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Working As An Attorney General

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $109,120

    Average Salary

What Does An Attorney General Do At Immigration and Customs Enforcement

* This position has promotion potential to the GS
* This position may be filled at the GS
* GS-0905-13, GS-0905-14 or GS
* grade level.
* If a selection is made at the GS
* grade level, promotion to the next higher level may occur without further competition.
* When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected.
* Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.
* Trial Period:
* New attorneys to the Federal government will be required to serve a trial period of 2 years.
* Direct Deposit:
* All federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
* Notice to Veterans Preference:
* There is no formal rating system for applying veteran's preference to attorney appointments in the Excepted Service; however, the OPLA considers veteran's preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring.
* Applicants eligible for veteran's preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documents (e.g., DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active duty) to their submissions.
* Although the point-preference system is not used, applicants eligible to claim a 10-point preference must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10
* Point Veteran Preference, and supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed.
* The SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preference and the required supporting documents, is available from the Office of Personnel Management Website at http://www.opm.gov/
* Financial Disclosure:
* If you are hired, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days after appointment.
* Read more
* How You Will Be Evaluated
* You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
* Your resume, cover letter, and other applicant information should reflect the breadth of your experience, expertise, demonstrated ability, and/or training in the following areas:
* Advising agency officials on regulations, executive orders, legislative proposals, and administrative interpretations, ideally focusing on immigration laws;
* Advising clients on administrative enforcement actions by identifying litigation risks and ensuring compliance with regulatory provisions, the APA, and other legal protections afforded to regulated entities;
* Drafting regulations including responding to public comments;
* Advising, counseling, and/or training on relevant legal authorities, best practices, and policies;
* Providing timely and concise legal opinions for clients, management, and senior leadership;
* Prioritizing multiple assignments, exercising sound legal judgment, and efficiently producing quality legal analyses of complex legal issues;
* Producing high-quality written work that is compelling and concise; and
* Ability to take initiative and work in a reliable, decisive, and professional manner.
* The cover letter is required as part of this application and should highlight the applicant's knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience for the relevant duties listed above.
* All the information you provide may be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process.
* This verification could occur at any stage of the application process.
* Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible, not hiring you, or for firing you after you begin work.
* Read more
* Background checks and security clearance
* Security clearance
* Secret
* Required Documents
* Help
* Required Documents
* ALL**required documents must be submitted before the closing date.
* You must include the documentation below (in addition to specific information requested elsewhere in the vacancy announcement) to receive consideration for this position.
* Review the following list to determine what you need to submit.
* Resume:
* A resume that includes announcement number, veteran's preference, your full name, address, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number and a detailed description of your experience, education, training and self-development and the dates you performed them (MM/DD/YY).
* This documentation must be submitted with your application package.
* Transcript

What Does An Attorney General Do At Internal Revenue Service

* Draft published guidance, including regulations, revenue rulings and revenue procedures, in collaboration with Treasury Department Office of Tax Policy.
* Provide technical support to IRS field attorneys and examination personnel and to Department of Justice attorneys involved in refund and appellate litigation, including development of issues, recommendations regarding litigation, and review of examination and litigation-related documents.
* Analyze taxpayers’ requests for private letter rulings and draft appropriate rulings.
* Advise Chief Counsel regarding proposed legislation

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How To Become An Attorney General

All lawyers must have a law degree and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination.


Becoming a lawyer usually takes 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA accreditation signifies that the law school—particularly its curricula and faculty—meets certain standards.

A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into most law schools, and courses in English, public speaking, government, history, economics, and mathematics are useful.

Almost all law schools, particularly those approved by the ABA, require applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This test measures applicants’ aptitude for the study of law.

A J.D. degree program includes courses such as constitutional law, contracts, property law, civil procedure, and legal writing. Law students may choose specialized courses in areas such as tax, labor, and corporate law.


Prospective lawyers take licensing exams called "bar exams." When a lawyer receives their license to practice law, they are "admitted to the bar."

