Paralegal - Confidential
Paralegal - Confidential (Los Banos Location)
Under general supervision, performs paraprofessional legal support work including research, interviewing clients, preparing standard documents, assisting in case preparation and other technical assistance on matters before the court.
This is an entry and journey level paraprofessional classification that provides a varied range of technical legal assistance engaged in administrative, civil, family or criminal law. This position works closely with the Self Help Center attorney, judicial officers, private attorneys, county agencies, court staff and self-represented litigants and is fully competent to perform a wide range of complex support work for the Court. Although this is not a supervisory classification, an incumbent may direct the work or training of others in legal/Court procedures and techniques.
The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned.
- Develops legal tools and processes and obtains support for enactment of the same in order to promote efficient case management.
- Explains legal procedure and process to self-represented litigants one-on-one and in group/workshop situations, on a variety of topics appropriate to the Self-Help Center.
- Reviews court files to determine the status of cases; identifies correct court forms for use by self-represented litigants in preparation for hearings.
- Assists supervising attorney in reviewing changes in legislation and case law; examines, reviews and analyzes local rules and forms for compliance with procedural of statutes, codes, rules and policies; conducts basic legal research, including locating statutes and relevant case citations; prepares reports, memoranda and performs special studies.
- Assists supervising attorney with communication and collaboration of court services and other local resources; compiling and maintaining division statistical information; evaluating and analyzing division procedures and protocols; preparing and maintaining division procedural processes and manual; developing and conducting community outreach and educational programs.
- Under direction, may mentor, train and/or act as lead in the absence of the supervising attorney; works directly with court administrators.
- Reviews, researches and assists with information that must remain confidential regarding sensitive matters including employee relations and bargaining information and complaints against the Court from the public, as directed by Administration.
- Collects and records fees, makes appropriate case entries; issues receipts and balances cash drawers. Performs basic financial and statistical record keeping.
- Provides assistance to other employees and divisions as needed.
- May serve as legal adviser to the court judicial officers, staff, or judicial committees on specific difficult and complex matters before the court.
- Other duties as assigned.
As directed, per Division needs, including overtime.
- A certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association
- Three (3) years of legal clerical experience researching and drafting a variety of legal documents, preferably supplemented by course work in legal office practices and business law
- Directly related experience in a court setting may be substituted on a year for year basis as deemed appropriate by the Court Executive Officer
- Preferably, one year of journey level paralegal experience
Necessary Employment Standards
- Legal research techniques and standard legal reference materials.
- Principles, practices, methods, and materials of legal research and analysis
- Legal office terminology, processes, procedures, and the format for legal documents.
- Techniques of interviewing, often when relations may be strained.
- Record keeping, report preparation and filing methods.
- Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.
- Business arithmetic, including percentages and decimals.
- Office administrative practices and procedures, including filing, business letter writing and the operation of common office equipment.
- Familiarity with California statutes, codes, court processes and rules of court, and principles of civil, criminal, constitutional, and administrative law.
Skills and Ability To:
- Perform basic legal research from varied sources.
- Interview individuals of various socioeconomic backgrounds in difficult situations.
- Prepare a variety of legal documents.
- Use initiative and sound independent judgment within established guidelines.
- Organize and maintain accurate records and files.
- Organize work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and follow up on assignments.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
- Work independently as well as closely with others.
- Paralegal certificate.
- A valid Class C California driver's license may be required. The requirement will be reviewed on a position basis in accordance with ADA regulations.
ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL & MENTAL DEMANDS
Data Utilization: Requires the ability to review, classify, categorize, prioritize, and/or analyze data. Includes exercising discretion in determining data classification, and in referencing such analysis to established standards for the purpose of recognizing actual or probable interactive effects and relationships.
Human Interaction: Requires the ability to apply principles of persuasion and/or influence over others in coordinating activities of a project, program, or designated area of responsibility.
Equipment, Machinery, Tools, and Materials Utilization: Requires the ability to operate, maneuver, and/or control the actions of equipment, machinery, tools, and/or materials used in performing essential functions.
Verbal Aptitude: Requires the ability to utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, and/or advisory data, and information.
Mathematical Aptitude: Requires the ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; the ability to calculate decimals and percentages; the ability to utilize principles of fractions; and the ability to interpret graphs.
Functional Reasoning: Requires the ability to apply principles of influence systems, such as motivation, incentive, and leadership, and to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to resolve problems.
Situational Reasoning: Requires the ability to exercise judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory, judgmental, or subjective criteria, as opposed to that which is clearly measurable or verifiable.
- Strength, dexterity, coordination, and vision to use a keyboard, computer monitor, and other office equipment on a daily basis and for extended periods of time
- Fine finger manipulations, dexterity, and coordination to handle files and single pieces of paper
- Forceful and repetitive gripping, grasping, and pinching
- Occasional lifting and carrying of objects weighing up to 20 lbs.
- Frequent reaching for items on shelves, above, at, and below desk/shoulder level
- Exert up to 20 lbs. of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 lbs. of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move, torque, twist, push, and pull objects
- Frequently sit for extended periods; frequently stand for extended periods; and frequently walk, move, bend, stoop, lift, and stretch
- Able to move to different locations such as, but not limited to: courtrooms, clerk's office, various departments, other court facilities, and desk assignments based on the operational needs of the Court
- Able to traverse inside and outside over uneven ground and pavement
- Perform repetitive writing, typing, copying
- Employees are regularly required to verbally communicate both in person and by telephone
- Corrected hearing and vision to normal range
Sensory Requirements: Some tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate colors or shades of colors, sounds, and visual cues or signals. Some tasks require the ability to communicate orally.
Environmental Factors: Essential functions are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.