CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 013
Established: 12/00
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 5

LEGAL ASSISTANT

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under direction, to provide complex legal research, analysis and assistance to County Counsel and other legal staff; to perform legal case development, including gathering background information; to prepare clients and witnesses for court appearances; to draft pleadings, letters, ordinances, contracts, memorandum and other documents; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Office of County Counsel provides legal representation and advice to the Board of County Commissioners, County departments, elected officials and other authorities in relation to their official duties.

The Legal Assistant performs caseload management and processing. Incumbents conduct legal research, summarize cases, investigate facts, and prepare complex legal documents in support of the staff attorneys. The Legal Assistant is required to have an extensive knowledge of municipal law and be able to respond to questions from the public, county employees, management, other agencies, and other legal staff.

The Legal Assistant differs from the Legal Secretary which is responsible for performing legal office support work for the District Attorney, Juvenile Court or County Counsel office.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Participates as member of the County's legal team assisting attorneys by performing extensive, substantive research in municipal law including labor law, constitutional law, land use and ordinance enforcement, contracts, real property, litigation, and ordinances; drafts contracts, ordinances, subpoenas, letters, and memos for attorney review.
  2. Organizes and maintains case files; locates, reviews, and obtains documents; updates files with new information and documents; organize, maintain, and index case files and documents; coordinates and monitors case progress or trial process deadlines; prepares status reports and calendars; tracks issuance of subpoenas.
  3. Assists in preparing cases for trial, land use hearings, employment and administrative hearings; reviews cases for sufficiency of documentation; identifies key legal issues of case; prepares and organizes exhibits; locates, schedules, subpoenas, interviews and prepares witnesses or experts for hearings and trials; prepares legal correspondence, court orders, motions, answers, and other legal documents; attends trials as resource for attorney.
  4. Attends meetings with attorney with County divisions such as Risk Management, litigation staff, planning staff, and various public meetings to keep records for future reference, development of documents, ordinances, or cases; attends depositions to record information for cases.
  5. Responds to telephone inquiries providing information about cases or procedures; communicates with citizens, other agencies, county departments, and attorneys; researches and after coordinating with a staff attorney explains legal concepts to County residents.
  6. Provides backup to administrative staff answering phones, taking messages, drafting and revising documents, and providing appropriate information to callers.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Working knowledge of: Municipal and civil legal principles, concepts, systems, terminology; municipal law issues such as public meetings, public records, ordinances, contracts, and elections; methodology, concepts, and practices of legal research; techniques of negotiation, interviewing and investigative practices; hearing process, procedures, and evidentiary rules; practices and techniques of team work; English composition, grammar, spelling, and punctuation; and computerized record keeping systems.

Skill to: Identify, evaluate and extract pertinent information from a wide variety of documents and sources including computerized; research statutes and legal references, and summarize research results into appropriate legal documents, ordinances, contracts, and memoranda; participate in team decision making; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; prepare legal documents complying with office standards and legal requirements; organize and prioritize work to meeting timelines; train legal support staff; efficiently utilize computers and software to produce documents and conduct research; establish and maintain effective working relationships with attorneys, county staff, witnesses, court officials, other agency personnel, and the public.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

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

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

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.