Paralegal Job Board

Loyola University Chicago Institute for Paralegal Studies

Operations Specialist

Northern District of Illinois

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is currently accepting applications for up to six Operations Specialists for the entry level (grade 24) with potential growth to the target grade (grade 26). This is an entry level position, with potential to advance within the Clerk’s Office. All positions are in the Clerk of Court office in Chicago, IL, and report directly to the Operations Supervisors. At the entry level (CL-24) the Operations Specialist performs a range of duties including receiving payments, assignment of cases, and mail screening. Once trained in the entry level, an Operations Specialist could advance to learn docketing of case filings and auditing of those files to ensure that they follow the Court’s requirements. Once fully trained on docketing and auditing, the Operations Specialist can apply to learn to substitute as a courtroom deputy, support judges by attending court proceedings, recording pertinent results for minutes, and managing case documents. The progression through the grades is at the candidate’s pace based on their initiative and ability to master the skills required to advance. Every grade level requires that you can successfully complete all the tasks in the lower grade level(s) and at least one year at the next lowest grade that you were hired into/promoted to. This position offers excellent opportunity for advancement, career growth and work life balance.



At the CL-24 Level
• Receives payments from customers in the form of cash/checks for bonds, fines, and fees, and daily balancing of monies collected, deposits funds collected pursuant to the Court’s Policy and Procedures.
• Reconciles and deposits money received by the Court. Complies with Internal Controls.
• Works in mailroom picking up, sorting, delivering and metering mail.
• Verifies that attorneys are admitted to practice before the court, provides files or copies of documents upon request.
• Assigns new civil and criminal cases.
• Processes requests for certified copies, assigns case numbers and judges, indictments, prisoner correspondence, responds to attorney certificate requests, scans documents to be placed on the record, and dockets documents on the record.
At the CL-25 Level
• Prepares and issues to appropriate parties such items as summons/writs, notices, judgments and orders; makes summary entries of pleadings, petitions, motions, complaints, minute orders, and proceedings on the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) docket.
• Answering inquiries about the status of cases; assisting the public by answering case related inquiries and providing electronic filing assistance in a customer friendly manner.
• Places documents received correctly on the record and audits documents placed by others (attorneys, court staff) on the record to ensure they conform with all court guidelines and requirements. Assuring all filings and motions conform to federal and local rules of practice; filing documents; scanning documents, opening cases upon receipt of initiating documents, such as complaints, indictments, or petitions.
• Closing cases upon receipt of terminating documents, such as judgments and closing orders.
• Auditing electronic filings and providing feedback to customers; auditing internal documents and ensuring necessary follow-up; and assigning judges to cases.
• Processes sealed materials and sealed access as required.
At the CL-26 Level
• Assists with the orderly flow of proceedings including, but not limited to, setting up the courtroom, assuring presence of all necessary participants, managing exhibits and taking notes of proceedings, rulings, and preparing minute entries.
• On a limited and specified basis, maintains the control of cases assigned to the judge.
• Maintains record of the cases assigned to the judge as they are filed and examines all papers filed in an action assigned to the judge to determine whether they conform to the rules of practice.
• Periodically calendars and regulates the movement of cases by fixing (or by resetting when necessary) dates and times for hearings on motions, pretrial hearings and trials, notifying counsel accordingly, and follows the cases through until conclusion.
• Periodically performs courtroom functions required by a judicial officer.
• Confers with attorneys, acting as liaison between the judge and counsel.
• Acts as a source of information to attorneys on the special procedures of the judge, answers procedural questions, and assists with compliance. Maintains contact with attorneys regarding the status of cases.
• Processes criminal and civil legal documents, both sealed and unsealed, and makes summary entries of pleadings, petitions, motions, complaints, orders, and proceedings on the docket.
• Audits documents deemed critical to the Court mission.
At All Levels
• Performs other duties as assigned.


The candidate must have strong customer service skills to succeed in this position. A successful candidate must have the ability to provide clear and detailed oral and written instructions, strong organizational skills, the ability to prioritize work, good knowledge of proper grammar usage, and the ability to edit efficiently. A general knowledge and understanding of the rules and procedures of courtroom operations, legal terminology, and how other processes of the Clerk’s Office relates to the work is desired but not required. The candidate must have the ability to pay attention to detail, as it is an essential skill in the position. The ability to successfully use automated computer systems, such Word, Outlook, CM/ECF, PACER, and other data entry systems are required. Candidates must have one year of experience at the next lower classification level. A candidate with a college degree is preferred and can substitute for some experience (See educational substitution below). A paralegal degree and/or paralegal experience is also a preference for the position.
The successful candidate must be able to display professional and positive demeanor and appearance appropriate for a court environment (business/office wear-professional). The selected candidate will be subject to an FBI fingerprint check as a condition of employment and may be subject to periodic updates.
Compensation and classification level will be set based on the work experience, qualifications, and salary history of the successful candidate. To qualify at a CL 23, applicants must be a high school graduate or equivalent and have two years of general experience. To qualify at a CL 24, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to work at the CL 23. To qualify at a CL 25, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to work at the CL 24. To qualify at a CL 26, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to work at CL 25.
Specialized experience is:
Progressively responsible clerical or administrative experience requiring the regular and recurring application of clerical procedures that demonstrate the ability to apply a body of rules, regulations, directives, or laws and involve the routine use of specialized terminology and automated software and equipment for word processing, data entry or report generation. Such experience is commonly encountered in law firms, legal counsel offices, banking and credit firms, educational institutions, social service organizations, insurance companies, real estate and title offices, and corporate headquarters or human resources/payroll operations.
Educational Substitution:
Education above the high school level may be substituted for required general experience as follows: one academic year (30 semester or 45 quarter hours) equals one year of general experience. Education may not be substituted for specialized experience because operational court support positions require hands-on experience to be credited as specialized experience.



