Internal Revenue Service

General Attorney - Senior Counsel - Ethics and General Government Law Branch

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  • Full Time
  • $163,964 - $191,900/year
  • Washington, DC
May 23, 2024 Attorney Tax Law

Job Description

Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, seeks enthusiastic individuals to serve taxpayers fairly and with integrity by providing correct and impartial interpretation of the internal revenue laws and the highest quality legal advice and representation for the IRS. Please click "Learn more about this agency" to find out more about Chief Counsel's various offices, to view some of the workplace attributes that Chief Counsel's workforce rates most favorably, and to hear from employees themselves.

  • $163,964 - $191,900/year
Conditions of Employment
  • Refer to "Additional Information"
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National

In order to qualify, you must meet the education and/or experience requirements described below. Your resume must clearly describe your relevant experience; if qualifying based on education, your transcripts will be required as part of your application.

To qualify for this position of General Attorney (Non-Tax) Senior Counsel you must meet the qualification requirements listed below by the closing of this announcement:

Basic Requirements for General Attorney (Non-Tax) Senior Counsel:

  • Possess at least the first professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association; AND
  • Applicants must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a State, U.S. Commonwealth, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

GS-15 Experience Requirements:

  • 1 year of general professional legal experience from any area of expertise; plus
  • 3 year(s) of professional legal experience

Professional Legal Experience is defined as: Knowledge and expertise with providing ethics advisory opinions and advice on issues arising under the conflict-of-interest provisions of 18 U.S.C Part I, Chapter 11; the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch; the Department of Treasury supplemental standards and employee conduct rules; and/or other standards of conduct or behavior, including Treasury Circular 230 (31 C.F.R. Part 10) and the rules governing the conduct of the legal profession.
Providing other legal services related to the administration of the Ethics in Government Act, including ethics training and briefings, and reviewing financial disclosure reports of Service and Chief Counsel employees who are required to file such reports. Providing advisory opinions to agency officials on non-tax laws, regulations, and decisions governing the management of federal agencies with respect to matters such as appropriations and fiscal law, delegations of authority, records and property management, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, intellectual property, and a wide range of other general government issues.

At least one year of this experience must be equivalent to the work performed at the next lower grade/level position in the federal service (GS-14).

Note: Only experience gained after Bar Admission may be credited as Professional Legal Experience.

Education Substitution: An LL.M. degree in the field of the position may be substituted for the one year of the general legal experience listed above.

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). You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume.


The Office of Chief Counsel, General Legal Services (GLS) employs approximately 82 attorneys and 7 paralegals. The Ethics and General Government Law Branch (EGG) acts as the program coordinator and primary advisor to the Deputy Ethics Official, providing legal advice and ethics advisory opinions on all ethics matters, including advice on matters as to the propriety of acts involving Service, Office of Chief Counsel, former employees, and practitioners under 18 U.S.C. Part I, Chapter 11; the Ethics in Government Act; Government-wide, Treasury, Service, and Counsel standards and rules of conduct or behavior, and Treasury Circular 230. EGG issues advisory opinions to agency officials with respect to the multitude of non-tax laws, regulations, and decisions governing "housekeeping" in the management of Federal agencies (e.g., delegations of authority, fiscal law, Federal Advisory Committee Act, agency employee garnishments, intellectual property). EGG provides litigation support to the Department of Justice on general government and legal management matters not otherwise covered by Area Counsel. EGG provides formal ethics training and briefings, wherever needed, and provides legal oversight of the filing, review, and action on financial statements of Service and Chief Counsel employees who are required to file such statements. EGG provides primary legal advice on matters under the procurement integrity statute, coordinating, where necessary, with the Chief, Public Contracts and Technology Law Branch.

As a General Attorney (Senior Counsel), you will:

  • Serve as a senior expert on legal matters under the jurisdiction of the office to which assigned, including nationwide projects and cases, acting as a personal consultant to the Branch Chief, Deputy Associate Chief Counsels or Associate Chief Counsel on all office issues related to these subject matters.
  • Assist with the development and management of the office's legal policies, positions and programs, and provide strategic planning support in identifying emerging trends and issues likely to have an impact on office-wide programs and activities.
  • Serve as a primary liaison, on behalf of the office, with other Counsel and IRS offices to facilitate communications between offices and to coordinate and improve services; conduct outreach activities to promote information sharing between offices.
  • Make presentations and serve as a technical representative of the office. Counsel, and/or IRS in senior-level meetings and conferences, including meetings with Congressional staff or other Federal agencies.
  • Personally handle some of the office's most complex and important assignments, particularly those with broad, or potentially controversial, ramifications.
  • Serve as team leader on large-scale office projects, which may include representatives from other Counsel components.
  • Act as resource specialist to other office staff, providing authoritative, substantive guidance and assistance to facilitate the development and completion of work assignments.
  • As delegated, exercises signatory authority and acts as reviewer on matters within the jurisdiction of the office.
This is not an all-inclusive list.

