Attorneys and JAG May Want to Apply for Administrative Law Judge Positions

The complex Administrative Law Judge application may open up in 2013. Get ready by attending a free webinar with ALJ Experts from The Resume Place, Inc.

From Social Security appeals, whistle blower fraud, and compensation claims, to utility rate findings and animal welfare enforcement proceedings, Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) handle a wide range of cases across federal departments and agencies. Authorized under the Administrative Procedure Act, ALJs fulfill a key role resolving disputes on behalf of the Executive Branch of government. With the authority to issue subpoenas, rule on evidence proffers, administer oaths, and make factual and legal findings, ALJs enjoy a significant degree of independence and serve a crucial adjudicatory function on the government’s behalf.

Learn more about the ALJ Application and the process for writing the federal resume, litigation and administrative narratives and competencies for this application. Join Nicole Schultheis, J.D. from The Resume Place, free 30 minute webinars to review the application process.

Aren’t attorneys ineligible for the preferences points other vets receive?

GS-0905 attorneys are Excepted Service professionals, and you’re right, automatic preferences and points don’t apply to those jobs. But ALJs are assigned to the AL-0935 series, and preference points apply. The ALJ examination process yields a score of up to 100, based on adding the individual component scores assigned to the Accomplishment Record, Written Demonstration, and Structured Interview parts of the exam. A score of 40 or higher will land you on the ALJ register, from which hires are made, but only those receiving scores of 60+ are best positioned to receive offers. Your 5 or 10 points will be added to that total.

Do vets have an edge when it comes to qualifications?

Yes! Most applicants must 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. Vets may not need a full 7 years.

Free ALJ Webinars: The Resume Place and Nicole Schultheis, J.D. will provide free 30 minute webinars to review the total ALJ application, which is approximately 20 pages in length.

For applicants entitled to veterans’ preference, time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States counts as qualifying experience in either of two ways, depending upon which provides greater benefit: (1) considering the actual duties performed by applicants as an attorney or military judge in the military service, or (2) treating military service as an extension of the employment in which applicants were engaged immediately before entrance into the military service. When military service is credited in this way, applicants are considered to have continued performing the duties of the positions they’ve left. Thus, attorneys with less than 7 years qualifying litigation experience can count all of their military service, so long as they were employed as full time litigators as of the time they joined.

But isn’t the ALJ examination closed?

Yes it is closed for most applicants. But 10-point veterans can apply at any time. See Veterans-Regarding-the-ALJ-Examination/. 10-point preference eligibles, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2108(3)(C)- (G) and 3309(1), have the right to open an examination that is closed. Why hurry to apply, if 10-point vets can apply anytime?

A couple of reasons. First, the current ALJ register contains successful candidates left over from the last time the announcement opened, in November 2009. At the time, the announcement was open only for 30 hours. Many highly qualified candidates simply missed the boat. Next time, the open period may be longer or another method may be used to encourage larger numbers of the most qualified applicants to apply.

Second, the number of successful candidates on the existing roster, which has been extended several times, is shrinking. The better candidates received the earliest offers. Joining the roster now, before it reopens to all US citizens, positions vets well for the next round of hires, assuming another round of hires is made before the exam is reopened. Although some are optimistic that a new announcement will be posted between now and March 2013, others believe that at least another round of hires from the current register will be made first.

Finally, the application process is the same as in 2009, providing vets with a prime opportunity to pull application materials together with due deliberation and preparation of the essays required. When the new ALJ announcement is posted, the application process could change.

Where is the ALJ announcement for 10-point vets posted?

As far as we know, it isn’t. Write to [email protected] and tell them you meet the qualifications to become an ALJ and that you are entitled to a 10-point veteran’s preference. They’ll send you a modified version of the 2009 announcement, along with instructions on how to apply. Meanwhile, anyone can peruse the 2009 ALJ announcement in the documents library of the Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference, here:

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