The incumbent serves as a Paralegal Specialist, GS-0950-7/9/11, in the Office of Proceedings (OP).Learn more about this agency
The major duties of the positions are to:
- Review pleadings and other documents submitted to the agency;
- Perform a wide variety of specialized legal assistance duties and administrative and program support functions which facilitate the work of the Office and the Surface Transportation Board (STB);
- Assist attorneys with the adjudication of cases requiring the analysis of legal issues affecting the surface transportation industry;
- Manage and track the legal case load of the STB;
- Prepare certain agency orders, notices, correspondence, and other documents as assigned, sometimes involving moderately complex legal issues requiring knowledge of transportation laws and agency practices; and
- Review and assure completeness of decisions sent to Board Members for voting.
Merit promotion and/or non-competitive referral lists may be issued based on the needs of the agency.
One or more positions may be filled through this announcement.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
U.S. Citizenship is required.
All qualification requirements must be met by 06/12/2019. Your application package will not receive consideration if it lacks any of the required documents under the "Required Documents" tab.
Probationary Period: One-year probationary period may be required.
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 http://www.sss.gov/
Background Suitability Investigation: Continued employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and the granting of a Federal suitability or security clearance. If selected, you may be offered tentative employment until the background investigation has been fully adjudicated.
Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must meet the Time-in-Grade Requirement, which is 52 weeks of Federal Service at the next lower grade. GS-5 for GS-7, GS-7 for GS-9, GS-9 for GS-11.
QualificationsTo qualify for this position, applicants must meet the specialized experience* as described below:
Specialized Experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position typically in or directly related to Paralegal work, and is equivalent to the work performed at the next lower grade level.
To be qualified for this position at the GS-7 grade level, you must demonstrate in your resume one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level of Federal service such as writing legal correspondence, processing routine legal documents, and searching legal files for information required by attorneys.
To be qualified for this position at the GS-9 grade level, you must demonstrate in your resume one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level of Federal service such as analyzing pleadings and data related to processing, finalizing, and serving legal documents; drafting correspondence and legal documents for publication; communicating with parties to resolve problems, correct deficiencies, or disseminate information related to legal filings such as petitions, notices, or complaints; AND the experience required above at the GS-7 grade level.
To be qualified for this position at the GS-11 grade level, you must demonstrate in your resume one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 level of Federal service such as assisting attorneys with drafting notices, decisions, or other legal documents; analyzing pleadings, notices, or other documents to make substantive recommendations; searching legal reference files and other sources for information to prepare legal documents or management reports; AND the experience required above at the GS-9 grade level.
Specialized experience must meet 52 weeks equivalent to the next lower grade level. A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.
*Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (i.e Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Are you using education to qualify? Then 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.
Experience / Education Combination: Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at this level. To compute, divide your total months of qualifying experience by 36. Then divide your semester hours of education beyond two years by 60. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100% to qualify.
To be qualified substituting experience for education, at the GS-7 grade level you must possess:
1 full year of graduate level education
superior academic achievement.
To be qualified substituting experience for education, at the GS-9 grade level you must possess:
a master's or equivalent graduate degree
2 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree
LL.B. or J.D., if related.
To be qualified substituting experience for education, at the GS-11 grade level you must possess:
a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree;
3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree;
LL.M., if related.
You must provide your transcripts to support your educational claims. Transcripts may be unofficial copies, but they must come from an accredited college or university, and they also must include the courses' names and number of credit hours. To search the database of accredited institutions visit: the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
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 the US Dept of Education.
The STB offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid time off*, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the 3-tier Federal Retirement System. The STB also has work/life-balance flexibilities that may be right for you. We offer:
Flexible Work Schedule options: Two flexible work schedules, the Flexitour Option and the Compressed Work Schedule. Employees on the Flexitour may schedule fixed arrival and departure times around established core hours and work 8 hours plus a 30-minute unpaid lunch period. Employees on the Compressed Work Schedule may work 8 9-hour work days and one 8-hour day (plus the 30-minute unpaid lunch period) in each biweekly pay period and receive one scheduled day off; OR may work 4 10-hour days with one week day off each week;
Limited Telework opportunities upon supervisor approval and in accordance with the Employee Work Schedule policy;
Employee Assistance Program: The program provides employees with free confidential assistance for help with personal issues that may be affecting work life. The program also provides consultation to supervisors who are trying to best help an employee with performance and/or attendance problems. More information on the Employee Assistance Program can be found on the Federal Occupational Health website;
*Annual and Sick Leave (paid time off): Employees of the STB accrue both annual and sick leave depending on years of service with the Federal government. Annual leave may be used for vacation or other personal reasons. Sick leave may be used when you are ill, when you have a doctor, dental, or optical appointment, or when you need to provide care to an ill family member. More information can be found on OPM's website;
Fitness Center: STB employees, at no cost, have access to the fitness center conveniently located in the building featuring state of the art weight training and cardiovascular equipment;
Extensive Training programs and tools supportive of enhancing organization effectiveness and employee development; and
A monthly transit subsidy for a portion of your commuting costs to help defray the commuting costs of employees who use mass transportation, including commuter bus, Metrorail or Metrobus, or commuter rail systems.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applicants will be evaluated on their resume and supporting documentation to ensure they meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education and training will be rated using an Assessment Questionnaire that is based on the following competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job:
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):
Knowledge of handling legal administrative actions; filing, entering data, maintaining records, automation, and using / completing forms.
