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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Attorney-Advisor (General) GS-0905 - 12/13/14/15
Open Period:
01/30/2018 - 02/20/2018


GS - 0905AA 12/13/14/15
USD $81,548 - USD $164,200
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Excepted Service Position
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
1 Vacancy in

Silver Spring, MD, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Gregory T. Newton


Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
All qualified United States Citizens
Security Clearance Required:
Public Trust - Background Investigation
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Marketing Statement:
Unlock secrets in deep oceans, track rapidly moving storms, operate state-of-the-art environmental satellites, chart the Nation’s waterways, formulate models to forecast climate trends, protect and preserve our living marine resources…all in a day’s work at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)!  Join a dedicated work force committed to a vital mission:  safeguarding the public, protecting natural resources, strengthening the economy.  A career that makes a world of difference! An extraordinary opportunity is available to serve as an Attorney Advisor in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of the General Counsel.
This is a Public Notice. Please read this Public Notice in its entirety prior to submitting your application for consideration. 

The directions for applying to this announcement can be found in the “How to Apply” section of this Public Notice.

An exciting opportunity is now available to be part of a team of attorneys with the NOAA Office of the General Counsel's Fisheries and Protected Resources section in Silver Spring, MD. NOAA is one of the premier environmental agencies and high-quality science agencies in the US Government. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services promote economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.

NOAA’s Office of General Counsel consists of 110 lawyers and their supporting staff in the headquarters and regional NOAA General Counsel’s offices work with scientists and staff throughout NOAA to provide legal support for the agency’s important programs.  Legal issues include fisheries regulation;  threatened and endangered species protection; coastal protection; marine sanctuary development and regulation; licensing of commercial satellite space; and ecosystem restoration after natural resource damage to NOAA trust resources from oil or chemical spills. NOAA lawyers also work with lawyers in the Department of Commerce to assure that NOAA staff and line offices have available a full and effective range of legal services.

For more general information, see
Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Position requires overnight domestic and may require foreign travel.


The attorneys in this office provide legal advice to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on protected resources actions, such as those developed pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Federal Power Act and other protected resources statutes.  For example, the attorneys will provide legal advice on permits or authorizations issued under the MMPA, listing determinations and consultations under the ESA, and all supporting environmental analyses related to these actions.  The attorneys also handle fisheries-related matters, such as those arising under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act as well as fisheries related financing authorized by the Merchant Marine Act.  The attorneys also will provide advice regarding compliance with other procedural and administrative laws and regulations (e.g., the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)).  The selected attorney can expect to provide legal advice in any of these areas.  The incumbent will coordinate with other lawyers, policy makers, and technical staff within NOAA and NMFS and interact with other Federal agencies (e.g., Department of the Interior and Department of Defense), applicants, industry groups, public interest organizations, Native Americans and other groups and organizations. The incumbents will report to the Deputy Section Chief for Fisheries and Protected Resources.  Some travel will be required. 

The position involves working closely with experienced biologists, fishery managers and financial specialists in, among other things, developing and reviewing regulations, permits, policies and commercial transactions. The position requires interaction with other NOAA GC attorneys, policy makers and technical staff, the Department of Commerce, and other Federal and state agencies, members of the regulated community, and public interest organizations. It also involves active participation, in concert with U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, in conducting research and analysis for the development of arguments and strategies to defend NOAA fisheries in cases brought under the above-referenced statutes. The work involves complex and challenging issues on important matters.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
Key Requirements:
  • Position is in excepted service.
  • Applicants must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Applicant must be a US citizen or National to apply for this position.
  • Must complete a 2 year trial period unless a preference eligible veteran.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Education Requirements:
    Applicants must have a J.D. from an accredited law school, and be an active member of a state bar OR the bar of the District of Columbia. Significant academic achievement in law school (such as top 20% class ranking, graduation with honors, judicial clerking experience, or participation in moot court or law review) or experience practicing environmental law will be favorably considered.

    This position has an educational requirement. Official Transcripts must be submitted upon selection. 
    Applicants will be evaluated based on the Qualifications described above.  Please be advised that NOAA Attorney positions are in the Excepted Service.  As such, these positions are not covered by the usual civil service hiring procedures. 

    There is no numerical rating system through which to apply veterans' preference; however, the NOAA Office of General Counsel considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference are encouraged to include that information in their cover letter or resume, and to attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD214 Form or other substantiating documents) to their submissions.

    Your resume and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the qualifications for the position. Selections made under this notice will be processed as new appointment to the civil service. Current civil service employees would, therefore, be given new appointments to the civil service and require a new probationary period. 

    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. 
    NOAA seeks attorneys with knowledge of Federal environmental statutes and conservation laws, as well as laws and regulations governing Federal agencies, including the Administrative Procedure Act, the Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Freedom of Information Act and other generally applicable federal laws.

    Applicants must have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing and to identify and resolve complex legal issues. Applicants also must demonstrate the ability to manage large projects independently, assimilate large amounts of materials quickly, balance a large and diverse workload, and work effectively in a team with other attorneys and support staff.

    Benefits and Other Info

    NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at:
    Other Information:
    Relocation or moving expenses will not be authorized.

    Overnight travel is occasionally required.

    NOAA 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.

    The incumbent is required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450), within 30 days after entrance-on-duty date, and annually thereafter.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    Please do not apply to this position through USAJobs.  

    Application must be made by sending a resume and cover letter through email to

    In the cover letter, please explain in detail how your experience, education, training, activities or awards relate to the qualifications listed above. Also, explain why you are interested in working for the NOAA Office of the General Counsel, Fisheries and Protected Resources.

    Please include your email address and your day and evening telephone numbers, and indicate the best time to reach you by telephone. 

    Applications must be emailed by February 20, 2018.  Please send your application material to the email address provided in this public notice above.  Failure to follow these instructions will result in your application not being considered.
    Required Documents:
    A complete application consists of the following:
    • Resume and cover letter showing relevant experience.  Please include your GPA and class rank in your resume, if available.  Your resume must indicate your citizenship, and whether you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59.  Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week.  For work in the Federal Service, please include the grade level for the position(s).
    • Veteran’s documentation: If you are requesting consideration as a Veterans you must submit a copy of your DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service or other valid proof of eligibility (i.e., statement of service that shows service dates AND character of service) and/or any other required supporting documents (VA Letter).
    • Active Duty Service Members: You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the announcement closes. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. If the appropriate information is not submitted to confirm the discharge status, dates of service, etc., you will not be considered for this job opportunity under Veteran Preference procedures. To gain access to your DD-214 online please visit
    • Education.  This position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Education completed in foreign colleges or universities must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website. You MUST provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.
    • Performance Appraisal - most recent performance appraisal (dated within last 3 years) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan that does not include this information.
    • Awards - Copies of any award received within the last 3 years.
    Next Steps:
    Applicants will ONLY be contacted if management would like to schedule an interview. Interviews may be arranged at the discretion of the Office of General Counsel for those subject to further consideration based upon their qualifications. Applicants will not be notified that their application has been received.  The email box is not monitored to address questions or inquiries.

    By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.