Paralegal Specialist

Fort Lee, Virginia
Sep 21, 2021
Sep 28, 2021
Full Time


The foundation for success of the Defense Commissary Agency mission is our people. It is DeCA's goal to have a workforce that is comprised of our nation's diverse cultures and backgrounds. DeCA operates a worldwide commissary system that provides quality grocery products to active duty military personnel and retirees, members of the Reserve and National Guard, and their families, as well as current DeCA employees. The agency employs over 15,000 people and its annual sales exceed $4 billion.
Learn more about this agency


This position may provide assistance to any practice or program team within OGC. Incumbent will select, review, assemble, summarize, and/or compile substantive and procedural information through utilization of Agency files, databases, statutes, regulations, and legal materials as necessary to process assignment. Incumbent interviews potential witnesses and performs discovery in case preparation as requested by the case attorney. Incumbent interacts with persons both inside and outside Government, including attorneys, investigators, auditors, Human Resource officials, contracting officials, corporate officers and others. Incumbent researches and writes legal memoranda on a wide variety of issues, as requested, performing all duties required by regulation.

The incumbent performs a wide range of duties in support of the legal mission performed by the DeCA OGC. Receives, analyzes, investigates and recommends action to the assigned attorney on requests for legal review, including requests for review of investigations conducted by Agency officials. Prepares formal reports in connection with lawsuit s and protests filed against the agency. Uses various techniques to gather and analyze data and to evaluate its usefulness relative to the substantive legal issues in the assigned cases. Summarizes the factual situation, the basis of the complaint, legal issues presented, and relevant case law. Makes recommendations and assists assigned attorney develop justification for agency litigation strategy. Collects additional facts from Agency personnel. Prepares various affidavits (e.g., on action taken by staff, failure of plaintiff to exhaust administrative remedies). Coordinates with management officials to gather information and documents necessary to draft responses to various discovery requests (e.g., Interrogatories, Requests for Production).

Prepares cases for investigators, administrative hearings, and administrative and court litigation; analyzes and evaluates legal issues and prepares draft opinions, as requested by the responsible attorney. Assists in the evaluation, development and litigation of EEO, personnel, labor, and contract cases for clients, court and administrative hearings on employee complaints, appeals, protests, investigations and arbitrations, depending on specific assignment. Investigates, gathers, classifies, interprets and summarizes the factual situation, including any necessary statistical data which involves interviewing witnesses, collecting documents and statements, and compiling case files. Researches pertinent laws, regulations and cases relevant thereto. Prepares narratives, collects exhibits and corrects file deficiencies to support agency position and assists attorneys at administrative hearings, as necessary. Supports in the implementation and development of legal mission program responsibilities, (e.g., ethics program, FOIA, Privacy Act and congressional liaison).

Researches and drafts legal memoranda on a wide variety of issues. Issues include but are not limited to: personnel, EEO, labor, contracts, bar orders, jurisdictional Standards of Conduct, administrative, nonappropriated fund. Reviews case files, investigations and other relevant information to identify necessary litigation document hold requirements and facilitates drafting and issuing litigation hold instructions to appropriate individuals. Must be adept at searching and analyzing public filings and other records maintained by government entities throughout the country to determine the status of various litigation and other public filings. Must be adept at searching and actively using online data filing and processing systems used by various courts, boards and other administrative bodies, including but not limited to the use of: Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), Federal Sector EEO Portal (FedSEP), and Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB) filing system.

Gathers, analyzes and prepares litigation reports. Uses statistical techniques to gather and analyze litigation data to evaluate the usefulness in researching legal issues. Prepares litigation reports for submission to the DeCA General Counsel, Department of Justice (DoJ), and investigators. Composes a variety of legal documents such as affidavits and other agreements as determined necessary by the responsible attorney.

Represents DeCA Office of General Counsel on legal matters not requiring admission to the bar. Acts as DeCA OGC legal representative at meetings and by telephone between DeCA, outside agencies, contractors and clients for the purpose of gathering information to use in developing recommendations, legal advice, opinions, and legal strategy by attorneys assigned to DeCA.

