Attorney Fellow (Legal Honors Program) – Mid Level (N1186401)

Fort Meade, Maryland
Pay Plan: GG, Grade: 12/1 to 14/10
Open: 2022-07-01, Close: 2022-09-11

The National Security Agency (NSA) Office of General Counsel (OGC) is looking for highly motivated entry-level attorneys with a commitment to public service to join its Legal Honors Program in Fall 2023. The Legal Honors Program is NSA OGC’s exclusive entry-level attorney hiring program. The Program is a three-year term appointment that includes rotations in both operational and support practice areas. NSA OGC has seven legal practice groups, which provide legal advice on the full breadth of legal issues confronting NSA, including legislation, intelligence operations, cybersecurity, ethics, procurement, research and development, litigation, environmental law, patents, personnel security, and employment issues.

NSA OGC is seeking superior Honors Program applicants who are interested in joining its exceptional team of lawyers who provide legal advice to the Agency as it carries out its critical national security missions. Attorneys working in NSA OGC apply their expertise, skills, and education to solve a variety of challenges not found in the private sector or at any other government agency. You will have the opportunity to make a global impact on a daily basis as you work with other top caliber professionals at the highest levels of the Agency and across the U.S. Government. This critical work ensures that Agency operations comply with the law while also protecting both our national security and our civil liberties. With appropriate training and supervision, NSA Honors Program attorneys are entrusted with immediate responsibility, working directly with clients and Agency leadership. Attorneys selected for the Legal Honors Program will also have special opportunities to attend high-level briefings, meetings, and congressional hearings on national security issues, liaise directly with intelligence community partners and other federal agencies, and tour facilities throughout the intelligence community, all while working under the guidance and mentorship of a senior attorney assigned to them from among the leadership of NSA OGC. Honors attorneys will be well positioned at the close of their three-year term to apply successfully for a full-time attorney position within NSA OGC or to utilize the skills acquired during the Program to launch a career outside of the Agency in national security law or other legal disciplines.

The twin missions of NSA ‘ signals intelligence and cybersecurity ‘ are two of the most important and dynamic challenges our Government faces today; therefore, there is rarely a typical day for an NSA attorney. At NSA OGC, you will analyze cutting-edge technical and intelligence issues and will frequently provide legal advice that relates to high-profile current events affecting our national security. In tackling these challenges, our attorneys work directly with senior officials at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council at the White House, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Defense, as well as other agencies in the Executive Branch and relevant committees of Congress.

NSA attorneys work in a highly classified setting and are entrusted with tremendous responsibility as they advise the Director and other senior leaders at the Agency on a diverse and complex spectrum of issues related to: gathering the foreign intelligence information needed to fight international terrorism, espionage, transnational crime, and narcotics; defeating foreign cyber adversaries trying to steal national secrets; and providing intelligence support to critical military overseas tactical operations, all while protecting our civil liberties and ensuring strict compliance with the Constitution and our laws. Because the NSA is a Department of Defense agency, our attorneys have a unique opportunity to be directly involved in national security operations working alongside military and civilian colleagues, as well as to interact with the private sector in cybersecurity and other matters.

Job Summary
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is the exclusive NSA component responsible for providing legal services to all NSA elements. The Office of General Counsel protect NSA’s interests concerning the legal and regulatory authorities, requirements, entitlements, obligations and oversight requirements under which the Agency operate.

*The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position. Salary offers are based on candidates’ education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position.

Entry for Grade 12 is with a Professional Law Degree – Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor (LL.B or JD).

Degree must be a Professional Law Degree (LL.B. or J.D.). As a condition of their term of employment, Attorney Fellows must pass the bar exam within 1 year and establish active membership in the bar of the highest court of a State, U.S. commonwealth, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia.

Selections are made based on many elements of a candidate’s background including: strong academic achievement; law review or moot court experience; superior writing and communication skills; past employment; a demonstrated commitment to government service, leadership, legal aid, and clinical experience; and extracurricular activities. Eligibility is limited to:
– Law students graduating at the end of 2022 (i.e., December 2022) or in the spring of 2023 with no prior legal experience (other than summer associate or intern positions); or
– Law school graduates from 2021 or 2022 who are seeking their first legal position following a judicial clerkship or graduate law program that commenced immediately after law school graduation.

Applicants must be graduates of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. New law school graduates must, within 14 months of the commencement of their employment, pass a bar examination and become duly licensed to practice as an attorney in a U.S. state, territory, or the District of Columbia. Applicants who are currently in a judicial clerkship or graduate law program must, prior to commencement of employment, be members in good standing of the bar of a U.S. state, territory, or the District of Columbia.

The qualifications listed above are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position.

Even if you have applied through your school’s career services portal, you must also apply on After submitting the online application, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email within one week, please contact to confirm that your online application was received. All candidates MUST apply on to be considered for a position in the Honors Program. There will be NO exceptions.

AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR ELECTRONIC APPLICATION, you will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the following supplemental information:
– Cover letter/Statement of Interest
– Professional resume
– Legal writing sample (short, <15 pages)
– Unofficial law school transcript
– Past professional/academic references (up to three; include name, title, phone number, and email).

This email will come from a member of the OGC Hiring Team from an account. If you do not receive this email within one week of submitting your application, contact
Your application will NOT be considered if these supplemental documents are not received by the date noted in the email instructions.

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
This is a full-time position, Monday through Friday.

Salary offers are based on candidates’ education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position.

The selected candidate may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a permanent appointment at a later date.

Salary Range: $89,834 – $116,788 (Full Performance)

How to apply
To apply for this position, please click the ‘Apply’ button located at the top right of this posting. After completing the application for the first time, or reviewing previously entered information, and clicking the ‘Submit’ button, you will receive a confirmation email. Please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept emails from

***PLEASE NOTE: U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.

This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans’ Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans’ preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.

Please note that you may be asked a series of questions depending on the position you apply for. Your responses will be used as part of the screening process of your application and will assist in determining your eligibility for the position. Be sure to elaborate on experiences in your resume. Failure to provide the required information or providing inaccurate information will result in your application not being considered for this position. Only those applicants who meet the qualifications for the position will be contacted to begin employment processing.

Job Posting could close earlier than the closing date due to sufficient number of applicants or position no longer available. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

DCIPS Disclaimer
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

JBNSA / Equal Opportunity Employer

NSA - National Security Agency

About founded 1997 as Virtual Domain Systems Analyst, took current name in 1999.

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Attorney Fellow (Legal Honors Program) – Mid Level (N1186401)

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