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, GS-950-07

Department:Department Of The Interior

Agency:Office of the Secretary of the Interior

Job Announcement Number:OS-EG-13-MM826412 (ACWA)

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$41,101.00 to $53,435.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, January 17, 2013 to Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0950-07

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

09

DUTY LOCATIONS:

Few vacancies in the following location:
Bloomington, MN United StatesView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY:

The Department of the Interior is devoted to protecting and preserving the natural resources of this great nation, including National Parks, Landmarks, and the well-being of communities, including those of Native American, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and affiliated Islanders.

This position is in the Office of Hearings and Appeals, WELSA Hearings Division, Bloomington, Minnesota; and is under the supervision of The Administrative Judge (AJ) who is responsible for determining the heirs of persons who died entitled to receive compensation under the White Earth Reservation Land Settlement Act of 1985 (WELSA).   The incumbent performs a variety of paralegal and administrative support functions that directly assist the AJ in the determination of heirs.


Our ideal candidate will possess a good working knowledge of legal procedures and terminology to perform a variety of research, writing, and paralegal duties.

The position has a full performance level of GS-9.

This position is also being advertised concurrently with OS-EG-13-MM826469  (MP)  at the GS-7 grade level for those applicants who wish to apply and be considered under Merit Promotion Procedures (i.e. current competitive service employees, have reinstatement eligibility for competitive service, or who are eligible for special appointing authorities). You must apply and submit required documents for both announcements if you wish to receive consideration under both Merit Promotion and ACWA.



KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination
  • You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  • Relocation expenses WILL NOT be authorized.
  • Travel is not required.
  • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

DUTIES:

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The major duties performed by the incumbent fall into the following categories: 1) legal research; 2) legal/Indian documents examination; 3) assisting in the hearing and decisions process; and 4) administrative support.

· Reviews and examines forms and documents for all WELSA cases to ensure completeness and accuracy. If information is missing, initiates correspondence to seek information that will complete the case file in preparation of a hearing. Assists in drafting legal decisions, notices and orders.

· Researches precedent and related cases in the files to obtain information relative to family heirs or to prepare family histories and to summarize previous dispositions and settlements.

· Researches applicable Federal or state laws and statutes and tribal laws to brief the AJ of precedent cases or situations that may influence the determination of rightful heirs.

· Prepares and mails notices of WELSA hearings to all interested parties, ensures notices are documented with proper officials and that notices are posted at required locations.

· Reviews WELSA files upon completion of hearing to determine sufficiency of evidence for a decision as to the heirship approval.

· Researches methods of acquiring further evidence including affidavit or interrogatories, further hearings, or various other means of communication with sources of record and exercises judgment and knowledge of laws of states and tribes to determine if information obtained is relevant for documentary evidence.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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ALL applicants must meet the requirements for the GS-07 level by one of the following means:

A. Education: One full year of graduate-level education or a four-year degree demonstrating Superior Academic Achievement*   

OR

B. Experience: To qualify at the GS-7 grade level, you must have at least one FULL year specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 grade level in the federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience performing administrative and legal duties that must include the following: (1) performing legal research both electronically and through the use of a law library; (2) legal/probate documents examination in order to ensure completeness and accuracy; and (3) assisting with the hearing and probate decision process; (4) preparing memoranda and routine correspondence.

OR

C. Combination of Education and Experience: Education (must be graduate level or higher) and specialized experience can be combined if each is less than the required amount. The total must equal at least 100% of the requirement for the GS-07 grade level.

If you are qualifying through option A or C, then you must send transcripts with your application.

*Additional Information regarding Superior Academic Achievement:

S.A.A. is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, -or- (3) honor society membership.

1. Class standing Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.

2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.) – Applicants must have a grade-point average of:

·     3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or

·     3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.

Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.

3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society – Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor society. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

 

For more information regarding Superior Academic Achievement, please visit

http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e5.asp  

 

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM's website: https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/indexes/num-ndx.asp


Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements. IF YOU ARE QUALIFYING BASED ON WHOLE OR PART ON EDUCATION YOU MUST SUBMIT COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS. FAILURE TO PROVIDE TRANSCRIPTS WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION. 


Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

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. http://www.sss.gov.

 

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to veteran's preference, indicate the type of preference you are claiming on your resume, and in the occupational Online Questionnaire  Your veteran's preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. 

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

Your resume and responses to the self-assessment questions are an integral part of the process for determining your qualifications for this position.  Therefore, it is important that your resume supports your responses to the assessment questions.

There are several parts of the application process that affect the overall evaluation of your application:

1. Your resume which is part of your USAJOBS profile
2. Your responses to the online questionnaire
3. Your required and supporting documents, as outlined in the announcement

Category Rating will be used in the ranking and selection process for this position.  The categories are Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified.  Veterans' preference rules for category rating will be applied.

