Legal Assistant IV

Career Purpose

Oversees the administrative operations of the department; supervises support staff and provides support to attorneys. Performs a variety of complex tasks including keeping official records; providing support to attorneys by researching law, investigating facts, preparing pleadings and other legal documents; and assisting in the administration of the standard operating policies and procedures of the legal department.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF POSITION:

  • Performs the duties of office manager by assisting with overseeing the operations of the City Attorney’s office.
  • Supervises junior legal assistants to achieve goals within available resources; when necessary reviews workloads and assignments based on priorities established by the City Attorney; trains, motivates and evaluates performance of assigned support staff; reviews progress and directs changes as needed insuring compliance with established policies and procedures.
  • Responsible for preparation of the annual departmental budget for review by the city attorney and oversees departmental purchasing and payment of bills and statements received for services rendered.  Maintains and monitors account balances.
  • Monitors disposition of ordinances and resolutions.
  • Performs and conducts complex legal research as requested by the city attorney and staff attorneys.
  • Assists the attorneys in internal investigation of highly sensitive issues.
  • Drafts confidential and specialized correspondence, legal pleadings and other documents for review by an assigned attorney.
  • Manages cases by developing procedures and forms; establishing and controlling files; maintaining liaison with support services and clients, opposing law firms, and courts; monitoring staffing requirements; organizing documents and expediting paper flow; keeping document master files; maintaining calendar and schedules; overseeing deadlines; monitoring progress; and generating status reports, logs and indexes.
  • As assigned by supervising attorneys may attend meetings of the City Council, boards, trusts, commissions, and authorities to assist assigned attorneys in presentations to members of the public bodies. 
  • As assigned by supervising attorneys may attend trials, hearings, depositions, judicial proceedings and other quasi-judicial proceedings to assist the assigned attorneys in presentations of the case.
  • Communicates official plans, policies and procedures to assigned staff.
  • Acts as a mentor to the junior legal assistants by providing training needed to reach higher-level positions and professionally develops the legal department staff.
  • Maintains harmony among junior legal assistants and resolves grievances.
  • Performs or assists subordinates in performing duties; resolves errors and complaints.
  • Serves as custodian for the law library.
  • Establishes and oversees the departmental filing system.
  • Manages preparation, completion and submission of time sheets.
  • Maintains departmental copies of personnel files.
  • Manages inventories of city equipment and office supplies.
  • Coordinates mandatory safety training for departmental employees in accordance with city policies.
  • Receives, reviews, annotates, and indexes depositions for ease of use by the attorney during hearings and trials.
  • Coordinates efforts between departments involved in law suits; arranges for necessary witnesses to be available for trial.
  • Files documents with the appropriate courts and agencies and obtains the signature of judges on certain pleadings when permitted and authorized by the assigned judge.
  • Assists the attorneys in trial preparation.
  • Assists the attorneys in scheduling pre-trial discovery dates, conferences and preparation for depositions.
  • Performs administrative work by typing, maintaining files, and scheduling appointments for assigned attorneys.
  • Responds to inquiries from employees, citizens and others and refers, when necessary to appropriate staff or other persons.
  • Drafts council agenda items, resolutions, ordinances and other types of documents and correspondence; may transcribe from recorded material.
  • Drafts notices and legal pleadings for filing in federal and state courts, various bankruptcy courts and Supreme Court for review by attorneys.
  • Drafts reports, charts or tables from general specifications; researches and assembles a variety of data from office records for incorporation into various reports.
  • Maintains attorney-client privileges and safeguards confidential information, data and materials.
  • Demonstrates mastery of skills sufficient to handle complex matters within individual authority using discretion and initiative.
  • Operates various office machines.
  • Composes, types and edits a variety of correspondence, reports, memoranda, and other material requiring judgment as to content, accuracy, and completeness.
  • Registers employees for conferences and training sessions; makes travel arrangements and itineraries.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

