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.


    2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

    Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date of this job announcement.

    NOTE: The preceding documentation requirements are based on job requirements and individual applicant eligibility. Not all documents are applicable to all applicants--if you are unsure which documents apply to you, contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement.
    Required Documents:

    A complete application consists of:

    1. A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, experience and how it relates to the specialized and professional experience in the job announcement.

    Please Note: Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating. Any experience claimed in a cover letter should be substantiated by information contained in your resume.  A Human Resources representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.

    2. Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your Law School transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

    3. Bar Membership Documentation: You MUST submit documentation showing that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. Examples of acceptable bar documentation may include one of the following: 1)  Copy of Bar Card;   2)  Screen shot of state of licensure with your name identified; 3)  Copy of Certificate of Good Standing. 

    PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date of this announcement to submit follow-up supporting documentation if applicable. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference entitlement who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 5 business days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.

    Supporting documents that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

    1. Writing Samples - You MAY be asked to submit two writing samples at the close of this announcement.  

    2. Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) - For current and/or former Federal employees, your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service will be validated with a copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action".

    3. Veterans’ Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are a preference eligible claiming a service connected disability of 10 percent or more, you will be asked to submit documentation (i.e. a letter dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces) certifying to the veteran’s present receipt of compensation. Veterans must include dates of military service within the automated application process, and submit Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.  For excepted service positions, Veterans' Preference does not apply; however, Veteran's will receive positive consideration.

    4. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit: (1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status; (2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location; (3) A copy of your last performance appraisal; and (4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    You can choose ONE of the following methods to submit Supporting Documents:

    1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.


    2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

    Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this job announcement.

    Next Steps:

    You will receive a notice generated by the USAJobs System when you have successfully submitted your application. 

    You will also receive notification through USAJOBS at each of the following points during the application process: (1) application received; (2) applicant assessed for qualifications; (3) applicant referred or not referred; and (4) selected or not selected.

    After all application packages have been received, we will review your application and transcript(s) (if you are qualifying based on education) to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided and you may be contacted for follow-up supplemental documentation.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide any supplemental documents or information requested by the Office of Human Resources within the allocated timeframes.  Failure to submit requested documents or information within 5 business days of receiving the request may result in your application not receiving further consideration.

    You can check the status of your application by logging into USAJOBS.  You may also sign up to receive automatic emails anytime the status of your application has changed by logging into your USAJobs Account, editing your profile and changing the ‘Notification Settings’ to indicate that you want to be notified by email when the status changes.  Information regarding the status of your application should be updated in the system within 2 weeks after the closing date of this job announcement.