Paralegal Specialist

Newport News, Virginia
Jan 18, 2022
Jan 22, 2022
Full Time

Provides research, legal support, and case development services to assigned ALJs. Researches and determines the specific legal actions which are necessary to prepare cases for hearing such as developing and issuing various types of orders to obtain the required information. Analyzes and/or prepares responses and actions resulting from orders and motions, ensuring that legal requirements are met by claimants, representatives and attorneys. Prepares necessary legal documents for hearings, anticipates issues which may arise, and researches information, laws, and precedent cases for the ALJ's. The incumbent provides information to attorneys and judges on the status of cases and actions required to bring cases to hearing and an eventual decision being issued by the ALJ.

Examines, analyzes, and evaluates the information, documentation, and factual and legal issues presented in case files to determine whether additional pre-hearing actions such as motions resolution, orders, extension, and continuances must be taken before cases are ready for hearing. Triages cases to determine the specific legal actions which are necessary to prepare cases for hearing and takes appropriate actions such as developing and issuing various types of orders indicating the precise nature of information required.

Analyzes post-hearing briefs to help process the case and in preparation for the Judge's final decision. Performs legal research to ensure that case law cited is the applicable precedent; and/or reviews transcripts for factual determinations cited in briefs. Drafts related legal documents in accord with legal requirements for the ALJ's review and approval. Reviews and analyzes complex motions for attorney fees. Researches the appropriate statute and regulations to determine whether fees are reasonable and appropriate for the locale and that only approves fees incurred while the case was before the OALJ. Determines final fees granted and prepares orders stipulating allowable fees with discussions and legal citations for fees not allowed.

Assists in planning and managing the OALJ law library; reviewing and responding to requests for subpoenas and preparing required documents; preparing requests and dispositions for Settlement Judges on cases referred under the Settlement Judge or Alternate Dispute Resolution process; follows the established appeals process, and maintains records and statistics for the several legal processes within the agency.

Performs legal assistant duties as necessary for one or more ALJ's, including but not limited to: Managing the case files assigned to each judge assisted by the use of a variety of web-based programs, application software, office automated programs, and the OALJNet; reading and managing incoming mail, enters incoming mail into the Case Tracking System (CTS) in accordance with office policy; maintaining a record of all actions taken; maintaining the judge's hearing/settlement conference calendars; arranging travel as necessary, securing and arranging the use of courtrooms and court reporters for hearings; reviewing monthly reports of judges; responding to legal and informational requests; reviewing settlements for accuracy and completeness; arranging conference calls and handling all telephone calls and messages to or from the judges.

Verifies completeness and accuracy of appealed files for forwarding to the appropriate Department of Labor tribunal and to the Federal Records Center (FRC) in accordance with the FRC's archiving policy requirements. Summarizes information and legal issues presented in cases, determines when cases should be referred to judges or when cases are ready for hearing or decision on the record. Prepares all necessary paperwork for hearings and refers cases to the docket for assignment to set hearings.

Receives incoming visitors and sees to their comfort and on-time arrival at hearings and other legal appointments. Receives visitors to the office to file briefs, depositions, transcripts, or requesting documents and subpoenas. Monitors attorneys and witnesses traversing in and out of courtrooms during hearings ensuring the security of access to OALJ offices by containment in limited areas.

The Paralegal Specialist provides training for the judges and the office's legal support staff when new procedures regarding IT programs or policy changes are implemented.

Works closely with the office's Administrative Services Specialists and acts as his/her backup gaining a workable knowledge of all docket, administrative, human relations, IT and procurement functions and performs these duties in the Administrative Services Specialists' absence to ensure a smooth workflow for the office.


Conditions of Employment

  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.

Applicants must meet time-in-grade, time-after-competitive-appointment and qualifications requirements within 30 calendar days after the closing date of the vacancy to be eligible for consideration for selection.

Federal Employees Please Note: Your SF-50 must include enough information to be able to determine that time-in-grade requirements have been met and reflects your position title, pay plan/series/grade, tenure and the type of appointment (i.e. competitive/excepted). In some cases you may need to submit more than one SF-50.

Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.

Notification Concerning COVID-19 Vaccinations. As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal executive branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit documentation of proof of vaccination or to be in the process of requesting an exception to the vaccination requirement before appointment or onboarding with the agency. The agency will provide additional information regarding which forms of documentation can be accepted and how you can request to be considered for a legally required exception from this requirement.


Applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, GS-07, in the Federal Service.
Examples of specialized experience include:

1. Conducting research on routine cases.
2. Utilizing knowledge of resource tools to investigate, analyze, and resolve issues in simple casework.
3. Provides effective direct service on assigned matters to include fact finding, problem analysis, problem solving, writing and interpreting regulations and/or policies.


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


An equivalent combination of specialized experience directly related to the work of the position and some graduate level education in a related field which has provided you with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position.


Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information

Position Telework eligibility is determined by management based on position duties during the recruitment process. Employee participation in telework on a routine or situational basis is determined by management primarily based on business needs. Employees participating in telework are subject to the terms and conditions of the Department of Labor's Telework Program.

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.