Preliminary Qualifications:

As part of the preliminary qualifications requirements for an ALJ position, an applicant must meet; sections 1 and 2 below at the time of application. OPM will review

the applicant's Assessment Questionnaire to determine if the experience and licensure requirements are met.

1. Possess a full seven (7) years of experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in, and/or reviewing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, state or local level;

2. Possess a professional license and be authorized to practice law under the laws of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territorial court established under the United States Constitution (see specific details regarding LICENSURE below).

Competitive Examination:

Applicants who meet the Preliminary Qualifications must also successfully complete all subsequent assessment components of the OPM competitive examination which evaluates the competencies, or knowledge, skills, and abilities, essential to performing the work of an ALJ.

Specific details for each of the requirements above are as follows:

1. EXPERIENCE:

QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE: Applicants must have a full seven (7) years of experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in, and/or reviewing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State or local level. To be considered as qualifying experience, the types of cases handled under this requirement must have been conducted on the record under procedures at least as formal as those prescribed by sections 553 through 559 of title 5 of the United States Code.

Litigation Experience: Qualifying litigation experience involves cases in which a complaint was filed with a court, or a charging document (e.g., indictment or information) was issued by a court, a grand jury, or appropriate military authority and includes:

  • participating in settlement or plea negotiations in advance of trial;
  • preparing for trial and/or participating in trial of cases;
  • preparing opinions;
  • hearing cases;
  • participating in or conducting arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution process approved by the court; or
  • participating in appeals related to the types of cases above.

Administrative Law Experience: Qualifying administrative law experience involves cases in which a formal procedure was initiated by a governmental administrative body and includes:

  • participating in settlement negotiations in advance of hearing cases;
  • preparing for hearing and/or participating in trial of cases;
  • preparing opinions;
  • hearing cases;
  • participating in or conducting arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution process approved by the administrative body; or
  • participating in appeals related to the types of cases above.

Non-Qualifying Experience: Experience involving cases with no formal hearing procedure and uncontested cases involving misdemeanors, probate, domestic relations, or tort matters is not qualifying. Listed below are some examples of types of positions which are not qualifying:

  • Claims Reviewer
  • Clerk of Court
  • Conferee
  • Contracting Officer
  • Insurance Adjuster
  • Moderator
  • Officer of any court not of record
  • Rating Specialist
  • State Unemployment Insurance Supervisor
  • Law Professor

CREDITING MILITARY EXPERIENCE: For applicants entitled to veterans' preference, time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States shall be considered as qualifying experience in either of the two following ways, depending upon which will be more beneficial to applicants:

1. Such service may be considered on the basis of actual dutiesperformed by the applicant as an attorney or military judge in the militaryservices, or

2. Such service may be considered as an extension of the employmentin which the applicant was engaged immediately before entrance into themilitary service. When military service is credited in this way, the applicantis considered to have continued performing the duties of the position he/she left.

For additional information, OPM has published on its website guidance on how to credit military experience at: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/.

2. LICENSURE:

An applicant must be licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territorial court established under the United States Constitution. Judicial status is acceptable in lieu of "active" status in States that prohibit sitting judges from maintaining "active" status to practice law. Being in "good standing" is acceptable in lieu of "active" status in States where the licensing authority considers "good standing" as having a current license to practice law.

An applicant must possess a license to practice law, as described in the preceding paragraph, at the time of application and continuously throughout the selection process including any period on appeal or on the ALJ competitive register, as defined below. An applicant can be deemed ineligible at any time if it is determined that he/she does not satisfy or no longer satisfies the licensure requirement at any point during the examination, any appeal, and/or selection process.

NOTES:

  • If you fail to respond or if you answer "No" to either question in the Assessment Questionnaire section below, or if you do not provide sufficient information to show that you pass the preliminary qualifications screening, you will be rated as "ineligible." We will not request, accept, or consider any additional information and/or clarification beyond what you provide in the following text boxes, including any information provided in a resume or other attachments.
  • When answering Question 2 of the Assessment Questionnaire, please provide the Bar license identifier (e.g. number, registration, etc.) in each jurisdiction in which you are currently licensed to practice law. If the jurisdiction does not issue a bar license identifier, please state so.

3. COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION:

OPM will review the completed online Assessment Questionnaire as described below to determine if you meet the experience and licensure requirements. If OPM determines you do not meet one or both of these requirements, a Notice of Results (NOR) will be issued to you indicating a rating of "ineligible" and no further action will be taken on your application. See the "Appeals Process" section below.

Applicants who have cleared the preliminary qualifications screening (i.e., the experience and licensure requirements) also are required to successfully complete other components of the ALJ examination. The purpose of these remaining components is to evaluate the competencies, or knowledge, skills, and abilities, essential to performing the work of an ALJ. These competencies include: Decision Making, Interpersonal Skills, Judicial Analysis, Judicial Decisiveness, Judicial Management, Judicial Temperament, Litigation and Courtroom Competence, Oral Communication, Problem Solving, Professionalism, Reasoning, Self-Management, and Writing.

The remaining assessment components of the examination for ALJ positions are listed below and further described in the section How You will be Evaluated, Basis for Rating:

Online Component:
Section 1 - Situational Judgment Test (SJT)
Section 2 - Writing Sample
Section 3 - Experience Assessment

Proctored Component:

Section 1 - Written Demonstration (WD)
Section 2 - Logic-Based Measurement Test (LBMT)

In-person Component:
Structured Interview (SI)

 

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