Foreign Law Specialist

Washington, D.C
Aug 08, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Full Time

The Foreign Law Specialist position is located in the Global Legal Research Directorate in the Law Library. The employee in this position serves as a Foreign Law Specialist (South America and Spain) for the Law Library of the Library of Congress. The Foreign Law Specialist is responsible for providing research, advice and assistance on foreign legal issues, questions, or situations to the United States Congress, Executive Branch Agencies, the Judiciary, and foreign law reference services to other constituencies, including the general public. In that capacity, the Specialist conducts legal research and analysis and prepares or contributes to legal opinions, briefs, reports, memoranda, and comparative analyses related to the laws and legal systems of assigned jurisdictions in South America and Spain. The incumbent will respond to inquiries related to legal developments in assigned jurisdictions and international organizations where countries of assigned jurisdictions in South America and Spain are members. In addition, the Specialist assists in the development of the Law Library's online products and recommends acquisitions to the Law Library's collections related to the assigned jurisdictions.

Performs a variety of foreign law research and provides reference services at various levels of complexity in regard to assigned jurisdictions in South America and Spain. Conducts legal research using printed, on-line, and other sources of information. Uses knowledge of sources of legal information, legal research methodology, and experience in legislative analysis to assist in the development and production of the Law Library's legal information systems. Participates in developing, producing, and promoting the Law Library's online products and services.

Prepares written reports for a wide range of legal inquiries where assignments cover conventional problems, questions, or situations and historical issues within assigned jurisdictions. Produces reports and other documents individually or as part of a team. Conducts scholarly work and prepares publications, presentations, and legal bibliographic materials related to assigned jurisdictions and/or area of subject matter expertise.

Surveys the Law Library's collection for assigned jurisdictions to identify deficiencies. Makes recommendations on the acquisition of needed materials and searches the catalogs and collections for law items under consideration. Reviews and selects all materials received in the Law Library on assigned jurisdictions. Assists with the development and technical processing of the collections within his/her areas of specialization where conventional problems, questions, or situations arise. Performs other functions relating to the development and maintenance of foreign legal collections for assigned jurisdictions in the Library.

Provides advice and assistance to the staff of the United States Congress, Federal agencies, and U.S. Courts on conventional foreign legal issues, questions, or situations. Provides advice on foreign laws and collaborates with various staff on issues relevant to the mission of the Law Library of Congress. Provides reference on laws of assigned jurisdictions to LOC patrons. To enhance the exchange of legal information, develops and maintains professional relations with colleagues in the United States and abroad.


Conditions of Employment

Conditions of Employment

At present, the Library of Congress will not enforce an earlier policy to require all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, employees are required to certify their vaccination status, which is used to plan and implement workplace safety protocols, such as those related to mask-wearing, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. Upon request, new hires may be required to show proof of vaccination to the Health Services Division. Library employees who are not vaccinated may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 every seven days.

Library of Congress employees are prohibited from using illegal drugs, including marijuana. The Library is part of the Federal Government and abides by federal law, so regardless of individual state or District of Columbia laws, marijuana use is illegal, considered criminal activity, and can affect your employment at the Library. In addition, past or current drug use and activities (e.g., selling or distributing) may deem you ineligible for employment.

Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation. For more information, please see: Vetting Process


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

Ability to conduct legal or legislative research.**

Ability to communicate in writing.**

Ability to convey legal analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations, and other presentations.

Ability to interact collaboratively with others.

Ability to plan, organize, and coordinate in a high pressure environment.

Ability to verify accuracy of detailed information.

Additional information

Although it is the Library's policy to afford the maximum pay benefit to employees when setting rates of pay, a new appointee who has had no previous Federal service will generally be paid at step one of the grade.

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a complete application package that is received by the closing date of this announcement.

Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation. For more information, please see: Vetting Process

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please email The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of eligibility when applying for this position. The proof or disability/certification may be issued by the State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, Disability Services or Career Services office of the applicant's college or university, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The letter must verify that the applicant has a severe disability and must be dated within three years of the date of the application. Certification from health care providers are not accepted. For more information contact the Library's Office of EEO/Diversity Programs at 202-707-6024 or email FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.

The Library reserves the right to fill a lesser or greater number of vacancies indicated during the life of this vacancy announcement.

Initial permanent appointments to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period. Probationary periods served at other Federal agencies do not count toward this requirement.

The Library of Congress may offer repayment for all or part of federally insured student loans. However, not all service units within the Library of Congress participates in the repayment of federally insured student loans. Therefore, determination to repay a federally insured student loan is subject to approval by the appropriate service unit.

Are you a veteran? Please indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming in your application materials and/or applicant profile and provide the appropriate supporting documentation to validate your claim. Those applying for 5-point preference must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out an SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. If required supporting documentation is not attached, Veterans' Preference will not be considered in the application process.