Foreign Law Specialist

Washington, D.C
Sep 13, 2021
Sep 21, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Division I, Global Legal Research Directorate, Law Library.

The position description number for this position is 378650.

The salary range indicated reflects the locality pay adjustments for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area.

This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position.

Relocations expenses will not be authorized for the person(s) selected under this vacancy announcement.

Learn more about this agency


This position is not eligible for permanent remote telework.

The Foreign Law Specialist position is located in the Global Legal Research Directorate in the Law Library. The employee in this position serves as a Foreign Law Specialist for the Law Library of the Library of Congress. The Foreign Law Specialist is responsible for providing research, advice and assistance on foreign legal issues, questions, or situations to the United States Congress, Executive Branch Agencies, the Judiciary, and foreign law reference services to other constituencies, including the general public. In that capacity, the Specialist conducts legal research and analysis and prepares or contributes to legal opinions, briefs, reports, memoranda, and comparative analyses related to the laws and legal systems of assigned jurisdictions in Canada and Caribbean nations. The incumbent will respond to inquiries related to legal developments in assigned jurisdictions and international organizations where countries of assigned jurisdictions in Canada and Caribbean nations are members. In addition, the Specialist assists in the development of the Law Library's online products and recommends acquisitions to the Law Library's collections related to the assigned jurisdictions.

Performs a variety of foreign law research and provides reference services at various levels of complexity in regard to assigned jurisdictions in Canada and Caribbean nations. Conducts legal research using printed, on-line, and other sources of information. Uses knowledge of sources of legal information, legal research methodology, and experience in legislative analysis to assist in the development and production of the Law Library's legal information systems. Participates in developing, producing, and promoting the Law Library's online products and services.

Prepares written reports for a wide range of legal inquiries where assignments cover conventional problems, questions, or situations and historical issues within assigned jurisdictions. Produces reports and other documents individually or as part of a team. Conducts scholarly work and prepares publications, presentations, and legal bibliographic materials related to assigned jurisdictions and/or area of subject matter expertise.

Surveys the Law Library's collection for assigned jurisdictions to identify deficiencies. Makes recommendations on the acquisition of needed materials and searches the catalogs and collections for law items under consideration. Reviews and selects all materials received in the Law Library on assigned jurisdictions. Assists with the development and technical processing of the collections within his/her areas of specialization where conventional problems, questions, or situations arise. Performs other functions relating to the development and maintenance of foreign legal collections for assigned jurisdictions in the Library.

Provides advice and assistance to the staff of the United States Congress, Federal agencies, and U.S. Courts on conventional foreign legal issues, questions, or situations. Provides advice on foreign laws and collaborates with various staff on issues relevant to the mission of the Law Library of Congress. Provides reference on laws of assigned jurisdictions to LOC patrons. To enhance the exchange of legal information, develops and maintains professional relations with colleagues in the United States and abroad.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

No additional requirements to those listed above.


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

Ability to conduct legal or legislative research.**

Ability to communicate in writing.**

Ability to convey legal analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations, and other presentations.

Ability to interact collaboratively with others.

Ability to plan, organize, and coordinate in a high pressure environment.

Ability to verify accuracy of detailed information.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

Although it is the Library's policy to afford the maximum pay benefit to employees when setting rates of pay, a new appointee who has had no previous Federal service will generally be paid the minimum step of the grade.

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

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.

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 notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of disability when applying for this position. The certificate of disability must verify that the applicant has a severe disability and may be issued by a State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, a Disability Services or Career Services Office of the applicant's college or university, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The date of certification must be within three (3) years of the vacancy closing date and must be submitted with your application. For more information contact the Library's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Programs at 202-707-3960 or email FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

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

Initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period.

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.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please see the Library of Congress Merit Selection Plan, Section X.D, at: .

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 evaluates applicants through an applicant questionnaire and a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through licensing, certification, and/or education requirements, a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview.

The knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are marked with a double asterisk (**) in the vacancy announcement and the applicant questionnaire are considered the most critical for a position. To be considered for final selection, applicants must demonstrate fully acceptable experience in these designated KSAs in the narrative/application review, preliminary telephone and/or full structured interview.

The various assessment tools listed above are designed to verify or explore applicants' experience, knowledge, and training directly related to the job in order to identify the best qualified applicants for selection.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

Current or former federal employees must submit their most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50 or equivalent).

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