Paralegal Specialist

Fort Lee, Virginia
Oct 22, 2021
Oct 27, 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
  • 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. However, there may be some physical activity such as walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items such as papers and books.
  • Work Environment: The work involves everyday risks or discomforts which require normal safety precautions typical offices and meeting rooms. The work area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated.
  • COVID19: All Federal Employees must be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. Please see, additional information.
  • 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-09 grade level. To be creditable, specialized experience must be at the 09 or equivalent under other pay systems in the Federal service, military, or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree Or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., 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.

You must also meet the following requirements by the announcement closing date:
  • Current and former federal employees in either the competitive or excepted service and current federal employees applying under VEOA eligibility are subject to time-in-grade . You must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade level to be eligible for promotion. You must submit SF50s with your application package to verify you held the next lower grade level for at least 52 weeks. You may need to submit two (2) or more SF50s. Examples of appropriate SF 50s include Promotion, Reg WRI, and SF 50s effective more than 52 weeks ago.
  • Current civilian employees must have completed at least 90 days of federal civilian service since their latest nontemporary appointment from a competitive referral certificate, known as time after competitive appointment . For this requirement, a competitive appointment is one where you applied to and were appointed from an announcement open to "All US Citizens."


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

  • Applicants with a Permanent Resident Card (aka Green Card) are authorized to live and work in the U.S. but are not eligible for employment in positions requiring U.S. citizenship. This position requires U.S. citizenship.
  • The minimum age requirement is generally 18 years of age. Employing those under 18 may be possible under certain circumstances. If under 18 years of age, ensure you provide documentation showing how you are eligible.
  • Subject to occasional overtime.
  • Position is nonexempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Position is not covered by a bargaining unit.
  • Position is not obligated.
  • Financial Difficulty does not automatically remove you from consideration for a position.
  • Position does not meet the DoD criteria for re-employing former Federal employees who retired under either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
  • 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.
  • Most civilian PCS entitlements are now taxable. The Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA) reimburses eligible employees for additional Federal, State, and local income taxes incurred as a result of receiving taxable travel income. More information is available at Civilian Relocation/PCS Tax Changes .
  • COVID19 - All Federal Employees must be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. Proof of vaccination will be required. To ensure compliance with this mandate, review the vaccination requirements, to include timelines for receiving required doses, at the following:

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 against the qualification requirements and the following competencies:
  • Customer Service
  • Legal, Government and Jurisprudence
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Reasoning

We review your application package to confirm your appointment eligibility, determine your qualifications, and verify you meet requirements. If your application package lacks any of the information necessary to make these determinations, or the information is illegible, we may determine you are ineligible for consideration.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM ET on 10/25/2021.

1. Resume: Required. Your resume must contain your name and contact information and for each position listed, you must provide the employment beginning and ending dates (month/year to month/year or month/year to present); number of hours worked per week; position title; pay plan, series and grade level (for federal positions), and a narrative description of the job duties you performed. We use this to determine your qualifications for the position. Resumes without the required information will not be considered. We encourage you to use the USAJOBS resume builder to prepare your resume. If you submit multiple resumes, we only review/use the last resume you submitted. Illegible documents will not be considered. Do NOT include photographs, links to social media such as LinkedIn, inappropriate material, inappropriate content, or personal information such as age, gender, religion, social security number, etc., on your resume.

2. Transcripts: Required when using education to qualify for this position. For the application process, unofficial transcripts are acceptable if they contain the applicant's (your) name, the name of the school, the date and degree awarded, and the list of classes and credits earned. Failure to provide transcripts will result in you being rating ineligible for this position. If selected, you are required to provide an official transcript before we set your entrance on duty date.

3. Questionnaire: Required. Preview the questionnaire at .

4. Supporting Documents: As applicable based on your selected eligibility/eligibilities and requirements stated in this announcement. Applications without all required supporting documents will not be considered.
  • Certain Veterans may compete under merit promotion procedures. VRA, 30% or more disabled veteran, and VEOA eligibilities require you submit the DD214 showing character of service. The Member 4 copy provides that information and is preferred.
    • 30% or more disabled veterans must include a completed SF15 , Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference, and a copy of your VA letter (dated 1991 or later) certifying your total service-connected disability of 30% or more.
    • Future military retirees must include a copy of their terminal leave request, if applicable, AND a copy of retirement DD214 [if available]. If DD214 not available, submit a certification document* or a copy of your retirement letter.
    • Future military separatees must include a copy of their terminal leave request, if applicable, AND a copy of most recent DD214 OR a certification document* OR a copy of most recent active duty orders.
*A written document from the armed forces certifying the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certificate is signed. The certification must be on letterhead signed by the adjutant, personnel officer, unit commander or higher headquarters and include your rank, dates of active duty service, type of discharge, character of service, and, if applicable, the date your terminal leave begins. This document is sometimes called a Statement of Service.

Notes for veterans:
1. Active duty military members who are selected may not be appointed to a position unless on terminal leave or already separated.
2. You are required to provide your final DD214 upon issuance, if it was not part of your application package.
3. Within the DoD, appointment of retired military members to a civilian position within 180 days immediately after retirement is subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 3326.
  • Applicants claiming Military Spouse Preference must submit the completed Military Spouse PPP Self-Certification Checklist , proof of marriage to the military service member (e.g., marriage certificate, marriage license), and a copy of the military member's PCS orders.
  • ICTAP eligibles must submit RIF separation or proposed removal/separation notice, your latest SF50 and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Certain applicants are eligible to apply under an Interchange Agreement . You must submit a copy of your latest personnel action (the equivalent of a Notification of Personnel Action (SF50)).
5. Standard Form (SF) 50: Required for all current federal employees, including current DeCA employees, regardless of location or human resources service provider. Include a copy of a recent SF50 showing your current position title pay plan-series-grade, tenure and position occupied. Refer to the Qualifications section of this announcement for required documents to show you meet the time-in-grade requirements.

All current Department of Defense (DoD) employees can access MyBiz and/or eOPF to obtain copies of their SF 50s.

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.