POSITION STANDARDS:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Knowledge of investigative techniques.
  • Knowledge of municipal corporations and functions.
  • Knowledge of courtroom procedures and trial techniques.
  • Working knowledge of computers and electronic data processing equipment; working knowledge of modern office practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of accounting principles and practices.
  • Skill in the operation of the following tools and equipment: Personal computer including word processing, database and spreadsheet; copy machine; fax machine; 10-key calculator. 
  • Skill in typing with speed and accuracy.
  • Familiarity with Westlaw and other legal research software.
  • Skill in applying knowledge of legal office practices and procedures, to include knowledge of court rules, regulations, procedures and policies.
  • Ability to accurately record and maintain records.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, supervisors, other departments, officials and the public.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to analyze complex problems and implement an effective course of action.
  • Ability to prepare effective oral and written presentations.
  • Ability to delegate tasks with the proper instructions to ensure completion of all projects in a timely manner.
  • Ability to study, analyze and systematically compile technical and statistical information.
  • Ability to supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to perform complex legal research by manual or electronic means.
  • Ability to transcribe from recorded material.
  • Ability to effectively meet and deal with the public.
  • Ability to handle stressful situations.
  • Ability to make mathematical calculations and tabulations rapidly and accurately
  • Ability to write legibly.
  • Ability to understand and follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to work independently.

Experience and Training Guidelines

            Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge would be:

 Experience:

  • Five years previous experience in legal research, drafting legal pleadings and other documents, and litigation support. Prior supervisory experience preferred.

 Training:

  • Equivalent to undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in pre-law, public administration, human relations, business administration, communications or closely related field.
  • Type at 50 WPM or greater preferred.

 License or Certification:

  • Nationally recognized certification as a paralegal or legal assistant or certification of completion from a course of study as a legal assistant or paralegal approved by either the American Bar Association or Oklahoma Bar Association.
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, appointment as a Notary Public.

ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THE POSITION:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Frequent hand-eye coordination is necessary to operate various pieces of office equipment, often requiring repetitive hand-arm coordination and movements
  • Frequently use manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer keyboard.
  • Frequently sits, remaining in the normal seated position.
  • Frequently talk and listen, express or exchange ideas and perceive the nature of sounds by the ear.
  • Frequently required to stand or walk.
  • Frequently see details at a distance, up close and peripherally, including using depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus, use close vision and color vision.
  • Occasionally lift or carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds.
  • Occasionally work with arms above shoulder level.
  • Occasionally bend and stoop repeatedly or continually over time.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND WORKING CONDITIONS:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Work is performed mostly in an office setting. 
  • The noise level in the work environment is normally quiet, with some outbursts. 
  • Occasional travel within the city limits will be required. 
  • Some travel outside the City of Lawton may be required.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS:

  • The personal contacts are typically with elected officials, employees of different departments, external governmental agencies and with the general public. 
  • The purpose of the contacts is to answer questions requiring explanation or limited interpretation of standard procedures. 
  • May involve some hostility. 
  • An advanced level of interpersonal skills is necessary to develop cooperative working relationships with employees, senior management, elected, and judicial officials.

SUPERVISION:

The employee provides first line administrative supervision for junior legal assistants assigned to the Legal Department; interviews prospective employees and recommends selections.

The employee is supervised by the City Attorney and assigned staff attorneys who make assignments by defining objectives, priorities and deadlines and assist the employee with unusual situations which do not have clear precedents.  The employee exercises considerable independent judgment in accordance with established policies.  The employee plans and carries out successive steps and resolves problems and deviations in accordance with instructions, policies and accepted practice.  Work is reviewed for technical conformance and consistency with practice and policy.

NOTICE:

The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.  The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The City of Lawton affords equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability status or genetic information. Persons selected for employment into any position must pass a drug test. Some positions may require passing an alcohol test. Previous employment and any additional experience will be subject to verification prior to employment processing. A driver’s license and driving record check will be conducted if driving is a job requirement. A post offer employment medical examination may be conducted prior to job placement.

Vacancy #
3118
Closing Date
Career Type
Full-time
Salary
$1,658.93 Bi-weekly
Hiring Organization
Legal Services

How To Apply ?

Option 1: Online - Adobe PDF

Note: You need to have Adobe Reader Installed on your device to submit the application online. Download or complete the attached application.

Option 2: By Mail

Return all completed application material to :

Human Resources Department
City Hall
212 SW 9th St
Lawton, OK 73501

Application material must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on the closing date (postmark alone is insufficient). The closing date is listed on the job announcement or the application material.

Option 3: In Person

The Human Resources Department is located on the 2nd Floor inside City Hall.

Human Resources Department
City Hall
212 SW 9th St
Lawton, OK 73501