“WHERE THE FEDERAL JOBS ARE”
FEDERAL AGENCY SERIES PART 4: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
Attorney General: Loretta E. Lynch (2015 – present).
DID YOU KNOW: The Heads of each of the other 14 Cabinet-level Departments are known as “Secretary.” As chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government, the head of DOJ is known as the “U.S. Attorney General” rather than “Secretary.”
Headquarters: DOJ Headquarters, known as “Main Justice,” renamed in honor of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, is located in Washington, D.C. The Department and its components have many other locations throughout Washington, D.C., the U.S., and foreign countries. For example, the U.S. Attorneys and their staffs operate in 94 federal districts throughout the country. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has over 200 domestic offices in 21 divisions throughout the U.S., as well as in 67 foreign countries. The current Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters is in Washington, D.C., but some functions and over 10,000 headquarters staff have moved to other locations. It also maintains over 400 offices across the nation and an international presence in U.S. embassies. A new FBI Headquarters within the National Capital Region is currently under consideration.
Mission: “To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling rime; to seek just punishment or those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.“
Strategic Goals: DOJ’s Goals and Objectives for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 are to:
- Prevent Terrorism and Promote the Nation’s Security Consistent with the Rule of Law
- Prevent Crime, Protect the Rights of the American People, and Enforce Federal Law
- Ensure and Support the Fair, Impartial, Efficient, and Transparent Administration of Justice at the Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and International Levels.
Number of Civilian Employees: Approximately 112,000 federal civilian employees.
TIP 1: DOJ is the world’s largest law office. Whether you are a law student, about to graduate from law school, or an experienced attorney, see our guidance below (“Civilian Career Fields”) regarding career opportunities.
TIP 2: Partnership for Public Service’s “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.” DOJ was rated the #3 agency among the 19 large federal agencies in 2015. In addition to its high score as a parent agency, While its score as a parent agency, several DOJ sub-components also received high scores. For example: among 320 agency sub-components, 3 Divisions had particularly high scores. The Environment and Natural Resources Division ranked #4, the Tax Division ranked #27, and the Civil Division ranked #31. All told, 11 of the DOJ sub-components were ranked in the top 1/3 of the 320 agency sub-components.
The DOJ Organization Structure: DOJ has 60 Administrations, Bureaus, Divisions, Commissions, Services, Institutes, Programs, Offices and Initiatives listed below (in alphabetical order) with brief mission statements. For some of the larger entities, we provide additional information regarding the number of staff and types of career opportunities.
- Antitrust Division. Promotes competition in the U.S. economy through enforcement of, improvements to, and education about antitrust laws and principles.
- Asset Forfeiture Program. Employs asset forfeiture powers to enhance public safety and security. Seizes and forfeits assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives and Firearms. ATF conducts criminal investigations, regulates the firearms and explosives industries, and assists other law enforcement agencies. The Bureau has approximately 5,000 employees including special agents and investigators.
TIP 3: ATF often posts “open continuous” announcements for Investigative Analysts to perform research and analysis in its many field division offices throughout the country. To qualify at the GS-7 entry level, candidates must have either 1 year of specialized experience related to criminal investigations, OR a full year of relevant graduate education OR a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with superior academic achievement. The vacancies are graded at the GS-7/9 levels with entry possible at either grade and opportunity for promotion to the GS-9 level. Announcements are posted on www.USAJOBS.gov.
- Bureau of Justice Assistance. Supports law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation’s criminal justice system.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics. Collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.
- Civil Division. Represents the U.S., its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet Officers, and other federal employees in civil or criminal matters within its scope of responsibility. Includes the Commercial Litigation Branch, Consumer Protection Branch, Federal Programs Branch, Office of Immigration Litigation, Office of Management Programs, and Torts Branch.
- Civil Rights Division. Enforces the Civil Rights Acts; the Americans with Disabilities Act; civil provisions of federal laws protecting voting rights, credit and housing laws; and other civil rights provisions contained in other laws and regulations. The Division also prosecutes criminal cases involving the violent interference with Constitutional or federal liberties and rights such as hate crimes and human trafficking.
- Community Oriented Policing Services. Awards competitive, discretionary grants directly to U.S. and territorial law enforcement agencies.
- Community Relations Service. Helps local communities address community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin.
- Criminal Division. Enforces criminal statutes and exercises general supervision over the enforcement of all federal criminal law. Includes, among others, the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, the Capital Case Section, the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, and the Organize Crime and Gang Section.
