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Defense Institute of International Legal Studies
Newport, Rhode Island, United States
8 days ago


The Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) is recruiting for a supervisory attorney (international) position for legal institutional capacity building at Naval Station Newport, RI.  DIILS is a joint agency activity under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

DSCA's mission is to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by building the capacity of foreign security forces to respond to shared challenges.  DSCA leads the broader U.S. security cooperation enterprise in its efforts to train, educate, advise, and equip foreign partners.  DSCA administers security cooperation (SC) programs that support U.S. policy interests and objectives.

DIILS is the lead Defense SC resource for legal institutional capacity building (ICB), legal education and training, and dissemination of international humanitarian law and human rights training.  DIILS conducts SC and ICB programs with partner nation (PN) security sector officials, trains partner units on international human rights standards, and hosts resident legal education programs for international students at the DIILS Education Center in Newport, RI.

The selectee for this position serves as Supervisory Attorney and Senior Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) Attorney, is the senior advisor to the Director of International Legal Programs (ILP) and DIILS leadership on ICB methodology, conducts DIILS legal ICB programs and activities, and supervises other DIILS ICB Attorneys.

This attorney leads, supervises, and mentors civilian attorneys with a robust international engagement mission.  Advises and mentors ILP military attorneys on ICB methodology and areas within incumbent’s area(s) of expertise.  Responsible for ensuring the quality of work of ICB attorneys within the DIILS ILP Unit, which consist of General Schedule (GS) civilian attorneys (grades GS-13 through GS-14) and one or more contract personnel.

Serves as the focal point within assigned region(s) for DIILS legal ICB efforts; responsible for establishing or enhancing the partner nation (PN) legal institutional capacity consistent with applicable law of the NDAA for 2020 § 1210, and Title 10 U.S.C., Ch. 16, § 332 and 333. Provides advisory services, develops, plans, implements, evaluates, and reports outcomes and results of legal ICB engagements.

The Supervisory ICB Attorney also supports and works as part of a team (or teams) with the Regional Program Director (RPD) in legal institutional capacity efforts on behalf of DSCA, DIILS, and Department of Defense (DoD).  Provides advisory services, legal education, and informal training, and identifies experts to provide such assistance for PN legal advisors to assist their national decision makers in transforming decisions into legally acceptable plans and orders that support security objectives.  Coordinates with other SC ICB implementers to provide the legal aspects of ICB support, including international legal obligations of the PN.  Researches and advises on regional and bilateral legal and operational issues relevant to DIILS engagements.  Conceives and develops tailored engagement tools designed to support ICB efforts based on targeted strategic and policy guidance.  Develops alternative courses of action for complex legal engagement efforts tailored to the legal system, and the military, operational, historical, social, cultural and political characteristics of the PNs.  Develops and produces legal advisory services project design, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation plans. 

This attorney serves as advisor and Subject Matter Expert (SME) on ICB methodology for the ILP Director and other members of the ILP Unit.  Guides the preparation of templates and tools for ICB Program and Activity assessment, design, monitoring, and evaluation (ADM&E).  Provides guidance to DIILS ICB Attorneys on ADM&E practices as set forth in DoD, OUSD(P), DSCA, and other directives and guidance to ensure compliance with the same.  Researches, interprets, and analyzes applicable U.S. and international laws, including treaties and other international agreements, regional SC agreements, policies and objectives and engagement guidance to inform development, implementation, and evaluation of legal ICB priorities, programs, and activities.

Serves as SME and advises on issues of international and comparative law, in such areas as military operational law, legal standards for the application of force, military rules of engagement, military justice, civilian control of the military, and/or gender integration and mainstreaming. Issue areas on which the incumbent provides expert advice and/or leads teams of experts may extend to legal aspects of peacekeeping operations, anti-corruption, and counter-terrorism.

As a SME, may be called upon to apply expertise to:  (1) develop advisory services, educational and/or training modules, tailor curriculum and other informational and instructional materials and presentations to address U.S. security priorities, and the specific security, legal and political circumstances of the PN; (2) present, teach, educate, and advise on course development, and/or provide referrals of other SMEs for resident and/or mobile courses and other training programs, integrating with ICB plans; and (3) advise on internal training needs, and conduct internal training to/with colleagues.

The work of this attorney directly impacts short and long-term U.S. strategic interests with participating nations, consistent with U.S. political-military foreign policy goals.  This position requires the ability to interpret U.S. laws, international laws, treaties, and international agreements, DoD and U.S. DoS regulations, instructions, and opinions, and provide written interpretations of foreign legal capacity gaps that DoD policymakers and implementers can use to justify their position.  Requires experience in the analysis of factual and legal issues presented to determine what further facts are needed and what legal sources are applicable.  This attorney reviews policies, procedures, regulations, technical manuals, and other agency publications, and studies practices, policies, procedures, and operations of other government agencies, and professional publications and other authoritative sources of information required in the technical interpretation of factual issues.

