Assistant Director and Senior Specialist (American Law Division)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Washington, D.C
Posted
Sep 18, 2020
Closes
Sep 26, 2020
Function
Executive, Director
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) seeks a senior manager to lead its American Law Division (ALD), one of CRS's five research divisions. CRS provides objective, nonpartisan, and authoritative legislative research, analysis, and consultative support exclusively to the U.S. Congress.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

This position serves as head of the American Law Division, a major CRS research division. In this capacity, and reporting directly to the Director of CRS, the Assistant Director manages, within the interdisciplinary environment of CRS, a professional legal staff in its production of written products and consulting services in support of the U.S. Congress.

Working directly with congressional committees and Members of the House and Senate, attorneys within CRS's American Law Division contribute to an informed national legislature as it considers legal and policy issues of importance to the American people. Areas of research, analysis, and consultative support include all facets of law in the United States, including administrative, business, civil rights, constitutional, energy, environmental, health, immigration, intellectual property, international, labor, military, national security, procurement, tax and trade law.

The Assistant Director ensures that written and consulting work is of the highest quality and consistently meets the Service's standards of objectivity, nonpartisanship, timeliness, legislative relevance, authoritativeness, and accessibility. In addition, the Assistant Director actively collaborates with managers and staff in CRS's other research divisions to ensure that a multifaceted approach to policy issues is taken to best inform Congressional decision-making.

The Assistant Director leads implementation of the Service's agenda for legal issues within the division's areas of responsibility, including approaches, frameworks, and methodologies for addressing policy and legislative issues. This includes demonstrating personal intellectual leadership in monitoring congressional needs in the various policy areas and assuring access to the intellectual capacity needed to meet current and changing needs of the United States Congress at a sustained level of excellence. This also includes exercising overall responsibility for the oversight and management of the division's human, financial, material, and information research assets, including a staff of approximately 65 employees. In performing these activities, the Assistant Director is responsible for ensuring that the research, analytical, and consulting activities of the division are aligned with the legislative needs of Congress and with the priorities, goals, and policies of CRS for meeting those needs.

The Assistant Director also serves as one of the chief advisors to the Director, counseling the Director on all aspects of the research management and operations of CRS and recommending specific policies and procedures for improving the Service's overall quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. The Assistant Director serves as a member of the Director's senior management team and serves as a principal CRS representative to Members, committees, and officers of the United States Congress.

Major duties of this position include:
  • Collaborates with senior managers and staff with various disciplinary backgrounds, including but not limited to, economics; political, social and natural sciences; international relations; public policy; and library and information studies to ensure that Congress is afforded authoritative and comprehensive research and analysis that benefits from the range of legal and policy expertise present in CRS. This includes leading, planning, directing and evaluating the legal research, analyses, and consulting services of the Service in various legal and policy areas to ensure such activities are aligned with the legislative needs of the United States Congress and with the priorities, goals, and policies of CRS.
  • Demonstrates personal intellectual leadership in monitoring congressional needs, in formulating and maintaining an agenda to meet those needs, in guiding and directing relevant research of individuals and groups, and in reviewing and evaluating the work of researchers and their managers.
  • Ensures research, analysis, and consulting services provided by the division are of the highest quality and meet CRS's standards of objectivity, nonpartisanship, timeliness, legislative relevance, authoritativeness, and accessibility.
  • Counsels the Director and Deputy Director on all aspects of the management and operations of the Congressional Research Service and advises on matters relating to the research activities, operations, and mission of the Service.
  • Serves as a principal representative to committees and officers of the United States Congress, other legislative agencies and the Library of Congress, executive departments and agencies, professional organizations, universities, and other research organizations on the broadest matters related to CRS research, policy, and organization.

Oversees and ensures compliance with human resource management functions for division staff. Establishes and clearly communicates performance expectations for staff.

Supervisory status
Yes

Promotion Potential
00

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • See requirements listed below under Qualifications Required.


Your resume is important to this application process. It will be reviewed to determine whether you possess the qualifications referenced above. All applicants are required to submit a resume that provides specific information (to include accomplishments, work experience and education/training) that clearly describes what you would bring to the position.

Qualifications

The Assistant Director leads his/her staff toward meeting the Library's vision, mission, and goals by acting decisively, leveraging diversity and inclusiveness, demonstrating flexibility and resilience, fostering continuous improvement and innovation, and fostering integrity and honesty. To view the Library's Supervisory Core Competencies click the following link: http://www.loc.gov/hr/employment/uploads/loc_supervisor_core_competencies.pdf .

The competencies below are required for this position. Those marked with a double asterisk (**) are considered the most critical competencies for this position.

A candidate's resume must show a proven record of accomplishment that clearly demonstrates he or she has:

Expert knowledge of American law**: Applies expert, multidisciplinary knowledge of the theories, relevant laws and regulations, concepts, processes, techniques, principles, and/or practices of American law to address legal questions in a public policy setting and in the context of federal law and legislation. This includes knowledge of the history, trends, interrelationships, and current status of the fields of American law and interrelationships with other key fields and disciplines.

Ability to lead, develop and execute legal research and consulting support in a public policy setting**: Leads implementation of the Service's legal research and consulting agenda with respect to the division. Develops innovative and creative ideas to advance the quality of the research and the success of the Service. Recommends specific policies and procedures for improving efficiency and effectiveness of research management and operations of the Service and assesses their implications. Oversees and manages legal and legislative research and consulting services across and within major research areas. Demonstrates intellectual leadership and understanding of the current national legal discourse by formulating and executing a research agenda to address those issues. Guides and directs research of individuals and groups; this work is sometimes done collaboratively with the policy research divisions. This includes managing, organizing, and evaluating the legal analysis of public policy issues at the federal level; ensuring that the legal components of public policy problems are appropriately conceptualized and defined; information and research are fully analyzed and synthesized; the implications of statutory and case law are identified and appropriate conclusions are drawn; alternatives are generated and assessed; the consequences of choosing each alternative are evaluated; and established requirements are applied (e.g., objectivity and authoritativeness) in the development, evaluation, and maintenance of products and services.

