Legal Secretary Santa Rosa, CA

Under general direction, performs a wide variety of responsible legal support services for the staff of a law office to include legal research, drafting legal documents, litigation support, computer legal processing, department-client and public contact; assists in training Legal Secretaries I and II; may act as office manager for a small branch law office; performs related duties as required

North Bay -14

Distinguishing Characteristics. This class is characterized by the responsibility to perform legal research and/or support attorneys in assignments requiring an advanced working knowledge of the law and legal procedure in the office of assignment. This class is distinguished from that of Legal Secretary II in that the Legal Secretary II is used primarily for the provision of legal secretarial support. Incumbents will generally receive assignments involving the preparation of legal documents and routine legal research including searching government codes for pertinent information.

Typical Duties

Provides secretarial support to the department head and/or other attorneys.

Conducts research for and prepares drafts of, legal documents and memoranda for attorney review and approval; analyzes statutes, court decisions and other legal authorities; researches necessary facts and background information from other departments, other agencies and the public.

Under the direction of an attorney, prepares drafts of various legal documents, including but not limited to, opinions, ordinances, resolutions, leases, contracts, contract amendments and pleadings for attorney review and approval; prepares documents and performs tasks necessary for pretrial preparation; organizes and maintains files and materials.

May prepare reports, operate legal research computer system, maintain law library used by staff; maintain files of opinions and memoranda written by staff.

Under the supervision of an attorney may review contracts for compliance with statutes, court decisions and other legal authorities; assists attorneys in the less complicated and technical research.

Assists in training subordinate clerical staff in orientation and the application of departmental rules, regulations, policies and procedures.

May coordinate, assign and review the work of subordinate clerical staff.

May assist in maintaining the Code of local agency conflict of interest codes; may assist attorneys in other legal matters.

May provide computer backup and routine computer administrative duties.

May perform office management duties in a branch law office.

May review and implement new work methods and procedures and assist in the development of procedures and training manuals.

May provide computer backup and routine computer administrative duties.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Considerable knowledge of: the legal documents and their use; filing procedures and legal terminology; the principles and practices of the law pertaining to their office of assignment.

Working knowledge of: methods of legal and factual research; discovery techniques, drafting of legal memoranda, government functions and legal responsibility; use of legal research computer system and word processor; legal office practices and procedures.

Ability to: conduct legal research; draft legal instruments, resolutions memoranda, pleadings and contracts; communicate effectively both orally and in writing; follow written and verbal instructions; develop and maintain effective working relationships with attorneys, support staff and the public; coordinate document processing; arrange support services for attorneys; identify and resolve problems; handle a large and varied assignment to meet fixed or fluctuating deadlines and to achieve work objectives.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: Education or course work which directly relates to the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally these courses would include paralegal, legal secretarial, legal documents, legal office practices, legal procedure or other law related courses.

Successful completion of the courses required for a certificate of completion as a paralegal from an accredited program or college is desirable.

Experience: Any combination of training and experience which would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally three years experience preparing a variety of legal documents in a public or private law office would provide such opportunity.

Extensive experience using Westlaw and the Shared Legal Resource System is desirable for some assignments.

Special Requirement: Ability to type accurately at the rate of 65 words per minute.

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