- Defending Childhood Initiative. Addresses the national crisis of exposure of children to violence as victims and as witnesses.
- Drug Enforcement Administration. Enforces the controlled substances laws and regulations of the U.S. Brings to the criminal and civil justice systems those organizations, and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the U.S. Recommends and supports non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of and demand for illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. Employs more than 10,000 people including special agents, investigators, intelligence specialists and chemists.
- Diversion Control Program (part of DEA). Prevents, detects, and investigates the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs.
- Elder Justice Initiative. Coordinates and supports DOJ’s law enforcement and policy activities on elder justice issues.
- Environment and Natural Resources Division. Handles environmental and natural resources litigation, arising under approximately 150 federal statutes, on behalf of the U.S. Responsible for the acquisition of real property by eminent domain for the federal government, and brings and defends cases under the wildlife protection laws. Litigates cases concerning Indian rights and claims.
- Executive Office for Immigration Review. Adjudicates immigration cases by interpreting and administering the nation’s immigration laws.
- Executive Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. Reduces the supply of illegal drugs in the U.S. and diminishes the violence and other criminal activity associated with the drug trade.
- Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. Provides general executive assistance to the 94 Offices of the U.S. Attorneys and coordinates the relationship between the U.S. Attorneys, organizational components of the Department of Justice and other federal agencies. (See U.S. Attorneys, below)
- Executive Office for U.S. Trustees. Protects and preserves the integrity of the bankruptcy system of the U.S. by regulating the conduct of parties; ensures compliance with applicable laws and procedures; brings civil actions to address instances of abuse; secures resolution of bankruptcy cases; and identifies, evaluates, refers, and supports the prosecution of criminal bankruptcy violations.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI protects and defends the U.S. against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats; upholds and enforces the criminal laws of the U.S.; and provides leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. Employs close to 35,000 employees, including special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, IT specialists, and support personnel. In addition to the D.C. headquarters, employees work in 56 field offices in major cities and 360 resident agencies in smaller cities across the U.S. The Bureau also has more than 60 international offices in U.S. Embassies around the world.
TIP 4: The FBI Special Agent position has very strict entry requirements, including age, citizenship, education and experience. Eligibility includes qualifying for at least 1 of 5 entry programs, possessing certain critical skills, and 2 phrases of testing if one is selected on the basis of their qualifying application. For specifics, see https://www.fbijobs.gov/.
- Federal Bureau of Prisons. Confines offenders in prisons and community-based facilities that provide work and other self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens. Employs approximately 38,000 people including correctional officers, psychologists, teachers, medical professionals, contract specialists, IT specialists and mechanics,
- Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. Adjudicates claims against foreign governments for losses and injuries sustained by U.S. nationals, pursuant to programs authorized by statute or under international agreements.
- INTERPOL Washington. Facilitates international law enforcement cooperation as the U.S. representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General. INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization with over 190 member countries.
- Justice Management Division. Provides advice to senior management officials relating to basic DOJ policy for budget and financial management, personnel management and training, procurement, equal employment opportunity, information processing, telecommunications, security, and matters pertaining to organization, management, and administration.
- National Commission on Forensic Science. Enhances the practice and improve the reliability of forensic science in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the Department of Commerce.
- National Institute of Corrections. Center of learning, innovation and leadership shaping and advancing effective correctional practice and public policy.
- National Security Division. Carries out DOJ’s highest priority – to combat terrorism and other threats to national security.
- Office for Access to Justice. Addresses access-to-justice in the criminal and civil justice system, ensures fair, just and efficient outcomes. Advances indigent defense and civil legal aid at the state and federal levels.
- Office for Victims of Crime. Provides leadership and funding on behalf of crime victims. Administers the Crime Victims Fund, raises awareness about victims’ issues, and promotes compliance with victims’ rights laws. Supports over 4,000 victim assistance programs throughout the U.S. and territories through the Victims of Crime Act.
- Office of Attorney Recruitment & Management. Recruits, appoints and determines suitability for he employment, separation and general administration of Department attorneys and law students in grades GS-15 and below. It is also DOJ’s adjudicative office in FBA Whistleblower cases.
- Office of the Associate Attorney General. Advises and assists the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs pertaining to a broad range of civil justice, federal and local law enforcement, and public safety matters. Oversees the following DOJ components: Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Community Relations Service, Office of Dispute Resolution, Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Information Policy, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.
- Office of the Attorney General. Supervises and directs the administration and operation of the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Prisons, Office of Justice Programs, and the U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals Service, which are all within the Department of Justice.
- Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing Department policies and programs and in providing overall supervision and direction to all organizational units of the Department.
- Office of Information Policy. Responsible for DOJ compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Develops and issues policy guidelines for all agencies on proper implementation of FOIA; oversees agency compliance. Manages DOJ’s obligations under FOIA including adjudicating administrative appeals from denials of access.
- Office of the Inspector General. Reviews the programs and personnel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorneys, and all other organizations in the Department. Employs about 440 staff in positions such as auditors, investigators, program analysts, and attorneys in Washington, D.C. headquarters as well as Audit and Investigations Division field offices in 16 cities across the country.
- Office of Justice Programs. Increases public safety and improves the fair administration of justice across America through innovative leadership and programs. Employs about 600 staff. The following sub-components are part of this Office:
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Offers justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.
- National Institute of Justice. Advances scientific research, development, and evaluation to enhance the administration of justice and public safety.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization
- Office of Legal Counsel. Assists the Attorney General in carrying out his/her statutory responsibility of furnishing legal advice to the President and the heads of the executive and military departments, provides legal advice and assistance to other components of the Department of Justice upon request. The Office’s 20+ attorneys handle particularly complex and significant legal issues confronting the Executive Branch.
- Office of Legal Policy. Develops and implements DOJ’s significant policy initiatives; handles special projects that implicate the interests of multiple Department components; coordinates with other interested Department components and other Executive Branch agencies; and serves as the primary policy advisor to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. Reviews and coordinates all regulations promulgated by the Department and all of its components, assists the Attorney General with responsibilities in recommending candidates for federal judgeships, and coordinates the judicial nomination and confirmation process with the White House and the Senate.
- Office of Legislative Affairs. Advises appropriate components of the Department on the development of the Department’s official policies through legislation initiated by the Department, by other parts of the executive branch, or by Members of Congress. Explains and advocates the Department’s policies to the Congress. Serves as the Attorney General’s focal point for dealing with Department nominees, congressional oversight, congressional correspondence, and congressional requests for documents and access to Department employees.
- Office of the Pardon Attorney. Assists the President in the exercise of constitutional pardoning power in cases in which applicants seek executive clemency. The Office reviews, investigates, and prepares the DOJ recommendation for the President for executive clemency for federal criminal offenses.
- Office of Professional Responsibility. Investigates allegations of misconduct by Department of Justice attorneys and law enforcement personnel that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice.
- Office of Public Affairs. Coordinates the relations of the Department of Justice with the news media; serves as the center for information about all organizational units of the Department.
- Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Supports national implementation of comprehensive sex offender registration and notification system; administers grant programs relating to sex offender registration and notification; and provides technical assistance for protection of children and others from sexual abuse or exploitation.
- Office of the Solicitor General. Represents the interests of the U.S. before the U.S. Supreme Court and oversees appellate and certain other litigation on behalf of the U.S. in the lower federal and state courts. The Office has four Deputies 16 Attorneys, 4 Fellows appointed for 1-year, and support staff.
- Office of Special Counsel. The Attorney General has the authority to appoint Special Counsels to conduct criminal investigations and possible prosecutions.
- Office of Tribal Justice. Serves as primary point of contact for the Department of Justice with federally recognized Native American tribes, and advises the Department on legal and policy matters pertaining to Native Americans.
- Office on Violence Against Women. Coordinates with other departments, agencies, and offices regarding all activities authorized or undertaken under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2000.
- Professional Responsibility Advisory Office. Ensures prompt, consistent advice to Department attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys with respect to professional responsibility and choice-of-law issues.
- Project Safe Childhood. A unified, comprehensive strategy to combat child exploitation by combining law enforcement efforts, community action, and public awareness. Components are: building partnerships, coordinating law enforcement, training partners, public awareness, and accountability.
- Tax Division. Enforces the nation’s tax laws, through both criminal and civil litigation, to promote voluntary compliance and sound development of tax law. Maintains public confidence in the integrity of the tax system, and promote the sound development of the law. The Division employs more than 350 attorneys in 14 civil, criminal and appellate sections based in D.C., except for the Civil Trial Section located in Dallas, TX.
- Tribal Justice and Safety. Increases engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities. Launched in 2009 with a series of regional summits with input from tribal representatives, the initiative set an agenda to establish a dialog on issues such as law enforcement, civil rights, grants, federal litigation and prosecution involving Indian tribes, tribal court development, domestic violence, drug courts and substance abuse, and detention facilities.