 

Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements.  To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation, and responses to the ( TAG:Online Questionnaire) will be made. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire.  The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position.  Our review of your resume and/or supporting documentation must support your responses to the Online Questionnaire to accurately reflect your abilities.

 

Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.

As part of the application process, you are required to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

Legal Experience- in-depth knowledge of a profession's legal standards, generally accepted principles, theory, and best practices. Knowledge is typically used to determine the best approach to solving a complex issue or problem.
Oral and Written Communication- Expresses information (forexample, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.In addition, expresses facts and ideas inwriting in a clear, convincing and organized manner.


BENEFITS:

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To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc .



OTHER INFORMATION:

Important Note: All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI (Office of the Secretary) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) employees are further restricted concerning their holdings of Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in corporations engaged in mining activities on Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). Please refer to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement webpage for Ethics located at: www.boemre.gov/adm/ethics.html for additional information. BOEMRE requires the highest level of integrity. Employees must be totally objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work related interactions with friends, family members or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.

 

If you are a status applicant (current permanent Federal employee or former permanent Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility), or are eligible under a special appointing authority and you are selected under this vacancy, you may be subject to serving a new one-year probationary period.

 

Beginning January 1, 2010, agencies must seek prior approval from OPM before they can appoint a current or recent political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position at any level under the provisions of title 5, United States Code.  If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employee in the executive branch, you MUST disclose that to the Human Resources Officer.

 

If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran's preference) on the rating criteria for this position.
 
Recruitment methods and selection procedures will be based solely on merit after fair and open competitive, and will be made without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, non-disqualifying disability, sexual orientation, or age.

 

A preliminary background check must be completed before a new employee can begin work with the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The preliminary background check consists of a search of Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense background investigation files and an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check; it may take up to 3 weeks to complete.  If selected for this position, you will be extended a tentative offer of employment pending a satisfactory background check.  Current Federal employees or individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background check; these will be handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the Bureau security office. 



HOW TO APPLY:

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To Apply Online
• Click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register.
• Answer the Questionnaire in its entirety and click on SUBMIT my answers.
• UPLOAD all required documents and other supporting documents.
• To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at
www.usajobs.gov .
• Click on Application Status.
• Click on the position title and select Apply Online to continue.

We strongly encourage you to apply online. However, if you cannot apply online, you may FAX your assessment questionnaire, resume and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144 by following the steps below.
 
To Apply by Fax:
• Print a copy of the OPM Form 1203-FX found here.
http://www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/OPM1203fx.pdf
• Answer the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire

• When faxing a completed OPM Form 1203-FX this will serve as your fax cover and must be placed on TOP of your supporting documents. No other fax page is required. Simply make sure all six pages of the completed OPM Form 1203-FX are on top of all other documents being faxed.

 

Combination Online/Fax:
• Click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register.
• ANSWER the Questionnaire and click on SUBMIT my answers.
• Print the official FAX coversheet found here
http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf 
• Clearly include the Vacancy Identification Number MM(826412), SSN, and full name to ensure that your documents are associated with the rest of your application.

• FAX the official fax coversheet and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144.

 

All electronic submissions and/or faxes must be completed by (Wednesday, January 30, 2013).



REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying.  It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed.  The Resume Builder is available at https://my.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/ResumeAndApplicationTips#icc .

Your application package must include:
• Resume showing relevant experience as written in your own words.
• Completed online Assessment Questionnaire or faxed OPM Form 1203FX.
• College transcript is required for verification of qualifying education. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, an official transcript may be requested at a later time.
• Certificates, license, etc. (if applicable)
• Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable)
      o If claiming 5 point preference:
         • DD-214 (member 4 copy or copy that shows nature of service)
         • If you are currently serving on active duty, an official Statement of Service from your command.
            OR
       o Other Official Documentation (e.g. copy of military orders, campaign documents such as: expeditionary award citation, etc.) that proves your military service was performed under HONORABLE conditions and that your service meets the OPM criteria for veterans preference to be awarded.
      o If claiming 10-point preference:
         • A completed Standard Form (SF)-15 (available at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf) and the proof required by the SF-15 checklist based on type of preference claimed.

 

NOTE: If you submit an incomplete application, you will be given credit only for the information you provide. You are responsible for submitting all required documentation in support of your application in order to receive full credit for your experience, education, training, and/or veterans preference.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

HR Assistant
Phone: (703)787-1446
Email: HUMAN.RESOURCES@BSEE.GOV
Agency Information:
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
DO NOT SEND MAIL
PLEASE APPLY ONLINE
Herndon, VA
20170

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

If you are rated as one of the best qualified candidates, you will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. After a selection is made all applicants for this position will be notified of their status either by letter or e-mail.

 



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Job Announcement Number:

OS-EG-13-MM826412 (ACWA)

Control Number:

335786000