Offices, Boards and Divisions Paralegal Specialist (MP) 10042241 in District of Columbia, District Of Columbia

  • Duties

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Duties
Summary

The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking experienced litigators for its Land Acquisition Section (LAS) in Washington, D.C. LAS is responsible for acquiring land and other real property on behalf of the United States through condemnation proceedings for purposes ranging from establishing national parks to creating military training centers to expanding our border security infrastructure. Recent cases being handled by LAS include the acquisition of land to create and expand national parks and forests such as the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the Baca Ranch in New Mexico and the Florida Everglades National Park. LAS also has initiated hundreds of cases throughout the United States for military and national security reasons, including construction of border security infrastructure and land ports of entry such as the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington, expansion of military training facilities in California and Louisiana, and storage of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The paralegal specialists hired through this advertisement will focus, in part, on condemnation actions involving acquisition of land for the continued development and construction of border security infrastructure along the United States-Mexico border - a project LAS has been working on since the 1990s.

LAS seeks to attract, retain, and promote individuals of exceptional ability and talent from all walks of life to reflect the people it serves by drawing its workforce from all segments of society and from across the United States. ENRD has been ranked among the top fifteen agency subcomponents as the Best Place to Work in the Federal Government by the Partnership for Public Service in each of the years that subcomponents have been ranked. Three of those rankings have been #1. This is due in no small part to the varied, challenging, and important work that we do, and the recognition that ENRD values all of its employees, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or religious background, age or disabilities. The work environment and atmosphere is open, diverse, collegial and inclusive.

This vacancy is also being announced concurrently with Ann# ENRD-17-036-DEfor applicants who DO NOT have Federal status. Please review that announcement to determine if you are eligible to apply. Note: Applicants must apply separately for each announcement.

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Responsibilities

The legal and factual issues involved are often complex and can include the power of the United States to condemn under specific acts of Congress, ascertainment of the market value of property with millions of dollars at stake, and applicability of zoning and land use regulations. The work of the Section is critical to the ability of the federal government to function and serve the people. LAS offers a tremendous opportunity for those interested in complex civil litigation. The paralegal specialists will serve as integral members of collaborative trial teams on complex civil cases in district courts throughout the country and will be primarily responsible for case development, management and organization.

As a Paralegal Specialist, your typical work assignments may include the following:

  • Performing research in various databases including Westlaw, PACER and Lexis; performing cite checks pursuant to The Bluebook, compiling legislative histories; proofreading and editing legal briefs and memoranda prior to filing in court; and ensuring conformance of documents to applicable court rules.
  • Performing document management, including creating and maintaining litigation databases.
  • Organizing and writing synopses of factual materials; summarizing depositions; preparing, organizing, and indexing administrative records; and preparing non-legal memoranda.
  • Providing assistance at hearings and/or trials, for example, preparing exhibits and coordinating travel and trial logistics.
  • Performing case docketing; maintaining filing deadline calendar and coordinating with attorneys on each court filing; and preparing and filing all documents using PACER (ECF) and LEXIS-NEXIS (Courtlink) systems.
Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

11

Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Open to Federal Employees. Current or former competitive service employees. Includes merit promotion, CTAP, ICTAP, and Transfer.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

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0950 Paralegal Specialist

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  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • You must complete a background investigation to include drug testing.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable.
  • You must complete or have completed a one-year probationary period.
  • You must maintain a bank account for direct deposit of salary.

YOUR RESUME MUSTsupport your responses to the online questionnaire. Failure to provide support may result in an ineligible rating. Your latest resume submitted for this vacancy announcement will be used to determine qualifications and supersedes previous submissions.

YOUR RESUME MUSTprovide specific details as to how your experience meets the specialized experience as described in the vacancy announcement if you are using experience to meet all or part of the qualification requirements. Please ensure that your resume includes the month and year that you began and ended each position held or that position will not be credited toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. Part-time employment will be prorated in crediting experience. Failure to provide details will result in an ineligible rating.

Only experience and education obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered.

Qualifications

To qualify for GS-9: You must have one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-7 Federal grade level or above performing legal administration duties including conducting legal research of relevant statutes and case laws for pending litigation; preparing documents for hearings and/or trials; using automated databases to verify legal citations and statutory references; and maintaining litigation databases for management of case materials; OR have a Master's or equivalent graduate degree; OR two (2) full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; OR LL.B. or J.D.; ORa combination of graduate education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.