To practice law in any state, a person must be admitted to the state’s bar under rules established by the jurisdiction’s highest court. The requirements vary by individual states and jurisdictions. For more details on individual state and jurisdiction requirements, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Most states require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school, pass one or more written bar exams, and be found by an admitting board to have the character to represent and advise others. Prior felony convictions, academic misconduct, or a history of substance abuse are just some factors that may disqualify an applicant from being admitted to the bar.

Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state often must take the bar exam in each state.

After graduation, lawyers must keep informed about legal developments that affect their practices. Almost all states require lawyers to participate in continuing legal education either every year or every 3 years. 

Many law schools and state and local bar associations provide continuing legal education courses that help lawyers stay current with recent developments. Courses vary by state and generally cover a subject within the practice of law, such as legal ethics, taxes and tax fraud, and healthcare. Some states allow lawyers to take their continuing education credits through online courses. 


Newly hired attorneys usually start as associates and work with more experienced lawyers. After several years, some lawyers may be admitted to partnership of their firm, which means they become partial owners of the firm.

After gaining a few years of work experience, some lawyers go into practice for themselves or move to the legal department of a large corporation. Very few in-house attorneys are hired directly out of law school.

A small number of experienced lawyers are nominated or elected to judgeships. Other lawyers may become full-time law school faculty and administrators. For more information about judges and law school faculty, see the profile on judges and hearing officers and the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Other Experience

Law students often gain practical experience by participating in school-sponsored legal clinics, in a school’s moot court competitions, in practice trials under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges, and through research and writing on legal issues for a school’s law journals.

Part-time jobs or summer internships in law firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments also provide valuable experience. Some smaller firms, government agencies, and public interest organizations may hire students as summer associate interns after they have completed their first year at law school. Many larger firms’ summer internship programs are only eligible to law students who have completed their second year. These experiences can help law students decide what kind of legal work they want to focus on in their careers, and these internships may lead directly to a job after graduation.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Lawyers help their clients resolve problems and issues. As a result, they must be able to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions.

Interpersonal skills. Lawyers must win the respect and confidence of their clients by building a trusting relationship, so that clients feel comfortable enough to share personal information related to their case.

Problem-solving skills. Lawyers must separate their emotions and prejudice from their clients’ problems and objectively evaluate the matter. Therefore, good problem-solving skills are important for lawyers, to prepare the best defense and recommendation.

Research skills. Preparing legal advice or representation for a client commonly requires substantial research. All lawyers need to be able to find what applicable laws and regulations apply to a specific matter.

Speaking skills. Clients hire lawyers to speak on their behalf. Lawyers must be able to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries. 

Writing skills. Lawyers need to be precise and specific when preparing documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

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Attorney General jobs

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Attorney General Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • German

  • Korean

  • Italian

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Hebrew

  • Greek

  • Turkish

  • Armenian

  • Lakota

  • Yiddish

  • Arabic

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Attorney General

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Attorney General Education

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Real Attorney General Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
General Attorney U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Washington, DC Oct 01, 2014 $142,129
General Attorney (Trade Regulation) Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC Sep 28, 2014 $137,494
General Attorney U.S.Securities & Exchange Commission Washington, DC Jun 30, 2011 $122,678
General Attorney U.S.Securities & Exchange Commission Washington, DC Oct 01, 2011 $122,678
General Attorney U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Washington, DC Oct 01, 2011 $122,678
General Attorney (Trade Regulation) Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC Sep 28, 2011 $108,717
General Attorney (Trade Regulation) Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC Mar 27, 2014 $103,872
General Attorney (Trade Regulation Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC Mar 27, 2012 $100,904
General Attorney (Trade Regulation) Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC Mar 27, 2010 $97,936

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Top Skills for An Attorney General


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Top Attorney General Skills

  1. Child Support Cases
  2. Extensive Legal Research
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored child support cases and refers delinquent cases for the appropriate enforcement action(s).
  • Monitored child support payments awarded by court to ensure compliance and enforcement of child support laws
  • Negotiated with defense counsel and probation officers to achieve a disposition.
  • Maintained confidential records and prepare legal documents and filings.
  • Advised state clients, and managed assistant attorneys general on variety of contractual, constitutional, intellectual property and employment matters.

Top Attorney General Employers