Remote Eligible Attorney Adviser – Join a Dynamic Team and Work from Anywhere


Summary : Attorney Adviser

This position is an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Safety Law, Office of the Chief Counsel. The Office of Safety Law handles matters relating to all areas of FRA’s authority to regulate railroad safety, including civil penalty enforcement, drafting and issuance of regulations, and legal interpretations of Federal railroad safety laws and regulations.

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Clarification from the agency

Applications will be accepted from any U.S. Citizen. This position is in the Excepted Service. For information on the Excepted Service, please visit: Excepted Service Appointing Authorities@ This is a Bargaining unit position represented by AFGE 1084


The Attorney-Adviser:

  • Exercises enforcement responsibility with respect to railroads, hazardous material shippers, and other entities, including individuals, who violate Federal railroad safety laws and regulations.
  • Reviews investigatory materials from FRA field inspectors and supporting analyses from the Office of Railroad Safety concerning alleged violations of railroad safety laws and regulations for which the assessment of civil penalties is recommended.
  • Uses investigatory materials from FRA field inspectors and supporting analyses developed by the Office of Railroad Safety and determines whether sufficient admissible evidence has been submitted to support exercise of an enforcement tool other than civil penalties.
  • In conjunction with the Department of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel, assists the Department of Justice in representing FRA in judicial litigation, often of substantial complexity, by reviewing, editing or drafting pleadings, stipulations, motions, briefs, affidavits, and other papers.
  • Drafts proposed legislation and Congressional testimony concerning railroad safety and analyzes proposed legislation bearing on railroad safety issues.
  • Develops and drafts railroad safety regulations. These regulations present extremely complex legal questions and factual issues that require a high degree of original and creative legal effort.
  • Serves as legal officer in public hearings conducted by FRA in connection with proposed safety regulations and waiver applications, advising the hearing officer on proper hearing procedures.
  • Assists FRA’s Operating Crew Review Board in drafting decision letters in administrative actions in which the denial or revocation of a locomotive engineer’s or conductor’s certification is appealed.

The ideal candidate for this position has strong research and analytic skills and the ability to interpret and report on complex factual and legal issues. The candidate possesses the ability to present information verbally and in writing and has experience successfully dealing with individuals from diverse backgrounds. The candidate should be capable of handling multiple projects, cases, and issues simultaneously.

PLEASE NOTE: This announcement establishes an open continuous (1-year) vacancy announcement.  The first referral of eligible applicants will be 3 weeks from the opening date.  Given our continuing need for top professionals in this field, it is anticipated that applications will be reviewed approximately every 8 to 10 weeks throughout the open period, as needed.  

This position may be eligible for Remote Work.  Remote work means the residence is the full-time official duty location. The difference in salary is determined by the locality pay in each location. Salaries for all areas are available on the OPM website at:


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • This is an Excepted Service position.
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.


  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: This is an Excepted Service position. This job will be filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive service. Applicants selected for an excepted service position may be subject to a two-year trial period.
  • ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties.  Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2635.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position may involve travel. A government contractor-issued travel card may be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • RAILROAD STOCK: Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF). whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited.


To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the Education Requirement for the series, (2) provide a copy of transcripts for verification, AND (3) meet either the education or experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

GRADE 11 – Possess a professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.) and be in good standing of a bar.  No professional legal experience necessary.

GRADE 12 – A law degree, bar membership in good standing, and one year of professional attorney experience.

GRADE 13 – A law degree, bar membership in good standing, and two years of professional attorney experience.

GRADE 14 – A law degree, bar membership in good standing, and at least three years of professional attorney experience.

GRADE 15 – A law degree, bar membership in good standing, and at least four years of professional attorney experience.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

  1. Administrative Law – Knowledge of state and/or Federal administrative laws, including procedures, regulations, guidelines, and precedents related to case preparation and settlements.
  2. Oral Communication – Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, considering the audience and nature of the information (e.g., technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, observes nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  3. Written Communication – Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.
  4. Problem Solving – Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.

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.

For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link:

All applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



In order to qualify for this position, candidates must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and have a professional law degree, and must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a State or Territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.  

Additional information


TELEWORK: Managers may exercise discretion to allow a limited amount of regular or task-based telework for this position.

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if similar vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level

For this announcement, all applicants will be reviewed to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for this position, specifically the educational and specialized experience requirements.

Applicants will not be rated or ranked.

All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official.

The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package.  If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers.
You may preview questions for this vacancy.

Required Documents

ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:

The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position. Please review each of the following sections to determine which documents you need to provide with your application.

RESUME – Needs to be created within USA Jobs Resume Builder. It must show relevant experience, education and fully support the required specialized experience.



TRANSCRIPTS – Transcripts are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements. 

WRITING SAMPLE: If selected for an interview, a writing sample may be requested.

VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility.  It need not be official.

  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability.  An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran’s Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) (, you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system.  You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than 11:59 pm (EST) on the closing date of the announcement.

  • To begin, click the “Apply Online” button on the job announcement posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at

If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office via email at


Agency contact information

 Automated Staffing Office





Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR – 50
Washington, District of Columbia 20590
United States

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Next steps

You may check your application status by logging into (Select “My USAJobs” and click “Applications”.  As needed, a Human Resources Specialist will evaluate your application. Qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring agency will contact you directly.  Once the position is filled, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

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