In order to conceive, manage and assess a portfolio of complex legal capacity-building programs, this attorney must have a combination of legal, instructional, managerial, operational military law, international development, and/or other comparable experience relevant to the mission of DIILS.  Must possess the ability to develop international capacity building programs, projects, and activities, conduct project design and management of regional and bilateral legal capacity-building engagements, and evaluate and report on outcomes within the assigned geographic areas.  Must demonstrate attention to detail and the ability to effectively administer multiple simultaneous projects in several countries.

Must have expert communication capacity (both orally and in writing) and exceptional organizational and administrative skills.  These skills will apply to provision of insights and direction on mission content, planning, and execution to be carried out in conjunction with military reserve officers and contractors.  Must possess exceptional knowledge of U.S. Government SC and Security Assistance programs and related funding sources.

Domestic and international travel (not to exceed 50%) may be required, which may include developing countries with limited medical facilities and particular security concerns.  Receiving immunizations and taking prophylactic medication (such as for malaria) as recommended by the Center for Disease Control may be required.  The employee may be required to work other than normal duty hours, which may include evenings, weekends and/or holidays and/or overtime.   

This vacancy will be filled at the GS-14 level of the General Schedule, which currently has a pay range of $121,243 to $157,614 (which includes a locality adjustment for the Newport, RI area).  Pay will be commensurate with qualifications.

To be considered for the GS-14 level, the successful candidate must have a minimum 3 years of experience working within Defense SC environment at a senior level.  A Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law, Military Law, National Security Law, or similarly relevant legal field to the DIILS international engagement mission is preferred.  Prior military experience and some practice of international law is desired, preferably in a joint military environment at a senior level allowing for prior experience in supervising joint military and civilian staff.

Applicants will be evaluated on:  (1) the depth, breadth and quality of their relevant, successful legal experience; (2) analytical, oral, and written communication skills; and (3) interpersonal skills, including the ability to work independently and as part of a team.  Experience in the areas of practice identified above, and within DoD, is a positive factor.

The successful candidate must be a U.S. citizen, has graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, and be an active member in good standing of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), be admitted to practice before a state or federal court, and be eligible to obtain and maintain a U.S. Secret security clearance.

This position has been identified as a Testing-Designated position and any individual tentatively selected that does not currently occupy a Testing-Designated position will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

Only complete applications will be considered.  Your resume may be submitted in any format.  It must include your name and contact information and support the specialized experience described in this announcement.  For qualifications determinations your resume must contain the number of hours worked per week and the dates of employment (i.e.," HRS per week and month/year" or "HRS per week and month/year to present").  Pay will be commensurate with qualifications.  All applicants must provide a complete copy of their law school transcripts including class rank and evidence of active membership in good standing in the bar of a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Acceptable evidence may be a copy of your bar card or letter from the bar.  Provide two recent performance appraisals, if available; and the names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least three (3) references who may be contacted.  Former military personnel provide a copy of the most recently issued Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD 214.

Electronic submission of applications is preferred.  Materials should be sent to Mrs. Lisa Clay at  Applicants submitting by U.S. mail or other delivery services are strongly encouraged to consider using expedited services, such as USPS Express Mail.  Send applications to:

Defense Institute of International Legal Studies

Attn:  Mrs. L. Clay, Executive Assistant

441 Elliot Ave

Newport, RI 02841-1531

Complete applications must be received by midnight, Sunday, December 12, 2021 to be considered. 

Relocation package, including recruitment or relocation incentive, superior qualifications, and leave accrual, may be authorized depending upon availability of funding.

You may be required to successfully complete a probationary period.


All hiring and advancement at DIILS is based on merit without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or marital status.

DIILS provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate.  Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should inform the individual identified in the personnel notice.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Applicants eligible for Veterans’ Preference must specifically claim such eligibility in their cover letter, identify the basis for the claim, and include supporting documentation (e.g., DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other supporting documentation) with their submission.  Applicants who do not claim and do not provide adequate supporting documentation for Veterans’ Preference will not receive the positive factor consideration.

DoD attorney positions are in the excepted service, not the competitive civil service.  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, DoD considers veterans’ preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring.  If you are eligible for veterans’ preference in hiring, you are encouraged to include that information in your application along with the supporting documentation.  Not all veterans are eligible for veterans’ preference.  To find out if you are, you may visit the Department of Labor Veterans’ Preference Advisor at or the Office of Personnel Management’s Feds Hire Vets site at .

Job Information

  • Job ID: 59950742
  • Location:
    Newport, Rhode Island, United States
  • Position Title: Supervisory Attorney (International)
  • Company Name: Defense Institute of International Legal Studies
  • Industry: Legal Services
  • Job Function: Attorney
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Min Education: Juris Doctor

The Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) is a Department of Defense (DoD) joint agency activity under the functional direction of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). DSCA is responsible for managing the implementation of worldwide security cooperation programs including Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Financing (FMF) programs and DoD-appropriated security cooperation programs which implement the Secretary’s guidance. DIILS is the lead Defense security cooperation resource for professio...

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