Research and Analysis:
Skill involved in systematic work undertaken to find authority that will aid in determining a solution and incorporating the ability to analyze the information to develop recommendations or inferences.
Knowledge and skill sufficient to research, compile, and summarize legal and technical material and express thoughts in written form.
Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); offers clear oral instructions; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
Candidates who apply under Competitive Merit Promotion procedures will undergo a quality review to determine if they are best qualified based on the content of their resume and their responses to the questionnaire. Best qualified candidates will be referred if all required supporting documentation has been provided.
Candidate who apply under Noncompetitive and Special Hiring Authorities procedures will undergo a quality review to determine if they are minimally qualified based on the content of their resume, supporting documentation submitted and their responses to the assessment questionnaire.
Category Rating Procedures: Applicants who apply under "All US Citizens" eligibility and do not have eligibility under Merit or Noncompetitive status, will be placed in one of the following categories:
Best-Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.
Well-Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.
Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.
**Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category. Other 10-point preference eligibles and 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.
The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)programs provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (see required documents tab) and be rated well-qualified on the assessment.
Preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10520320
Please be advised, the following documents are required even if you are already a current Federal or STB employee:
1. Resume (Please include on your resume the experience you wish to be considered for the review of your qualifications, the dates of employment with month and year, and hours worked per week). Resumes that do not contain all of the necessary information to determine qualifications may be marked as insufficient and applicants may not receive consideration for this position.
Your latest resume submission is the one that will be used to determine your qualifications.
2. Responses to questionnaire.
3. You must submit supporting documents verifying your eligibility or any preference eligibility along with your application package. These documents may include, but are not limited to:
Veterans documentation: All veterans MUST submit a DD-214, MEMBER 4 copy, if you are currently on active duty, you must submit an official statement of service from your command or other official documentation that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions, etc;
Preference eligible documentation: If claiming 10-point preference you must also submit a SF-15 and any other proof that you are eligible for 10-point preference if a job offer is extended to you, final VA letter including percentage (please do not include letter from VA noting specific private medical information;
SF-50 documenting current or previous federal service employment, separate SF-50 documenting appropriate Time in Grade (if applicable), etc;
ICTAP documentation: RIF separation notice along with last performance rating or appraisal; Additional information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is in OPM's Guide to Career Transition; and
College transcripts: Transcripts must be legible and possess school name imprinted on submission or be on school letterhead; pleased be advised you may be asked to submit official transcripts upon selection.
Candidates who are ineligible for Merit Promotion eligibility will be considered under Delegated Examining procedures.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section above.
The complete application package must be submitted before the announcement closes.
To begin your online application:
You need to create a login.gov account, if you don't already have one. You'll need to:
-Create a login.gov account - you only need to do this once.
-Enter an email address during the account set up - use the same email address you use for USAJOBS (your primary or secondary email address).
-Create a new password.
-Have a working phone number (mobile or landline) near you - login.gov will send you a security code.
-Finish setting up your login.gov account.
Once you've finished setting up your login.gov account, you'll go back to USAJOBS to finish the process. Double check your USAJOBS Profile to make sure all of your information is accurate. You need to use your login.gov email address, password and security code every time you want to sign into USAJOBS. Follow the prompts in USAJOBS to take the online questionnaire and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section for more details.
Note: We recommend you don't use a .gov, .mil or .edu email address. Instead, you should use a personal (non-government) email address when you create your login.gov account. Please do not use an email address you share with someone else.
** For any issues signing into login.gov, go to https://login.gov/contact/
This and other positions announced by STB may be filled using Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u). Schedule A is an excepted service hiring authority used to appoint persons with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Such individuals may qualify for conversion to permanent status after two years of satisfactory service. Documentation of disability is required, i.e., a Schedule A Letter. Such documentation is used to verify that the applicant qualifies under Schedule A as an individual with an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This documentation must be provided to the hiring agency at the time of application, before an individual can be hired. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. Submission of a VA letter does not qualify as a Schedule A letter. If you are an individual with a disability and require an accommodation for the application process, please include the accommodation request with your Schedule A documentation. Reasonable accommodation requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Because the vacancy announcement you are viewing is a competitive announcement, in order to be considered for this position under the Schedule A hiring authority, you must email your Schedule A documentation and resume directly to Nilsa Grange at Nilsa.Grange@stb.gov, instead of going through the USA Jobs application process under this announcement.
Agency contact information
AddressSurface Transportation Board
395 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20423
Once the application process is complete, a review of the resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine if you are qualified for this job. 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. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. All applicants will be notified of their status by email throughout the process.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/535706500. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.