Education For positions with an education requirement, or if you are qualifying for this position by substituting education or training for experience, submit a copy of your transcripts or equivalent. An official transcript will be required if you are selected. A college or university degree generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which meet these criteria, please refer to Department of Education Accreditation page. FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. For further information, visit: Other Information

  • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • This is a non-bargaining unit position.
  • We offer opportunities for telework.
  • We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.
Conditions of Employment Continued:
  • Subject to a 1-year trial period (unless already completed).
  • Subject to a 1-year supervisory or managerial probationary period (unless already completed).
  • Subject to a Tenure Commitment of up to 3 years.
  • Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment, at the time requested by the agency.
  • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9. Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
  • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
  • File a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days of appointment and annually from then on.
  • Undergo an income tax verification.
  • The employment of any candidate, including a current employee or a new hire, selected for this position may be conditional upon classification and/or audit of federal tax returns. This audit may include up to 2 years of returns.
  • This position requires that the successful candidate undergo personnel vetting, which includes a background investigation and enrollment upon onboarding into "Continuous Vetting." Enrollment in Continuous Vetting will result in automated record checks being conducted throughout one's employment with Treasury. The successful candidate will also be enrolled into FBI's Rap Back service, which will allow Treasury to receive notification from the FBI of criminal matters (e.g., arrests, charges, convictions) involving enrolled individuals in near real-time.

    There are three key documents that contain important information about your rights and obligations. Please read and retain these documents:
  • Noncriminal Justice Applicant's Privacy Rights, for those who undergo an FBI fingerprint-based criminal history record check for personnel vetting, which includes Rap Back,
  • FD-258 Privacy Act Statement - FBI (this is the same statement used when your fingerprints are submitted as part of your background investigation), and
  • SEAD-3-Reporting-U.pdf (, (applicable to those who hold a sensitive position or have eligibility for access to classified information)

Required Documents

A complete application includes 1. A resume, 2. Vacancy question responses, and 3. Submission of any required documents. Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you may not be considered for this position (or may not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible).

All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. (Cover letters are optional.) To receive full credit for relevant experience, please list the month/year and number of hours worked for experience listed on your resume. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. Please view resume tips.

In addition, applicants are required to submit:

  1. An unofficial or official transcript(s) for your J.D. degree or LL.M. degree (an official transcript is required if you are selected)
  2. An 8-10 page legal writing sample
  3. A memorandum of interest summarizing your interest in the position
Current Chief Counsel Employees are also required to submit:
  1. A copy of your most recent, signed, completed annual performance appraisal which includes the final rating. If it is not dated within the last 12 months or if you have not received a performance appraisal, please explain why in your application
  2. A Supervisory Report for Non Supervisory Positions (Senior Counsel Only) (ERB Form 1-88a, Rev. 4-11) regarding your suitability for the position as completed by your current supervisor. You are responsible for notifying your supervisor that this report must be received no later than five workdays after the closing date of this announcement.
Education Documentation: For positions with an education requirement, or if you are qualifying for this position by substituting education or training for experience, submit a copy of your transcripts or equivalent. An official transcript will be required if you are selected. See "Education" for more details.

Certificate of Good Standing: A certified original copy of your certificate of good standing from your State Bar will be required if you are selected.

VETERANS' PREFERENCE DOCUMENTATION: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Office of Chief Counsel considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. If you are claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214 (Member 4 copy), or other official documentation from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veterans Affairs showing dates of service and type of discharge. Ten-point preference eligibles must also submit an Application for 10-point Veteran Preference, SF-15, along with the required documentation listed on the back of the SF-15 form. For more information on veterans' preference, view FedsHireVets.

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

The following instructions outline our application process. You must complete this application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 06/24/2024 and/or cut-off dates in this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 7:30am-4:00pm ET., Monday - Friday). To preview the Application Questionnaire, please click the following link:

If you require a reasonable accommodation for a disability or medical condition during any part of the application and hiring process, please contact Kimberly Johnson, Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator, HR Labor & Employee Relations Division, by phone at 469-801-1728 or by email at The IRS - Office of Chief Counsel provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. You must contact us by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the announcement's closing date to request accommodation. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.

  • Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is submitted. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process.
  • You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
  • It is your responsibility to verify that your application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) is complete, accurate, and submitted by the closing date. Uploaded documents may take up to one hour to clear the virus scan.
  • Additional information on how to complete the online application process and submit your online application may be found on the USA Staffing Applicant Resource Center.


A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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