Paralegal Specialist


Vacancy ID: 799689   Announcement Number: 13-DC-799689-DE   USAJOBS Control Number: 332678800

Occupational/Assessment Questions:

Thank you for your interest in a position with the Department of Justice (DOJ). Your response to this assessment questionnaire, in conjunction with other portions of your completed application, will be evaluated in making screening decisions.
This is a DOJ job application system. Your responses in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification. Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your responses. Deliberate attempts to falsify information will be grounds for disqualifying you or for dismissing you from employment following acceptance. Please review your responses for accuracy before you submit this application. Incomplete/incorrect responses may result in you not receiving appropriate consideration.

For the following question, please select the response that best describes your education and/or experience. You may select only one response for each question. If you feel that your education or experience exceeds all of the descriptions for a particular question, choose the description that is the closest level to the experience or education that you possess. Failure to respond to these questions will result in an ineligible rating.

1. From the descriptions below, select the ONE response that BEST describes the education and/or experience that you possess that demonstrates your ability to perform as a Paralegal Specialist, GS-950-11.

A. I have at least one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 level in Federal service. My qualifying experience involves performing a variety of analytical or legal work which demonstrates a practical knowledge of law, the litigation and judicial process, and applicable rules, regulations, policies and procedures. Examples of specialized experience may include the following types of 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 analyses and decisions, and pre-trial documents; interviewing witnesses and various individuals who can provide insight into cases under review; and preparing evidence and documents to support recommendations.

B. I have three full years of progressively higher level graduate education, Ph.D or equivalent doctoral degree in a related field (e.g., criminal justice, law)

C. I have a combination of specialized experience as described in A and education as described in B which when combined equal 100% of the requirements.

D. I do not have the education or experience as described above.

Identify the specific experience from your resume or cover letter that validates your response. Also list the name and contact information of someone who can verify your response.

For each task in the following group, choose the statement from the list below that best describes your experience and/or training. Please select only one letter for each item.

A- I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
B- I have had education or training in performing the task, but have not yet performed it on the job.
C- I have performed this task on the job. My work on this task was monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
D- I have performed this task as a regular part of a job. I have performed it independently and normally without review by a supervisor or senior employee.
E- I am considered an expert in performing this task. I have supervised performance of this task or I am normally the person who is consulted by other workers to assist them in doing this task because of my expertise.

2. Performs detailed and specialized legal research in support of the government's position in assigned cases, including researching issues and legislative history, documenting and supporting agency determinations and providing case precedent.

3. Researches, analyzes and summarizes relevant facts and legal precedents applicable to assigned case.

4. Provides relevant information and analysis to attorneys to prepare them for court hearings, including arguments for disposition motions, in those actions.

5. Uses established network or mainframe databases (e.g., Lexis, Westlaw, and PACER, LIONS) to perform data searches, report design, and other data retrieval assignments.

6. Reviews initial pleadings and case files; determines the nature of the claim and the needs for agency support, sworn declarations and further research in the litigation of cases assigned.

7. Independently makes and maintains contacts with attorneys and other staff of client agencies.

8. Uses independent judgment in determining litigation strategy and in determining and communicating needs for documents, information, and other litigation support to agency personnel.

9. Independently prepares correspondence with client agencies and opposing litigants.

10. Provides a variety of legal assistance and technical work requiring a specialized knowledge of processes, procedures, and practices to support legal activities. Support assignments involve the form, content, and issues of legal instruments and documents, and the steps and procedures involved in processing, storing, securing if sensitive or classified, and retrieving legal actions and legal information.

11. Independently prepares documents including legal pleadings, forms, reports and correspondence.

12. Provides information and assistance concerning status or relevant procedural issues.

13. Keeps calendar of required filings and due-dates in caseload of active cases.

14. Reviews documents and affidavits/declarations submitted by filing by agencies to determine their adequacy and usefulness in litigation.

15. Reviews case files, including documents submitted by agencies or produced in discovery by opposing parties.

16. Notes deficiencies in case materials, e.g., missing documents, conflicting statements, and requests further investigation by agency personnel to correct deficiencies, or personally conducts investigations at the pre-trial state.

17. Exercises discretion and judgment in determining what information may be provided and to whom.

18. Prepares a variety of substantive legal documents for filing in the federal District court, including responsive pleadings, stipulations, motions to dismiss on procedural and jurisdictional grounds, motions for summary judgment, supporting memoranda or law, statements of material facts, and discovery responses.

19. Independently prepares and maintains a variety of litigation and trial related documents, e.g. discovery requests, exhibit and witness lists, jury instructions, etc. by applying a thorough knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence and practical litigative experience.

20. Maintains accounting systems for materials to be used as exhibits in trials, prepares lists and tables to correlate the exhibits with deposition transcripts, and keeps a strict account of the exhibits used in such proceedings.

21. Uses one or more types of personal computer (PC) based software, i.e. word processing, spreadsheet, or database management, develops methods for automating reports, statistical data, text and graphics.

22. Provides litigative case management and organizes cases for court presentation by preparing and organizing exhibits containing a variety of visual material, e.g. statistical charts and photographs.

23. Monitors the progress of pending cases and initiates action to ensure that legal pleadings, forms, reports, correspondence, and other documents are prepared and submitted within established deadlines.

24. Compiles, organizes and indexes various discovery and evidence exhibits for trial, witness testimony as it relates to specific evidence, and develops and compiles jury instructions to assist attorneys in preparing for trial.

25. Prepares and provides to the attorney appropriate legal documents, information, exhibits, or witnesses at the appropriate time during court proceedings. Exhibits for trial involve a wide range of visual materials including charts, diagrams, photographs and models.

26. Provides advice to attorney and other legal support staff on the most effective and efficient ways to prepare, present and maintain a variety of administrative legal documents, e.g. discovery letters, exhibit lists, jury instructions and/or trial subpoenas.

As previously explained, your responses in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification. Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your responses. Deliberate attempts to falsify information will be grounds for disqualifying you or for dismissing you from employment following acceptance. Please take this opportunity to review your responses to ensure their accuracy. Incomplete/incorrect responses may result in you not receiving appropriate consideration.

27. If you fail to answer this question, you will be disqualified from consideration for this program.

I certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, all of the information included in this questionnaire is true, correct, and provided in good faith. I understand that if I make an intentional false statement, or commit deception or fraud in this application and its supporting materials, or in any document or interview associated with the examination process, I may be fined or imprisoned (18 U.S.C. 1001); my eligibilities may be cancelled, I may be denied an appointment, or I may be removed and debarred from Federal service (5 C.F.R. part 731). I understand that any information I give may be investigated. I understand that I will not be considered for employment if I do not respond "Yes" to this certification item.

I understand a comprehensive background investigation, including a check of my credit history and a pre-employment drug screening, is required for this position.

A. Yes, I certify/understand the information provided above.
B. No, I do not certify/understand the information provided above.

You have submitted your answers for the Assessment Questionnaire. If you
provided an email address, you will receive a confirmation email upon receipt of the Assessment
Questionnaire. Please review the Vacancy Announcement to assure that you have submitted all
necessary supporting documents. Thank you for your interest in a position with the Department
of Justice.