To qualify for GS-11: You must have one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-9 Federal grade level or above performing legal administration duties including conducting legal research of relevant statutes and case laws for pending litigation; preparing documents for hearings and/or trials; using automated databases to verify legal citations and statutory references; maintaining litigation databases for management of case materials; and managing the electronic discovery process; OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; OR three (3) full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; OR LL.M., if related; OR a combination of education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.

Qualifying education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skill and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Time in Grade: In addition to the specialized experience or other requirements described above, Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements (one year at the next lower grade) by the closing date of announcement.

To preview questions, please click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10042241.

Education

All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see www.ed.gov.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Additional information

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP):ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. The Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in DOJ with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies.

If you have received written notification of your eligibility for consideration under CTAP/ICTAP, you may receive special priority consideration for this position, if this vacancy is within your CTAP/ICTAP eligibility and you are well-qualified for the position. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements and score 85 or better on established ranking criteria (for scored examining) OR rate equivalent to the Highly Qualified or better category using established category rating criteria.

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA):To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed three (3) or more years of continuous active military service. You can find additional information at: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/.

To verify your veteran preference entitlement, submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214; official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions. If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reserve side of the SF-15, Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference. If you are claiming 10-point DERIVED PREFERENCE as a relative you must submit Member Copy 4 of the veteran's DD-214 and an SF-15 in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reverse side of the SF-15. If you fail to do so, you will receive consideration as a non-veteran.

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy: http://www.justice.gov/jmd/eeos/08-eeo-policy.pdf.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Schedule A: DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department. DOJ also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes to resume@benderconsult.com, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at: www.benderconsult.com.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Additional information is found at: www.sss.gov.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your résumé and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed on this announcement. If you are basically qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses on the online assessment questionnaire. If you rate yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your responses may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job. If you are found to be among the top candidates, you will be referred to the selecting official for employment consideration. All applicants' qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, and other characteristics):

  • Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence
  • Legal Research
  • Writing
  • Database Management Systems

Please Note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 90 days after the HR office issues the selection certificate.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  • Résumé demonstrating relevant experience and dates the experience was obtained (cover letter optional).
  • SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which shows career or career-conditional tenure in the competitive service or Federal reinstatement eligibility.
  • For Federal employees, performance appraisal issued within the last 12 months.
  • Veteran preference documentation, if applicable for VEOA consideration.
  • ICTAP/CTAP documentation, if applicable.
  • An unofficial transcript if you are using education to meet the minimum qualification requirement.
  • Schedule A documentation, if applicable.
  • Your online responses to the Occupational Questionnaire.

Your résumé MUST include full employment information such as periods of employment with month/year started and ended, title of position(s), PT hours worked, and description of duties. If Federal employment, include the grade of the position(s).

To prove eligibility for the special CTAP/ICTAP selection priority, you must submit a copy of your latest performance appraisal showing a rating of at least fully successful AND one of the following: * A separation notice; * A "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) documenting separation; * An agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; * An OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; or * A Military Department of National Guard Bureau notification that you retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.

Additional information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility can be found at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/Guide-Me/New-Prospective-Employees/

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply

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How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY

To apply for this position, you must complete the online application and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

A complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date to receive consideration.

  • To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.
  • Follow the prompts to select your résumé and/or other supporting documentsto be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is submitted. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process.
  • You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application.

To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.

If you are unable to apply online, you must request an alternative application which is available from the Office of Human Resources. Please contact Nardia Bennett at nardia.bennett@usdoj.govto obtain an alternative application.

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Agency contact information
Nardia Bennett
Phone

(202) 514-0106

Email

Nardia.Bennett@usdoj.gov

Address

Land Acquisition Section 601 D St NW PH2232 Washington, DC US

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Next steps

Once the online questionnaire is received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made, you will be notified of your rating and/or referral to the hiring official. We will notify you of the outcome after each step of the recruitment process has been completed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. We expect to make a final job offer within 80 days after the closing date of the announcement.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/477865300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 08/24/2017 to 09/22/2017

Salary: $54,972 to $86,460 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 9 - 11

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent