Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

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Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:31 pm

Hi all,

Another thread I read today had a poster say they were around median at a lower T1 school, and wondered about getting Federal Gov't work after graduation. Everyone said that this is probably not going to happen.

Does anyone here currently do legal work for the Federal Gov't? I have been working for two years at a challenging, non-legal position within the government, and plan to continue 2-4 more years while attending a lower T1 school part-time (Fordham). I'll be starting in the fall.

I'm realistically anticipating median because my priority is work, not school, and so when push comes to shove during tough assignment weeks I can afford to get a C, but not to get fired.

So, the question: with middle third grades at a lower T1 school with 4-6 years of Federal Gov't experience (anticipating GS-14 level before moving to greener pastures), are other federal positions (DoJ or of similar prestige) going to be a realistic goal get despite low-to-average grades? In other words, does proven experience, promotions, etc within the system change the picture for legal hiring?

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Re: Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:39 pm

GS-14, probably not right away as PhDs are only guaranteed GS-11. Keep a copy of your previous SF-50. From my knowledge you'll be eligible to apply for positions that are open both internal to the agency as well as the general public and if you've already achieved career permanent status, you wouldn't need to again meet the 30-day/3-year deadlines. This is my experience with one Executive Branch Department. Other departments may have different nuances, and depending on the PMO/KSA reviewer, they may not know eligibility rules. Spend LOTS of time on the OPM website to find legitimate answers as often the HR personnel / KSA reviewers are GS-5 or lower and haven't a clue how to interpret some of th rules.

edited to correct OPM
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:GS-14, probably not right away as PhDs are only guaranteed GS-11. Keep a copy of your previous SF-50. From my knowledge you'll be eligible to apply for positions that are open both internal to the agency as well as the general public and if you've already achieved career permanent status, you wouldn't need to again meet the 30-day/3-year deadlines. This is my experience with one Executive Branch Department. Other departments may have different nuances, and depending on the PMO/KSA reviewer, they may not know eligibility rules. Spend LOTS of time on the OMB website to find legitimate answers as often the HR personnel / KSA reviewers are GS-5 or lower and haven't a clue how to interpret some of th rules.


Thanks. I'm permanent and just moved up to GS-12. My agency is non-competitive to GS-14, it's all merit based, so it's a realistic expectation of mine.

Or did you mean I would have to backtrack to GS-11 if I lateraled to a legal position?

I'm still unclear as to whether this experience opens up doors to "prestigious" government legal work that would have otherwise been shut by mediocre grades.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:49 pm

No, you wouldn't backtrack unless you accepted a transfer to a lower grade. The more I think about it, and given the ample opportunity for details, which often turn into competitive positions with a <3-day application window, staying with the Fed, especially if you want to remain in your agency, your odds of promotion are fantastic. Definitely jealous that you can merit up to a GS-14. I've been Fed for 10 years and have maxed at 12 - hence Law School.

To edify your curiosity, check out http://php.app.com/fed_employees10/search.php and job title "General Attorney" to get a feeling of promotion/salary potential.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm still unclear as to whether this experience opens up doors to "prestigious" government legal work that would have otherwise been shut by mediocre grades.


Nothing is shut within the government. Once you're in, it's more who you know than what you know, especially as I mentioned previously in the opportunity presented by 90-120 day details.

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Re: Federal government work, easier for former fed employees?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No, you wouldn't backtrack unless you accepted a transfer to a lower grade. The more I think about it, and given the ample opportunity for details, which often turn into competitive positions with a <3-day application window, staying with the Fed, especially if you want to remain in your agency, your odds of promotion are fantastic. Definitely jealous that you can merit up to a GS-14. I've been Fed for 10 years and have maxed at 12 - hence Law School.

To edify your curiosity, check out http://php.app.com/fed_employees10/search.php and job title "General Attorney" to get a feeling of promotion/salary potential.


Gotcha. Thank you.

Details are impossible to obtain in my agency, and this should remain the case for the remainder of my tenure here. I won't be able to lateral anywhere that I could obtain a detail at either until I graduate, because school's only possible given policies that are very specific to my agency.

So it's more or less just what's on my resume that I'm hoping to help bump me into a position. Fingers are crossed, I'll update the board in four years...




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