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Administrative Law Judges

 

Overview

By statute, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has a non-delegable duty to administer the Administrative Law Judge examination, through which agencies make competitive service appointments of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ). The Administrative Law Judge Program Office (ALJPO) was established to carry out the agency’s responsibility for planning, operating and directing the recruitment, examination and employment of ALJs. ALJPO also provides approval of agency requests for ALJ personnel actions and the utilization of ALJs. Specifically, the office acts on requests for all ALJ non-competitive actions; requests for inter-agency details and assignments to non-ALJ duties; requests for increases in pay based on superior qualifications; classification issues; and administration of the ALJ priority referral program.

The ALJPO also is responsible for administering the ALJ Loan Program and the Senior ALJ Program. The ALJ Program is nationwide in scope and has a very high degree of sensitivity and importance to the Government and to the public.

Notices

Note

The ALJ Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA) is currently closed to the receipt of applications except as required by 5 CFR 332.311. OPM will open the ALJ JOA on an as needed basis. When this occurs, it will be posted on OPM's USAJOBS website.

Applicants that filed an ALJ application between March 29 - 31, 2016 —  If you filed an application under Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA), ALJ2016-847661, this is to inform you that the geographic location of Islip, NY was added to the ALJ JOA after your application submission. You are being given the opportunity to add this location to your application. Should you choose to do so, please send your request to aljapplication@opm.gov by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 08, 2016. Responses received after this date cannot be accepted. (Posted April 5, 2016)


Applicants on Current ALJ Register May Update Resumes and Documents without Retaking ALJ Examination —  The current Administrative Law Judge Examination, job opportunity announcement (JOA), ALJ2016-847661, is being announced under the same identification number (847661) as the 2013 announcement. If you applied to the 2013 announcement and wish to submit updated resumes or documents, you may do so without reapplying to the 2016 announcement. Should you choose to do so, complete the steps below, by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 08, 2016. Responses received after this date cannot be accepted.

To submit updated resumes or documents without reapplying to take the examination under ALJ announcement ALJ2016-847661:

  • Go to www.usajobs.gov and log-in to your account.
  • Click on Application Status (This will display the announcements for which you have applied.)
  • Find previous announcement, “ALJ2013-847661”, and click on “More Information” link ( This will take you to Application Manager for the 2013 ALJ announcement).
  • Add new documents using the “Add Documents” button on the Application Package Status screen.
  • Click “Upload Documents” and select the file you wish to upload. 
  • Click “Upload”.

Note:

Do not click submit unless you wish to re-apply, submit a new application and retake the examination.

(Posted April 5, 2016)


Opportunity for Applicants on the Current ALJ Register to Update their Geographic Preference — If you are currently on the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) register, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is giving you the option to change your selected geographical location(s) during the 2016 Job Opportunity Announcement open period (March 29, 2016 – April 8, 2016), without re-taking the examination. New locations have been added. If you wish to change your geographic selection(s), you must submit your request via email to aljapplication@opm.gov with “2016 GEO CHANGE REQUEST” in the subject line. Additional information regarding this opportunity is described in the 2016 ALJ JOA while it is posted on OPM’s website at: www.usajobs.gov. If OPM does not receive your request by April 8, 2016 (11:59 pm EDT) you will have no other opportunity to update or change your geographic preferences until the next time an ALJ announcement opens. (Posted 3/29/2016)


Spring Reschedule Admission Notices — As of March 10, 2016, new Admission Notices have been sent to applicants whose requests have been approved to be rescheduled for the Written Demonstration, Logic-Based Measurement Test and/or Structured Interviews from October – December 2015.  If you fall within this category and have not received your WD/LBMT Admission Notice, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov. (Posted 3/23/16)


Geographic Update Survey, Notice of Results — As of March 10, 2016, Notices of Results (NORs) have been sent to applicants on the current ALJ register indicating the geographic locations that they selected on Geographic Update Survey.  If you 1) are an applicant on the ALJ register, 2) responded to the survey indicating your revised geographic preferences from Dec. 9, 2015 – Jan 6, 2016, and 3) have not received your Geographic Update Survey NOR, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov. (Posted Mar 3/23/16)


ALJ Examination Notice of Results — As of March 11, 2016, Notices of Results (NORs) and related information have been sent to applicants who completed the Written Demonstration, Logic-Based Measurement Test (WD/LBMT) and Structured Interviews (SIs) that were conducted from October – December 2015.  NORs have also been sent to applicants who did not participate in their self-scheduled WD/LBMT and SI sessions during this timeframe and also did not request to be rescheduled for the WD/LBMT and SI components.    If you fall within these categories and have not received such notification, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov.  (Posted 3/23/16)


OPM Will Open 2016 Administrative Law Judge Examination —  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced it will open the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Examination to interested applicants in the near future by posting a job opportunity announcement on USAJOBS. Please check the USAJOBS website regularly as application forms and filing instructions are not available in advance but will be included in the ALJ announcement when it is posted.

