Legal Affairs Specialist 1

Written Test To Be Held
December 05, 2009
Applications Must Be Submitted or Postmarked By
November 02, 2009


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Salary Salary Grade Fee
25-296 Legal Affairs Specialist 1 $39,587 G-14 $35
25-297 Legal Affairs Specialist 1 (Spanish Language) $39,587 G-14

Appointees who work in the five boroughs of New York City or in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, or Westchester Counties will receive an additional $3,026 annual downstate adjustment. Appointees who work in Dutchess, Orange, or Putnam Counties will receive an additional $1,513 annual mid-Hudson adjustment.

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Minimum Qualifications

On or before December 5, 2009, you must have had four years of professional or paraprofessional experience providing services to individuals in need of and/or eligible for social service programs or implementing/administering programs regulated by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and/or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. One year of the qualifying experience stated above must be directly involved in the Administrative Hearing process in one or more of the following areas:

  1. representing an agency at administrative hearings;
  2. preparing summaries or presenting issues and evidence on behalf of the agency;
  3. directly administering the hearing process.

Substitution: Regionally accredited college or university semester credit hours may be substituted for up to two years of the general experience required at the rate of 30 semester credit hours to substitute for one year of general experience. One year of the qualifying experience stated above must be directly involved in the Administrative Hearing process in one or more of the areas listed in the minimum qualifications above.


  1. Appropriate part-time and volunteer experience, which can be verified, will be accepted on a prorated basis.
  2. New York State residence is not required.
  3. General information regarding the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Fair Hearing Process may be obtained at by clicking on Administrative Hearings or the Office of Children and Family Services' (OCFS) Hearing Process by contacting the OCFS Bureau of Special Hearings at (518) 474 6022. The New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) dealing with Fair Hearings (18NYCRR) may also be helpful and may be found in the reference section of a public, college, or law library.
  4. Your degree or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the NYS Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. If your degree or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to the Examination Information Desk of the NYS Department of Civil Service for a list of acceptable companies who provide this service. You must pay the required evaluation fee. If you are applying on the Internet, you must mail the independent verification of equivalency to the NYS Department of Civil Service, Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, Albany, New York 12239. Attention: S1JFG.
  5. If you pass the examination for No. 25-297 Legal Affairs Specialist 1 (Spanish Language), you will be required to demonstrate your Spanish language proficiency at a level that will ensure your ability to perform properly the duties of the position. Only enough candidates to fill current vacancies will be called to the proficiency test.
  6. If you are qualified for No. 25-297 Legal Affairs Specialist 1 (Spanish Language), you should file for both examinations, as there is only one application processing fee.

The Positions

Legal Affairs Specialist 1 positions exist in the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Office of Children and Family Services. There currently are eight vacant positions in Albany and one vacant position in New York City. Legal Affairs Specialist 1 (Spanish Language) positions exist in the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in Albany and Brooklyn. Currently there are no vacant positions.

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As a Legal Affairs Specialist 1 or Legal Affairs Specialist 1 (Spanish Language), you would perform a wide variety of duties associated with the fair hearing process within the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Administrative Hearings, or with the Bureau of Special Hearings of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. These duties may also include responding to telephone calls, written and walk-in requests, complaints, and inquiries from clients; assisting clerical support staff with related assignments; and preparing statistical reports.

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Subject of Examination

There will be a written test which you must pass in order to be considered for appointment. The written test is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

  1. Interviewing - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in obtaining information from individuals through structured conversations. These questions require you to apply the principles, practices, and techniques of effective interviewing to hypothetical interviewing situations. Included are questions that present a problem arising from an interviewing situation, and you must choose the most appropriate course of action to take.
  2. Preparing written material - These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.
  3. Understanding and interpreting tabular material - These questions test your ability to understand, analyze, and use the internal logic of data presented in tabular form. You may be asked to perform tasks such as completing tables, drawing conclusions from them, analyzing data trends or interrelationships, and revising or combining data sets. The concepts of rate, ratio, and proportion are tested. Mathematical operations are simple, and computation speed is not a major factor in the test.
  4. Understanding written material based upon Social Services law - These questions test for an ability to read, interpret and understand various provisions of the Social Services Law. The candidate will be provided with a reading selection based upon or extracted from a passage of legal text. The candidate must read the selection and then answer one or more questions based upon it. All factual information needed to answer these questions is provided in the reading selection. No prior knowledge of the material is needed to answer these questions correctly.

Your final score must be 70 or higher in order to pass. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime veterans' and Civil Service Law Section 85-a credits to your final passing score.

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How To Apply

This announcement is for viewing purposes only.

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment, compensation and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or arrest and/or criminal conviction record unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Appointment to many positions in State government require candidates to undergo an investigative screening. This may include a thorough character investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Record History Check, a Child Abuse Registry clearance, or other similar procedures. Candidates may be fingerprinted and may be required to pay any necessary fees for that procedure. Depending on the nature of the job, the criminal convictions discovered, or any falsified or omitted information revealed, the investigative findings may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

Eligibility for Employment

You must be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of appointment and throughout your employment with New York State. If appointed, you must produce documents that establish your identity and eligibility to work in the United States, as required by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Religious Accommodation

Most written tests are held on Saturdays. If you cannot take the test on the announced test date, due to a conflict with a religious observance or practice, check the box under “Religious Accommodation.” We will make arrangements for you to take the test on a different date (usually the following day).

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

In addition, it is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to enjoy equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their applications. Further information is available from the Special Arrangements Unit of the Department of Civil Service at 518-457-2487 [press 2, then press 2] in the Albany area, toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 2], or via TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) at 518-457-8480.

Admission to Examination

Notice to appear for the test may be conditional as review of applications may not be made until after the test. If you have not received your notice to appear for the written test three days before the date of the test, call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1].

Multiple Examinations Scheduled for the Same Day

With the exception of written tests announced by New York City, if you have applied to take a written test announced by a local jurisdiction (county, town, city) scheduled to be held on the same test date as this written test, you must call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1], no later than two weeks before the test date, to make arrangements for taking all tests at one test site. All tests will be held at the state examination center.

Cell Phones or Electronic/Communication Devices at the Test Site

Do not bring cell phones, beepers, headphones, or any electronic or other communication devices to the test site. The use of such devices at the test site in the test room, hallways, restrooms, building, grounds, or other areas could result in your disqualification.

S1/TC1 JFG-tmc
Issued: 9/18/09

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.

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