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Attorney-Advisor, Sentencing Commission of the District of Columbia (SCDC)



This is position located in the Sentencing Commission of the District of Columbia (SCDC), which is an independent agency within the District of Columbia government. The Commission develops and implements sentencing guidelines used by judges in felony cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Commission monitors compliance with the guidelines and evaluates reasons for authorized and unauthorized departures; provides training to judges and practitioners on guideline application; and conducts research on sentencing in the Superior Court.

This position functions as Attorney Advisor, responsible for evaluating and proposing modifications to the D.C. Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines and Commission operations in response to a new Model Penal Code based criminal code; along with functions in response to changes brought on by the potential passage of the Revised Criminal Code Act (RCCA). The result of proposed changes may range from a complete revision of the Guidelines to modifications to specific rules or offense rankings. The incumbent is also responsible for providing legal advice to the Commission and the Executive Director; and developing new and amended legislation, regulations, and contractual activities as directed by the Executive Director.

Major Duties:

The Attorney Advisor will be responsible for working with the Commission and the Executive Director to develop the process the Commission will use to review and evaluate potential reforms.  Conducts extensive legal research related to reforms to the District’s criminal laws and procedures.  Provides detailed oral or written opinions with respect to proposed actions, alternative actions, and hypothetical situations related to these reforms.  Drafts proposed reforms to the District’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines, along with explanatory legal and policy analyses. Ensures that all proposed changes are fully researched and briefed.

Examines and analyzes proposed legislation and other legal documents from various sources for legal sufficiency, both as to the form and substance of rulemaking decisions. Work with Commission members, the agency’s Executive Director, and other Commission staff to plan for, develop, and implement changes to the sentencing guidelines and the Commission’s activities based on potential changes to the D.C. Criminal Code.  Prepares written policy statements for action taken by the Sentencing Commission. Coordinates legal, policy and operational initiatives related to policy or technical modifications to the Sentencing Commission guidelines.

Qualifications And Experience:

Graduated with a Juris Doctor from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) at the time of appointment, plus two (2) years of legal experience practicing law in area closely related to activity of the DC Sentencing Commission.

Must be an active member in good standing of the bar of the District of Columbia, or eligible for waiver into the bar. (If eligible for waiver, incumbent must successfully obtain admission to the D.C. Bar within 360 days of commencing employment).

Incumbents for this position shall be subject to a NCIC criminal background check.

Working Conditions/Environment:

The work is performed in an adequately lighted and climate-controlled office.

Domicile Requirements:

Applicant will be subject to the domiciliary requirements for Excepted Service appointees, who must be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment or become domiciled in the District of Columbia within 180 days after appointment and maintain such domicile for the duration of his or her appointment.

Other Significant Facts:

Tour of Duty: 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday

Pay Plan, Series, Grade: ES-0905-07

Salary Range: $93,188 – $139,770 per year

Promotional Potential: None

Collective Bargaining Unit: This position is not covered under a collective bargaining unit.

Position Designation: This position is designated as Security Sensitive. The incumbents of this position will be subject to enhanced suitability screening pursuant to Chapter 4 of DC personnel regulations, suitability.

How to Apply:  Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Only individuals who meet the minimum qualifications will be contacted.

Please include the answers to the following questions in your cover letter:

  1. Describe your experience working with sentencing guidelines or sentencing policy.
  2. Describe your training or experience researching and/or drafting statutes, codes, rules, regulations, or policies.  
  3. Describe your experience working with or analyzing model penal code statutory schemes. 
  4. Describe your training or experience with DC criminal law or the DC criminal code.  
  5. Discuss your project management and team leadership training or experience.

EEO Statement: The District of Columbia Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, physical handicap or political affiliation.