By applying for the ALJ examination, applicants are essentially applying to be placed on a register (i.e., a list of eligibles), not for a specific job at a specific agency.  In order to be placed on the register, an applicant must meet the qualification requirements, successfully complete all components of the ALJ examination and receive a final numerical rating. (Posted 3/8/16)


Opportunity for Applicants to Update their Geographic Preferences and Continuing Interest — The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is giving certain ALJ applicants the opportunity to update their geographic availability and to indicate if they are still interested in appointment consideration as an ALJ. Such applicants must meet one of the following conditions: 1) your name appears on the current Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) register of candidates available for appointment consideration as an ALJ, 2) while on the register you have temporarily suspended your ALJ application for appointment consideration until further notice, 3) while on the register the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has temporarily suspended your ALJ application as described in the ALJ Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA), ALJ2013-847661, 4) during the period of August 31 – September 11, 2015, you self-scheduled your Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test session of the ALJ examination on-line, and 5) you participated in the Online Component Assessment in November/December 2015.

If you meet one of the above conditions, you have already been sent the survey: "Opportunity for Applicants to Update their Geographic Preferences and Continuing Interest." If you have not received this survey, you must send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov, by no later than December 23, 2015, and confirm your email address. This will serve as your new email address of record for all future notifications. If OPM does not receive your inquiry by December 23, 2015 or if you receive the survey and do not respond by the deadline date specified in the survey, you will have no other opportunity to update or change your geographic preferences until the next time an ALJ announcement opens. (Posted 12/18/15)


ALJ Examination Notice of Results — As of November 10, 2015, Notices of Results and related information has been sent to applicants who were scheduled for and/or completed the Written Demonstration, Logic Based Measurement Test and Structured Interviews from August – September 2015. If you fall within this category and have not received such notification, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov. (Posted Nov. 18, 2015)


Structured Interview Location Change — Beginning December 1, 2015, the Structured Interview component of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) examination will take place at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009. Applicants who self-scheduled their Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test (WD/LBMT) for Nov. 30, 2015 through Fall 2015 will be given their Structured Interview Admission Notices on the day of their WD/LBMT session. Note that through Nov. 20, 2015, the Structured Interviews will continue to be held at the Embassy Suites, 1250 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. (Posted 11/12/2015)


ALJ Licensure Requirement Reminder — Applicants who are participating in the ALJ examination (currently or in the future) must ensure that they satisfy the ALJ licensure requirements as described in the “QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED section of the ALJ Job Opportunity Announcement, ALJ2013-847661.  Failure to meet and maintain the licensure requirements will be the basis for deeming a candidate ineligible at any stage of the examination process or while on the ALJ Register. (Posted 10/21/15)


Status of the ALJ Examination — In the event of a Federal government shutdown, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Administrative Law Judge Program Office, remains on course for administering the ALJ examination as scheduled.  All applicants should plan on reporting to the assessment sites as instructed in their Admission Notices, unless otherwise instructed.


ALJ Examination Structured Interview  Applicants who have self-scheduled their Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test during the scheduling window will receive their Structured Interview Admission Notice containing your specific interview session time on the day of their Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test session. Therefore, applicants must keep the next day open (from 7:00 am – 4:30 pm) in order to participate in their scheduled Structured Interview session.  It is critical that applicants not leave the testing site until they receive the Structured Interview Admission Notice.  Travel plans should be made based on this two-day scheduling plan.  The Structured Interviews will take place at the Embassy Suites, Georgetown, 1250 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC, 20037.  


Inclement Weather — Applicants should check the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) current operating status prior to reporting to their scheduled Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test (WD/LBMT) and Structured Interview sessions regarding any closures or delayed openings by OPM. Should inclement weather cause a closing of Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area on the date of your scheduled test session(s), your WD/LBMT and/or SI will be cancelled and subsequently rescheduled. Once the new test schedules have been finalized, you will be sent new Admission Notices via email for the appropriate assessment component.


On-line Component (OC) Notifications Sent — Applicants and appropriate 10-point preference eligibles who were sent messages regarding participation in the OC open period (June 22–July 6, 2015) have been notified of the results of the OC assessment as of 8/14/15.


Proctored and In-Person Component Notifications Sent — Applicants who received a rating of IMSJ and whose scores on the Online Component have been determined to be within the range to move forward to the Proctored and In-Person Components (i.e., Written Demonstration (WD) and Logic-Based Measurement Test (LBMT), and the Structured Interview (SI)), have been notified of their new status as of 8/14/15.


