The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the CIA. The General Counsel serves as the legal advisor to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and is responsible for the sound and efficient management of the legal affairs of the CIA. The General Counsel is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, as codified in 50 U.S.C. § 3520.
The CIA Office of General Counsel is an independent office of the CIA that is headed by the General Counsel and assists the General Counsel in carrying out that officer’s statutory and other responsibilities. OGC provides legal advice and policy counsel to the Director of the CIA (DCIA) and other CIA officers on a variety of legal issues relating to the operations and management of CIA.
What We Do
In this challenging global environment, the CIA Office of General Counsel (CIA/OGC) needs talented, expert attorneys, paralegals and law librarians to join our team as the CIA continues to pursue its vital mission. We thrive on challenge and are seeking legal professionals who want to advise the Agency, addressing some of the nation’s most complex problems.
Areas of Practice
OGC’s legal practice areas include: administrative law and government ethics, intelligence support, litigation, operational law, logistics and procurement law, real estate law, environmental law, legislative affairs, law enforcement assistance, information law, privacy and civil liberties, security law, personnel law, appropriations and finance law, legal support to the intelligence analysis process, and legal support to science and technology activities.
Who We Are
The Office of General Counsel consists of attorneys with a variety of backgrounds and experience. Here is what a few of them have to say about OGC:
“Leaving an AmLaw 100 firm to come to CIA was the best career move I’ve made. Here, I’ve found the interesting work and the smart and dedicated colleagues that I’d come to expect at a big firm — but I have also discovered the joys of practicing law without billable hours and in an environment where commitments to family and other outside activities are both respected and encouraged.” — A lateral CIA attorney
“I came to OGC after 10 years as in-house counsel to a small nonprofit and could not be happier with my decision. One of the most appealing aspects of working in OGC is that you are constantly learning something new. Between the opportunities for job change, the support for ongoing education, and the collegial environment in which attorneys share ideas and opinions, OGC is an incredibly dynamic place to work.” — A lateral CIA attorney
“As an Honors Attorney, I interact daily with clients and provide guidance on a variety of interesting legal issues. The legal issues that arise here are often similar to issues that would arise elsewhere, but they always have an Agency-unique twist that makes practicing law here challenging and interesting.” — A CIA Honors attorney
The Office of General Counsel employs paralegals with a variety of experience levels. Paralegals provide case management, legal research, case-cite verification, blue book citations, and general paralegal support to the Office of General Counsel. OGC’s paralegals will support legal issues relating to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, and both civil and criminal litigation.
OGC’s Law Librarians
A growing, service-oriented team of law librarians conducts substantive legal research; provides research guidance to Agency-wide requestors; curates and maintains a wide range of legal resources, both electronic and hard copy; and creates custom reference material. OGC law librarians actively engage with attorneys to monitor developments in discrete areas of law and to ensure the currency and relevance of internal electronic resources.
OGC’s Ambassador Program
Our national security mission benefits from a wide and diverse range of perspectives and experiences. The Ambassador Program aims to widen the pool of applicants feeding into our hiring process by establishing deeper and broader long-term OGC relationships with seventeen selected law schools. For each of these institutions, the Office has designated an OGC Ambassador charged with and accountable for developing and maintaining contact with placement offices, public interest organizations, affinity groups, and similar on-campus organizations. Ambassadors serve as intermediaries who share recruitment-related information and job postings, while also seeking out and organizing potential opportunities, such as on-campus recruitment, hiring fairs or panel discussions, in which OGC officers may participate.
Positions in CIA’s Office of General Counsel
Please visit the Careers page and use the applicable search term to view available positions (Attorney, Paralegal, Law Librarian). We hire on a rolling basis.
Lateral Attorneys – lateral hires have more than three years of post-law school legal experience, have to be an active member of the bar of a U.S. state, territory, or commonwealth, and work on the most complex legal issues in the Agency related to national security laws and a variety of other legal issues. For more specific descriptions, please refer to attorney job descriptions located in the “Careers” tab to include opportunities in government contracts, ethics, employment law, federal litigation and investigations, as well as technology and information law issues.
Honors Attorneys – these positions are for attorneys with less than three years of post-law school legal practice. Honors Attorneys must be an active member of the bar of a U.S. state, territory, or commonwealth, and work under the close supervision of experienced OGC attorneys. Applicants must have a record of strong writing and interpersonal communication skills.
Paralegals have a paralegal certificate or degree from an ABA-approved school and are proficient in legal research. Applicants must have strong written and verbal communication skills.
Law Librarians have at least two years of experience in large firm libraries although candidates with unique skills may come from other types of law libraries. Applicants must have excellent written and oral communication skills, a demonstrated commitment to continuous learning and growth, and the ability to work effectively within a team as well as independently.
OGC receives hundreds of resumes a month from people desiring to serve their country by participating in our intelligence mission. If you apply for a position with the CIA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) and have not heard from us within 45 days of the date of your application, then we do not currently have an available position commensurate with your skills. We regret that we cannot personally respond to and hire all the fine candidates who wish to work for the CIA Office of General Counsel.
ALL POSITIONS REQUIRE RELOCATION TO THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA.