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Title Executive Director and Chief of the Office of Staff Counsel
Categories Government
Organization Name U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
City Richmond
State VA
Job Description

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director and Chief of the Office of Staff Counsel.



The Executive Director and Chief of the Office of Staff Counsel position is an executive position for a licensed and qualified attorney that is appointed by the Chief Judge with the approval of the Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 715.  The Executive Director and Chief of the Office of Staff Counsel supervises the Office of Staff Counsel, a unit of the Court that employs approximately 40 attorneys and support personnel.  The primary responsibility of the Executive Director and Chief is to ensure the high quality of all substantive work performed by the legal and support staff employed by the Office of Staff Counsel.  In addition, the Executive Director and Chief has administrative responsibility for all aspects of the Office’s operations, including, but not limited to, human resources management, recruitment and training, budget preparation and fiscal oversight, procurement management, statistical reporting, and records management.

The salary range is $137,449-$171,444, depending on experience and qualifications.



The Office of Staff Counsel is the Court’s central legal staff.  Its attorneys and support staff assist in the disposition of appeals through the preparation of legal memoranda and proposed opinions and orders in cases in which a party is proceeding without an attorney and in fully counseled cases decided by the Court without oral argument.  The types of cases typically assigned to the Office of Staff Counsel include (1) all pro se appeals, including collateral attacks on criminal convictions by state and federal prisoners and civil rights suits under both 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens; (2) direct criminal appeals; (3) civil appeals of decisions by district courts and federal agencies that reflect the full range of issues presented in federal proceedings, including such matters as employment discrimination; contract disputes; immigration matters; tax and bankruptcy issues; and the award or denial of Social Security disability and Black Lung benefits; (4) substantive and procedural motions in civil and criminal appeals, including requests for bail; to dismiss appeals; for stays; for certificates of appealability in appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2254, and 2255; for appointment of counsel; to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis; and to file successive post-conviction relief motions; and (5) other legal research matters assigned by the Chief Judge.


Applicants must have (1) a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA accredited law school; (2) membership in good standing in the bar of a state or the bar of a territorial or federal court of general jurisdiction;

(3) expertise in federal appellate, civil, and criminal procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence; and an informed understanding of the processes of constitutional and statutory analysis; and (4) at least ten years of post Juris Doctor legal experience, including a minimum of three years of federal court experience and five years of executive management responsibility.

Qualified applicants also will possess excellent academic credentials; superior analytic, research and writing skills; outstanding written and oral communication abilities; strong interpersonal skills; a demonstrated ability to manage professional staff; an appreciation for the authority of federal judges; and the ability to work effectively and comfortably with senior Court staff.

How to Apply


Employees of the U.S. Courts are not classified under Civil Service; however, they are entitled to the same benefits as other federal employees, including paid vacation and holidays; an opportunity to elect medical, dental, life, vision, and long term care insurance; retirement benefits; and eligibility to participate in the federal Thrift Savings Plan.


Applicants must be citizens of the United States or be eligible to work in the United States and receive compensation.  Appointment to the position is provisional pending a suitability determination by the Court based on the results of an initial ten-year FBI background investigation that is updated every five years.  Employees of the federal judiciary serve under “Excepted Appointments,” and are thus at-will employees who serve at the pleasure of the Court.  Employees are required to use Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for payroll deposits.  The Court does not provide reimbursement for interview-related travel expenses or any relocation costs incurred by the successful applicant.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the job announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, if a closing date is shown; any of these actions may occur without any prior notice.

The announcement can also be viewed at or

Closing Date 2014-04-30