Provides Administrative Support. Functions as a member of the Administrative Staff, and provides administrative support to the DeCA Office of General Counsel and the practice team to which incumbent is assigned.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Must apply by 11:59 EST on the closing date of vacancy
  • Work Schedule: Full Time
  • Tour of Duty: M-F, AWS2 (gliding)
  • Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Cost: May Be Authorized
  • Position Sensitivity: Non Sensitive
  • Security Requirements: Position Sensitivity Designation: Public Trust. The incumbent must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance eligibility based on the appropriate background investigation.
  • Overtime: Occasionally
  • Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel: Occasionally
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Nonexempt
  • Bargaining Unit Position: Not Applicable
  • Drug Testing: Not Applicable
  • Physical Requirement: The work is sedentary and the incumbent usually sits comfortably to do the work; there may be some physical activity such as walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items such as papers and books.
  • Obligated Position: No
  • Selective Service Requirement: All male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with the selective service system or exempt from Selective Service. Please visit for more information.


See the Group Coverage Qualification Standards for Clerical and Administrative Support Positions:

General Schedule Qualification Standards (

To qualify for this position you must possess One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level. To be creditable, specialized experience must be at the 07 or equivalent under other pay systems in the Federal service, military, or private sector or master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related. Additional information is available in the Group Coverage Qualifications Standards.

Examples of specialized experience include: Providing support to the attorneys by providing factual and legal research and analysis on various cases. Assisting in case preparation that affects the attorneys' ability to provide timely and appropriate advice to the Agency managers, contracting officers, the U.S. Attorney and the agency operations. Performing a wide variety of duties associated with the development of appropriate and defensible legal bases, strategy, supporting evidence, and other information related to assignments, and to provide support for litigation . Determine legal, policy, and administrative issues involved and the nature of analysis and legal research required to come to a successful conclusion and to support recommendations. Analyzing conflicting statements of fact and opinion regarding problems from each assignment, litigation, claims, etc. Use of creativity and ingenuity in resolving and justifying contested issues, gaining support for decisions, and insuring that paralegal activities are responsive to agency needs.

Volunteer Experience: Your experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through a National Service program (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, and 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.

For qualifications determinations your resume must contain your name, a description of your duties, the number of hours worked per week and the beginning and ending dates (month/year) for each position. Resumes that do not contain this information will be marked as insufficient and applicants may not receive consideration for this position


If you are relying on education to qualify, then:
  • Your education must be from a college or university accredited by an organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education. See for more information.
  • Failure to provide transcripts will result in you being rated ineligible for this position. We accept unofficial transcripts for the application process, as long as they contain your name, the name of the school, the date and degree awarded, and the list of classes and credits earned. Transcripts must be received by this office no later than 11:59 PM EST on the closing date in order to be considered.
  • If selected, an official transcript MUST be received before an Entrance of Duty date is set.

Additional information

REGARDING INTERVIEWS: Interviews may be required for this position. Accommodations may be made to conduct telephonic interviews to preclude travel hardships for applicants.

Re-employed Annuitant: A former Federal employee who has retired under either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is an Annuitant. An annuitant cannot be hired (i.e. re-employed) unless the vacant position meets the criteria in the Department of Defense (DOD) policy on employment of annuitants issued December 10, 2008. The DoD criteria for hiring Re-employed Annuitants can be found at .

Re-employed Annuitant: This position does not meet criteria for re-employed annuitant.

Other Notes:
  • Deliberate attempts to falsify your application information, such as copying portions of this job announcement into your resume, may result in you being removed from consideration for this position.
  • Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement upon its closing.
  • Applicants selected from this announcement may be required to serve a Two Year probationary period.
  • Position is being filled at the GS-09 level. If selected at a grade below the target grade of the position, you may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher grade when all statutory and regulatory requirements have been met, performance is satisfactory, and when recommended by the supervisor. Promotion is not guaranteed.
  • Financial Difficulty -

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Specifically you will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Customer Service
  • Legal, Government and Jurisprudence
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Reasoning

REVIEW OF APPLICATION DOCUMENTS: To determine if you meet the qualifications, requirements and quality of experience required for this position, we review your resume, supporting documents and responses to the questionnaire. The score you receive is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the competencies required. Please follow all instructions carefully as errors or omissions may affect your rating.

