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Office of the General Counsel Position Announcements

General Attorney, San Francisco, CA

The Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently seeking applications for its Deputy Chief Counsel position in its San Francisco Office.

Series & Grade: 0905, GS-15

Salary Range: $137,353 - $158,700

Open Period: August 12, 2015 – August 26, 2015

Position Information: Full Time

Promotion Potential: No

Duty Locations: San Francisco, CA

Who May Apply: This vacancy announcement is open to all US Citizens.

Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation

Supervisory Status: Yes

Job Summary:

Become a part of the Department that touches the lives of every American! At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), you can give back to your community, state and country by making a difference in the lives of Americans everywhere. It is the principal agency for protecting the health of citizens. Join HHS and help to make our world healthier, safer and better for all Americans.

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is the legal team for the HHS, providing quality representation and legal advice on a wide range of highly visible national issues. OGC supports the development and implementation of the Department’s programs by providing the highest quality legal services to the Secretary of HHS and the organization’s various agencies and divisions.

OGC is comprised of three principal subcomponents: an Immediate Office, Headquarters Divisions and Regional Offices. Each Headquarters Division is led by an Associate General Counsel, and each Regional Office is led by a Chief Counsel. The eight (8) Headquarters Divisions consist of the following: General Law Division (GLD), Children, Families and Aging Division (CFAD); Ethics Division (ETH); Civil Rights Division (CRD); Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Division (CMSD); Food and Drug Division (FDD); Legislation Division (LEG); and Public Health Division (PHD). The ten (10) Regional Offices are located in the following cities: Region I-Boston; Region II-New York; Region III- Philadelphia; Region IV-Atlanta; Region V-Chicago; Region VI-Dallas; Region VII-Kansas City; Region VIII-Denver; Region IX-San Francisco; and Region X-Seattle.

OGC is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from a diverse pool of qualified candidates.


Principal Advisor to the Chief Counsel

Provides a wide range of legal and advisory services to the Chief Counsel with respect to matters concerning the Region's policies and programs. Assists in the operation of the Regional Office by advising the Chief Counsel on managing human, financial, and technical resources. Recommends policies or procedures to enhance overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Regional Office’s operations and use of resources. Makes recommendations for training and career development of attorney, paralegal, and administrative support staff. Elevates matters of an urgent or sensitive nature to the Chief Counsel and ensures that the Chief Counsel is kept informed on all matters that impact the stability of operations in the Region.

Management and Supervisory Duties

Participates with the Chief Counsel in: (1) the overall planning, organization, and formulation of policies and procedures for the Regional Office; (2) the supervision of the Region's work; and (3) the selection, assignment, development, and evaluation of professional and administrative staff. Coordinates work where legal or policy issues impact more than one program and reviews legal interpretations and advice for consistency. Assigns and reviews work by attorneys in designated subject matter areas. Ensures that overall assignment of work is consistent with agency needs, and that legal analysis, positions, and strategies are of high quality and are consistent across program areas and with HHS and OGC policies and directives.

Supervises and conducts performance appraisal and management of attorneys, paralegals, legal technicians, and other administrative support staff within the Regional Office. Oversees attorneys who review and/or handle a wide variety of legal issues involving administration of federal programs, administrative litigation, and federal court litigation, as well as paralegal and administrative staff who provide support to the Regional Office staff. Oversees communications with agency officials on legal matters to ensure that client needs are identified and met. Identifies training and development needs for staff and internal and external opportunities for career advancement and development, including leadership development.

Program Advice and Litigation

Serves as a principal staff advisor to the Chief Counsel with respect to legal aspects of HHS programs within the Region. Develops and coordinates legal interpretations and advice on the statutes and regulations applicable to the administration of HHS programs (especially the Medicare program, the Medicaid program, and the programs of the Indian Health Service), as well as binding court decisions and other legal authorities. Ensures all litigation involving HHS before the federal courts, administrative tribunals, and state courts receives superior attention and that HHS's interests are vigorously represented.


Consults with and assists United States Attorney Offices in the investigation, preparation, presentation, and conduct of civil litigation arising from Departmental activities within the Region. Such consultation and assistance may include developing strategies for litigation, negotiating settlements of claims against the United States, and preparing complaints, briefs, motions, stipulations, judgments, findings, and all other documents peculiar to litigation. In addition , he or she may serve as the OGC representative in formal judicial or administrative proceedings, or delegate such representation to Assistant Regional Attorneys.

