For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys' Offices, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/.
This announcement will be used to fill one immediate vacancy in Harrisburg, Scranton OR Williamsport. Duty location to be determined at time of selection.
As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.
This position is also being announced to applicants eligible to apply through Merit Staffing procedures under
As a Paralegal Specialist assigned to the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office (USAO), Middle District of Pennsylvania you will:
Perform legal research and writing in support of a variety of civil cases which may include bankruptcy, Social Security and mortgage foreclosures. Duties will require research and analysis of statutes, judicial precedents, and agency rules and regulations as they relate to assigned cases.
Receive and analyze incoming legal documents and correspondence. Read and analyze reports of involved agencies and identify and summarize portions relevant to cases.
Determine appropriate action and note any time limitations and/or deadlines for responses.
Utilizes a variety of automated legal research tools as well as public information databases and other automated resources to research case of specific legal matters.
Provide legal assistance and technical advice to support staff and attorneys which requires a specialized knowledge of processes, procedures and practices to support legal activities.
Prepare a variety of correspondence and legal documents such as discovery letters, motions, orders for default, stipulations, decree of foreclosure, notice of sale, etc., for attorney's review and signature.
Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
0950 Paralegal Specialist
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen or National
Background investigation, credit check, and drug test required
You must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable
If selected, you may be required to complete a one year probationary period.
You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.
To be eligible at the GS-9 level, you must meet at least ONE of the following conditions, as defined below: Specialized Experience, Education, OR a combination of Education and Experience.
One full year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level.
Specialized experience is defined as experience performing paralegal or legal work which demonstrates a basic knowledge of legal research and the ability to interpret legal decisions. Examples of specialized experience may include the following: examining and processing a variety of legal documents; conducting research, analysis and evaluation of data in response to complex or sensitive requests; 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; document findings and preparing recommendations; searching and reviewing legal references, case files, and other sources for information and data required by attorneys or court personnel.
One of the following types of education in a related field (e.g., Criminal Justice, Law): a Master's or equivalent graduate degree (such as an LL.B. or J.D.); OR 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree. Education at the graduate level must be in an accredited college or university and must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the duties of the position.
Combining Education and Experience:
Combinations of successfully completed graduate education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements. In order to qualify based on a combination, graduate education must be in excess of 1 full year.
Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)- The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in the announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and receive a score of 85 or better on established ranking criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)-The CTAP provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the Department of Justice with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and receive a score of 85 or better on established ranking criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.
All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see http://www.ed.gov
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. 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 http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.
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 in your application and submit the appropriate documentation, as specified below.
In order to verify your Veterans' Preference entitlement, please 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: 1) 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 all the other required documentation identified on the reverse side of the SF-15 to support your preference claim.
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 www.sss.gov.
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.
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.
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 nonmembership 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 evaluated and rated using DOJ's Category Rating and Selection Procedures. Your resume and supporting documentation 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, your application will then be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for Veterans' Preference will receive selection priority over non-veteran preference eligibles. In addition, qualified veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more are placed at the top of the highest quality category (i.e., Best Qualified).
You will be rated on the following Competencies (see The Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, Appendix F for definitions):
Attention to Detail, Customer Service, Flexibility, Integrity/Honesty, Interpersonal Skills, Learning, Self-Management, Stress Tolerance, and Teamwork
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
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package, which includes:
- 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 (month/day/year) of employment 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 if you meet qualifications based on education: An unofficial college transcript (Note: If you are selected for this position, official transcript will be required prior to your first day.) and foreign education evaluation documentation, if applicable, as described under the "Qualifications" section of this vacancy announcement.
- Required, if applicable: Veterans' Preference documentation. (See Benefits and Other Information section for details.)
- Required, if applicable: CTAP/ICTAP documentation (a copy of a separation notice or other proof of eligibility for priority selection; a copy of an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing current position, grade, promotion potential, and duty location; AND a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
- 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: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Reasonable_Accommodations_for_USA_Hire
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.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.