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Board of Veterans Appeals Veterans Law Judge in Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Summary Veterans Law Judges occupy unique positions of trust. The incumbent serves as a Veterans Law Judge in the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) within the Board of Veterans' Appeals. Veterans Law Judges are recommended by the Chairman of the Board of Veterans' Appeals and appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, subject to the approval of the President of the United States. Responsibilities The Board of Veterans' Appeals mission is to honor America's promise to its Veterans by timely resolving their appeals under the law. Veterans Law Judges preside over formal, quasi-judicial hearings, adjudicate appeals, and issue written decisions. On behalf of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Law Judges decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits and services by the Secretary to Veterans and their dependents and survivors. Veterans Law Judges exercise certain powers as provided by law and exercise independent judgment in resolving appeals. Decisions will be final unless appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, may be further reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Veterans Law Judges will be required to conduct hearings in person, either in the National Capital Region or at a Department facility throughout the country, and/or remotely through video teleconferencing or other technology. The types of appeals Veterans Law Judges must resolve include, but are not limited to, appeals concerning: (1) Entitlement to, and benefits resulting from, service-connected disability or death; (2) Dependency and indemnity compensation for service-connected death, including benefits in certain cases of in service or service-connected deaths and certification and entitlement to death gratuity; (3) Entitlement to nonservice-connected disability pension, service pension and death pension; (4) Training and Rehabilitation for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities; (5) Payment or reimbursement for unauthorized medical expenses; (6) Burial benefits and burial in National Cemeteries; (7) Benefits for persons disabled by medical treatment or vocational rehabilitation; (8) Character of discharge; (9) Validity of claims and effective dates of benefits; and (10) Benefits for surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans. In addition to the judicial duties of presiding over hearings and adjudicating and issuing appellate decisions, each Veterans Law Judge supervises a cadre of decision-writing attorneys and/or law clerks; provides training, as necessary, to colleagues and attorneys on matters of substantive and procedural Veterans' law; ensures cases are decided efficiently and expeditiously in accordance with the law; mentors and develops the attorneys and/or law clerks; is a collaborative member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals team; and adheres to the Department's ICARE values (integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence) while maintaining the highest ethical standards of public service. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications Education: Applicants must possess a LL.B., J.D., or LL.M. degree. (On your resume provide the year in which you obtained your degree and the name of the College or University from which it was conferred/awarded.) AND Licensure: Applicants must be an active member of the bar and in good standing, duly licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of any state, territory of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. (Provide the year in which you obtained your first license and the jurisdiction from which it was issued.) AND Experience: Applicants must have at least seven (7) years of post-bar admission experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in, presiding over, and/or appealing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State or local level. Qualifying litigation or appellate experience involves cases in which a complaint, charging document (e.g., indictment or information), or appeal was before a court, grand jury, or similar adjudicatory body (e.g., military court or Agency administrative appellate/adjudicatory body). Qualifying administrative law experience involves working on cases in which a formal procedure was initiated by or against a governmental administrative body and/or specific experience addressing laws and regulations pertaining to veterans' benefits as set forth primarily in Title 38 of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations (i.e., areas of law related to the Board's jurisdiction). IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. PLEASE SEE THE SECTION ENTITLED "HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED" An applicant's total experience, education and volunteer work experience must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of a Veterans Law Judge. 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. Education Applicants must possess an LL.B., J.D. or LL.M. degree and be licensed to practice law. Additional Information Although the Veterans' preference point system does not apply to this excepted-service position, the Department of Veterans Affairs considers Veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in Veterans Law Judge selection. Applicants eligible for Veterans' preference should ensure their written submissions reflect their status as a Veteran. Drug Testing: All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in any position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Incumbents of this position will be subject to a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.