The Immediate Office of the Solicitor consists of the Solicitor, the Deputy Solicitor, a Counselor to the Solicitor, a Special Assistant, an Executive Assistant and a program assistant. Each division has different responsibilities and provides legal services to different client-representative bureaus and offices within the Department, while reporting to the Deputy Solicitor and the Solicitor. The Divisions provide legal counsel and representation to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretaries, and the Bureau Directors.
The Ethics Office is responsible for overseeing the Department’s statutorily mandated ethics program, and derives its authority directly from the Secretary, who, by regulation, is the head of the agency’s ethics program. The Director of the Ethics Office is responsible for implementing the laws, executive orders, regulations, and departmental policies concerning conflicts of interest and employee responsibilities and conduct.
The Division of Parks and Wildlife provides legal counsel on matters regarding the administration of programs and activities of the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the biological research functions of the Geological Survey, and matters involving the acquisition and administration of the National Parks and wildlife refuges, the designation of wild and scenic rivers and wilderness areas, historic preservation, law enforcement, First Amendment activities, environmental protection, grants-in-aid, and endangered species protection.
The Division of General Law provides legal counsel and representation on such diverse administrative matters as appropriations, partnerships and fundraising, departmental organization and delegated authorities, procurement and contracts, grants, patents, copyrights, trademarks, property management, land titles, records management -- including the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, conflicts of interest, personnel matters, equal employment opportunity and civil rights, labor management relations, tort claims, and issues involving the Insular Areas administered by the Department and issues involving Native Hawaiians. Its primary client-representatives include the Office of the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. The Division also advises the Solicitor on matters that do not fall within the responsibility of other components of the Solicitor’s Office.
The Division of Indian Affairs provides legal counsel and representation to the Secretary acting as federal trustee to American Indian tribes and their members. The division also provides legal advice to the Bureau of Indian Affairs concerning the administration of Indian service programs.
The Division of Water Resources provides legal counsel on matters regarding the administration of programs and activities of the Bureau of Reclamation and matters involving water resource development issues.
The Division of Land Resources provides legal counsel on matters regarding the administration of programs and activities of the Bureau of Land Management, matters involving the management of natural resources on the public lands, and the remediation of hazardous waste sites on Interior-managed lands.
The Division of Mineral Resources provides legal counsel on matters regarding the administration of programs and activities of the Geological Survey and matters involving offshore minerals and international law; royalty management matters involving distribution of revenues from leases on Federal lands, the Outer Continental Shelf, and Indian lands; coal leasing and hard rock mineral patenting; and the environmental regulation of coal mining, as well as matters regarding the administration of the Office of Surface Mining and the minerals programs of the Bureau of Land Management.
The Division of Administration provides and coordinates all administrative and management support services needed by the Office of the Solicitor, including budget and accounting, personnel management, space and property management, procurement, program evaluation, information services, and records management. The Department's FOIA Appeals Unit is also attached to the Division for administrative support purposes.