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This Position Is No Longer Available

Department:  Department Of Homeland Security
Agency:  Customs and Border Protection
Job Announcement Number:  MHCDE-1135929-MLM

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$54,035.00 to $84,990.00 / Per Year
Monday, June 16, 2014 to Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
Few vacancies in the following location:
Newark, NJ View Map
Not Applicable


Customs & Border Protection (CBP):  Securing America's Borders

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career?  If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.  DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resiliency to disasters.  The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.  Make an impact; join DHS.
Discover a challenging and rewarding career in CBP, the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders.

At U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we:

  • Screen passengers, vehicles, and shipments entering our country
  • Seize illegal narcotics, vehicles, and agricultural products
  • Prevent unauthorized entry into the country
  • Rescue individuals who fall into dangerous conditions traversing our border

For more information about CBP's mission, activities, and careers, please see
Joining the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations will allow you to use your expertise to provide legal support of those executing the law enforcement duties at the port level. This position starts at a salary of $54,035 (GS 9 Step 1) with promotion potential to $84,990 (GS 11 Step 10).  Apply for this exciting opportunity to strengthen Homeland Security by performing paralegal activities such as reviewing and finalizing claims, preparing cases, and participating in the work of a paralegal team.
Who May Apply:

Organizational Location:  This position is located within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, New York Field Office, Port of Newark/New York, NJ.
One or more selections may be made using this job opportunity announcement.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • You may be required to pass a background investigation and /or polygraph
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Primary U.S. residency for the last three years (see "Other Information")
  • You may be required to pass initial and random drug testing


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In this Paralegal Specialist position you will become a key member of a team of Homeland Security professionals providing key legal support for the law enforcement duties at the port level.

Typical work assignments include:

  • Performing legal support work arising from seizures, penalties, and liquidated damages assessed under applicable laws and regulations 
  • Reviewing and finalizing claims for liquidated damages and penalty cases
  • Preparing synopses of cases including alternatives and recommended solutions 
  • Holding conferences with the importing public to provide status of cases or required procedures


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GS-9: You qualify at the GS-9 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience that equipped you with the skills needed to perform the job duties.  Such examples include participating in the substantive development of fines, penalties and forfeiture cases by analyzing and evaluating seizure, fraud, liquidated damages and penalty cases where clear precedents exist and recommending the disposition of cases; reviewing all case documents and evidence to determine nature of violation; and correlating all evidence, investigative reports, and information obtained from other U.S. Customs and Border officials.
GS-11: You qualify at the GS-11 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience that equipped you with the skills needed to perform the job duties. Such examples include reviewing and processing cases within assigned authority through to solution; receiving, examining and evaluating petitions filed by individuals, corporations or attorneys seeking relief from seizures, penalties or liquidated damages; and reviewing and making decisions as to acceptability of evidence in fraud cases, significant seizure cases and in any case of unusual complexity.
You must meet all qualification requirements, subject to verification at any stage of the application process by Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Education Substitution:
GS-9: You may substitute a Master's degree or 2 full years of graduate education in any field or a L.L.B. or J.D. degree for the experience required at the GS-9 grade level.  Such education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise two years of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 36 semester or 54 quarter hours.
GS-11: You may substitute a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in any field, or L.L.M for the experience required at the GS-11 grade level.  Such education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise three years of graduate study. If that information is not available, use 54 semester or 81 quarter hours.  You are required to submit proof of your claim.
Combining Experience and Education:  To combine your education and experience, you must convert each to a percentage, and then add the percentages. The combined total of your percentage of education and experience must equal at least 100% in order to qualify. 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. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, divide the number of graduate semester hours in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level, by 18. 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. Add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100%.

Training: You may be required to attend five (5) weeks of paid training at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.



We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will use an online self-assessment questionnaire to place you in one of three categories based on your experience, education and training. 
If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

  1. Best Qualified:  Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.
  2. Well-Qualified:  Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
  3. Qualified:  Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.  To preview the job questionnaire, see View Occupational Questionnaire
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs):
Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements are required to possess certain Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, or Other Characteristics (KSAOs) to successfully perform the functions of this position.  Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their attainment of these KSAOs in their resume.

