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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Paralegal Specialist
Department:  Department Of Justice
Agency:  Offices, Boards and Divisions
Job Announcement Number:  PH-13-JP-841632

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$42,209.00 to $54,875.00 / Per Year
Thursday, February 21, 2013 to Saturday, March 02, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
Few vacancies in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States
United States Citizens



This position is located in the Torts Branch of the Civil Division. The Division has six major litigating subcomponents: the Commercial, Litigation Branch, Federal Programs Branch, Tort Branch, Office of Consumer Litigation, Office of Immigration Litigation, and Appellate Staff.

The Torts Branch is responsible not only for suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act (medical malpractice, occupational health, toxic substance exposure, bank failures), but also suits against individual officers or employees seeking personal money judgments against them, and admiralty actions.  In addition to handling its own cases, it guides all United State Attorney's Offices throughout the country on legal matters related to the work of the Branch.

One or more positions may be filled using this vacancy. 
Filling this position is subject to funding availability.


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply section).
  • You may be subjected to undergo a urinalysis for a drug test.
  • Moving and Relocation Expenses are not authorized.
  • You must undergo a pre-employment security investigation.


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  • Perform basic and legal research into assigned cases.  Reviews and analyzes prior case materials to become familiar with questions under issue.  Also reviews and analyzes relevant articles in trade magazines, law reviews, published studies, financial reports, etc. Indexes important legal material and selects, assembles summarizes and compiles substantive information on statutes, legislation and specific subjects for the use of branch attorney.
  • Analyze and evaluate information and prepares draft reports and memoranda which provide preliminary options and recommendations for use by attorneys in the preparation of opinions, briefs, and other legal documents.
  • Draft pleadings, motions, briefs and other papers in cases being handled by the Branch.
  • Interview potential witness and prepare interview reports for review by the attorney.
  • Participates in pre-trial witness conferences in order to note additional matter to investigate prior to trial.
  • Analyzes assigned document for supportive evidence, organizing and writing synopses for use of Branch attorneys.
  • Confers with the case attorney as to trial preparation needs and prepares and organize trial exhibits including statistical charts, reports,coordination of photographic exhibits. etc.
  • Shepardizes and verifies citations and legal references on prepared legal documents and prepares legal documents under the guidance of the attorney.



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In order to qualify for the Paralegal Specialist position you must possess one of the following:

A. You have a bachelor's degree AND meet one of the Superior Academic Achievement Provisions: (1). maintained a grade-point average of "B" (a GPA of 3.0 or higher) for all completed undergraduate courses, or those completed in the last two years of undergraduate study; or (2). maintained a grade-point average "B+" (a GPA of 3.5 or higher) for all courses in your major field of study, or those courses in your major completed in the last two years of undergraduate study; or (3). rank in the upper one-third of your class in the college, university, or major subdivision; or (4) member of a national honor (other than freshman honor societies) recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies. NOTE: GPA's are to rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9. If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail or similar basis, your claim must be based on class standing or membership in an honor society. Please submit a college transcript(s) showing your grade point average for all four years of undergraduate study, including all transferred courses.  -OR-

B. You have one full year of graduate level study, or possess a Master's or higher degree, e.g., Ph.D., etc., in a field that provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work of the position. One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study.  -OR-  
C. You have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level performing legal research to provide background information to attorneys or other paralegals on precedents, regulations, or opinions affecting current or future cases; examining claims or applications to determine their completeness, compliance with policies, and/or relevance to a case or legal action; and assisting with the preparation of case files, exhibits, or other legal instruments. -OR-
D. You have less than the full amount of graduate education described in "B" and less than the amount of experience described in "C," but have a combination of the type of graduate education described in "B" and the kind of experience described in "C," which when combined, would equal 100%. To calculate: If your education is currently described in quarter hours, convert the quarter hours into semester hours by multiplying the quarter hours by the fraction 2/3. Calculate your percentage of graduate education by dividing your number of graduate semester hours by 18, or your schools definition of one year of graduate study. (18 semester hours equals 12 months.) To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience. This position requires 12 months at 40 hours per week of experience. Finally, add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100% for you to qualify under the combination of graduate education and experience.   


ARE YOU USING YOUR EDUCATION TO QUALIFY? You MUST provide transcripts or other documentation to support your educational claims.  Unless otherwise stated: (1) unofficial transcripts are acceptable, or (2) you may submit a list with all of your courses, grades, semester, year, and credit for the course. All materials must be submitted by the closing date of the announcement.

Foreign Education:
If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

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


For Competitive Applicants:  If you meet the qualifications, you will be rated and ranked under Category Rating procedures. The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the competencies required for this position. Candidates will be ranked into 3 categories: Best-Qualified; Highly-Qualified; and Qualified.


The Category Rating Process does not add veterans’ preference points or apply the “rule of three”, but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet the minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 per cent must be listed in the highest quality category (except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher).

Qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category. If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, you may lose consideration for this position.  Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. All applicants' qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):


  • Educational Background
  • Work Experience
  • Social Organizations
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Class Ranking 


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    The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees



    Conditions of Employment:

    1. Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation.
    2. DIRECT DEPOSIT: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
    3. All male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the selective service (see ). If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.

    Other Information:  

    - If you are an eligible Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicant, you may apply for special selection over other applicants for this position. Individuals who have special priority selection rights under CTAP or ICTAP must be well qualified for the position. To be well qualified, applicants must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and score 85 or better on established ranking criteria, not including veterans’ preference points, if applicable. CTAP and/or ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a recent (or last) performance appraisal; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) documenting separation; or, if applicable, 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 or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456. ( 

    - If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.   For more information on veterans’ preference see 

    - The Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism. 
    - The Department of Justice 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. 
    - The Department provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the servicing specialist listed in the vacancy announcement. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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    You must submit a complete Application Package by 11:59 PM (EST) on Saturday, March 02, 2013.
    To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.
    Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link:
    To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following 841632.   Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

    If you cannot apply online:
    1. Click the following link to view and print the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire, and
    2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the assessment questionnaire and
    3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

    1. Your Résumé
    2. A complete Assessment Questionnaire
    3. Other supporting documents:
            - Veterans Preference Documentation, if applicable; 
            - CTAP/ICTAP documentation, if applicable;  
            - Transcript(s) if applicable.

    Your resume MUST contain all information required for Federal employment. Your resume MUST include full employment information such as periods of employment, month and year position(s) started and ended, title of position(s), employer’s name and address, hours worked, description of duties, etc.



    Philadelphia Services Branch
    Phone: (215)861-3074
    Agency Information:
    Philadelphia Services Branch
    US Office of Personnel Management
    600 Arch Street
    Philadelphia, PA


    Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. Based upon your score, you may be referred to the hiring official. If your name is referred to the hiring official, you may be contacted directly by that office for a possible interview. You will receive notice via email or by mail, if no email address was provided by you during the application process, once this process is completed (generally 4-6 weeks).

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