Paralegal Specialist

Washington, D.C
Sep 24, 2020
Oct 01, 2020
Full Time


This developmental position is located in the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), in Washington, D.C. OALJ is responsible for conducting adjudicatory hearings and issuing decisions for the Department of Labor (DOL) under more than 80 labor-related statutes, Executive Orders, and regulations.

- Additional selections may be made from this announcement.

Learn more about this agency


  • Serves as a technical authority, performing work that is characterized by a depth and variety of problem-solving analysis, interpretation, and evaluation associated with the resolution of complicated legal matters.
  • The incumbent provides research, legal support, and case development services to assigned ALJs.
  • When assigned to the Chief ALJ or an Associate Chief ALJ, the incumbent will be required to gain more in-depth substantive knowledge of laws within that management ALJ's area of assigned responsibility.
  • Assists other management ALJs on an as-needed basis, the incumbent will also be required to become familiar with all statutes, Executive Orders, and regulations governing cases adjudicated by OALJ.
  • Examines, analyzes, and evaluates the information, documentation, and factual and legal issues presented in case files to determine whether additional pre-hearing actions --such as ruling on motions or issuing procedural orders or notices --must be taken before cases are ready for hearings.
  • Conducts legal research involving a comprehensive understanding of legal research tools, including LEXIS,
    WESTLA W, DOL websites, and websites of other agencies that may have relevant information, such as those of the Department of Homeland Security, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Authority, and the like.
  • Analyzes post-hearing briefs to identify key factual and legal arguments raised by the parties, and makes verbal or written reports to the ALJ to assist him/her in making final decisions.
  • Reviews and analyzes complex motions for attorney fees.
  • Manages the FOIA program for OALJ's Immigration and Longshore programs, which represent over 50 percent of OALJ's caseload.
  • Researches relevant statutes, regulations, FOIA case law, and recent comt decisions to determine if requested
    records may be released.
  • Serves as OALJ's representative and Subject Matter Expett for DOL's Executive Secretariat's Controlled
    Correspondence Tracking System.
  • As needed, the incumbent performs legal assistant duties for one or more ALJs.
  • Provides training for newly hired ALJs and staff, and existing ALJs and staff when new procedures or policy changes are implemented.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 5 percent of the time.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
13 - There is no obligation to provide future promotions if you are selected. Promotions are dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, meet all the performance requirements, and supervisor's recommendation to the next grade.


Conditions of Employment

  • Candidate required to obtain the necessary security/investigation level.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.

All current Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) employees with competitive status.


Applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, GS-11, in the Federal Service.

Specialized experience is defined as experience receiving, examining, evaluating and obtained factual and legal information from available electronic systems and research sources. Review subject matter and details of cases and assignments lo develop and perform critical legal analysis of the request for information under the provisions of various acts which requires discretion and independent judgment in the application of a specialized knowledge of laws, precedent decisions, regulations and agency policies/procedures, and judicial or administrative proceedings.


Additional information

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

Refer to these links for more information: GENERAL INFORMATION , ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Click here for Evaluation details. For Displaced Employees ONLY: if you meet the eligibility requirements for special priority selection under ICTAP / CTAP , you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. ICTAP/CTAP eligibles will be considered "well-qualified" if they attain at least a rating score of 85 in a numerical rating scheme. Be sure to review DOL Account Eligibility Questions #24 to reflect that you are applying as a ICTAP or CTAP eligible and submit supporting documentation.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

Organizational Awareness-Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how it's social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs,. policies, procedures,rules, and regulations of the organization.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) -Establish procedures for identifying records of general interest or use to the public that are appropriate for public disclosure,. and for posting such records in a publicly accessible electronic format.

Research Skills-Knowledge of the scientific principles, methods. and processes used to conduct a systematic and objective inquiry; including study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; and the reporting of results.

Oral Communication-Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.

Post Hearing Actions-Knowledge of principles and process that facilitate, assesses, coordinates, plans, monitors and .evaluates evidence and information that may be needed to ensure that cases are ready for a hearing.

Written Communication -Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for intended audience.

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). Your evaluation may also include a review by an HR Specialist or panel and may include other assessment tools (ex. interview, structured interview, written test, work sample, etc.). The examining Office of Human Resources (OHR) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your vacancy question responses. If not, the OHR may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. Also, do not upload password protected documents.

- The following documents are required from all applicants (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):

ARE YOU A CURRENT OR FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEE? If applying as a status candidate with current or former Federal Service, please provide a copy of your last or most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action" which shows your appointment eligibility for the position for which you are applying. Your SF-50 must identify the highest grade you held on a permanent basis, Pay Plan/Pay Schedule, Series, and Grade/Pay Band, and career status. Multiple SF-50 may be submitted to demonstrate your highest previous rate and eligibility.

*WARNING: An award SF-50 (ex. cash or time off award) may not indicate grade, step and competitive status. For current DOL employees, an award SF-50 DOES NOT indicate grade and step.

- Resume are required to provide a resume by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of your choosing. To receive full consideration for relevant and specialized experience, please list month, year, and the number of work hours worked for experience listed on your resume. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to the vacancy questionnaire.

- Most recent performance appraisal/evaluation signed and dated within 18 months is requested by the agency, but will not disqualify candidates if not submitted. If not submitted during the application process, one may/will be requested at the time of the interview if the opportunity is extended. Applies to current and former Federal employees.

The following documents are required if applicable:

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP Eligibility .

- Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted.

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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