The United States District Court offers a generous benefits package to full-time, permanent employees, which includes:
• 11 Paid Federal Holidays
• 13 Days Paid Vacation (per year for the first three years)
• 20 Days Paid Vacation (after three years)
• 26 Days Paid Vacation (after fifteen years)
• 13 Days Paid Sick Leave
• Paid Parental Leave
• Medical, Dental, Vision Coverage
• Life Insurance
• Thrift Savings Plan with matching funds (401k & Roth 401k style)
• Participation in Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS-FRAE)
• Health, Dependent, & Parking Reimbursement Programs
• Public Transit Subsidy Program
• Long-Term Care Insurance
• Employee Assistance Program, which provides free counseling, financial assistance, and basic legal services to all eligible employees
• Access to an Infant Care and Toddler Care Center (onsite and near the building), and a Fitness Center (onsite) at a subsidized rate
• A Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is available to certain full-time employees with qualifying student loans.
• The Federal Financial Management Reform Act requires direct deposit of federal wages
Further details regarding Federal benefits may be viewed at: ILND Benefits



Consideration will only be given to those who apply through the court’s online applicant tracking system and provide a cover letter, resume, and two professional references by May 19, 2023. To view openings and to apply, visit our applicant tracking system at: ILND Jobs
Due to the volume of applications received, the Court will only communicate with those applicants who will be interviewed. Applicants selected for interviews will be communicated to only through email and must travel at their own expense and relocation expenses will not be reimbursed. Applicants will be screened to determine their experience and qualifications.
All new employees must be fully vaccinated (i.e., at least 2 weeks after last dose) for COVID-19 and, prior to the starting with the Clerk’s Office, present proof of vaccination or submit a request in writing for an exemption to this requirement on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition.
Prior to appointment, the finalist candidate will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background investigation. The Court requires employees to adhere to a Code of Conduct which is available upon request. Direct deposit is required for payment of compensation for employees. Employees of the District Court, Northern District of Illinois are excepted service appointments. Employees are considered at-will and are not covered by federal civil service classifications or regulations. The United States District Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Diversity is important to the Judiciary. It is an essential component of services that the Judiciary is charged with providing to maintain justice, equality, fairness, respect, and dignity in society. To fulfill its duties, the Judiciary must include all members of society—not just regardless, but also inclusive of race, gender, disability, and the many other variables that make up the citizens of our nation. The Judiciary has a duty to promote a fair, just, and sustainable model of inclusive democracy and social justice that surpasses any governmental entity in the history of this nation or of any other nation.
To be eligible for employment, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
(1) U.S. citizen;
(2) Person who owes allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands);
(3) Person admitted as a refugee or granted asylum who has filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
(4) Lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card holder) who is seeking citizenship. A lawful permanent resident “seeking citizenship”:
(a) May not apply for citizenship until he or she has been a permanent resident for at least five years (three years if seeking naturalization as a spouse of a citizen);
(b) Must apply for citizenship within six months of becoming eligible; and
(c) Must complete the process within two years of applying (unless there is a delay caused by the processors of the application).
The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, or to withdraw the announcement, any of which may occur without prior written or other notice.



The Northern District of Illinois is home to the five largest cities in Illinois: Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, and Naperville. Also known as “The Windy City,” Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S. with over 2.7 million inhabitants and nearly 10 million people living in the Chicago metropolitan area. With Lake Michigan as its eastern border, Chicago covers more than 237 square miles.
Chicago is home to numerous museums and cultural institutions including Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. A center of art and culture, Chicago has over 200 theaters, nearly 200 art galleries, and more than 7,300 restaurants.
Known for its magnificent skyline, Chicago is home to buildings designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects including Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe, who designed the Dirksen Courthouse.
Major Chicago universities include University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University, University of Illinois Chicago, DePaul University and Illinois Institute of Technology. Professional Chicago sports teams include the Bulls (NBA), Sky (WNBA), Bears (NFL), Cubs (MLB), White Sox (MLB), Fire (MLS), Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), and Red Stars (NWSL). Chicago is a major world finance center. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are within blocks of the Courthouse. The Northern District of Illinois is home to three international airports including O’Hare International Airport, among the busiest airports in the world.

To apply for this job please visit