Trial Clerk

Washington, D.C
Jun 13, 2019
Jun 21, 2019
Full Time


The incumbent serves as a confidential assistant to a Judge of the Tax Court at the trial sessions and performs a variety of confidential assignments of an official nature.

The primary duty of a Trial Clerk is to travel extensively and assist the Judges and Special Trial Judges of the United States Tax Court as they conduct Court sessions in over 75 cities throughout the United States.
Learn more about this agency


The incumbent is expected to exercise initiative and resourcefulness in representing the Judge with other Judges, high Federal and State officials, the news media, tax attorneys, litigants and the general public. These tasks are often highly sensitive and require the skills of a person who has the full trust and confidence of the Judge. The nature of the work requires a prompt, reasoned and diplomatic response to various demands made on the incumbent, and a confidential working relationship with the Judge, including a thorough understanding of the Judge's work habits and policies with regard to staff and courtroom work.
  • Obtains and assembles pertinent case information and materials for the Judge. Receives telephone calls and serves as principal contact for the Judge's office; exercises independent judgment as may be necessary to conserve the Judge's time and prevent interruptions; discusses matters presented and furnishes permissible information which discretion and judgment appear to warrant.
  • Contacts the stenographic reporter and assumes full custody and responsibility for official Court Case Records and documents transmitted from Washington. Confers with the Judge regarding preliminary matters.
  • Opens Court at the direction of the Judge. Makes the preliminary call of the calendar and prepares a daily schedule of trials.
  • Advises litigants and counsel on matters of Court procedure and practice and with respect to the filing of documents and papers; reviews those filed at the Session of Court for completeness, acceptability and compliance with the Court's Rules of Practice.
  • Ascertains whether petitioner's counsel and other representatives are duly enrolled to practice before the Court and have entered appearances in the cases set for trial and makes necessary arrangements for accepting and filing of appropriate appearances of counsel.
  • Administers oath to witnesses. Receives and marks for filing or identification, pleadings, motions, depositions, stipulations, exhibits and other documents presented to the Court during trials. Secures proper receipt for exhibits or other documents withdrawn by the parties or counsel.
  • Prepares official minutes of the trial or other proceedings, orders, decisions and rulings of the Court for the signature of the Judge.
  • Performs such duties as Crier, Marshall, and other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

76% or greater - This position requires extensive travel

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment


Special Rating Factors (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required by the Position): Applicants are required to address each Special Rating Factor providing detailed evidence of the listed factors in the form of clear, concise examples of accomplishment and degree of responsibility. Please use specific examples to illustrate how your qualifications and accomplishments are relevant.
  • the ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with individuals or groups representing widely different backgrounds, interests and points of view;
  • a strong attention to detail;
  • ability to exercise discretion, mature judgment and independence; and
  • ability to be self-initiating, resourceful, and comfortable in traveling alone.
Qualified candidates must be willing to commit to a minimum two year tour of duty.


Applicants must meet all qualifications and time-in-grade requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement.

To qualify for the full performance level (GS-7), applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent at the next lowest grade level, which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position.


To qualify for the position of Trial Clerk, applicants MUST submit proof that they have completed all the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND they meet at least one of the following criteria based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.

1. To qualify based on 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. To qualify based on grade-point average, 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 two years of the curriculum.
3. Applicants may also qualify based on membership in a national scholastic honor society, which meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies.

Additional information


As a Federal employee, you will be eligible to enroll in health, dental, vision and life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and apply for long term care insurance. For more information, go to:

In addition, you will be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, and Thrift Savings Plan. Visit:

Also, you will continue to earn both annual and sick leave. Visit:

Finally, new employees also may be covered under other U.S. Tax Court benefit policies. Our human resources office can provide additional information on these programs.

Other Conditions of Employment:
  • The U.S. Tax Court requires employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial employees.
  • Employees of the U.S. Tax Court serve under excepted appointments and are considered "AT WILL" employees.
  • Employees will be required to complete a 52-week probationary period.
  • Males must abide by Selective Service registration requirements.
  • Favorable suitability determination - Selection of this position is contingent on a favorable suitability determination and security background check, to include credit check, Federal income tax check and criminal check. A candidate selected for this position must be current on his or her Federal income tax obligations before employment with the Tax Court, and remain current at all times while employed by the Tax Court. Continued employment post appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of the background investigation and credit check, and favorable adjudication. A background reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
  • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the conditions herein outlined may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
  • If selected for this position, you are required to complete the I-9 form and provide appropriate identification.
  • Relocation expenses are not authorized for any selected applicant, and any travel expenses incurred for an interview will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Tax Court.
  • The U.S. Tax Court will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The United States Tax Court is an equal opportunity employer.

Ratings will be based on an evaluation of applicant's experience as related to the duties of this position and the Special Rating Factors listed above. The resume/application package must provide detailed information showing the extent to which the Special Rating Factors are satisfied.

If you fail to provide the information as required, your application will not be evaluated beyond the basic screening process. The examining Office of Human Resources (OHR) makes the final determination concerning whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

If you meet the minimum qualifications for this position, the Court will then evaluate your application package to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education as they relate to the requirements listed in this vacancy announcement.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • A cover letter stating the position for which you are applying.
  • Resume - Any written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications and that reflect how your background and experience correspond to the special rating factors listed in this announcement.
  • A concise narrative addressing EACH of the special rating factors listed in this announcement.
  • College transcripts.
  • A copy of your most recent SF-50 (if a current federal employee).

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.

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