This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:PARALEGAL SPECIALIST

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Risk Management Agency

Job Announcement Number:UK808497-RMA-SMG

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$51,630.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 to Thursday, January 03, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0950-11/12

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

13

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States

WHO MAY APPLY:

US Citizens and Status Candidates

JOB SUMMARY:

THIS IS A BARGAINING UNIT POSITION (AFSCME).

PLEASE READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS UNDER "HOW TO APPLY" BEFORE YOU BEGIN.

RELOCATION EXPENSES WILL NOT BE PAID. 

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) promotes, supports, and regulates sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America's agricultural producers by providing crop insurance to American producers, developing the premium rate, administering premium and expense subsidy, approving and supporting products, and reinsuring companies.

Risk Management Agency is an exciting and rewarding place to start, build and/or continue your career. Be part of our team and support the well-being of American agriculture and the American public. Take part in delivering these essential and critical programs as a Paralegal Specialist.

Risk Management Agency's diverse culture and benefits allow for a healthy balance between your career and home life. In addition to a generous salary, RMA offers a friendly and professional working environment with a diverse workforce, flexible hours/work schedules, and other family-friendly benefits such as: paid vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, retirement and supplemental savings plan, a wide array of health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans, flexible spending accounts, and long-term care insurance.

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:  All interested persons may apply.  You need not be a current or former Federal employee to apply.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.
  • May be required to complete one year probationary period.

DUTIES:

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This position is assigned to the Risk Management Agency, Deputy Administrator for Compliance, Risk Operations Division, Appeals & Litigation Branch, in Washington, DC.

The selectee:

  • Prepares requests received from private insurers for litigation assistance and settlements for claims or other awards or damages;
  • Prepares background materials and draft decisions; brief the Suspension and Debarment official at RMA regarding imposing sanctions upon non compliant contractors under the suspension and debarment provisions and regulations applicable to the work of RMA;
  • Assists in preparing draft administrative appeal determinations on behalf of the Administrator;
  • Provides litigation support for cases appealed to the Board of Contract Appeals;
  • Reviews and evaluates requests based on policies, procedures and regulations of RMA, FCIC, and Federal Crop Insurance Act;
  • Prepares requests for the Director of the National Appeals Division (NAD) on behalf of RMA;
  • Provides paralegal and technical assistance to the Office of the General Counsel and U.S. Department of Justice for litigation;
  • Prepares materials to assist the U.S. Attorney and the USDA Office of General Counsel in the defense of cases filed against the Agency.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by Thursday, January 03, 2013.

 

You may qualify at the GS-11 level if you meet the following qualifications: 

Applicants must have at least one full-time year (12 months) of specialized work experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the GS-9 level or above in the Federal services as a paralegal specialist. Specialized experience must demonstrate knowledge of principles, concepts and methods of legal research and analysis sufficient to perform recurring case development. Knowledge of litigation activities of the agency and techniques to gather and analyze data and to evaluate usefulness in resolving legal issues. 

 

OR

 

Completed 3 full academic years of progressively higher graduate education or a Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree with a major in paralegal studies, criminal justice, business administration, or a specialty area that demonstrates the ability to perform the duties of the position

 

OR

 

Have less than the full amount of graduate education in a field listed in A above and less than the experience described in B, but I have a combination of graduate education beyond a master's degree or the first two years (i.e., 36 semester hours) and experience

 

You may qualify at the GS-12 level if you meet the following qualifications: 

Applicants must have at least one full-time year (12 months) of specialized work experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the GS-11 level or above in the Federal service as a paralegal specialist. Specialized experience must demonstrate knowledge of the application of various titles of law applicable to agency mission, federal and state laws governing or impacting on programs. Knowledge of legal reference sources in agency manuals, directives and issuances, court and administrative decisions and precedent, and commercial publications sufficient to perform legal research. Must be able to interpret and present orally and in writing relevant findings and conclusions.


THE SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION IS NOT QUALIFYING FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL.

College Transcript:   If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume.   You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process.  Please refer to the "How to Apply, Alternative Methods for Submitting Your Application Materials" section, for instructions on submitting the transcript.

Note:  Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work.  An official college transcript will be required before you can report to duty.

TIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENTS:  Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must meet the time-in-grade restriction.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.  