Ability to lead people and manage a workforce**: Oversees the overall performance of the division by assessing staffing requirements in relation to current and anticipated needs of the Congress, developing staffing plans, justifications, and requests, and making policy area assignments for and evaluating staff in order to assure the availability of the intellectual capacity needed to meet the current and changing needs of Congress at a sustained level of excellence. Develops and oversees recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and training a diverse workforce as well as builds and maintains exceptional staff performance.

Ability to exercise judgment and discretion**: Demonstrates awareness of the likely consequences or implications of one's own actions and work within the context of agency/ organizational/ departmental standards. Acts appropriately in a given situation (e.g., with colleagues, clients, media/press), using discretion, and being committed to confidentiality.

Ability to communicate in writing and assess the quality of products and services**: The ability to write, review, and oversee the production of a variety of clear, cogent, accurate, and well-organized products. This includes evaluating the content, organization, and relevance of a range of products and services to meet the quality standards of a public policy organization. Ensures that products and services are substantively correct, and meet CRS's core values of objectivity, nonpartisanship, authoritativeness, and timeliness. Makes suggestions for improvement.

Ability to think strategically and lead change: The ability to establish and implement a strategic vision and direction for an organization or group and to lead/effect change. This includes evaluating interdependencies and interrelationships among functions and resources and outcomes; developing performance targets; and identifying strategic opportunities. This also includes championing ideas that promote the mission with enthusiasm, conviction, and assertiveness; gaining support and commitment from others; and motivating and inspiring others.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing: Ability, other than in writing, to effectively express ideas and recommendations in various settings to peers, staff, managers, supervisors, and external audiences to both provide and seek information. This includes actively listening to or understanding communicated information and answering questions thoughtfully and completely.

Continue with the application process only if you are able to document on your resume that you meet all the critical competency requirements at the levels described below.
  • Expert knowledge of American law: I am recognized by decision makers as a professional resource in specific areas of American law and am therefore able to address legal questions in a public policy setting and in the context of federal law and legislation.
  • Ability to lead, develop and execute legal research and consulting support in a public policy setting: I have routinely developed and managed a work unit's portfolio in specific areas of American law. This included managing research and analysis for the production of written products and services to client(s).
  • Ability to lead people and manage a workforce: I have led and managed a professional research staff (e.g., responsible for developing staffing plans, recruiting and hiring, assigning work, evaluating performance).
  • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion: In execution of work duties, I was routinely relied upon to exercise judgment and discretion.
  • Ability to communicate in writing and assess the quality of products and services: I have written a variety of clear, cogent and well-organized products and have evaluated and critically reviewed a range of products and services to ensure quality standards are met.


  • Education

    Applicants must possess an LL.B. or J.D., or higher degree from a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association or a state-accredited school of law and be a current active (or equivalent) member in good standing of the bar of a state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Appointee must maintain active membership in good standing of the bar throughout their employment.

    Applicants must submit verification of education, licensing, and/or certification requirements as instructed in the "Required Documents" section of this vacancy announcement.

    Additional information

    The Congressional Research Service, within the Library of Congress, is part of the legislative branch of the federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.

    Additional information about CRS and its American Law Division is available at https://www.loc.gov/crsinfo/about/ .

    The salary range indicated reflects the basic pay adjustment of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

    This is a permanent, supervisory, non-bargaining unit position.

    The position description number is 189342.

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

    Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.

    All initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period. In addition, all newly appointed Senior Level executives, from outside the Library as well as from within, must serve a one year probationary period in accordance with the Library of Congress Regulations (LCRs) 2017.2-1, Senior Level Executive System.

    The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. All who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

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

    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 ADA@loc.gov. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    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. Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.

    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.

    The selected applicant will be required to file a financial disclosure statement with the House of Representatives, U.S. Congress, in accordance with the provisions of Public Law 95-521, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

    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.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    The Library of Congress will evaluate applicants using the information provided in your resume. Reviews are intended to explore applicants' experience, knowledge, and training directly related to the job in order to identify the best qualified applicants for selection. For Senior Level positions, applicants do not need to respond to specific competency questions but will be requested to answer one question related to how they became aware of this job opportunity.
    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Top Secret

    Drug test required
    No

    Required Documents

    Applicants for this position are required to submit the following documentation:
    • Legible copies of transcripts demonstrating that applicant is a graduate from an LL.B. or J.D., or higher degree program in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association or a state-accredited school of law.
    • A copy of bar membership demonstrating that applicant is a current active (or equivalent) member in good standing of the bar of a state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Appointee must maintain active membership in good standing of the bar throughout their employment.

    These (official or unofficial) documents may be attached to your online application or emailed to the Staffing Specialist ( imot@loc.gov ). The documents can also be e-mailed during the interview scheduling process. They must be received prior to a full interview. Applicants who do not submit the required documentation will not be interviewed and will be disqualified from further consideration. Official documentation will be required if selected for the position. Failure to complete all mandatory sections of the on-line application form or failure to submit a resume will disqualify applicants from further consideration for the vacancy for which they are applying.

    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. The program does not accept certification from health care providers. For more information contact the Library's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Programs at 202-707-6024 or email spp@loc.gov. FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

    For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please see the Library of Congress Merit Selection Plan, Section X.D, at: http://www.loc.gov/hr/employment/msp010909.pdf .

    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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