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Discover why the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) and the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) have become an employer of choice among those in the legal profession.

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Summary of Legal Positions

Staff Attorney (GS-9/11/12)
Staff attorneys, working in hearing offices throughout the country, provide professional legal assistance to administrative law judges. In these challenging positions, you will assist in pre-hearing legal preparation, research, decision preparation and other post-hearing actions. Employees may progress to higher levels, including supervisory positions.

General Attorney (GS-11, 12, 13, 14)
General Attorneys working in the OGC Headquarters and Regional Offices work on a broad variety of challenging and important legal work. OGC attorneys partner with the Department of Justice to represent SSA in program and general litigation before federal district and appellate courts. OGC attorneys also represent SSA before administrative agencies, and provide legal advice on matters ranging from family law and trust law to employment law and labor relations. They may also deal with Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act issues, federal contract law, ethics, bankruptcy, tort claims, and civil rights matters. OGC offers a collegial environment in which experienced attorneys are eager to share their expertise. Attorneys joining OGC are given responsibility for their own caseloads, but also receive intensive mentoring, training, and support.

Attorney-Advisor (GS-9/11/12, 13, 14)
Attorney-advisors, working in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review headquarters, perform a variety of activities relating to the hearings and appeals process. In these positions you might: advise and assist Appeals Council Members or the Chief Administrative Law Judge; develop administrative law procedures, policy and/or guidelines concerning hearings, appeals and civil action processes; provide guidance for implementing court orders and precedential court decisions; or develop and implement litigation strategies.

Administrative Law Judge (AL-3)
Working in hearing offices throughout the country, administrative law judges conduct impartial de novo hearings and issue decisions to claimants who have appealed previous Social Security determinations. They are hired from a register of qualified candidates established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Attorney-Examiner (Appeals Council Member GS-15)
Located at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, the Appeals Council is the appellate body which reviews and acts on ALJ decisions and dispositions on requests from claimants, or on its own motion. Appeals Council Members, also recommend action concerning decisions appealed to the courts, and recommend whether appeals should be taken to higher courts on judicial reversals of the Commissioner's decision.





Attorney at work


Federal salaries are set by law. Membership in the Bar and one year of professional legal experience or outstanding academic achievement is required for entry at the GS-11 level. Additional professional legal experience or outstanding academic achievement may qualify you to enter the job at a higher GS level.

Legal team at work
How to Apply for Legal Positions

Learn how to apply for a legal position with ODAR.

Learn how to apply for a legal position with OGC.

Legal staff in conference

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Last reviewed or modified Monday Jan 14, 2008
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