- U.S. Attorneys. The 94 U.S. Attorneys and their staff conduct most of the trial work in which the U.S. is a party. U.S, Statutory responsibilities are to prosecute criminal cases brought by the Federal government; to prosecute and defend civil cases in which the U.S. is a party; and to collect debts owed the Federal Government that are administratively uncollectible. Each U.S. Attorney employs Assistant U.S. Attorneys (as many as 350 in the larger offices) and support personnel.
- U.S. Marshals Service. Enforces federal laws and supports the federal justice system by providing for the security of federal court facilities and the safety of judges and other court personnel; apprehends criminals; exercises custody of federal prisoners and provides for their security and transportation to correctional facilities; executes federal court orders; seizes assets gained by illegal means and provides for the custody, management, and disposal of forfeited assets; assures the safety of endangered government witnesses and their families; and collects and disburses funds. The Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency with close to 4,000 Deputy Marshals and Criminal Investigators. U.S. Marshals direct the activities of 94 districts, one for each federal judicial district.
TIP 5 CAREER OPPORTUNITY: In February 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service began hiring for entry-level Deputy U.S. Marshals positions. In the summer of 2016, they will begin hiring Deputy U.S. Marshals positions through the USMS Recent Graduate Pathways Program.
- U.S. Parole Commission. Promotes public safety, justice and fairness in the exercise of authority to release and supervise offenders.
- U.S. Trustee Program. Promotes integrity and efficiency in the nation’s bankruptcy systems by enforcing bankruptcy laws, providing oversight of private trustees, and maintaining operational excellence. Also monitors the conduct of bankruptcy parties and private estate trustees, oversees related administrative functions, and acts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures. Identifies and helps investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse in coordination with U.S. Attorneys, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Civilian Career Fields: DOJ has vacancies for candidates with education and experience in a number of fields, including:
- Attorneys (Job Series 0905):
TIP 6: DOJ is the Nation’s largest legal employer with over 11,000 attorneys. For example, the Civil Division alone employs over 1,000 attorneys within its six (6) branches; the FBI employs over 200 attorneys.
- Entry-level attorneys may apply for The Attorney General’s Honors Program, the only way for “new” attorneys to enter DOJ in an attorney position. See http://www.justice.gov/legal-careers.
- Experienced attorneys (those with at least 1 year post-JD experience) are eligible to apply for attorney vacancies throughout the Department posted on USAJOBS.GOV. Vacancies often exist in the Civil, Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions; Antitrust, Environment and National Resources, and Tax Divisions; Office of the Solicitor General, Office Legal Counsel; the 94 Offices of U.S. Attorneys across the country; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys; Office of Legislative Affairs; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Office of Tribal Justice; National Security Division; and smaller DOJ offices.
TIP 7: DOJ also selects over 1,500 volunteer legal interns and recruits compensated summer legal internships each year. View the DOJ’s “Top 3 Tips to Secure a Legal Internship at the U.S. Department of Justice” at http://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/video/top-3-tips-secure-legal-internship-us-department-justice.
Other Career Opportunities include:
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers (Job Series 0083)
- Auditors (Job Series 0511)
- Intelligence Analysts (Job Series 0132)
- Investigators (Job Series 1811, 1854)
- Investigative Analysts (Job Series 1805)
- Contract Specialists (Job Series 1102)
- Economists (Job Series 0110)
- HR Specialist (Job Series 0201)
- IT Specialists (Job Series 2210)
TIP 8: See http://www.justice.gov/careers for a list of current DOJ jobs and links to specifics opportunities.
TIP 9: Veterans: DOJ’s Veterans Employment Program Office maintains a website with veteran-specific information, including military specific job fairs and hiring events. See http://www.justice.gov/careers/veteran-recruitment.
Current Vacancies: There are currently over 100 DOJ General Schedule (GS) vacancies for civilian positions posted in www.USAJOBS.gov for “U.S. Citizens.” Many are between the GS-7 and GS-15 levels. Occupations with the most vacancies include:
- Attorneys (Job Series 0905) and Paralegal Specialists (Job Series 0950)
- Medical positions (Job Series 0600)
- Management and Administrative (Job Series 0300)
- Accounting/Budget/Finance (Job Series 0500)
- Investigators (Job Series 1800)
- Security Specialists (Job Series 0080)
- IT Specialists (Job Series 2210)
The NEXT BLOG IN THE FEDERAL AGENCY SERIES WILL FOCUS ON The Department of The Treasury.
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