Paralegal Specialist at US Customs and Border Protection

US Customs and Border Protection

Full-Time

Mid Level

Portland, OR, USA

$46.618 - $74.129

24 Sep → 24 Oct

Job Description

As our nation navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP is committed to delivering our mission to safeguard America's borders and enable legitimate trade and travel. Staffing mission critical positions remains a high priority. Be reassured that CBP is still hiring, despite potential hiring process step delays due to restrictions to in-person activities.

Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Portland Field Office, located in Portland, OR.

Joining the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations will allow you to use your expertise to provide legal support of those executing the law enforcement duties at the port level. This position starts at a salary of $46,618.00 (GS-07, Step 1) to $74,129.00 (GS-09, Step 10) with promotion potential to $107,507.00 (GS-12 Step 10). Apply for this exciting opportunity to strengthen homeland security by performing paralegal activities such as reviewing and finalizing claims, preparing cases, and coordinating the work of a paralegal team.

In this Paralegal Specialist position you will become a key member of a team of Homeland Security professionals providing key legal support for the law enforcement duties at the port level.

Education Substitution:
GS-7: You may substitute successful completion of one year of full-time graduate education for the experience required at the GS-7 level. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise a year of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 18 semester or 27 quarter hours.

GS-7: You may also substitute superior academic achievement for the experience required at the GS-7 level. You must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or have a class standing in the upper third of a graduating class or major subdivision, or membership in a national scholastic honor society. Refer to www.cbp.gov for additional information.

GS-9: You may substitute a Master's degree or 2 full years of graduate education in any field or a L.L.B. or J.D. degree for the experience required at the GS-9 grade level. Such education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise two years of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 36 semester or 54 quarter hours. You are required to submit proof of your claim.

Combining Experience and Education: To combine your education and experience, you must convert each to a percentage, and then add the percentages. The combined total of your percentage of education and experience must equal at least 100% in order to qualify. If your education is currently described in quarter hours, convert the quarter hours into semester hours by multiplying the quarter hours by the fraction 2/3. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, divide the number of graduate semester hours in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level, by 18. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience. Add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100%.

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.

You must:
  • Meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process; and
  • Meet all applicable Time in Grade requirements (current federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the federal service) by 09/28/2021.

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, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. . For more information visit this link.

Residency: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two of the last five years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency waiver by meeting one or more of the following conditions:
  • Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
  • A dependent who was authorized to accompany a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. government
  • Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
  • Working as a contractor, intern, consultant or volunteer supporting the U.S. government
Probationary Period: All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applicants will only be considered for the Eligibilities for which they claim in the job questionnaire AND must provide the supporting documentation. Applicants will not be considered for Eligibilities for which they did not claim, regardless of the documentation submitted with the application. https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11238627

We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education, and training will be rated using an assessment questionnaire.

The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:

  • Knowledge of CBP and other federal government agencies' laws, regulations, policies, and operations related to the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures program.
  • Ability to prepare written correspondence, findings, and recommendations in an effective and convincing manner.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret laws, regulations, CBP policies and procedures and to research precedent setting decisions and the relevant regulations of other federal agencies.
  • Ability to independently resolve broad, complex and/or unprecedented issues and to provide authoritative advice.
  • Ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing.
If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. Preview the job questionnaire https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11238627

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. View information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibilityon OPM's Career Transition Resources website. To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must be rated at a minimum score of 85 for this position. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the Required Documents section of this announcement.

Job Responsibilities

  • Performing legal support work arising from seizures, penalties, and liquidated damages assessed under applicable laws and regulations
  • Reviewing and finalizing claims for liquidated damages and penalty cases
  • Preparing synopses of cases including alternatives and recommended solutions
  • Assisting in reviewing and evaluating previous fact finding and problem-solving methods
  • Holding conferences with the importing public to provide status of cases or required procedures

Requirements / Qualifications

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position

  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service

  • Primary U.S. residency for at least three of the last five years (additional details below)

  • You may be required to pass a background investigation

  • CBP follows the DHS Drug-Free Workplace Plan for drug testing procedures

  • As an employee of CBP, you will be joining a workforce that is dedicated to accomplishing our mission while maintaining the trust of our Nation by strictly adhering to all government ethics standards. Your conduct will be subject to the ethics rules applicable to all Executive Branch employees, and to CBP employees specifically, as well as the criminal conflict of interest statutes. Once you enter on duty, these rules include obtaining approval for outside employment or business activity, to ensure such employment or business activity is not prohibited and does not interfere or conflict with performance of your official duties. Please review further details via the following link.

  • Reviewing evidence, facts, and circumstances relating to cases and making recommendations.

  • Reviewing and summarizing legal information in prescribed format on case precedents and decisions.

  • Searching for and extracting legal references in libraries and computer data banks.

  • Reviewing investigative reports and case records.

  • Reviewing legal documents to extract selected data and information relating to specified items.

  • Reviewing and processing case materials within the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer's authority.

  • Searching for and summarizing relevant articles in trade magazines, law reviews, published studies, financial reports, and similar materials for use of attorneys in the preparation of opinions, briefs, and other legal documents.

  • Receiving, examining, and evaluating petitions filed by individuals, corporations, or attorneys seeking relief from seizures, penalties, fines, or liquidated damages.

  • Assuring that all due process considerations are met and the elements necessary to establish a violation are present and supported to appropriate documentation.

  • Preparing and recommending decisions on cases within the jurisdiction of the FPF Officer.

How To Apply

Apply through LegalJobs

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