National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Attorney-Advisor General GS-0905-11,12,13 in Washington, District Of Columbia

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
4 vacancies in the following locations:
  • Washington DC, DC
  • Silver Spring, MD
Work Schedule is Permanent - Excepted Service Appointment - Full-Time

Opened Tuesday 10/11/2016 (15 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 11/18/2016 (23 day(s) away)

Job Overview

About the Agency

An extraordinary opportunity is available to start your legal career in fall 2017 in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of the General Counsel by gaining a position through its selective Attorney Honors Program. The NOAA Office of the General Counsel employs approximately 110 attorneys at headquarters in the Silver Spring, MD/Washington, DC area and six regional sections. The Office provides legal advice to the NOAA Administrator and NOAA program offices on a wide variety of legal issues including U.S. and international fisheries, marine mammals, endangered and threatened marine species, preservation of coastal areas, marine sanctuaries, and licensing of commercial satellites.

NOAA is a premier environmental agency located within the U.S. Department of Commerce and employs over 12,000 individuals nationwide. NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them.

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support 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 roots date back to 1807, when the Nation’s first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, was established. Since then, NOAA has evolved to meet the needs of a changing country. NOAA maintains a presence in every state and has emerged as an international leader on scientific and environmental matters.

NOAA’s mission touches the lives of every American and we are proud of our role in protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resource. For more information see and


As an Attorney-Advisor in the Attorney Honors Program, you will work closely with experienced NOAA scientists and other program specialists on a variety of cutting-edge issues relating to the management and conservation of natural resources. This position requires interaction with other NOAA General Counsel Office attorneys, NOAA scientists, policy makers and technical staff, Department of Commerce officials, other Federal and state agency officials, members of the regulated community, and representatives of public interest organizations. It also involves active participation, in concert with U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, in prosecuting and defending NOAA cases brought under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Oil Pollution Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and other similar laws. The work involves complex and challenging legal issues on important matters.

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Overnight domestic travel and may require foreign travel.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Applicant must complete a two-year trial period.
  • Applicant must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • Applicant must be registered for Selective Service (males only).
  • Applicant must be able to start work on or by October 8, 2017.

Knowledge of or experience working with Federal environmental protection and /or natural resource conservation laws, as well as laws and regulations governing Federal agencies, such as the Administrative Procedure Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Freedom of Information Act or other generally applicable federal laws, will be favorably considered. Knowledge of or experience working with the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or the Federal Power Act will be favorably considered. Knowledge of or experience working with international law pertaining to the marine environment such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will be favorably considered. Demonstrated interest in issues related to environmental stewardship and the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources will also be favorably considered.

Applicants must have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and to identify and resolve complex legal issues. Applicants also must demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a team with clients, other attorneys, and support staff.

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.

Applicants must meet all qualifications by the closing date of this announcement.

Applicants must be a law student who will receive his/her J.D. degree by June 30, 2017; or a graduate law student with a J.D. who will receive his/her L.L.M. by June 30, 2017; or a or a recent law school graduate with a J.D. who will complete a judicial clerkship or a legal fellowship by October 6, 2017.

Significant academic achievement in law school (such as ranking in the top 20% of the class), graduation with honors, judicial clerking experience, or participation in law review, will be favorably considered.

Applicants must pass a bar examination and be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) within 14 months of entry on duty in Fall 2017.

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

**Applicants will not be notified that their application has been received. Interviews may be arranged at the discretion of NOAA for those subject to further consideration based upon qualifications.


Review our benefits

Other Information

Attorneys in the Honors Program are hired at the GS-11 pay grade. If you served as a judicial law clerk or in a legal fellowship for at least one year or earned an advanced law degree (LLM or equivalent) within two years of obtaining your J.D., you will start at the GS-12 pay grade. Attorneys joining the Attorney Honor Program following multiple-year judicial clerkships may be hired at the GS-13 pay grade. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. Please check OPM's salary tables for current salaries for the Silver Spring, MD/Washington, DC area:

If you have passed the bar by the time you enter on duty in Fall 2017, you will join the NOAA Office of the General Counsel as an Attorney-Advisor. If you have not yet passed the bar, you will join as a Law Clerk at the GS-11 pay grade, and will become an Attorney-Advisor once you pass the bar. You must pass a bar examination and be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) within 14 months of entry on duty in Fall 2017.

As part of your training, you will initially serve two to three rotations of three to six month each, in local sections located in the Washington, D.C. area. You may volunteer to work in a regional office as one of your rotation. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your preference for rotations, consistent with the needs of the Office.

At the end of the third rotation and consistent with the needs of the Office, you will be permanently placed in a specific legal section, making reasonable efforts to take into account your preferences for a permanent location. While we expect to place attorneys in one of the Silver Spring, MD/Washington, D.C. area sections, you may request permanent placement in one of the six regional sections. If a permanent placement involves a change in location, you will be responsible for your relocation costs.

Salary Range: $64,650.00 to $119,794.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0905-11/13

Promotion Potential: 15

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: All qualified U.S. Citizens or Nationals. A successful candidate must be admitted as an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) within 14 months of commencing work.

Control Number: 453067300

Job Announcement Number: SO-OGC-2017-0001