veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

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mmribail
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veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby mmribail » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:08 am

Is there such a thing?

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:20 am

mmribail wrote:Is there such a thing?


yes

ArmyVet07
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby ArmyVet07 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:54 am

At least for the federal government, attorney positions are considered excepted service jobs which means veterans' preference does not apply.

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/filled/index.aspx

However, military service is seen as a positive factor, so I'm sure it would help, other things equal. Also, I believe veterans' preference does apply for certain federal internship programs which might also benefit you when later seeking a job, but federal internship programs are currently being revamped, so you will need to look for up-to-date info later.

http://www.fels.upenn.edu/news/three-tr ... ip-program

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:02 am

ArmyVet07 wrote:At least for the federal government, attorney positions are considered excepted service jobs which means veterans' preference does not apply.

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/filled/index.aspx

However, military service is seen as a positive factor, so I'm sure it would help, other things equal. Also, I believe veterans' preference does apply for certain federal internship programs which might also benefit you when later seeking a job, but federal internship programs are currently being revamped, so you will need to look for up-to-date info later.

http://www.fels.upenn.edu/news/three-tr ... ip-program


I know at least for some summer positions, OGC for the DOD comes to mind. They specifically say they give a preference for military experience.

http://www.dod.gov/dodgc/images/announcement.pdf

Voodoo94
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby Voodoo94 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 pm

At least for the federal government, attorney positions are considered excepted service jobs which means veterans' preference does not apply.


Yes, but most of the non-DOJ attorney jobs (0905 series) are lame. The competitive service positions (where Veterans Preference applies) are the policy jobs where the action (relatively speaking) is. Look for jobs in the 0301 and 0343 series. Veterans preference applies for those jobs.

Many feel they have to "make good on their investment" in a JD by seeking an attorney job even if they know deep down it was an expensive and tragic mistake. Don't do it! Go competitive service via veterans preference and don't look back. The pay is the same as a GS-12 whether you are an "attorney" or a "program analyst."

ArmyVet07
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby ArmyVet07 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:19 am

Voodoo94 wrote:
At least for the federal government, attorney positions are considered excepted service jobs which means veterans' preference does not apply.


Yes, but most of the non-DOJ attorney jobs (0905 series) are lame. The competitive service positions (where Veterans Preference applies) are the policy jobs where the action (relatively speaking) is. Look for jobs in the 0301 and 0343 series. Veterans preference applies for those jobs.

Many feel they have to "make good on their investment" in a JD by seeking an attorney job even if they know deep down it was an expensive and tragic mistake. Don't do it! Go competitive service via veterans preference and don't look back. The pay is the same as a GS-12 whether you are an "attorney" or a "program analyst."


Certainly, a GS-12 is paid the same regardless of what the position is (attorney, policy analyst, or something else). However, there can be differences is how high each position can rise on the pay scale. I looked at a small (possibly not representative) sample of jobs in the 0301 and 0343 series on usajobs.gov, and the ones I saw usually only went up to GS-12 or GS-13 with the exception of senior positions. The attorney/general attorney jobs all seemed to have a promotion potential of GS-14.

Voodoo94
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby Voodoo94 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:34 am

The attorney/general attorney jobs all seemed to have a promotion potential of GS-14.


Yes, but then you are stuck. Attorney positions (0905) are excepted service positions. Veterans preference does not attach to these positions. Furthermore, as an excepted service employee, you cannot generally apply to competitive service, non-attorney positions with closed (agency employee only) announcements. It's tough to get out of the General Counsel ghetto once you (inevitably) realize 1) that you are just a drone doing thankless paper pushing on issues that the policy/program people don't wan't to be bothered with; and 2) the "real lawyers" who do the novel, high stakes stuff are at DOJ (note there are exceptions e.g, DOD, SEC, IRS, FTC, etc). A friend of mine is in this pickle right now. He is a veteran and attorney in a Federal agency. The work is drudgery and he wants to go into a policy/program job to leverage his leadership experience as a naval officer and background as an engineer. He has applied to numerous positions available only to employees within our agency and "on board" Federal employees, but won't be considered because of his "excepted service" status as an attorney. Basically, to get a competitive service slot he needs to apply and compete for an open announcement position despite his 4 years of experience within the agency.