Self-Scheduling Notifications Sent — Applicants who were notified on 8/14/15 that they were moving forward to the Proctored and In-Person Components (i.e., Written Demonstration (WD) and Logic-Based Measurement Test (LBMT), and the Structured Interview (SI)), of the ALJ examination were sent further details on 8/28/15 regarding the self-scheduling process. The self-scheduling window is open from 8/31/15 (12:01 am EDT) through 9/11/15 (11:59 pm EDT). After the 2-week scheduling window has closed on 9/11/15, applicants are not allowed to use the on-line link to reschedule their previous appointed session. Attempts to do so are deemed invalid and new sessions will not be honored. After 9/11/15, applicants may be rescheduled only once during the next quarterly examination administration anticipated to take place in Spring 2016. Such reschedule requests must be submitted in writing to aljapplication@opm.gov.


WD/LBMT Scheduling — As of August 13, 2015, applicants who completed the Online Component between June 22 – July 6, 2015 and were notified that they met the criteria to proceed to the next phase of assessments in the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) examination process, have been sent Admission Notices for the Written Demonstration/Logic Based Measurement Test and Structured Interview.


Appeals Results Notifications — As of August 14, 2015, appeals results notifications have been issued to all applicants who appealed their Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) examination rating for ALJ Job Opportunity Announcement ALJ2013-847661.


Online Component (OC) open period June 22 – July 6, 2015 — Applicants who were contacted on or about June 10, 2015 regarding participation in the OC of the ALJ examination and 10-point preference eligibles who applied in the previous quarter for the closed ALJ examination have been sent notices containing the OC open period (June 22-July 6, 2015) and additional related details. If you were contacted and have not received such notification, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov and include a copy of your June 10, 2015 message. If you did not receive the June 10, 2015 message with the subject line: "ALJ Online Component Time-Sensitive Link" then this message does not apply to you.

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10-Point Preference Eligibles

Pursuant to 5 CFR 332.311, “a 10-point preference eligible is entitled to file an application at any time for an examination for any position for which OPM maintains a register, for which a register is about to be established, or for which a nontemporary appointment was made in the preceding three years. For the purposes of this paragraph OPM shall hold an examination not later than the quarterly period succeeding that in which the application is filed.”

The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Program Office, administers the ALJ examination on a quarterly basis to 10-point preference eligibles who meet the regulatory requirement and apply for the closed ALJ examination.  

Additional information can be found in the OPM VetGuide.

If you are a 10-point preference eligible and interesting in applying for the closed ALJ examination, please submit a request to take the examination and provide the required proof of veterans' preference entitlement by email to aljapplication@opm.gov.

10-point preference eligibles should also review the Notices tab for any relevant information.

10-Point Preference Notices

Online Component (OC) open period June 22 – July 6, 2015 - Ten-point preference eligibles who submitted a complete ALJ application package the previous quarter for the closed ALJ examination and who have met the preliminary qualifications screening have been sent notices containing the OC open period (June 22-July 6, 2015) and additional related details.  If you have not received such notification, send an inquiry to aljapplication@opm.gov.

Fact Sheet

Announcement/Examination Status

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) re-opens the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) examination to the public on a periodic basis, as the need arises.  When OPM re-opens the ALJ announcement, a notice of the opening will be posted on OPM’s USAJOBS website.  In addition, you can find out about other important ALJ notices and information regarding the ALJ examination, including the release of various examination notices on the Notices tab.

After the ALJ examination is opened, applicants who successfully complete all elements of the ALJ examination and receive a final numerical rating have their names and ratings placed on the ALJ register. The ALJ register is used as the source of names to make referrals to agencies for employment consideration when they have entry level ALJ vacancies to fill. Names are referred in numerical score order, based on the duty location and number of the position(s) to be filled, and the geographical preferences of applicants.   It is the responsibility of the agencies to consider and make selections from the list of candidates referred for employment consideration from among the highest three available names, taking into consideration veterans’ preference rules regarding order of selection.  The hiring agency also determines whether it will notify applicants of non-selection.  If you are not selected, your name will remain active on the ALJ register for future employment consideration by the same or other agencies. 

It is OPM’s responsibility to ensure that the ALJ register maintains a sufficient number of qualified ALJ candidates to meet the projected hiring needs of agencies, including enabling agencies to have an adequate number of choices for each position to be filled.

Major Duties

ALJs conduct formal hearings involving cases where all interested parties are given advance notice of the hearing; an opportunity to submit facts, arguments, offers of settlement or proposals of adjustment; and an opportunity to be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel or other qualified representatives.  ALJs rule on preliminary motions, conduct pre-hearing conferences, issue subpoenas, control hearings (which may include written and/or oral testimony and cross-examination), review briefs, and prepare and issue initial or recommended decisions, along with written findings of fact and conclusions of law therein. Oral or documentary evidence may be received, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence is excluded. Decisions are issued upon consideration of the whole record, or those parts of it cited by a party and supported by and in accord with reliable, probative, and substantial evidence.