Advice and Counsel

Prepares and reviews high-level communications, policy statements, and similar communications by Regional and Departmental officials on significant program and policy matters that require particular sensitivity to and judgment concerning legal, public relations, or state or tribal implications. 

Qualifications Required:

  • Your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the position qualifications listed on this announcement. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
  • The following are required qualifications:
  • A Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited ABA law school
  • Admission to a bar of the highest court of a State, U.S. Commonwealth, U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia and be in good standing
  • Substantial familiarity with federal personnel and contract law, regulations and policy. Preference may be given to candidates with significant litigation experience in these areas
  • Strong academic achievement; outstanding organizational, time management, and interpersonal skills; superior legal writing and research ability; and a demonstrated commitment to professionalism, ethics, civility, and public service
  • At least five years of experience in the practice of law or its equivalent
  • At least one year of legal experience which is directly related to the position being filled and equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in Federal service

Conditions of Employment:

  • Must maintain an active bar membership and be in good standing throughout employment in the Office of the General Counsel
  • The successful candidate must submit official law school transcripts
  • Security and Background Requirements: If not previously completed, a background security investigation will be required for all appointees. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. In addition, if hired, a background security reinvestigation or supplemental  investigation may be required at a later time. Applicants are also advised that all information concerning qualifications is subject to investigation. False representation may be grounds for non-consideration, non- selection and/or appropriate disciplinary action
  • E-Verify: If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-Verify" System. Federal law requires DHS to use the E-Verify System to verify employment eligibility of all new hires and as a condition of continued employment obligates the new hire to take affirmative steps to resolve any discrepancies identified by the system. HHS is an E-Verify Participant.
  • Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing
  • All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.
  • Financial disclosure statement will be required
  • Two-year trial period may be required
  • One-year supervisory probationary period may be required
  • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid
  • This position is not in a bargaining unit

Instructions to Apply:

Please submit the following documents to Tracy Leone at by 11:59 p.m. on August 26, 2015 to receive full consideration.

  • A cover letter
  • A Qualifications Statement that provides a description of your experience and qualifications with respect to each of the following categories:
  1. Analytical skills: Ability to analyze complex legal problems and to direct the preparation of a finished legal document or other legal products. Experience should indicate a high level of analytical skills and excellent writing ability.
  2. Administration and managerial skills: Ability to participate in overall planning, reporting, and budgeting for an office, as well as in assigning work, setting priorities, and hiring, utilization, and evaluation of professional and administrative staff to ensure that the Region is doing its best to perform its mission and meet the agency’s needs.
  3. Litigation experience: Previous litigation experience, especially in some of the program areas outlined under 'Major Duties' above, as well as the ability to effectively formulate the Department's position in these proceedings and to develop litigation strategy for the defense and prosecution of matters having nationwide impact.
  4. Supervision and training skills: Ability to manage and supervise the work of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff of various grades and levels of experience, as well as to facilitate the effective training of less experienced attorneys and non-attorneys.
  5. Subject matter expertise: Experience in applying statutes, regulations, and policies related to the program areas outlined under 'Major Duties' above, as well as in the areas of federal personnel law, federal procurement law, and federal grants law.
  6. Client relationship and representation skills: The ability to relate effectively with officials of the client units, to maintain his/her role as an attorney among non-attorneys, and to serve as an effective spokesperson for the Office and the Department in dealing with agencies and individuals outside the Department.
  • If you are a current Federal employee, a copy of your last performance appraisal and a copy of your latest SF-50.
  • A resume (must include education, including names of undergraduate and law schools, degree received, and date graduated; date admitted to bar and jurisdiction; a general description of all past employment relevant to the practice of law, including dates of employment and supervisors’ names(s) and telephone number(s)
  • Legal writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages)
  • Law school transcripts if graduated from law school within the past five years
  • Proof of bar status and standing. You must provide proof that you are a current, active member of a bar of the highest court of a State, U. S. Commonwealth, U. S. Territory, or the District of Columbia
  • References (at least three professional)

No telephone calls please

Content created by General Counsel
Content last reviewed on August 19, 2015