I don't think you appreciate just how difficult it is to get a Federal attorney position these days. Our agency just filled a single, entry-level position in the General Counsel's office - they received almost 2,000 applications. While competition is keen for 0301 or 0343 slots, it is no where near as bad as it is in the attorney realm. I would say a 0301 or 0343 announcement gets about 1/10th the applications as an 0905 announcement. Why not use your Veterans preference in an environment with more opportunities?

Re: promotion potential. Do not look at what the position goes up to on a USAJOBS announcement. Just take it and get in the door. Once in the agency, you can compete and apply for positions (often within your office) at a higher grade.

My wife and I are both in "non-attorney" positions. She's a 0343 and I'm a 0301. She came in as a GS-09 and was a GS-14 within 5.5 years (she had to internally compete for the promotion to GS-14). I came in as a GS-12 in a dead-end position with no promotion potential. A year later, I competed for a GS-13 slot doing the same job (didn't change my portfolio or desk) and got it. At my 3.5 year mark I competed for a GS-14 slot in another agency and got it. I was a GS-14 in 3.5 years and have done a lot more interesting, diverse work than I would have as a cog in the General Counsel's office.

Don't let anyone tell you that you will lose advancement opportunities as a 0301 or 0343, you just have to compete for them and most folks will advance. Veterans preference will greatly assist in your advancement aned enhance your mobility within the competitive service.

ArmyVet07
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby ArmyVet07 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:57 am

Thanks for the detailed response. I had actually given some thought to the PMF program which would be a route into various non-attorney positions (and it also has a veterans' preference), but I have neglected to consider other non-attorney options with the federal government.

Would it make sense for an 0L to select a concentration and/or internships based on a potential interest in a policy/analyst position with a federal department or agency?

Voodoo94
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby Voodoo94 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:29 am

Thanks for the detailed response. I had actually given some thought to the PMF program which would be a route into various non-attorney positions (and it also has a veterans' preference), but I have neglected to consider other non-attorney options with the federal government.

Would it make sense for an 0L to select a concentration and/or internships based on a potential interest in a policy/analyst position with a federal department or agency?


Yes! I would always be on the look out for non-attorney postions. Most agencies run parallel, paid summer internship programs - one for law students and one for everyone else. The secret is that law students can apply for the "everyone else" internships. When I was at DHS, I had law student interns work with me for two summers in a row - they were great assets. My brother had a paid, non-law internship at EPA last summer and there were law students in his program as well.

Note: these internships are announced with much less fanfare than the legal ones, so you have to be fanantical about checking USAJOBS. In fact, my brother accidentally learned of the EPA opportunity by browsing USAJOBS on the day before the announcement closed. Many of these programs are decentralized and managed out of agency regional offices rather than DC (e.g. NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, etc.)

Furthermore, your odds of getting selected for non-law internships are much greater than the legal ones. Do you have any idea just how many aimless, directionless law students lazily apply for the Federal "legal internships" advertised by their CSO office - thousands!

If you are interested in Federal career, I would take a good, hard look at a dual degree. A JD/MPP, JD/MPA, JD/MPH, JD/MPH, JD/MSW and JD/MA (Econ) are all good bets. The Masters will get you much further towards getting a foot in the door and the JD will serve as a discriminator during initial hiring and an added value for promotions.

If you have veterans preference, PMF should be on your short list of post-graduation options. An applicant for PMF with Veterans Preference probably has better than a 50% shot at becoming a PMF finalist. My wife and I were PMFs and we endorse the program. She is a non-veteran and I am a veteran that was selected without veterans preference (I was selected before preference was awarded to post 9/11 veterans who did not deploy).

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:59 am

Voodoo94 wrote:
Thanks for the detailed response. I had actually given some thought to the PMF program which would be a route into various non-attorney positions (and it also has a veterans' preference), but I have neglected to consider other non-attorney options with the federal government.

Would it make sense for an 0L to select a concentration and/or internships based on a potential interest in a policy/analyst position with a federal department or agency?


Yes! I would always be on the look out for non-attorney postions. Most agencies run parallel, paid summer internship programs - one for law students and one for everyone else. The secret is that law students can apply for the "everyone else" internships. When I was at DHS, I had law student interns work with me for two summers in a row - they were great assets. My brother had a paid, non-law internship at EPA last summer and there were law students in his program as well.

Note: these internships are announced with much less fanfare than the legal ones, so you have to be fanantical about checking USAJOBS. In fact, my brother accidentally learned of the EPA opportunity by browsing USAJOBS on the day before the announcement closed. Many of these programs are decentralized and managed out of agency regional offices rather than DC (e.g. NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, etc.)

Furthermore, your odds of getting selected for non-law internships are much greater than the legal ones. Do you have any idea just how many aimless, directionless law students lazily apply for the Federal "legal internships" advertised by their CSO office - thousands!

If you are interested in Federal career, I would take a good, hard look at a dual degree. A JD/MPP, JD/MPA, JD/MPH, JD/MPH, JD/MSW and JD/MA (Econ) are all good bets. The Masters will get you much further towards getting a foot in the door and the JD will serve as a discriminator during initial hiring and an added value for promotions.

If you have veterans preference, PMF should be on your short list of post-graduation options. An applicant for PMF with Veterans Preference probably has better than a 50% shot at becoming a PMF finalist. My wife and I were PMFs and we endorse the program. She is a non-veteran and I am a veteran that was selected without veterans preference (I was selected before preference was awarded to post 9/11 veterans who did not deploy).


So if you go PMF route do you normally start as a GS-12 step 1?

Voodoo94
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby Voodoo94 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:51 pm

So if you go PMF route do you normally start as a GS-12 step 1?


No, 90+% of PMFs will start as GS-09s. The agencies have the discretion of hiring you as a GS-11 or GS-12, but this is relatively rare and getting rarer.

The agencies that usually offer the higher grades to PMFs are those that have more difficulty recruiting PMFs (e.g. HUD and SBA). Others offer higher grades to fill jobs and attract those candidates with specialized skills who may be sought by other agencies (my case). I was offered a GS-12 by DHS and took it. I also got GS-09 offers from HHS (HQ), FDA and CDC. DHS upped the ante, offered interesting work and I took it. I was an anomoly.

Caveat: The Department of Defense (OSD) brings all of their PMFs in as GS-12s and these are widely considered the most prestigious PMF positions for a variety of reasons (travel, training, budget, and scope of work). During my year, about 125 finalists applied, 14 got call backs and 7 got offers. I made the call-back phase, but didn't make the final cut. I'm sure it's only gotten more competitive over the past 6 years.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
So if you go PMF route do you normally start as a GS-12 step 1?


No, 90+% of PMFs will start as GS-09s. The agencies have the discretion of hiring you as a GS-11 or GS-12, but this is relatively rare and getting rarer.

The agencies that usually offer the higher grades to PMFs are those that have more difficulty recruiting PMFs (e.g. HUD and SBA). Others offer higher grades to fill jobs and attract those candidates with specialized skills who may be sought by other agencies (my case). I was offered a GS-12 by DHS and took it. I also got GS-09 offers from HHS (HQ), FDA and CDC. DHS upped the ante, offered interesting work and I took it. I was an anomoly.

Caveat: The Department of Defense (OSD) brings all of their PMFs in as GS-12s and these are widely considered the most prestigious PMF positions for a variety of reasons (travel, training, budget, and scope of work). During my year, about 125 finalists applied, 14 got call backs and 7 got offers. I made the call-back phase, but didn't make the final cut. I'm sure it's only gotten more competitive over the past 6 years.


