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Are you looking for a General Attorney (Associate Legal Advisor)? We suggest you consider a direct vacancy at Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington. The page displays the terms, salary level, and employer contacts Immigration and Customs Enforcement person

Job opening: General Attorney (Associate Legal Advisor)

Salary: $62 107 - 159 950 per year
Published at: Mar 27 2024
Employment Type: Full-time
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) is seeking an attorney to serve as an Associate Legal Advisor to serve in the District Court Litigation Division (DCLD). This position is located at OPLA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. The selectee may be approved for local remote work (i.e., within a 50-mile radius of the agency worksite). This position is also telework-eligible, in conformance with agency policy.


ICE OPLA DCLD is seeking an attorney for an Associate Legal Advisor position in Washington, D.C. to handle issues relating to the adjudication of administrative tort claims pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680, and all aspects of civil litigation, including the development of legal strategy and arguments, motion practice, discovery, and settlement negotiations, in cases ranging from common-law tort suits, lawsuits under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and claims seeking injunctive or declaratory relief, including habeas "class action" relief. DCLD provides oral and written advice to ICE leadership and employees regarding potential litigation risks and represents ICE's interests in litigation-related discussions with other agencies and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components. DCLD attorneys are responsible for managing ICE's production of discovery in federal civil litigation, which includes but is not limited to document collection and review of documents for responsiveness and privilege during discovery. DCLD primarily provides legal advice to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and other ICE components on legal authorities, best practices, and agency policies. DCLD's work contributes to significant policy decisions integral to ICE's mission. Assignments within DCLD are fast-paced and involve high-profile work. DCLD attorneys advise, counsel, and train ERO and HSI on legal authorities, best practices, and agency policies on a wide array of issues. DLCD attorneys work closely with a wide range of ICE program offices, including ERO, HSI, the ICE Office of the Director, ICE Office of Public Affairs, and ICE Office of Congressional Relations. They also work with DHS Office of the General Counsel (OGC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other federal agencies and departments. Serving as agency counsel, DCLD attorneys also work closely with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including U.S. Attorney's Offices and DOJ's Civil Division, including the Office of Immigration Litigation, Appellate Staff, Federal Programs, and Torts Branches. The selected attorney will immediately be given significant responsibilities and will be expected to craft legally supportable positions to address the needs of agency operational components. The attorney will be expected to routinely provide timely legal opinions to ICE officers and agents, DLCD management, and leadership within OPLA, ICE, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the General Counsel Headquarters. The selected attorney will be required to assess litigation risk and provide litigation support to the Department of Justice (DOJ). OPLA is the largest legal program in DHS, employing over 1,200 attorneys nationwide. In addition to Headquarters in Washington, D.C., there are 25 OPLA field locations in more than 60 cities throughout the United States. Pursuant to statute, OPLA serves as the exclusive representative of DHS in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review litigating cases involving criminal noncitizens, terrorists, human rights violators, and other priority noncitizens. OPLA also provides a full range of legal services to all ICE programs and offices. OPLA provides legal advice and prudential counsel to ICE personnel on their law enforcement authorities, legal liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, ethics, and a range of administrative law issues, such as contract, fiscal and employment law. OPLA represents the agency before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Civilian Board of contract Appeals. OPLA attorneys support DOJ in the prosecution of ICE cases and in the defense of civil cases against ICE. OPLA fosters an environment in which all voices are heard and values the unique perspectives and opinions that inhere among a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Comprising a far more diverse workforce than its private sector counterparts, OPLA is proud to strive to further diversify the experiences, perspectives, and characteristics of its workforce. It is committed to celebrating our differences and embracing practices that foster a fair, safe, and inclusive workplace by promoting equitable access to opportunities. In keeping with this commitment, OPLA will ensure that qualified applicants with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is required for any part of the application process, please contact the OPLA representative listed on this announcement.


  • You must successfully pass a background investigation and drug test for federal employment.
  • Selective Service registration is required for males born on, or after, December 31, 1959. Those not registered should have an approved exemption on file.
  • You must have relevant experience (see How You Will Be Evaluated and Qualifications tabs).
  • You must meet all requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
  • You may be required to serve a two-year trial period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Current OPLA attorneys must have completed two years of service with OPLA by the announcement closing date to be considered for this position.
  • You must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a U.S. state, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia.
  • Relocation expenses will not be reimbursed in connection with this position.
  • Occasional travel may be required, and you may be required to attend meetings and trainings at OPLA Headquarters and elsewhere in National Capital Region.


Qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification claims will be subject to verification. Applicants should be able to efficiently produce quality legal analyses of complex and novel issues, exercise sound legal judgment, prioritize competing assignments, and work effectively independently, as part of a team, and across work units. Applicants should be detail-oriented and have a strong interest in supporting and providing stellar client services to diverse program offices, including law enforcement officers, policymakers, attorneys, and agency senior leadership, and must be able to tailor communications to a particular audience. Applicants should be able to take initiative and work in a reliable, decisive, and professional manner. Applicants should possess the following characteristics and competencies: integrity, sound professional judgment, organizational skills, decisiveness, initiative, stellar client services, the ability to function independently and cooperatively, and superior written and oral advocacy skills. In addition, applicants for this position should demonstrate experience: Advising clients on matters related to general civil litigation, including personal injury and property damage and loss. Coordinating with law enforcement clients on the exercise and defense of their authorities. Conducting legal research and producing pleadings, responses to discovery requests, legal memoranda, and briefing materials. Briefing senior attorneys and clients on legal developments and proposed courses of action. Bar Membership: You must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a U.S. state, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Current or Former Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last five years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office. The Department of Homeland Security encourages persons with disabilities to apply, to include persons with intellectual, severe physical or psychiatric disabilities, as defined by 5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u), and Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more as defined by 5 C.F.R. § 315.707. Veterans, Peace Corps, VISTA volunteers, and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the required documentation, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.


Applicants must be a graduate of an American Bar Association accredited law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Please see Required Documents for more information.

A student loan repayment incentive may be available; if such an incentive is available and is authorized, a service agreement will be required.


  • Address OPLA ENFORCEMENT AND LITIGATION U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 500 12th Street SW Washington, DC 20536 US
  • Name: MSD OPLA Staffing and Benefits
  • Email: [email protected]


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