Veterans Law Judge

Employer
USAJobs
Location
District of Columbia, D.C
Posted
Apr 08, 2021
Closes
Apr 16, 2021
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

Veterans Law Judges occupy unique positions of trust. The incumbent serves as a Veterans Law Judge in the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) within the Board of Veterans' Appeals. Veterans Law Judges are recommended by the Chairman of the Board of Veterans' Appeals and appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, subject to the approval of the President of the United States.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

The Board of Veterans' Appeals mission is to honor America's promise to its Veterans by timely resolving their appeals under the law.

As a Veterans Law Judge and Board Member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, you will preside over formal, quasi-judicial hearings, adjudicate appeals, and issue written decisions. On behalf of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, you will decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits and services by the Secretary to Veterans and their dependents and survivors. Your duties will require you to exercise certain powers as provided by law and you will be required to exercise your independent judgment in resolving appeals. Your decisions will be final unless appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Your decisions may be further reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Veterans Law Judges will be required to conduct hearings in person, either in the National Capital Region or at a Department facility throughout the country, and/or remotely through video teleconferencing or other technology.

The types of appeals Veterans Law Judges must resolve include, but are not limited to, appeals concerning:

(1) Entitlement to, and benefits resulting from, service-connected disability or death;
(2) Dependency and indemnity compensation for service-connected death, including benefits in certain cases of in service or service-connected deaths and certification and entitlement to death gratuity;
(3) Entitlement to nonservice-connected disability pension, service pension and death pension;
(4) Training and Rehabilitation for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities;
(5) Payment or reimbursement for unauthorized medical expenses;
(6) Burial benefits and burial in National Cemeteries;
(7) Benefits for persons disabled by medical treatment or vocational rehabilitation;
(8) Character of discharge;
(9) Validity of claims and effective dates of benefits; and
(10) Benefits for surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans.

In addition to your judicial duties presiding over hearings and adjudicating and issuing appellate decisions, you will also supervise a cadre of decision-writing attorneys and/or law clerks; provide training, as necessary, to colleagues and attorneys on matters of substantive and procedural Veterans' law; ensure cases are decided efficiently and expeditiously in accordance with the law; mentor and develop the attorneys with whom you work; be a collaborative member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals team; and adhere to the Department's ICARE values (integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence) while maintaining the highest ethical standards of public service.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
Yes

Promotion Potential
3

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • US citizenship is required.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • Incumbents of this position will be subject to a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.
  • May be subject to reassignment geographically or organizationally.
  • Applicants must possess a JD or LLB degree and be licensed to practice law
  • You will be required to file an annual Financial Disclosure


Qualifications

Education : Applicants must possess a LL.B., J.D., or LL.M. degree. (On your resume provide the year in which you obtained your degree and the name of the College or University from which it was conferred/awarded.)AND

Licensure : Applicants must be an active member of the bar and in good standing, duly licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of any state, territory of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. (Provide the year in which you obtained your first license and the jurisdiction from which it was issued.)AND

Experience : Applicants must have at least seven (7) years of post-bar admission experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in, presiding over, and/or appealing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State or local level.
  • Qualifying litigation or appellate experience involves cases in which a complaint, charging document (e.g., indictment or information), or appeal was before a court, grand jury, or similar adjudicatory body (e.g., military court or Agency administrative appellate/adjudicatory body).
  • Qualifying administrative law experience involves working on cases in which a formal procedure was initiated by or against a governmental administrative body and/or specific experience addressing laws and regulations pertaining to veterans' benefits as set forth primarily in Title 38 of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations (i.e., areas of law related to the Board's jurisdiction).
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. See "HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED"

An individual's total experience, education and volunteer work experience must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Education

Applicants must possess an LL.B., J.D. or LL.M. degree and be licensed to practice law.

Additional information

Although the Veterans' preference point system does not apply to this excepted-service position, the Department of Veterans Affairs considers Veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in Veterans Law Judge selection. Applicants eligible for Veterans' preference should ensure their written submissions reflect their status as a Veteran.

Drug Testing: All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in any position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.

Incumbents of this position will be subject to a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above, as reflected in your resume. Applicants meeting the minimum requirements will be further evaluated to determine those who are best qualified. This determination will be based, in part, on the following Rating Factors (RFs):

1. Ability to demonstrate the appropriate demeanor and temperament to serve as a judge.

2. Knowledge of Veterans laws and procedures.

3. Substantial trial, appellate, and/or administrative law experience, preferably in a high-volume context.

4. Experience handling complex legal issues.

5. Ability to conduct administrative hearings.

6.Knowledge of judicial practices and procedures.

7.Experience leading, supervising, training, and/or mentoring (preferably attorneys or professional staff).

You are required to specifically address each of the seven (7) RFs in narrative form, to the best of your ability. A response stating only that you have experience will not be considered as addressing the affected RF. As noted under Qualifications above, please specifically describe experience. If you do not have experience within a specific factor, you may discuss a similar skill/ability/knowledge/experience for evaluation. Failure to address each factor at this minimum level will result in an ineligible determination.

The RFs must be addressed on a separate document which numbers each specific RF being addressed.
You should be thorough in addressing each RF. For example, when addressing RF #3 (substantial trial, appellate, and or administrative law experience) you should discuss the approximate number of cases handled in a given period of time, your specific role (first chair, co-counsel, responsible for the written brief only, etc.), and the length of time involved in a given role (lead counsel in 20 jury trials in 10 years).

You should also include specific examples of the types of cases, the number of court appearances made in those cases, and the case dispositions (plea, settlement, bench trial, jury trial, etc.) Conclusory statements (such as, "I have been involved in a substantial amount of litigation") will receive little or no weight in the evaluation of the RFs.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Other

Drug test required
Yes

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

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

A complete application for this position includes the following items:

1. Resume not to exceed five (5) pages.; Your resume must demonstrate your experience, accomplishments, training, education and awards reflecting your ability to meet the qualification requirements for this position. Elaborate on your experience and accomplishments, highlighting your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, work objectives met (results of your efforts), policy initiatives and level of contact. DO NOT submit the application form OF-612, Optional Application for Federal Employment in lieu of a resume.

2. A separate Written narrative response to address each of the seven (7) Rating Factors(s) identified above under the section entitled, "How You Will Be Evaluated." Written responses to the Rating Factors should separately numbered and the entire document must not exceed 7 pages total. Written responses must use Arial 12-point font with at least one-inch margins.

3. A copy of your most recent performance evaluation or a statement indicating why one could not be provided.

4. Documentation of proof the applicant is an active member in good standing of the bar of a State, Territory of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. Include year first licensed, and jurisdiction.

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