How do the steps work? And what do you mean by traveling and scope of work. What does a DOD PMF position typical do?

Is it ok if I PM you some specific stuff and get your opinion and maybe some answers.

Voodoo94
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby Voodoo94 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:33 pm

How do the steps work? And what do you mean by traveling and scope of work. What does a DOD PMF position typical do?

Is it ok if I PM you some specific stuff and get your opinion and maybe some answers.


Steps. Each of the 15 GS grades have 10 steps. They are essentially awarded for longevity. You progress through steps 1-4 annually (ie. by your 3rd anniversary in a grade, you will be a Step 4). Steps 5-7 are awarded every 2 years (e.g. by your 5th anniversary in a grade, you will be a Step 5, 7 years, step 6, etc). Steps 8-10 are awarded every 3 years.

All of this is moot for a PMF. As a minimum, a PMF will enter as a GS-09, be promoted to GS-11 on their 1st anniversary and get promoted to GS-12 on their second anniversary. By regulation, all PMF positions must go up to at least a GS-12. Some go higher (e.g. my wife came in as a GS-09 with a GS-13 target position, so she made GS-13 on her 3rd anniversary as a Fed.

DOD PMF is very interesting. Unlike most PMF positions, you aren't assigned a target position (permanent job). You spend your 2 years rotating through 4-6 DOD offices (essentially of your choice) to maximize experiential learning and provide the broadest exposure. DOD PMFs are part of an agency (OSD) with training and travel $ that most places couldn't even dream of. The sky is the limit. I know DOD PMFs who were sent to language training, who rotated to combatant command HQs (e.g. Tampa, hawaii and Stuttgart), etc. Some even went to Afghanistan (voluntarily). After your 2 years, you basically settle on a mutually agreed upon "home" in DOD and assume a regular position.

DOD PMF is really well respscted. Even if defense isn't your thing, you never turn it down as it stands out on a resume and opens doors for a lifetime. I work with a health policy guru who did her PMF time at DOD and has rotated back to healthcare policy in another agency. She found the DOD experience invaluable.

I've never PM'd here and time is limited, so I would prefer corresponding on the open boards for all to see and share.

Thanks.

ArmyVet07
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby ArmyVet07 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
The attorney/general attorney jobs all seemed to have a promotion potential of GS-14.


Yes, but then you are stuck. Attorney positions (0905) are excepted service positions. Veterans preference does not attach to these positions. Furthermore, as an excepted service employee, you cannot generally apply to competitive service, non-attorney positions with closed (agency employee only) announcements. It's tough to get out of the General Counsel ghetto once you (inevitably) realize 1) that you are just a drone doing thankless paper pushing on issues that the policy/program people don't wan't to be bothered with; and 2) the "real lawyers" who do the novel, high stakes stuff are at DOJ (note there are exceptions e.g, DOD, SEC, IRS, FTC, etc). A friend of mine is in this pickle right now. He is a veteran and attorney in a Federal agency. The work is drudgery and he wants to go into a policy/program job to leverage his leadership experience as a naval officer and background as an engineer. He has applied to numerous positions available only to employees within our agency and "on board" Federal employees, but won't be considered because of his "excepted service" status as an attorney. Basically, to get a competitive service slot he needs to apply and compete for an open announcement position despite his 4 years of experience within the agency.


I question whether federal attorneys are truly "stuck" in these positions. While I'm certain the competition is fierce, for departments/agencies that deal with administrative law, there is the possibility of becoming an ALJ (where, interestingly, veterans' preference does apply).

https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/alj/alj.asp

https://www.careerproplus.com/company/a ... wjudge.php

http://ssaconnect.com/tfiles/ALJ-Overview.pdf

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happy187
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Re: veterans preference for state and federal legal employment

Postby happy187 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am

great info in this thread.




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