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  • The Office of Legal Adviser (L) within the U.S. Department of State seeks to hire a specialist Attorney-Adviser.  The attorney will primarily advise the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, or DDTC, an administrative agency within the Department that is responsible for implementing the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  Under the ITAR, DDTC authorizes direct commercial sales (DCS) of defense articles and defense services to further U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives while denying adversaries access to sensitive U.S. technologies.

    The Attorney-Adviser works as part of a small attorney team that provides legal advice to DDTC related to the ITAR and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The position is not eligible for rotations to other legal offices within the bureau/Department.

Work assignments may include:

  • Drafting amendments to the ITAR, including or reviewing proposed or final rules, including ensuring that they comply with other laws, policies, and procedures, and do not conflict with other parts of the ITAR.
  • Authoring legal advisory opinions, legal memoranda, and substantive correspondence analyzing legal issues presented and their relationship to the Department’s policies, programs, and objectives and coordinating review by other Department stakeholders and other federal agencies, as appropriate.
  • Providing advice on Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requirements.  Assisting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Federal Programs Branch (FPB) with defending civil litigation, including APA and constitutional claims brought against the Department. Reviewing and authoring part of motions and briefs is common.
  • Compiling administrative records and applying legal privileges and managing court-ordered discovery.
  • Reviewing agency and other attorneys’ draft briefs, memos, and other written work product to ensure legal accuracy and consistency with Department polices and interests.
  • Advising attorneys in DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) and various Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) in criminal investigations or cases related to the ITAR, including issues related to discovery.
  • Working with other government attorneys and officials including those in Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), various elements of the Department of Defense (DOD), and at the National Security Council (NSC).
  • Keeping abreast of legal developments in area of responsibility, including court precedent and changes in law, regulation, and internal policies and procedures, and systematically applying knowledge as relevant to carrying out responsibilities.
  • Counseling on matters related to civil administrative enforcement, including Due Process issues, administrative subpoenas, and settlement agreements.
  • Assisting DDTC with Freedom of Information Act requests and General Accountability Office investigations.
  • Creating legislative proposals or providing statutory interpretation as to the AECA or certain other laws, intersecting and not.
  • Briefing senior Department and interagency leaders succinctly as to possible legal options, risks, and other considerations for agency actions.

Additional Information

After a probationary period, some telework may be authorized, subject to Department policies.

The successful candidate will be an experienced and accomplished attorney with superb communication, interpersonal, analytical, problem-solving, collaboration, and management skills as well as excellent academic credentials.

While candidates with ITAR experience are preferred, significant experience with EAR export controls or sanctions will also be considered favorably.  Candidates with substantial federal litigation experience and administrative law backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

The position is one with significant responsibilities, and which offers an exposure to a wide breadth of issues while helping to protect critical national security and foreign policy objectives.


You must have at a minimum 3 years, and ideally more than 5 years, of progressively responsible professional experience working as a practicing attorney in one or more of the following fields: global trade, litigation, providing regulatory guidance, compliance, investigations, administrative hearings, or legal review. At least one year of this experience must be comparable in scope and responsibility to the GS-13, GS-14, or GS-15 federal grade level providing legal advice, analysis, research, or writing dispositive motions and briefs.  A federal or state supreme court clerkship may qualify towards the years of experience.

Applicants must have an outstanding record of academic and professional achievement. They must be able to handle a wide variety of assignments with short, time-critical deadlines, as well as design and execute substantial analytical projects. They must also possess exceptional analytical, writing, organizational, and interpersonal communications skills, suitable for successfully working with policy makers and senior-level officials as well as agency licensing, policy, management, and compliance personnel.

How to Apply

Application packages are being accepted directly by emailing an application with all required documents, preferably in one PDF, to

Please have the subject line of the email read “ITAR Attorney”.

Application packages should include: 1) a resume; 2) three references; 3) unofficial law school transcript(s); and 4) a proof of active membership and good standing in the bar of a state, district, or territory of the United States. One combined PDF application package is preferred.

Although this notice will remain posted for at least 30 days, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and before the closing date of this announcement. Those applicants who may be contacted for an interview may be asked to provide further application material at a later time, including a writing sample.

If this webpage is still active, then applications are still being accepted.

U.S. Department of State

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