Paralegal Specialist (Pathways Recent Graduate)

2 days left

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


This is an excepted service appointment under the Pathways Recent Graduates Program. This appointment is a one year career development program. At the successful completion of the program requirements, you may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a Federal career or career-conditional appointment. For more information on the Pathways Program, please visit:
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This is an exciting opportunity for recent college graduates interested in pursuing a career involving criminal justice and public service.

If selected for this position, you will join a well-respected team in the General Crimes Section in the Superior Court Division (SCD) of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia (USAODC) that is responsible for providing legal support services to Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) that prosecute criminal cases in a high-volume, fast paced, collaborative environment.

Typical work assignments will include:
- Assists with drafting a variety of substantive and technical legal documents.
- Assists AUSAs with interviews of witnesses in preparation for grand jury or trial.
- Reviews evidence, including police body worn camera footage and surveillance video, and prepares and organizes evidence for discovery.
- Monitors the progress of pending cases to ensure compliance with established deadlines.
- Assists with organizing cases for grand jury and trial presentation by performing duties such as preparing and compiling exhibits and witness files.
- Performs basic legal and data searches and other data retrieval assignments.

You will have the opportunity to learn to perform these duties and will receive training to help you grow in this developmental position.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.
For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys' Offices, visit .

As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.

Travel Required: Occasionally for training, 1-5 days per year.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel occasionally for training, 1-5 days per year.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen or National.
  • Background Investigation, credit check, and drug test required.
  • You must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • You must submit a transcript or proof of degree/certificate.
  • Recent Graduates serve a trial period for the entire duration of their excepted service appointment.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.


To be eligible for a recent graduate appointment, ALL of the following requirements must be met:
  • Recent Graduates must have obtained a qualifying associates, bachelors, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying accredited educational institution within the previous 2 years unless military service interfered with a veteran's eligibility to apply during that two year time frame. Veterans meeting the above exclusion may apply within 2 years of discharge or 6 years from the date of receipt of the degree whichever comes first. (Go to to verify accreditation status).
  • Recent graduates must be United States citizens or owe permanent allegiance to the United States. (Currently, natives of American Samoa, Swains Island and certain inhabitants of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are the only groups that owe permanent allegiance to the United States.)
  • You must successfully complete a background investigation to determine your suitability for Federal employment.
  • All recent graduates are required to sign a Pathways Recent Graduate Participant Agreement.
  • Recent Graduates serve a trial period for the entire duration of their excepted service appointment.
  • Qualification requirements as outlined below:
Specialized Experience:
Specialized experience is defined as experience performing paralegal or legal work which demonstrates a basic knowledge of legal research. Examples of specialized experience include examining and processing a variety of legal documents; conducting research; drafting briefs, pleadings, litigation recommendations, or other legal documents and correspondence; using a variety of electronic or manual filing systems to acquire and store information; searching and reviewing legal references, case files, and other sources for information and data required by attorneys or court personnel.
Education: one full year of graduate level education. Education at the graduate level must have be in an accredited college or university and must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the duties of the position.
Superior Academic Achievement: Possess a Bachelor's Degree or expect to complete the requirements for a Bachelor's degree within the next 9 months AND possess at least one of the following criteria: class standing in the upper third of the graduating class; an overall GPA of 3.0 OR at least a 3.0 based on courses completed during the final two years of my curriculum; a GPA of at least 3.5 based on the average of required courses completed in my major field OR based on the average of required courses completed during the final two years of my curriculum; OR election to membership in a national scholastic honor society.
Combining Education and Experience: a combination of specialized experience and education which when combined equal 100% of the requirements. Combinations of successfully completed graduate education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements.


All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at an institution that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

Foreign Education Note: You may use foreign education to meet qualification requirements if you send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency in with your transcript. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at . All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.

Additional information

Recent Graduates are eligible for non-competitive career ladder promotions and within grade increases (WGIs) upon recommendation from their supervisors, qualifications determinations, satisfactory performance and fulfillment of mandatory training requirements, as appropriate. Recent Graduates' promotions are not automatic nor are they guaranteed, and depend on the participant and the quality of her or his on-the-job performance. Promotions and WGIs must be made in accordance with OPM regulations and agencies' excepted service policies.

Payment of relocation expenses will not be authorized.

The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.

Veterans' Preference: If you are entitled to Veterans' Preference, you must indicate the type of preference you are claiming by checking the appropriate box in the assessment questionnaire to indicate your preference and submit the documentation as specified in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Current or Former Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the HR Office. Failure to disclose this information could result in disciplinary action including removal from Federal Service.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal Agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities, where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

EEO Statement: The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, status as a parent, genetic information, disability, age, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your complete application package (resume/supporting documentation, online questionnaire, and USA Hire Competency Based Assessment) will be used to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed on this announcement. If you are basically qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses on the online questionnaire. If you rate yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your responses may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job. If it is determined you meet minimum qualification requirements, you may be referred to the selecting official or if Veterans' Preference must be adjudicated, your application will be placed in one of three grouping categories: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified. Within each of these groupings, applicants eligible for Veterans' Preference will receive selection priority over non-veteran preference eligibles. All CP/CPS preference eligibles that meet minimum qualification and eligibility requirements will be included in the "Best Qualified" grouping.

You will be rated on the following Competencies:
Attention to Detail, Flexibility, and Stress Tolerance

Go to Appendix F of the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook for the definition of each competency.

In order to be considered for this position, you must complete all required steps in the process. In addition to the application and application questionnaire, this position requires an online assessment. The online assessment measures critical general competencies required to perform the job.

Overstating your qualifications and/or experience in your application materials or application questionnaire may result in your removal from consideration. Cheating on the online assessment may also result in your removal from consideration.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
High Risk (HR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:
  • Required: Required - Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process).
  • Required: Your resume showing relevant experience and dates (for full consideration you must include month/day/year) of experience and work schedule for each (e.g., part-time XX hours per week or full-time). 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. (cover letter optional)
  • Required: Unofficial transcript or proof of accredited degree/certificate showing award date. (Note: If you are selected for this position, an official transcript/certificate will be required prior to your first day.)
  • Required, if applicable: Veterans' Preference documentation. (See required documentation below.) Please note, if you are entitled to Veterans' Preference, you must indicate the type of preference you are claiming by checking the appropriate box in the assessment questionnaire to indicate your preference and submit the required documentation as specified below.
  • If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation to the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, you must submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found at: .
Required Veterans' Preference Documentation:
In order to verify your Veterans' Preference entitlement, you must submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty); or if you are a current Active Duty member you must submit a certification on appropriate military branch letterhead that indicates: ) your service dates, 2) expected discharge or release date from active duty with a release/discharge date no later than 120 days from the closing date of this announcement, and 3) the character of service (e.g., Honorable); or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
In addition, if you are a disabled veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, or widow/widower if a veteran, the spouse of a disabled veteran or the parent of a disabled or deceased veteran, you must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," dated October 2013 and the required documentation identified on the reverse side of the SF-15 to support your preference claim.

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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