The Justice Department posted this job announcement, which solicits persons interested in serving as one of three Special Attorneys. These Special Attorneys will focus on recipients of federal financial assistance (including state and local governments and state courts) to provide training, policy development, advice, and conduct investigations related to serving limited English proficient persons.
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division, Federal Coordination & Compliance section
Special Attorney (Uncompensated)
Announcement Number: 13-UNCSA-FCS-003
About the Office: The Civil Rights Division, is primarily responsible for enforcing federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit, among other things, unlawful discrimination in education, employment, housing, police service, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and federally funded and conducted programs. The laws that the Division enforces also prohibit conduct by law enforcement agencies, as well as conditions in public residential institutions, such as health care and correctional facilities, that violate the constitution.
The Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS or Section) is entrusted with enforcing numerous federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Executive Order 12250, “Leadership and Coordination of Nondiscrimination Laws”, gives the Department of Justice (DOJ or Department) the authority to ensure consistent and effective enforcement of Title VI across all federal agencies. The Attorney General has delegated that authority to the Civil Rights Division, and it is a key function of the Section. The Section has issued policy guidance, provides legal counsel to other federal civil rights offices, leads the Interagency Working Group on Title VI as well as the Title VI committee of the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice, and has regulatory review and development responsibilities. For example, the Division issued guidance memoranda to federal funding agencies concerning their Title VI obligations, entitled: “Strengthening of Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” and “Title VI Coordination and Enforcement“.
The Section is also responsible for governmentwide coordination with respect to Executive Order 13166. Entitled, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” the Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them. It is expected that agency plans will provide for such meaningful access consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency. The Executive Order also requires that the Federal agencies work to ensure that recipients of Federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries. The Section develops policy guidance, technical assistance, and serves as the federal repository for the internal implementation plans that each federal agency is required to develop, to ensure meaningful access to its own federally conducted programs and activities, and it also reviews and approves each funding agency’s external LEP guidance for its recipients. The Section has initiated an aggressive program of intra- and inter-agency consultations and it actively solicits comments and suggestions from representatives of recipient and LEP individuals on how to identify and address the needs of LEP individuals under Executive Order 13166 in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Coordination work is complemented by a docket of administrative cases in which FCS investigates, resolves, and in some instances prepares for litigation, administrative complaints against Department of Justice recipients, including law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, prosecutorial agencies and courts, pursuant to Title VI and the Safe Streets Act. For instance, under Title VI, recipients of federal financial assistance, including state courts that receive funds from the Department, have an obligation to ensure that people with limited English skills can meaningfully access the programs or services the recipients offer. In the courtroom context, the stakes are high: a person with limited proficiency in English cannot effectively participate in a proceeding without language assistance. That is why the Division initiated a Courts Language Access Initiative that has successfully helped ensure that those who cannot speak or understand English have access to justice. The Division has engaged in more than a dozen states and with advocates and court leaders nationwide to improve access to courts for limited English proficient individuals.
Who May Apply: Applications are being accepted from all qualified candidates.
Number of Opportunities: 3
Application Period: Applications are being accepted from Wednesday, July 10, 2013 to 11:59 PM (ETZ) on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered: The Division is seeking experienced attorneys for uncompensated Special Attorney employment in the FCS. The core duties include:
- Providing legal counsel and technical assistance to federal civil rights offices;
- Conducting administrative investigations under Title VI and the Safe Streets Act, including investigations involving access to the courts and other recipients of DOJ financial assistance;
- Developing and/or providing training, including through use of technologies;
- Legal research and writing;
- Developing or working on proactive and reactive policy approaches to Section civil rights goals; and/or
- Some limited opportunities for litigation.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and have a minimum of two (2) years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must demonstrate superior oral and written communication skills (including strong advocacy skills), and must possess excellent academic and professional credentials, and outstanding professional references. Applicants must also demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills and professional judgment, and be able to excel in a highly demanding environment.
Preferred Qualifications: Given the nature and volume of this work, the FCS generally seeks candidates with a minimum of two (2) years of post-JD demonstrated experience, some background in Title VI, pre-litigation investigations and negotiations, litigation, training, technical assistance, and/or policy development.
Salary Information: None – this is an uncompensated position.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Travel: The position may require extended hours and significant travel.
Type of Position: This position is full-time, not-to-exceed one year. Under special circumstances, the appointment may be extended for an additional period not-to-exceed one year.
Part-time employees will be considered.
Submission Process and Deadline Date: To apply, please refer to the “How to Apply” section at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/PrintPreview/346831500
Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint and credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to the favorable adjudication of a background investigation
Internet Sites: This and other attorney vacancy announcements can be found at http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/attvacancies.html.
For more information about the Civil Rights Division, visit the Civil Rights Division’s web page.