Paralegal Specialist

Washington, D.C
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 25, 2021
Full Time


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. We accomplish our mission by providing objective and reliable information and analysis to Congress, federal agencies, and the public, and by recommending improvements, when appropriate, on a wide variety of issues to make government work better. Within GAO, the Office of the General Counsel provides legal support to the agency on a wide array of subjects and issues legal decisions.

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These paralegal positions will be located in the Office of the General Counsel's Appropriations Law (AL) group and Procurement Law (PL) group. We are hiring one paralegal for each of these groups.

The Appropriations Law group provides legal decisions to heads of federal agencies, Congress, and other federal officials on matters of appropriations law. The group also carries out statutory responsibilities under the Congressional Review Act and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. As a paralegal in Appropriations Law, you would support the attorneys in this group in carrying out these functions.

Procurement Law is GAO's bid protest forum, which is mandated by the Competition in Contracting Act. The Act requires GAO to resolve protests filed by bidders or offerors seeking the award of federal contracts or challenging the terms of federal solicitations within 100 calendar days of their filing. Paralegals assigned to the group are part of the Procurement Law Control Group, and they support the attorneys who carry out this function.

The major duties for these positions are as follows:
  • Develops and analyzes facts, discern key issues, researches governing authorities and provides citations, presents research results, and prepares memoranda documenting research.
  • Researches case citations, statutes, and other factual data for accuracy.
  • Researches and prepares decisions and cases; writes edits, and revises decisions prior to release; and develops and maintains legal research aids that represent the latest in legal research methodology.
  • Responds to legal research requests from other GAO units and federal agencies.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You may be required to submit a financial disclosure statement.
  • You must be suitable for federal employment.
  • You may be required to complete a one year probationary period.
  • Registered for Selective Service, if applicable. (



Applicants must have 1 year (52 weeks) of specialized experience at the next lower band or level equivalent to the GS-11 in the Federal Service, or comparable private/public sector experience which has equipped the applicant with the skills and knowledge to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Specialized experience is experience assisting in legal support tasks such as:
  • editing decisions and opinions, office memoranda, and non-decision letters.
  • verifying legal citations and ensuring the accuracy of references to the record.
  • Conducting analysis and research of legal decisions, opinions, and other legal products.


There is no education requirement for this position.

Additional information

This is a bargaining unit position.

Based on the staffing needs, additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement.

Selectee may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement.

If you are selected for this position, you will be subject to a determination of your suitability for Federal employment.

Selectee may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement.

Travel and relocation expenses will not be paid for by the GAO.

Males born after 12/31/59 and at least 18 years of age must be registered with the Selective Service System. Visit

Please be aware that applicants will be required to complete questions contained on the Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) at the time a tentative job offer is made. If selected, at the time of appointment, selectees will be required to update the OF-306.

If you are selected for this position, you will be subject to a determination of your suitability for Federal employment.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

If you meet the qualification requirements stated above, you will be further rated based on your responses to the vacancy questions. Please make sure that your responses to the vacancy questions are supported in your resume. Please follow all instructions carefully. If you provide incomplete answers, fail to provide a narrative response to any vacancy question(s) that requires further explanation, or if your response to a vacancy question is "see resume", your rating may be affected or you may be determined ineligible.

All applicants will be rated based on their responses to the assessment questions, in conjunction with the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA's):
  • In-depth knowledge of the application of various laws, court and administrative decisions and GAO regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to assigned area(s) in order to analyze and evaluate the relevance of technical evidence or questions affecting projects and work assignments.
  • Knowledge of legal research methods and standard reference sources to locate applicable precedents bearing on legal issues, to determine the relevance or sufficiency of available legal, technical or other related data, and to recommend new methods and sources that improve the efficiency and productivity of the paralegal staff.
  • Ability to prepare various written documents and reports
  • Ability to orally communicate legal research results and other necessary information pertaining to assignments.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

You must provide a complete application package which includes:

- Resume: must be created using the USAJOBS resume builder and show relevant work experience.

- Veteran Hiring Authority Eligibles: VEOA, VRA, and 30% Disabled Veterans must submit adequate proof of active service in the Armed Forces including Member 4 copy of your DD-214, which indicates character of service. To claim 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15 and a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs verifying the percentage of your disability and preference in hiring. To claim 5-Point veterans' preference, you must submit a Member 4 copy of the DD - 214 or if you are currently active duty: an official statement of service from your command.

- Current or former federal employees must submit their most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50 or equivalent), showing tenure, type of service (competitive/excepted) and the highest grade held.

- If you are applying under the Schedule A hiring Authority for individuals with disabilities, you must submit proof disability.

Failure to submit any of the above mentioned required documents will result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been 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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