The KSAOs are:

  • Skill in performing legal support work under applicable laws and regulations
  • Knowledge of various titles of law applicable to agency mission, Federal and State laws
  • Ability to analyze problems to identify significant factors; gather pertinent data; and recognize solutions
  • Ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found at:  To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must be placed in the (insert category) category for this position, as described above.  In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.
Veterans:  Veterans with 5 point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.  This position is not considered scientific/professional.  For information on veterans' preference, please see:


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DHS offers competitive starting salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health insurance, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)), Flexible Spending Account, retirement plan, life and long-term care insurance, Employee Assistance Program, personal leave days and paid Federal holidays.  Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules, telework, tuition reimbursement, transportation subsidies, uniform allowance, health and wellness programs, and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and development opportunities.  For more information, go to and select "Benefits".


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  To compare cost of living data, calculate mortgage scenarios, or gather information on communities and school districts, please visit the website:


Residency:  If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement:

  1. Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations);
  2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
  3. Been a dependant of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted if you provide complete state-side coverage information regarding participation in "Study Abroad" programs, overseas church missions, or state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with you overseas.  You must provide information and related documentation at the time of application.
Background Investigation: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency’s core values of vigilance, service to country and integrity.  During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (i.e., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy) and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. In addition, you may be required to pass a polygraph. For more information, please see:
Positions with known promotion potential do not guarantee promotion, nor is the promise of promotion implied.
Probationary Period:  All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.  Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.
CBP uses E-Verify to validate all newly hired applicants' ability to work legally in the United States.  To learn more about E-Verify, please follow this link:
Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder
Bargaining Unit: This position is covered under the bargaining unit

Please view the video “Protecting America 24/7” to learn more about CBP’s Office of Field Operations:


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To begin your online application, click "Apply Online" to create a USAJOBS account and follow the prompts or log in to your existing account.  Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire, a resume, and any applicable and/or required supporting documentation.  Please see the "Required Documents" section below for additional information.  All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English.

We strongly encourage you to apply online.  If you cannot apply online, you may fax your resume, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144.  You must print a copy of and document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire using OPM Form 1203-FX, and the official fax cover sheet:  Please include job opportunity announcement ID 1135929 and provide your SSN, name, and address using the exact name you used when you filled out the questionnaire.  If you have uploaded documents into your application, you do not need to fax those same documents.

Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or email.  The address below is for inquiries only.  You may apply more than once, but the most recent application is the only one that will be used.  You must submit your resume, your online questionnaire, and any supporting documents by 11:59 Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 



  • Your resume:  A resume describing your job-related qualifications is required and will be used for the purpose of reviewing your qualifications and determining what training, if any, would be required when placed.  Your resume must be in English and must include your job titles and a detailed description of your duties and the dates you performed them (MM/YY).  Your resume should also contain your full name, address, phone number, email address, and your work schedule and salary.
  • Your responses to the job questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire
  • Are you qualifying based on education?  Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) or a list of coursework with hours completed.  Education must be from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Education obtained from a foreign university or college is not creditable unless it has been evaluated by an organization that specializes in interpretation of education credentials.  For a listing of accrediting agencies, please see
  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)?  You must submit a separation notice; SF-50B; a current (or a last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent; 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 are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.
  • Are you a veteran?  To apply veteran's preference you must submit the following proof of eligibility:
  • Five Point Preference:  DD 214 (Member Copy 4)
  • Ten Point Preference:  DD 214 (Member Copy 4) and supporting documentation as listed on the Standard Form 15 (application for 10-Point Veteran's Preference).  Click this link for a copy of the SF-15:  Veterans with a service-connected disability must also submit a VA Disability Award letter dated 1991 or later.
  • If you are currently serving on active duty, you must submit a written statement from the armed forces certifying that you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions.  If you apply with a written statement at this stage, your preference will be verified by a DD 214 (Member Copy 4) upon separation from the military.


      It is your responsibility to verify that any information entered, uploaded, or faxed is received and is accurate.  Human Resources will not modify or change any part of your application.  If a document is not legible, you will not be able to view it in your application and you must again upload or fax it by the closing date. 


Phone: (952)857-2932
Agency Information:
CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center
5600 American Blvd
Suite 700
Bloomington, MN


Once the job opportunity announcement has closed, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the hiring manager for further consideration and interviews.  You will be notified by email after each of those steps has been completed.  Stay informed of changes to your application status by signing up for automatic email alerts at:  If you are referred, you will receive a final notification of the disposition of the announcement.  We expect to make a tentative job offer within 60 days after the close of the announcement.  If you are selected, we may conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

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