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About the Office: The Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) represents the executive branch of the Government of American Samoa (“ASG”) in all matters, criminal and civil in which the government has an interest. 

About American Samoa: American Samoa is an island territory of the United States located approximately six hours flight from the State of Hawaii in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. The Territory has a population of approximately 55,000 residents, who largely speak both English and Samoan. The territory follows both U.S. federal law as well as local territorial law

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Assistant Attorney General Criminal Attorney I & II

Description: Assistant Attorney Generals represent the American Samoa Government in criminal matters. This position is responsible for prosecuting crimes in the territory and such duties include reviewing police reports, preparing pleadings, interviewing victims and witnesses, meeting with police officers and investigators, negotiating pleas and preparing for and conducting judicial hearings (including first appearances, probable cause hearings, motion hearings, status conferences, trials, and sentencings).

 

ASG is currently seeking attorneys with all levels of experience. ASG will consider recent graduates for Criminal I positions (traffic & misdemeanor division), but preference will be given to attorneys with mock trial, moot court, clinical, and/or competition experience. Nevertheless, all applicants are encouraged to apply. Criminal II attorneys (felony division) should have three (3) years of prosecutor, public defender, or government attorney experience (with an emphasis on litigation). The Criminal Division will also consider civil attorneys who wish to transition to criminal law, and have a strong litigation background (particularly, in insurance defense). 

Requirements for all applicants: All applicants must have passed the bar in a U.S. State prior to the start date of their employment. Applications may be submitted by applicants with pending bar applications, but no offers will be conveyed until the applicant has provided proof of bar passage. 

 

Pay Scale and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $65,000-$75,000, commensurate with experience. ASG will furnish air transportation for the Attorney, and Attorneys’ dependents, and will provide a capped reimbursement for the shipment of household goods and personal effects, pursuant to the schedule set forth in A.S.A.C. 4.1004(d), to American Samoa. The Attorney and the Attorney’s dependents will be entitled to medical, dental and hospital services in American Samoa to be furnished by ASG (such services may be subject to a nominal service charge to be paid by the Employee). Attorneys shall accrue Annual Leave at the rate of one working day for each full bi-weekly pay period and will accrue Sick Leave at the rate of one-half day per full bi-weekly pay period. Furnished government living quarters will be made available to Attorneys by ASG for a nominal fee of $50 withheld from each bi-weekly paycheck and ASG will also pay a reasonable amount for utilities (water, electric and internet). Attorneys who are not living in government provided housing will be paid a housing stipend of up to $1,000 per month. Attorneys will receive a $5,000 service bonus to be paid before the end of their first year of service, and a second $5,000 service bonus before the end of their second year of service. 

Assistant Attorney General Civil Attorney I & II

Description: Assistant Attorney Generals represent the American Samoa Government in a variety of civil matters and act as both general counsel to government departments and represent the territory in litigation. This position is responsible for initiating and defending civil actions, which includes preparing pleadings, interviewing clients and witnesses, preparing for, and conducting administrative and judicial hearings, as well as legal research and writing. This position is also responsible for providing guidance to government agencies, handling departmental requests for legal opinions, reviewing, editing, and drafting contracts, statutes, and administrative rules.

ASG is currently seeking attorneys with all levels of experience. ASG will consider recent graduates for Civil I positions, but preference will be given to attorneys with mock trial, moot court, clinical, and/or competition experience. Nevertheless, all applicants are encouraged to apply. Civil II attorneys should have three(3) or more years of government, in-house counsel, litigation, or contract review experience.

Requirements for all applicants: All applicants must have passed the bar in a U.S. State prior to the start date of their employment. Applications may be submitted by applicants with pending bar applications, but no offers will be conveyed until the applicant has provided proof of bar passage

Pay Scale and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $65,000-$75,000, commensurate with experience. ASG will furnish air transportation for the Attorney, and Attorneys’ dependents, and will provide a capped reimbursement for the shipment of household goods and personal effects, pursuant to the schedule set forth in A.S.A.C. 4.1004(d), to American Samoa. The Attorney and the Attorney’s dependents will be entitled to medical, dental and hospital services in American Samoa to be furnished by ASG (such services may be subject to a nominal service charge to be paid by the Employee). Attorneys shall accrue Annual Leave at the rate of one working day for each full bi-weekly pay period and will accrue Sick Leave at the rate of one-half day per full bi-weekly pay period. Furnished government living quarters will be made available to Attorneys by ASG for a nominal fee of $50 withheld from each bi-weekly paycheck and ASG will also pay a reasonable amount for utilities (water, electric and internet). Attorneys who are not living in government provided housing will be paid a housing stipend of up to $1,000 per month. Attorneys will receive a $5,000 service bonus to be paid before the end of their first year of service, and a second $5,000 service bonus before the end of their second year of service.

Assistant Attorney General III (Civil or Criminal Division)

Attorney III should have at least 5 years of transactional and litigation experience in the relevant areas of the law as a government or private attorney, handling complex civil or criminal cases.

The salary for this position is $80,000. ASG will furnish air transportation for the Attorney, and Attorneys’ dependents, and will provide a capped reimbursement for the shipment of household goods and personal effects, pursuant to the schedule set forth in A.S.A.C. 4.1004(d), to American Samoa. The Attorney and the Attorney’s dependents will be entitled to medical, dental and hospital services in American Samoa to be furnished by ASG (such services may be subject to a nominal service charge to be paid by the Employee). Attorneys shall accrue Annual Leave at the rate of one working day for each full bi-weekly pay period and will accrue Sick Leave at the rate of one-half day per full bi-weekly pay period. Furnished government living quarters will be made available to Attorneys by ASG for a nominal fee of $50 withheld from each bi-weekly paycheck and ASG will also pay a reasonable amount for utilities (water, electric and internet). Attorneys who are not living in government provided housing will be paid a housing stipend of up to $1,000 per month. Attorneys will receive a $5,000 service bonus to be paid before the end of their first year of service, and a second $5,000 service bonus before the end of their second year of service.


