Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the Office of the U.S. Attorneys Paralegal Specialist (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) in Houston, Texas

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Duties
Summary

Our mission is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States, provide Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, and to administer and enforce the Nation's laws to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. We strive to build a stronger office through recruitment efforts and maintain the high standards of the office by promoting professional development. We seek to build a legacy of excellence.

In all matters, it is our mission to represent the people of the United States in a manner that will instill confidence in the fairness and integrity of our office and the judicial system, and to conduct our work with the highest integrity. We strive to perform our mission in the most efficient and effective manner.

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, this is the position for you! With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, Justice leads the Nation in ensuring the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. You can be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty, and the property of citizens.

This position is located in Houston, Texas.

The most populous city in Texas, Houston is a sprawling home to over two million people. It is home to NASA's Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions. The city is also a major international player in the energy industry and was ranked third in the nation on Forbes' "Best Places for Businesses and Careers" list. Houston boasts restaurants, shops, neighborhoods, and festivals that reflect its international population.

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

Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys' Offices, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/.

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Responsibilities

If selected for this position, you will join a well-respected team, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas, that is responsible for a wide range of legal support services in the Criminal Division. Typical work assignments will include:

  • Review and organize complex factual material and other documentary data for investigations and trials.

  • Provide advice on the most efficient method for preparing legal documents.

  • Prepare a variety of substantive legal documents to include extradition requests, grand jury and trial subpoenas, interrogatory requests, and documentation relevant to acquiring evidence or testimony.

  • Develop and enter various case material into a computer database.

  • Provide litigation case management and organize cases for court presentation.

  • Oversees and monitors approved investigations to assure that the case is in compliance with agency policies.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - The incumbent in this position maybe required to travel for work-related purposes.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

11

  • #### Job family (Series)

0950 Paralegal Specialist

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  • Paralegals

  • Requirements

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Requirements
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.
Qualifications

To qualify at the GS-9 level, you must have at least one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level in federal service performing paralegal or legal work which demonstrates a basic knowledge of legal research and ability to interpret legal decisions. Specialized experience includes: 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; documenting findings and preparing recommendations; searching and reviewing legal references, case files, and other sources for information and data required by attorneys or court personnel;

or

You must have a J.D. or LL.B; a masters or equivalent graduate degree or higher; OR two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in law, criminal justice, public administration, business administration, or a closely related field that provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of a Paralegal Specialist;

or

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.

A combination of experience and graduate level education can be used if, when combined, are equivalent to 100% of the qualification requirement. Only graduate level education in excess of the first year can be used in this calculation. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, first determine the total number of graduate level hours that exceed 18 hours (or your school's definition of one year of graduate study), then divide the total number of your excess graduate semester hours by 18 (or your school's definition of one year of graduate study). To calculate your percentage of specialized experience, divide the total number of months of qualifying experience by 12. Now, add the two percentages together. The sum of the percentages must equal at least 100%.

To qualify at the GS-11 level, you must have at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 level in federal service. Specialized Experience is defined as experience performing a variety of analytical paralegal or legal work which demonstrates a practical knowledge of the law, the litigation and judicial process, and applicable rules, regulations, policies, and procedures. Examples of specialized experience include performing the following duties: analyzing and evaluating legal decisions and case files to identify relevant issues and potential evidence; conducting legal research concerning precedents and past court decisions; composing legal briefs, summaries of analysis and decisions, and pre-trial documents for investigations; interviewing witnesses and various individuals who can provide insight into cases under review; preparing evidence and documents to support recommendations; and utilizing a variety of automated legal research tools;

or

You must possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a degree in a related field (e.g., Criminal Justice, Law); or LL.M. 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;

or

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 the first 2 full years.

A combination of experience and graduate level education can be used if, when combined, are equivalent to 100% of the qualification requirement. Only graduate level education in excess of the first two years can be used in this calculation. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, first determine the total number of graduate level hours that exceed 36 hours (or your school's definition of two years of graduate study), then divide the total number of your excess graduate semester hours by 18 (or your school's definition of one year of graduate study). To calculate your percentage of specialized experience, divide the total number of months of qualifying experience by 12. Now, add the two percentages together. The sum of the percentages must equal at least 100%.

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/.

Education

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 OR 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.

Additional information

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.

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 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.

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 nonmembership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism.

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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.

You must complete the initial online assessment and the USAHire Assessment.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:

-Required: Your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. -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)(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 eligibilityfor 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, submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found at:https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/images/9/94/USAHireReasonableAccommodationRequestForm.pdf

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.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

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.

  • How to Apply

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How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin an application. To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online application, to include submission of the required documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 04/24/2018 the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration. The application process is as follows: 1. To begin the application process, click the Apply Onlinebutton. 2. Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all necessary supporting documentation. 3. Click the Submit Applicationbutton prior to 11:59PM (ET) on 04/24/2018. 4. After submitting an online application, you will be notified whether or not you are required to take additional online assessments through the USA Hire Competency Based Assessment system. This message will be delivered to you both on screen and via email notification. 5. If you are asked to take the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, you will be presented with a unique URL to access the USA Hire system. Access to USA Hire is granted through your USAJOBS login credentials. Be sure to review all instructions prior to beginning your USA Hire Assessments. Note, set aside at least 3 hours to take these assessments; however, most applicants complete the assessments in less time. If you need to stop the assessments and continue at a later time, you can re-use the URL sent to you via email and also found on the Additional Application Informationpage that can be located in the application record in your USAJOBS account.

To update your application, including supporting documentation, at any time during the announcement open period by return to your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login). There you will find a record of your application, the application status, and an option to Update Application. This option will no longer be available once the announcement has closed.

To verify the status of your application both during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account: https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login. All of your applications will appear on the Welcomepage. The application record in your USAJOBS account provides an Additional Application Informationpage that provides information regarding the documentation you submitted and any correspondence we have sent related to this application. The Application Statuswill appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Statusmeans, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov

Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 as amended, that would interfere with completing the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, you will be granted the opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation in your online application. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments and appropriate supporting documentation for Reasonable Accommodation must be received prior to starting the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. If you meet the minimum qualifications of the position, after notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. You must complete all assessments within 48 hours of receiving the URL to access the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. To determine if you need a Reasonable Accommodation, please review the Procedures for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for Online Assessments here: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/images/1/14/USAHireReasonableAccommodationFAQs-01-26-17.pdf

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Agency contact information
Melissa Vaughan
Phone

(713) 567-9329

Email

Melissa.Vaughan@usdoj.gov

Address

Southern District of Texas 1000 Louisiana Street Suite 2300 Houston, TX US

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Next steps

If you meet the minimum qualifications of this position, you may be presented with instructions on how to access the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments system. These additional online assessments must be completed within 48 hours following the close of this announcement unless you have requested Reasonable Accommodation for the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. Your results will be kept on record for one year when applying for future jobs that require the same USA Hire Competency Based Assessments.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

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.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/496498000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 04/11/2018 to 04/24/2018

Salary: $57,777 to $90,878 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 9 - 11

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent