Paralegal Specialist(DEU)
Department Of Commerce - Silver Spring, MD

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The Office of the General Counsel is looking for highly-motivated and enthusiastic individuals to join our fast-paced organization. The ideal candidate will serve as a Paralegal Specialist for the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration. The incumbent must have exceptional organizational and analytical skills, be motivated and have a desire to work in a results-oriented environment.

A Paralegal Specialist responsible for a full range of functions essential to the work of the Employment and Labor Law Division. In performing these functions, the incumbent provides professional support to the attorneys relating to the legal work provided by the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration, Employment and Labor Law Division, as it supports the servicing human resources offices of the bureaus of the Department of Commerce. As necessary, the incumbent also performs a variety of other tasks relating to the professional legal work carried on by the Division when it reviews the work of, and provides advice to, the servicing human resources offices.
    KEY REQUIREMENTS
  • Must be a United States Citizen.
  • Relocation expenses are NOT authorized.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov).
  • Selectee must be able to obtain and hold a Secret clearance.
  • One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade.

DUTIES: The incumbent performs a variety of legal support duties such as: researching legal issues; assisting in the preparation of Agency Response Files submitted to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB); developing legal indexes of documents that are withheld in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act cases, or in the discovery phase of personnel litigation; conducting the preliminary review of court pleadings, discovery requests, and acknowledgment orders; drafting discovery requests; interviewing witnesses or assisting in the preparation of witnesses or affidavits during personnel litigation; updating a subject matter index to reflect current positions on all issues; reviewing for legal form and effect proposed personnel actions drafted in the servicing human resources office. This work is essential to the ongoing daily work of the attorneys in the Division and personnel specialists in the servicing human resources office.

The incumbent assists and provides professional support to the attorneys in the Office in their presentation of legal guidance and advice on issues relating to equal employment, personnel, and other labor relations laws and in their preparation of material in connection with administrative or court proceedings. Performance of this duty includes discussion with attorneys of the problems presented in a particular administrative or court proceeding, identification of relevant substantive issues, research of relevant precedents on identified issues, retrieval and extraction of such precedents, and, frequently, abstracting such precedents for presentation to the attorney. Performance of this function often involves interviewing witnesses and contacting officials and employees in the Department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), the Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP), and attorneys in the U.S. Department of Justice.

The incumbent compiles and maintains a litigation tracking system. In performing this duty, the incumbent reviews all incoming administrative and court filings; analyzes these documents; identifies issues, type of filing and due dates; enters information into system; distributes filing to proper office attorney; notifies attorneys of due dates and enters information into separate systems for statistical uses. In coordination with other Division paralegals, prepares quarterly reports for the Division Chief on all pending litigation. Establishes and maintains statistics on numbers, types of law suits and litigation outcomes for quarterly and annual reports and budget purposes. Prepares requested special reports for Division Chief and other offices within the Department upon specific request.

The incumbent assists attorneys with the preparation, review and transmittal of documents and case files. The incumbent also undertakes special projects requested by the Division Chief relating to the Division's activities or in direct support to the servicing human resources office.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level by the closing date of the announcement.

GS-9 level: You must possess 52 weeks of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-07 that has equipped you with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. Specialized experience is defined as experience in the use of the internet and computerized legal research systems, including LEXIS and WESTLAW. Experience in litigation tracking systems. Experience in case processing in EEOC, MSPB, FLRA, FSIP, and Federal district courts. Experience and knowledge of rules and case law governing civil discovery. Experience tracking and reviewing the progress of human resources documents.

Substitution of Education for Experience: For GS-09 level: a master's or equivalent graduate degree OR two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR LL.B. or J.D., if related.

If you wish to substitute education for specialized experience, you must fax in a copy of your college transcript (official or unofficial) from an accredited education institution for verification.

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME ZONE (ETZ) on the closing date of this announcement. Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications .

U.S. Citizenship : You will be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Selective Service System : Male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with the Selective Service System or have an exemption. If selected, confirmation of registration status is required. Position Requirements: Applicants must meet requirements by MIDNIGHT EASTERN STANDARD TIME on the closing date of this announcement. Security Clearance: This position requires a secret security clearance. Any required investigations and clearances must be completed before the selectee can be placed in the position. Urinalysis Screening: : This position may require that you submit to a urinalysis screening for illegal drug use, prior to appointment.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the self-assessment questions, or your score may be lowered. The best-qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview. How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed. Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.

The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

1. Knowledge of legal techniques and skills to analyze both issues of fact and issues of law.

2. Knowledge of formal or informal rules of evidence and skills to evaluate the adequacy or admissibility of evidence.

3. Knowledge and experience in legal writing, to include proper citation format, legal reference checking, and application of basic rules of grammar.

4. Knowledge of concepts and methods of legal research and reference sources.

5. Knowledge of basic legal principles and concepts.

6. Ability in tracking office litigation case loads, preparing status reports, and maintaining tracking systems.

To preview questions please click here .

BENEFITS: The Department of Commerce offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/benefits.asp#icc.

OTHER INFORMATION: ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: http://www.opm.gov/ctap. ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents: 1. A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status; 2. A copy of your latest SF-50 - noting current position, grade level, and duty location; 3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and 4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential. The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities: 1. VRA - http://federaljobs.net/veterans.htm 2. VEOA - http://opm.gov/staffingPortal/Vetguide.asp 3. 30% or more disabled veteran - http://opm.gov/staffingPortal/Vetguide.asp 4. Persons with disabilities - http://www.opm.gov/DISABILITY/ 5. CTAP - http://www.opm.gov/ctap/ 6. ICTAP - http://www.opm.gov/ctap/

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