Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to the FTC's Honors Paralegal Program

  1. How do I apply? What materials do I need to submit?
  2. Do I apply to each bureau/office (BC, BCP, OGC) seperately? Will I need to submit three separate applications?
  3. Does the FTC provide assistance with relocation costs?
  4. After I submit my application, what can I expect?
  5. How do I get to the FTC's office?
  6. I have an application question that hasn't been answered here. Whom do I contact?

Working as an FTC Honors Paralegal

  1. What is a typical day of an FTC Honors Paralegal?
  2. How are Honors Paralegals managed?
  3. After their term appointment at the FTC, where do Honors Paralegals typically go next?
  4. Are there opportunities for travel?
  5. Are there opportunities for mentoring?
  6. What sort of job training can I expect?
  7. I have a question that hasn't been answered here. Whom do I contact?

Benefits Questions

  1. What is the salary of the position?
  2. What are the vacation and sick leave policies
  3. Are there health care options?
  4. Does the FTC offer a retirement account?
  5. I have a question that hasn't been answered here. Whom do I contact?

Applying to the FTC Paralegal Program

  1. How do I apply? What materials do I need to submit? 

    When positions are available, apply to the Honors Paralegal Program by completing an online application. Read the instructions carefully, and submit all forms that apply to you. For more detailed instructions, see our How to Apply page.

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  2. Do I apply to each bureau/office (BC, BCP, OGC) separately? Will I need to submit three separate applications? 

    No. When you complete the application, you will be considered for the open paralegal positions in the Bureau of Competition (BC)Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP), andOffice of the General Counsel (OGC) at once. You do not need to complete a separate application for each office.

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  3. Does the FTC provide assistance with relocation costs? 

    No.

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  4. After I submit my application, what can I expect?

    If we wish to contact you for an interview, we will do so directly. Once we make final hiring decisions, the Human Resources Specialist for the vacancy will notify you. Please note that we typically receive many applications in response to our vacancy postings and it can take several weeks and sometimes months to make final selections.

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  5. How do I get to the FTC’s office?

    Click here for directions to the FTC locations.

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  6. I have an application question that hasn’t been answered here. Whom do I contact?

    Please contact the member of our Human Resources department listed on the vacancy announcement at USAJOBS.

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Working as an FTC Paralegal

  1. What is a typical day for an FTC Honors Paralegal?

    Honors Paralegals manage a workload that consists of both short- and long-term projects. These projects include a wide variety of tasks to support the work of the agency, including analyzing records for substantive or confidential information, drafting memorandums for senior staff, communicating with outside parties, or preparing court documents. Additionally, Honors Paralegals may help in preparing for conferences covering a broad range of issues including emerging technologies and the development of certain industries. The FTC also holds lectures that discuss a variety of antitrust and consumer protection issues. Honors Paralegals often help in the organization of and are encouraged to attend such events.

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  2. How are Honors Paralegals supervised?

    There are three paralegal supervisors, one for the Bureau of Competition, one for Bureau of Consumer Protection, and one for Office of the General Counsel. Attorneys or investigators in each bureau or office request assistance through the appropriate paralegal supervisor. The supervisor reviews workloads and determines the appropriate tasks assigned to each paralegal. If a paralegal is interested in a particular topic, supervisors will work to give him or her a particular assignment when possible. Most Honors Paralegals juggle both long- and short-term assignments at any given time. Good communication between attorneys, Honors Paralegals, and the paralegal supervisors helps to ensure a rewarding experience.

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  3. After their term appointment at the FTC, where do Honors Paralegals typically go next?

    FTC Honors Paralegals are a diverse group with a wide variety of interests. Some will continue on to law school after their time at the FTC; others may continue working or pursue a different field. Aside from law, Honors Paralegals have also gone on to pursue degrees in public policy, business, journalism, or other graduate programs. The program is well-suited to those who want to go to law school as well as those who do not. Because of the variety of assignments, Honors Paralegals perform work that is directly law related as well as tasks that are more policy oriented. Term employees who wish to continue working for the government in other positions may apply for those positions.

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  4. Are there opportunities for travel?

    Usually, Honors Paralegals do not travel. However, occasionally a case or project will require a paralegal to travel for a trial or other activities.

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  5. Are there opportunities for mentoring?

    Each Bureau or Office has experienced/senior Honors Paralegals (generally one with at least a year of FTC experience) who assume informal mentoring roles. These paralegal mentors serve as resources for information about working at the FTC, paralegal duties, and transitioning to life in Washington, D.C. Finally, the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection have formal mentoring programs that are open to paralegals. In addition, the Honors Paralegals work closely with attorneys and investigators who share institutional knowledge and expertise, and allow Honors Paralegals to broaden their skills, knowledge, and perspectives so that they are better prepared for future career opportunities and challenges.

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  6. What sort of job training can I expect?

    A series of formal training sessions are held throughout the year for Honors Paralegals. However, because Honors Paralegals perform a wide variety of assignments, not everything can be covered during training. Honors Paralegals will also learn a great deal on the job from senior paralegals and other agency staff.

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  7. I have a question that hasn’t been answered here. Whom do I contact?

    Please contact the member of our Human Resources department listed on the vacancy announcement at USAJOBS.

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Benefits Questions

  1. What is the salary of the position?

    The starting salary for a term appointed GS-7 Paralegal is $42,209 in 2010. This salary is adjusted each year according to the government’s pay scale. For a complete list of salaries for the D.C. area, click here.

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  2. What are the vacation and sick leave policies?

    During their first 3 years with the government, Federal employees earn 13 days of vacation leave as well as 13 days of sick leave. In addition, Federal employees get a number of paid holidays each year.For more information on annual and sick leave policies, click here.

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  3. Are there healthcare options?

    Yes. Federal term employees are eligible for benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Federal employees, retirees, and their survivors enjoy a wide selection of health plans.For more information on different healthcare plans, click here.

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  4. Does the FTC offer a retirement account?

    Comparable to a private-sector tax-deferred 401(k) plan, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is an important benefit designed to help you save for your future. FTC employees can contribute as much as 15% of basic pay each pay period, up to the IRS annual limit. 1. Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions: When you become eligible, your agency automatically deposits into your TSP account an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay each pay period, even if you do not contribute your own money. After 3 years of Federal civilian service (or 2 years in some cases), you are vested in these contributions and their earnings. 2. Agency Matching Contributions: When you become eligible, your agency will match the first 3% of basic pay you contribute each pay period dollar for dollar. Each dollar of the next 2% of basic pay will be matched 50 cents on the dollar. You are immediately vested in the matching contributions. For more information on the TSP and your investment options, click here.

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  5. I have a question that hasn’t been answered here. Whom do I contact?

    Please contact the member of our Human Resources department listed on the vacancy announcement at USAJOBS.

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