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

We will review your application, including an online assessment questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.

For Competitive Applicants/All US Citizens - If you meet the qualification requirements based on the extent and quality of experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position and your responses to the automated scoring system, your application will be placed in one of the three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.

For Merit Promotion Applicants - If you meet the qualification requirements, you will be rated on the extent and quality of experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position. An automated scoring system, based on your responses to the online application process is used to determine the Best Qualified applicants.

Note: If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your description of experience and/or education OR that your application is incomplete may result in receipt of a lower or ineligible rating.


BENEFITS:

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Permanent employees are eligible to elect life and health insurance coverage and will be covered by a Retirement System.  Employees will earn annual and sick leave.  For additional information on benefits please click here.

Direct Deposit: All federal employees are required by P.L. 104-134 to have federal payments made by direct deposit. click here.



OTHER INFORMATION:

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP):   If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide a copy of your most recent annual performance appraisal (at least "fully successful" or equivalent), and proof of eligibility, i.e., a RIF separation notice or Certification of Expected Separation, and SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 80 or above excluding veteran's preference points.

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.  See www.sss.gov

HOW TO APPLY:

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Please read all the instructions before you begin.  


To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package, which includes the following:

1. Resume. You may either use USAJOBS Resume Builder to create a resume or create your own; however, your resume must contain the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience; and, 5) other qualifications.
2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents i.e., college transcripts, Veterans documents, etc (see Required Documents section below).

To begin this process, click the "Apply Online" button at the bottom of this screen to create an account or log into your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire. Please ensure that you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 

Please print your "Confirmation of your Submission to Application Manager" for your records. The online Occupational Questionnaire must be completed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on  Thursday, January 03, 2013.  Applications are not screened for required documents before determining minimum qualifications. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required documents are received in the office by the close of business on or before the closing date of this announcement. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service etc.

Alternative Method for Submitting Your Application Materials:

If you are not applying online, you may fax your application materials to 1-478-757-3144.

If applying online or faxing your application materials poses a hardship, please contact the servicing human resources office during core business hours (8:00am to 4:30 pm central time) prior to the closing date. Requests for hardship will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Make requests in a timely manner to allow enough time to obtain documents and return the completed information to our office.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

In addition to your Occupational Questionnaire and Online Resume, other documents may be required.

1) If this vacancy announcement has a basic education requirement and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.

2) If you are applying for Veteran Preference, submit evidence of eligibility, such as DD-214 (Member-4 Copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Application for 10-point Veteran Preference (Standard Form 15), and the proof requested on the form.

3) If you are a current or former Federal employee, you  must provide the most current Notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50) that verifies career-conditional/career status, position title, series and grade (do not submit an Award SF-50). FSA County employees must provide the most recent Notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50-B or FSA-50) that verifies permanent status. Also provide the SF-50 that reflects the highest grade level held on a permanent basis or the full performance level of your current position, whichever is higher. Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

4) If you are a current Federal employee, you  must submit your most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the employee's official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable.  Do not submit a performance plan. Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

5) If you are eligible for appointment based on a disability under the Schedule A hiring authority, you must provide a certification of disability. The certification of disability can be documented in one of several ways; by a counselor at either the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs; by a statement or letter on a physician/medical professionals letterhead stationary; or by statements, records or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. The certification must verify the applicant has a severe disability and is therefore eligible under a Schedule A appointment authority, and he or she is able to perform the essential duties of the position. The certification must also describe any needed reasonable accommodation.

6) If you are eligible for appointment based on Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA), or 30% Disabled Veterans, service in the Peace Corps, Vista, Action Cooperative, or another special authority, submit proof of eligibility.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

SCOTT GREEN
Phone: (816)926-2831
TDD: 800-735-2966
Email: SCOTT.GREEN@KCC.USDA.GOV
Agency Information:
Farm Service Agency
Beacon Facility - Mail Stop 8398
PO Box 419205
9240 Troost Ave KCMO 64131-3055
Kansas City, MO
64141-6205

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

Once your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume has been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a qualification review of your complete application package has been made, you will be notified as to the status of your application. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. You can track the progress of your application package in Application Manager at http://applicationmanager.gov/.

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Job Announcement Number:

UK808497-RMA-SMG

Control Number:

333806900