CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 011
Established: 08/97
Reactivated and Revised: 11/11
FLSA: Non-exempt
EEO: 5

PARALEGAL

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general supervision, to perform legal case development, coordination and closure activities; to provide technical research and complex analysis and assistance to Deputy District Attorneys and other legal staff in preparing for court proceedings; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The District Attorney's Office prosecutes crimes committed in Clackamas County and provides legal and support services to ensure expedient criminal prosecutions, child support enforcement and assistance to crime victims.

The Paralegal performs various caseload processing and management activities to support Deputy District Attorneys allowing them to focus on case negotiation and trial preparation. Incumbents summarize cases, investigate facts and draft complex legal documents for review, approval and use by attorneys.

The Paralegal differs from the Legal Secretary which performs secretarial and office functions to process cases and legal documents, but performs no legal analysis and research on cases. It also differs from the Legal Assistant which participates as member of the County's legal team assisting attorneys by performing extensive, substantive research in municipal law.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Reviews intake of various cases from law enforcement agencies; examines police reports to determine legal sufficiency to prosecute case; identifies appropriate case processing procedures to be followed; prepares accusatory instruments utilizing the District Attorney's Office case management system to ensure essential elements are included; independently analyzes legal documents and prepares drafts and responses for attorney review; prepares case for presentation to grand jury.
  2. Constructs, organizes and maintains case files; organizes computerized information; locates, reviews and obtains documents and electronic evidence to be included in discovery such as police reports, search warrants and affidavits; provides for production and delivery of documents.
  3. Monitors case progress and deadlines; prepares routine and some non-routine correspondence; tracks issuance of subpoenas and re-issuance where cases are set over; coordinates and monitors trial process deadlines.
  4. Conducts technical research; prepares written and electronic analysis on electronic and technical evidence for attorney review; utilizes a wide variety of legal, computer and technical resource tools, resources and databases; identifies and recommends computer-assisted legal and technical research software resources; reviews legal periodicals and other materials relevant to particular areas of law.
  5. Assists in preparing cases for court proceedings; assembles and prepares trial notebooks; reviews, organizes and indexes documents and electronic information; prepares exhibits and exhibit lists; corresponds with other agencies/departments to order, download, transfer or otherwise obtain evidence; works with law enforcement agencies to ensure evidence is tracked and secure; scans documents or photos for digital use; stores, redacts, creates, sends and duplicates electronic evidence, including digital audio and/or video files for attorney use, discovery purposes and/or trial; manages document flow; prepares and organizes exhibits; drafts jury instructions; attends and assists at trial and sentencing hearings as necessary.
  6. Prepares and drafts court orders, motions, subpoenas and legal documents; drafts orders from attorney work sheets or notes; proofreads orders for correctness; prepares charging documents for arraignment; drafts routine motions such as return of property, postpone trial and disqualify judge; drafts answers to motions to compel discovery, change of venue, setting aside indictment, suppression, new trial, release pending new trial/appeal and other issues; prepares legal arguments for attorney use in filing briefs and responses.
  7. Works with in-state and out-of-state law enforcement agencies to track fugitive information and/or outstanding warrants; coordinates all IAD, fugitive, detainer and extradition paperwork between attorneys and staff; develops and maintains tracking mechanisms for all pending fugitive/detainer processes.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Working knowledge of: Legal principles, concepts, systems, processes and terminology; methodology, concepts and principles of legal research and investigation; English composition, grammar, spelling and punctuation; preparation of legal instruments, and digital and electronic evidence/exhibits; interpersonal communication skills and customer service techniques.

Basic knowledge of: Legal time constraints and deadlines; criminal law and associated terminology; methods and procedures of discovery and trial; legal ethics.

Skill to: Identify, evaluate and extract pertinent information from a wide variety of documents and computerized sources; research statutes and legal references, and summarize research results into appropriate legal documents and memoranda; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; prepare legal documents complying with District Attorney's Office standards and court/legal requirements; organize and prioritize work to meet timelines; establish and maintain effective working relationships with attorneys, law enforcement personnel, clients, victims, witnesses, court officials and other agency personnel, other County staff and the public.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Specialized education and training in legal arts commonly found in a paralegal/legal assistant certificate or degree program OR any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.