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IRS Careers: Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel
With the Internal Revenue Service as its client and 1,500 attorneys on staff, the Office of Chief Counsel is the preeminent employer for tax attorneys in the country.
Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS
With the Internal Revenue Service as its client and 1,500 attorneys on staff, the Office of Chief Counsel is the preeminent employer for tax attorneys in the country. Why? Because IRS attorneys are valued assets and the legal experience provided in Chief Counsel is unlike any other. We have approximately 650 attorneys located in the National Office in Washington, DC and 850 attorneys in field offices throughout the US.
Through its Honors Program, the Office of Chief Counsel provides unique career opportunities to entry-level attorneys who have recently graduated from law school or earned a Master of Laws in Taxation.?The IRS?also hire law students through the Summer Intern Program, as well as practicing attorneys who have relevant legal experience.
Chief Counsel attorneys provide top-quality legal advice and representation to the IRS in the administration of the nation's tax laws. Chief Counsel field attorneys litigate interesting and challenging issues that range from taxation of individuals to complex international entities. Attorneys in the field find themselves working on exciting and challenging issues involving litigation, corporate law, criminal tax law, disclosure law and international taxation. One organizational element, General Legal Services, focuses on personnel and labor law, as well.
Chief Counsel attorneys in the National Office draft regulations and rulings, and provide legal guidance to taxpayers, the IRS and the Treasury and Justice Departments. While direct trial work in the National Office is limited, attorneys have an extraordinary opportunity to develop expertise and sharpen technical skills. Furthermore, both field and National Office attorneys have the opportunity to work with a variety of tax practitioners and distinguish themselves within the greater tax and legal communities.
Working as an attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel offers a unique opportunity to serve the public interest by providing correct and impartial interpretation of the Federal tax laws without bias in favor of either the taxpayer or the government.
The Work Environment
Chief Counsel attorneys are given their own docket of cases and the responsibility for handling them. All of our attorneys have the opportunity to perform increasingly more responsible and independent work as rapidly as they can undertake it. Attorneys are assigned to practice groups in the field, or branches in the National Office, where they share their ideas with their peers and managers. Being part of a larger organization also allows our attorneys to draw upon the experience and advice of field and National Office experts who have mastered particular areas of the law.?The IRS believe this is one of the most attractive aspects of employment with the Office of Chief Counsel.
IRS?Special Trial Attorneys are?more senior attorneys who handle our largest and most complex cases. Often, other attorneys will be asked to assist Special Trial Attorneys on these large cases involving millions, or even billions, of tax dollars and cutting-edge issues. In each case, those assisting attorneys have substantial responsibility and gain valuable experience.
Senior Counsel and Senior Advisors are new and highly regarded positions in the field and National Office. Attorneys in these positions are legal experts on either substantive tax matters or other matters related to their specific IRS client organization. They also serve as the primary liaison between other Chief Counsel and IRS offices.
The?goal is always to provide our attorneys with a challenging and exciting work experience, to help them sharpen their legal skills through training and work assignments, and to provide them the opportunity to further their careers in the Office of Chief Counsel. Through GS-14, attorneys receive career promotions on the basis of their own performance - not on the basis of competition with someone else within the office. This helps to foster an atmosphere of helpful cooperation.?The IRS?fully supports their professional development because?success depends upon their success.?The extensive automation tools and support teams greatly assist in accomplishing these goals. Chief Counsel not only provides an intellectually challenging and exciting work environment, but also one that recognizes the need to balance career and personal interests.
Attorneys work for one of 13 major counsel organizations, based on their particular interests, qualifications and our staffing needs. Their work is focused on the particular office's area of responsibility, such as criminal tax, corporate or international tax. Together, field and National Office attorneys strive to develop and apply basic principles and rules for the uniform interpretation, application, and enforcement of federal tax laws. Whether attorneys are in a field office or National Office position, they receive substantial and thorough training and responsibility.
Where You Might Work
Chief Counsel is a dynamic organization performing diverse types of work in more than 50 locations throughout the country. What does all this mean to you? It means you have an unusually wide array of professional options and geographic locations to choose from. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate our far-reaching impact is to provide a snapshot of?the offices.
IRS Chief Counsel Recruitment Programs
Chief Counsel Honors
Summer Law Intern
Volunteer Legal Externship
Program (Extern Program)
Benefits of Employment with the Office of the Chief Counsel
Among the benefits and advantages of assuming a position with the Office of Chief Counsel is the opportunity to excel in a work culture that is more than the sum of its parts. Here, you will find a commitment to provide a balance to your working and personal life.and the ability to offer many benefits that are every bit as competitive as those available at leading private-sector firms. In fact, more often than not,?the benefits exceed private-sector offerings.
For instance, consider the following:
Training and Continuing Legal
Since 1981, Chief Counsel has contracted with New York University School of Law (NYU) for a Continuing Professional Legal Education Program. Through the program, up to 10 graduate-level tax law courses are available on an annual basis, both in the classroom and via satellite. These courses, held during normal working hours, are taught by leading faculty from NYU and other distinguished law schools. Specially designated NYU courses are available for credit toward a Master of Laws in Taxation at both NYU Law School and Georgetown Law School.
These classes are conducted along rigorous, traditional law school lines, with participants tested at the conclusion of each program. This program was a first within the Federal Government and is understandably a source of pride for all?in the Chief Counsel. It has been endorsed by academicians and members of the private bar as perhaps the single most important undertaking to enhance the skills of those professionals entrusted with interpreting and applying the complex and ever-changing federal tax laws.
In-house experts using?interactive video format generally teach advanced technical training on new regulations and issues. These are provided as needed, but normally a dozen programs are broadcast per year.
Finally, the IRS?has implemented an extensive management training program. Since managers work closely with attorneys and have a direct impact upon them,?they feel?they have an obligation to both the managers and attorneys to educate managers in traditional and current management theory and practices. Available coursework includes fundamental leadership training, continuing management education and an Executive Management Development Program taught in conjunction with Georgetown University.
Resources and Support
Salary and Fringe Benefits
How to Apply
The Office of Chief Counsel, IRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Selection for positions will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status or other differences.
Complete application packages are composed of a resume, a photocopy of your official law school transcript, an 8- to 10-page writing sample, a completed Form 6524 (Click here to download a copy 39KB PDF* ) and a completed Form OF-306 (Click here to download a copy 96KB PDF* ). You may also request to have copies of these forms mailed to you by calling us at (202) 622-4550.
Or, you may mail it to the following address:
Office of Chief Counsel, IRS
Or have it hand-delivered to:
Attorney Recruitment Office
The Office of Chief Counsel, IRS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the point of contact on the announcement. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
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