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Administrative Judge (Legal)

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Background

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proud to be ranked among the best places to work for compensation, work-life balance, and performance for mid-sized agencies in the Federal Government. We've earned our top ratings by creating a work environment rich in opportunity, diversity, leadership training, teamwork, and work life balance. Help guide our nation into the next generation of nuclear safety! Begin a challenging career with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission where you can be part of a select group of professionals who protect people and the environment with the peaceful use of nuclear materials in medicine, industry, and research.

Duties

These positions (few) are located with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, NRC duty location - Headquarters, Rockville, MD.

Serves as a member of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP), with primary responsibility for serving as a (Legal) member of three-member Licensing Boards in NRC adjudicatory proceedings.

The Panel is comprised of legally trained administrative judges (Legal Administrative Judges), as well as scientifically and technically trained administrative judges (Technical Administrative Judges).

The ASLBP conducts hearings and makes decisions with respect to granting, suspending, revoking, or amending licenses authorized by the Atomic Energy Act, including those related to nuclear power plants, enrichment facilities, fabrication facilities, fuel cycle related facilities (including those for spent fuel storage), and facilities licensed to possess nuclear materials. Hearings usually are conducted by a three-member Board, typically consisting of one Legal Administrative Judge and two Technical Administrative Judges who have experience and expertise in fields related to issues before the Board. This assignment will be associated with expected hearings to include the licensing of new commercial nuclear power plants, license renewal of existing nuclear power plants, and power uprates of existing power plants.

Both Legal and Technical Administrative Judges are appointed as members to the Panel by the Commission on the basis of recognized experience and achievement in their field. Candidates found well qualified will either be appointed directly or placed on a register from which future appointments will be made.

Prehearing activities include examining pleadings and filings, researching highly technical subject matter, and preparing orders.

Hearing activities include such things as advising the Chairman of the Licensing Board concerning testimony and evidence, questioning, or examining witnesses and evaluating their testimony, and assuring an accurate hearing record.

Decision-related activities include studying the record, considering proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, researching precedents, and preparing written orders and decisions.

Secondarily, as requested by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Panel, and not inconsistent with his/her primary adjudicatory proceeding responsibilities, performs other assigned duties, including advising the Chief Administrative Judge and the Panel concerning regulatory, administrative, and procedural matters relating to the licensing process of the NRC.

Qualifications

Experience

Minimally qualified candidates will have at least 10 years of work experience, including substantial litigation experience in fields that apply directly to the adjudicatory work of the ASLBP; however, a preferred candidate would have experience in administrative law and environmental law, and would possess extensive litigation experience.
Typically, at least one year of this experience should be comparable in complexity and responsibility to the kind of work normally assigned at the grade 15 level or higher in the Federal government, or equivalent.
An applicant's resume should describe any prior experience with the adjudicatory process and litigation (e.g., as counsel for a party).
A successful applicant should have excellent written and oral communication skills and have a demonstrated ability to make fair and impartial decisions in a timely manner based on the record. Because the Panel works as a team, applicants should be accustomed to, and skilled at, working in a collegial environment.
Applicants must also possess the experience and professional stature required to successfully perform the important duties and activities of ASLBP Administrative Judges.

The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate:

1. Comprehensive knowledge and experience with trial/administrative hearing procedures and practices, including rules of evidence and witness examination, alternative dispute resolution techniques, and the use of computer and telecommunications technologies (e.g., electronic filing and database management, video conferencing), particularly as they may apply to licensing and enforcement proceedings regarding civilian nuclear facilities for which public hearings are required.
2. An ability to understand, interpret, and apply substantive law and ability to assimilate technical subject matter, define issues, and analyze, synthesize, and evaluate evidence.
3. An ability to make independent decisions in a timely, fair, and impartial manner.
4. An ability to communicate orally in a manner that is clear, concise, and understandable, and to elicit facts by examining expert and lay witnesses; a demonstrated ability to listen attentively and deal courteously, tactfully, firmly, and impartially with others in an adversarial or similar setting; and an ability to write clear, concise, comprehensive, and convincing decisions involving complex legal and technical issues in a timely manner.
5. The ability to establish effective work relationships with all levels of management, peers, and staff, and to achieve cooperation and consensus among parties engaged in joint or parallel efforts.

Education

You must be a graduate of an accredited law school with a J.D., LL.B., or equivalent degree, and you must be an active member in good standing of the Bar of a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

How to Apply

Visit www.nrc.gov Review the NRC Opportunities page and click on “view a list of current NRC vacancies, please visit USAJobs EXIT.” Find the Administrative Judge (Legal) Announcement Number ASLBP-2022-0002 and apply on-line by December 16, 2023. If you are viewing this opportunity after December 16, 2023, please visit NRC’s website and discover additional opportunities for which you might be interested.
NOTE: This is an Open Until Filled Vacancy Announcement. It will be used to fill positions as vacancies occur. Over the course of the 12-month open period, applications will be reviewed and referred for positions as they become available.
NOTE: Your resume is key for evaluating your skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to submit a thorough resume that directly relates to this position. A description of how you possess the specialized experience as well as how you meet the qualifications desired in an ideal candidate should be addressed in your resume.



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