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Chief Administrative Law Judge - Office of Administrative Hearings


Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)

The District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings is an administrative court that was created in 2001 by the Council of the District of Columbia to provide centralized adjudication services for several District agencies.

It began formal operations in 2004. Today, there are 33 Administrative Law Judges who decide contested cases involving more than 40 District of Columbia agencies, boards and commissions.

As an independent agency, the Office of Administrative Hearings is a neutral, impartial tribunal that holds hearings and decides appeals from government decisions. The Office of Administrative Hearings decides cases involving unemployment compensation, Medicaid and other public benefits, public space, rent control, professional and business licenses, and building, health and fire code violations, among others. The Office of Administrative Hearings also receives payments of fines imposed by various agencies.


Chief Administrative Law Judge

The Chief Administrative Law Judge oversees the Office of Administrative Hearings, and is shall be accountable and responsible for the fairness, impartiality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Office.  By statute, the Chief Judge is appointed to a six-year term by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, with confirmation by the Council of the District of Columbia. In addition to the Administrative Law Judges, there are presently more than 45 employees who provide critical support services ranging from customer service to data processing, case management, legal analysis and support and operational support such as human resources and information technology.

The Duties of the Chief Administrative Law Judge are to:

  1. Supervise the Office of Administrative Hearings;
  2. Oversee and administer assignment of Administrative Law Judges to preside over adjudicated cases heard by the Office;
  3. Establish internal classifications for case assignment and management; standard and specialized training programs for Administrative Law Judges;
  4. Provide for, or require completion of, continuing education programs for Administrative Law Judges and other employees of the Office
  5. Develop and implement rules of procedure and practice for cases before the Office and approve the use of forms and documents that will assist in managing cases coming before the Office;
  6. Monitor and supervise the quality of administrative adjudication;
  7. Develop and implement a code of professional responsibility for Administrative Law Judges;
  8. Develop and implement annual performance standards for the management and disposition of cases assigned to Administrative Law Judges, which shall take account of subject matter and case complexity.



  • Demonstrated expertise in the concepts, laws, theories, principles, practices and techniques of legal proceedings sufficient to represent the District government. 
  • Demonstrated expertise in interpreting and applying laws, regulations, and practices, including agency policies and relevant judicial decisions.
  • Demonstrated skill in using legal research tools and the ability to conduct complex legal research and analysis.
  • Demonstrated skill in project management, problem-solving, negotiation strategies, and in-depth research and analysis.
  • Highly skilled in negotiating and building coalitions of diverse stakeholders.  
  • Demonstrated command of management principles, procedures, and techniques of analysis and evaluation.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative analytic methods and techniques for analyzing data and identifying and isolating controlling legal issues within complex factual situations.
  • Demonstrated skill in providing leadership in a supervisory capacity and in a team-based environment.
  • Demonstrated skill in securing the support and cooperation of subordinate staff and District government agency directors. 
  • Superior communication skills sufficient to meet and consult with agency heads and representatives, and other senior leaders in various settings. Ability to write extensive reports, emails, memoranda, and other documents clearly, concisely, and in a timely fashion, with no or minimal editing required.
  • Experience with customer services theory and practices and business processes and practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain relationships with internal and external customers, collaborative organizations, government agencies, and other relevant entities.
  • Some preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated expertise in criminal investigations, prosecution and/or defense.


SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Candidates not meeting each of the below requirements will be disqualified from consideration.

  • Education and Experience:  Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited law school, plus a minimum of seven (7) years of experience practicing law or serving as an adjudicator.
  • Must be a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and in good standing; or a member of the bar of another state, in good standing to practice in such state and must obtain admission to the District of Columbia Bar.
  • MUST have 5-10 years of documented experience in administrative law, adjudication including management of legal professionals



There is a legal requirement that each new appointee to the Excepted and Executive Service either: (1) be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment; or (2) establish District domicile within one hundred eighty (180) days of appointment.  The law also requires that Excepted and Executive Service employees maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment.  Failure to maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment will result in forfeiture of employment.



Candidates interested, must complete this application process.  No letters or calls of endorsement are required.


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