Qualification Requirements

The Qualification Standard for an ALJ position is provided on OPM’s website.  Applicants are encouraged to read this material prior to submitting an application to take the ALJ examination in order to be prepared.  In addition to meeting the experience and licensure requirements described in the OPM Qualification Standard, the ALJ examination requires the successful completion of a multi-part assessment to receive a final numerical rating.  Selected candidates are subject to a background investigation and a determination of suitability.

Crediting Military Experience

For applicants entitled to veterans' preference, time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States shall be considered as qualifying experience in either of the two following ways, depending upon which will be more beneficial to applicants:

  1. Such service may be considered on the basis of actual duties performed by the applicant as an attorney or military judge in the military services, or
  2. Such service may be considered as an extension of the employment in which the applicant was engaged immediately before entrance into the military service.  When military service is credited in this way, the applicant is considered to have continued performing the duties of the position he/she left.

For additional information, OPM has published on its website guidance on how to credit military experience.

Ten-Point Veterans: Applicants who are entitled to apply for a closed examination pursuant to 5 CFR 332.311, and are interested in applying for the ALJ examination must provide the required proof of veterans’ preference entitlement by email to aljapplication@opm.gov.  For more information on Filing Applications After Announcements Close, please visit the Feds Hire Vets website.  For general veterans’ preference information, please view the Vet Guide.

Resumes

All ALJ applicants must submit a resume during the open period of the ALJ examination for information purposes only.  The resume will be placed in your record but will not be evaluated in any manner by OPM.  In the event that your name is submitted to an agency on a certificate of eligibles, your resume, along with other appropriate materials, will be forwarded to the requesting agency for review.  While the resume will have no impact on your ALJ final rating, it will afford a potential selecting agency the opportunity to view your most recent experience, if it so desires. 

Reasonable Accommodations

OPM provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities, where appropriate.  Determinations on requests for accommodation(s) for 1) the submission of the online application and/or 2) the online assessment, and/or 3) the proctored and/or 4) the in-person components will be made on a case-by-case basis.  Accommodation requests related to the online application must be requested before the close of the ALJ Job Opportunity Announcement.  Accommodation requests for the online assessment and/or the proctored and in-person components must be requested and decided, before the applicant takes the assessment(s).  To request an accommodation(s), you must contact OPM for assistance by sending an email message to aljapplication@opm.gov when an ALJ examination is underway.

Counties & Cities

The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Job Opportunity Announcement contains geographic locations (i.e., specific city/state and/or county) from which applicants may select when submitting an ALJ application.  For those geographic locations in the ALJ announcement listed as counties, the tables shown below indicate all cities that are part of, or within the boundaries of, those counties.

ALJs by Agency

Federal Administrative Law Judges by agency and level (EHRI-SDM as of December 2015)
AGENCYAL-3AL-2AL-1Total Number
ALJs
on Board

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

0

0

0

0

Department of Agriculture

2

1

0

3

Department of Education

2

0

0

2

Department of Health and Human Services/Departmental Appeals Board

5

0

0

5

Department of Health and Human Services/Food and Drug Administration

2

0

0

2

Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals

73

6

1

80

Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard

5

1

0

6

Department of Housing and Urban Development

2

0

0

2

Department of the Interior

8

1

0

9

Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration

2

0

0

2

Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review

2

0

0

2

Department of Labor

33

7

1

41

Department of Transportation/Office of the Secretary

2

1

0

3

Environmental Protection Agency

3

1

0

4

Federal Communications Commission

1

0

0

1

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

11

1

0

12

Federal Labor Relations Authority

2

1

0

3

Federal Maritime Commission

2

0

0

2

Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

14

0

1

15

Federal Trade Commission

1

0

0

1

International Trade Commission

6

0

0

6

Merit Systems Protection Board

0

0

0

0

National Labor Relations Board

32

4

1

37

National Transportation Safety Board

4

0

0

4

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

11

1

0

12

Office of Financial Institution Adjudication

2

0

0

2

Securities and Exchange Commission

4

1

0

5

Small Business Administration

0

0

0

0

Social Security Administration

1,516

13

0

1,529

United States Postal Service

1

0

0

1

TOTAL

1,748

39

4

1,791

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Contact Us

Note that inquiries related to the ALJ examination, register and application process must be sent to the ALJ email address at aljapplication@opm.gov.  This ensures that there is a record of all correspondence and that ALJ inquiries are dealt with consistently.  To ensure fairness among interested individuals, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) generally does not respond to telephone calls, email inquiries, or other forms of communications unless sent to the designated ALJ email address indicated above.

Control Panel