Based on the results of the evaluation process, we place those who apply under delegated examining procedures in one of the following quality categories:
  • Best-Qualified: Candidates who possess the type and quality of experience that substantially exceeds the position's minimum qualifications, including all selective placement factors and appropriate quality ranking factors.
  • Highly-Qualified: Candidates who possess the type and quality of experience that exceeds the position's minimum qualifications.
  • Qualified: Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications and are proficient in some but not all of the position's requirements.
We send candidates in the Best-Qualified category to the hiring manager for employment consideration first. We send candidates in other categories to the hiring manager based on category rating procedures.

Veterans in the Best-Qualified category who (1) provide all applicable and required documents (See the Required Documents section for more information) and (2) meet all the positions' requirements are referred before non-veteran candidates. If there are no veterans in the Best-Qualified category meeting these criteria, we refer non-veteran candidates for employment consideration.

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to veterans preference, indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. If you are entitled to veterans' preference and qualified for the position, your name will be placed above non-preference candidates on a list sent to the hiring manager for employment consideration. Qualified veterans' preference eligible with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category depending on the position and grade level of the job. For information on entitlement see .

Military Spouse Preference: If you are entitled to military spouse preference, in order to receive this preference you must choose the spousal eligibility in your application package referencing MSP Military Spouse Preference. Your preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. If you are claiming military spouse preference and qualified for the position, your name will be placed below preference eligible veteran candidates and above non-preference candidates on a list sent to the hiring manager for employment consideration. See the Required Documents section for information regarding documents you must submit to apply for this position and to claim your Military Spouse Preference (MSP).

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Application packages should include the following documents:
  • Questionnaire: Required
  • Transcripts: Required if using education to qualify. See Education section for more information.
  • Resume: Required **To ensure full consideration of your experience and education we encourage you to use the USAJOBS resume builder to prepare your resume or to guide you in preparing your resume.
For qualifications determinations your resume must contain the following:
  • Applicant's full legal name and contact information.
  • Description of your duties
  • Number of hours worked per week
  • Beginning and ending dates (month/year) for each position.
Applicants who fail to provide the required information on their resume will not receive consideration for this position.
See for more information.

Claiming Veterans' Preference. Additional supporting documents are required. These documents must provide acceptable documentation to verify the type of preference claimed (i.e. 5-point, 10-point, etc.) and the character of the service (i.e. Honorable Discharge). A copy of your DD214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," showing your Character of Service is required when claiming Veterans' Preference. The member 4 copy of your DD214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," is preferable. If unable to verify Character of Service, you will not receive veteran's preference.

If claiming 10-point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form 15, "Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference," . If selected, additional documentation may be required prior to appointment.

If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Veteran Disability (VA) Letter. If you need assistance in obtaining a VA Letter please visit .

If you are currently serving on active duty and expected to be released or discharged within the next 120 days, you must submit written documentation from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days from the date the written documentation is signed. If selected, additional documentation may be required prior to appointment.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Programs: This program applies to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: 1) meet ICTAP eligibility criteria; 2) be rated well-qualified for the position; Well qualified is defined as possessing the type and quality of experience that exceeds the positions minimum qualifications. and 3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your ICTAP eligibility. For more information please visit

Claiming Military Spouse Preference. In addition to the documents required by the vacancy announcement, you are required to submit documents that provide acceptable information to verify (1) you reside within the commuting area of your sponsor's permanent duty station (PDS);(2) proof of marriage to the active duty sponsor, and (3) proof of military member's active duty status. This required documentation includes the following: Marriage Certificate or License, Signed Self-Certification Checklist ( Military Spouse PPP Self-Certification Checklist) , Veterans' Preference documentation (e.g., DD-214, VA Letter, Statement of Service, if applicable).

If previously held a federal position you must include SF-50s (e.g., LWOP, highest grade held, overseas appointments, etc.), SF-75 Information, and documentation of performance rating of record (dated within the last 12 months). You must also meet pre-employment criteria and be eligible for immediate noncompetitive appointment to a position in the competitive service.

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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