Description: A Senior Legal Consultant is responsible for training Rule Reform Officers (RRO) in rule drafting, rule maintenance and educating RROs to the purpose behind rule making. Its relationship to the tenets of the Originating Executive Order making all efforts to alleviate public burden, improving agency operations and budgets, improving government efficiency and fiscal responsibility, minimizing liability risk, planning and implementing the Governor's policies.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Complete agency wide rule reform for the Territory of American Samoa under the Comprehensive Administrative Rule Reform (CARR) Project.

  • Assist and advise agency Rule Reform Officers (RRO) to complete step by step process for agency rule reform as described in CARR flow chart as authorized by the Rule Reform Panel (RRP).

Work Prioritization   

  • Prioritize their work effort towards agencies having demonstrated the need for rule reform that mitigates against an existing or foreseeable event or incident that would have a significant negative or deleterious impact on employment, economy, health and well-bring of the Territory of American Samoa and its

population or facilitate the use of Federal funds allocated to the Territory as a result thereof.

  • Rule reform work for all other agencies may thereafter be a conducted according to urgent need or readiness of agencies to update their agency rules

  • Attend Meetings In person or via Zoom or other medium, for agency presentation of rule reforms to the RRP and assist agencies in public hearings, media and public presentation of the CARR Project

  • Identify and assist with design and publication of a government website for uploading adopted agency rules and a portal system for tracking pending agency rules

  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned or directed

            Ability to work independently with minimal supervision

  • Ability to complete long-term project management and planning goals and objectives

  • Have a basic knowledge of computers and fundamentals of setting up of a web portal

  • Must be able to report to and start work, in person and on-island on September 31, 2023.

  • Timeline flexible at discretion of and/or direct approval of Secretary of American Samoa or his designee.

 

Academic and Experience Requirements:

  • Must be presently admitted to practice law, or able to attain admission in 30 days or less in American Samoa and be a member in good standing or able to attain said membership and status in 30 days or less

  • Never have been disbarred from practicing law, and have no disciplinary, suspension or disbarment action pending against them in any State or Territory of the U.S

 Have some direct work experience with 2020 federal Covid-19 laws and regulations as concerns at least one or more American Samoa government agencies (preferred but not required).

  • Have graduated from an ABA- accredited law school with the degree of Juris Doctor

  • Have at least 2 years of experience drafting and interpreting administrative rules.

  • Have at least 1 -year direct work experience training and educating management level agency personnel in the importance of maintaining and updating administrative rules

  • Years of progressively responsible working experience may be substituted for portion of the academic requirement

 


Additional information concerning this vacancy may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of American Samoa via email at secretaryofamericansamoa@qo.as.qov or earl.mokoma@go.as.qov or via phone at (684) 633-6722 or (684) 731-1243.

Senior Legal Consultant
Assistant Public Defender

Seeking an Assistant Public Defender (APD) to provide legal representation to indigent defendants in criminal felony, misdemeanor, juvenile, and certain proceedings as appointed by the Court. Our office employs four (4) attorneys and five (5) support staff to assist with a multitude of cases we handle each year. We are putting together a team of diverse and outstanding individuals from all racial and ethnic backgrounds who can provide high quality representation to our clients.

Position Type

Full time, entry-level assistant public defender position.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Assistant Public Defenders are accountable for providing high quality representation to clients.

Responsibilities include:

Preparing each case efficiently and expeditiously;

Advising and counseling each client;

  • Establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with each client; Effective and efficient use of investigators, mitigation and placement specialists and other support staff;

  • Seeking assistance from experts appropriate to the case;

  • Demonstrating professional demeanor;

Exercising sound judgement to achieve desired results; and

Assisting the Public Defender in carrying out responsibilities

Minimum Requirements

  • Licensed to practice law in any U.S. State or Territory —American Samoa does not administer a bar exam — a law license in good standing in any U.S. jurisdiction is sufficient for local admission.

  • Up to two years' experience handling criminal cases;

  • Participation in a law school trial advocacy course or litigation skills program preferred but not required;

  • Participation in a law school clinic or externship in which applicant was authorized to provide direct representation in litigation to individuals or entities; Excellent verbal, computer, and communication skills;

           Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely;

Fagatogo Square Building • Fagatogo, American Samoa 96799 • www.americansamoa.gov

  • Bilingual skills: English/TagaIog and/or English/Vietnamese helpful but not required;

  • Willingness to interview clients in jails and in juvenile detention facilities; and, Valid Driver's License.

Employment Status

Contractor — Minimum two (2) year term.

Salary Range & Benefits

  • $60,000 - $75,000 per annum

  • Monthly Housing Allowance

  • Monthly Utility Allowance

  • Bonuses upon completion 1st year and 2nd year

  • Travel allowance for yourself and your dependents. Household shipping allowance

  • 26 days paid leave per annum

        13 sick days per annum

  • Medical & Dental benefits for employee and dependents through Lyndon B.

Johnson Tropical Medical Center or the American Samoa Department of Health (you are responsible for co-pays and nominal facility charges). Application Process

The application forms and further instructions will be provided following a successful application and screening process. The following documents will be required so please have these ready for submission upon receiving an offer letter:

  • Law school transcripts;

      Copy of law school diploma;

           State bar certifications of good standing;

    

Letters of Reference (letters of reference not included with application will not be considered);

Additional information concerning this vacancy may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of American Samoa via email at secretaryofamericansamoa@go.as.gov or earl.mokoma@go.as.gov or via phone at (684) 633-6722 or (684) 731-1243.

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