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Legal Assistant

Employment Status: Full-Time 

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Experience Required: Three (3) years directly related experience

Minimum Education Requirements: a certificate or degree in paralegal studies or Associates Degree in related field or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.

Department: Legal

Direct Supervisor: County Attorney

Supervisory Responsibility: Direct (0); Indirect (0)

Primary Work Location: Works inside in an office setting.

Certification:. Must possess a valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

 

Job Summary:  The purpose of this job is to assist the County Attorney in all aspects of office management, paralegal duties, preparation of legal documents, including confidential legal materials (including, but not limited to, preparation for arbitrations, mediations, employment hearings, code enforcement case preparation, court cases and other matters facilitated by County Attorney). To serve as Records Custodian for all request made pursuant to the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). To establish and maintain efficient, pleasant, and effective working relationships with other employees, various agencies, and the public who come in contact with the County Attorney’s office.

 

 

Essential Job Functions

                                                                                                                                      

An employee in this position may be called upon to do any or all of the following essential duties:

 

1.            Conducts legal research; provides complex clerical and advanced secretarial support for the County Attorney, transcribes, files, organized office processes and functions; manages department calendar, serves as receptionist, schedules appointments; composes letters and documents; orders materials and supplies, may provide secretarial assistance to other executives and offices of the county, ie., County Manager or HR Director, processing reports and maintaining activities database.

2.            Plans organizes and coordinates various administrative functions for the county’s administrative offices; may organize administrative support to manage workload demands; drafts, proofreads, edits and disseminates documents and correspondence; prepares and distributes materials, documents and copies; manage, organizes and schedules meetings, teleconferences, etc.; sets up communications equipment as needed; may collect, collate and distribute incoming mail; tracks travel reimbursements; produces presentation materials.

3.            Provides legal research and composes routine correspondence involving pertinent laws; prepares exhibits and assists attorneys in the preparation of facts and law in such form as can be used for litigation.   Prepares and drafts, files and indexes a variety of civil and criminal legal documents and pleadings such as information, summons, subpoenas, resolutions, zone changes, ordinances, policies, agreements, grants, deeds, courts pleadings, motions, orders, briefs, warrants, complaints, depositions, commitments, contracts, affidavits, letters, easements, and memorandums, shorthand notes or written drafts; may compose such documents as directed; assures timely filing with appropriate court.

4.            Performs general contract administration; prepares and processes contracts and agreements; gathers information independently from various departments to effectuate and generate comprehensive and complete legal documents; responds to discovery requests by completing forms and documents; assigns contract numbers and tracks original documents; may monitor contract status and disposition; assists to assure proper publication of county ordinances and resolutions.

5.            Performs routines research under special direction from the County Attorney; searches case material, legal opinions, and other formal documents; prepares subpoenas, collects case information from individuals and officers; processes requests for certified driving records and affidavits.

6.            Researches property codes, warranty deeds and ownership as necessary and relevant for cases where the County is involved.

7.            Prepares and maintains calendar for reference by attorney and other personnel; Sheriff’s Office and Attorneys to obtain pertinent information; schedules court dates and times; calendars meetings, conferences, seminars, trials, preliminary hearings, etc. with deputies.

8.            Prepares case folder for trial by completing the required documents such as information’s, summons, subpoenas, pre-trial reports, etc.; files pleadings with court; maintains a file of all pertinent material related to individual cases, documents and information; monitors court dates; monitors case progress until final disposition, notifies court of any conflicts with defendant, deputies or legal counsel.

9.            Compiles court files; maintains legal filing system; maintains records of briefs filed by the department; receives and processes claim documents filed against the County.  Coordinates and gathers relevant information for County insurance provider and/or outside counsel on any notices of action against the County.  Tracks claims against the County.

10.          Other duties as assigned.

 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s) for Position

An employee in this class must have the following knowledge, skills, and abilities upon application:

 

Knowledge

  • State of New Mexico statues and applicable Federal rules and regulations.
  • All fields of government law.
  • Legal research methods, techniques, sources, databases and other research tools.
  • Legal case management procedures and techniques.
  • Budgets, grant requirements, and financial reporting.
  • Relevant civil and criminal law.
  • Magistrate and district court proceedings.
  • Electronic filing and local rules for the 12th Judicial Court.
  • Legal ethics.
  • Principles of business letter writing.
  • Thorough understanding of the County’s functions, policies, and procedures.

 

Skills

  • Strong written and oral communications and relational skills.
  • Public relations and customer service. 
  • Follow and relay complex oral and written instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Researching and identifying precedence in case law.
  • Operate a variety of office equipment, including computer terminal, related software programs, printer, calculator, fax, and copier.

 

Abilities

  • Reviewing and assessing legal issues and documents.
  • Planning and implementing policies and procedures.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with elected officials, County staff and the general public.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Maintain mental capacity which allows for effective interaction and communication with others.

 

Physical Demands

The following physical abilities are required: 

  1. The work is light work which requires exerting up 25 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds of force to move objects.
  2. While performing the duties of the job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.  
  3. The employee frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. 
  4. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. 
  5. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

 

Work Environment

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

 

Safety Requirements

The employee is expected to follow all safety procedures as required.

 

**This position description is a general guideline for work behavior and is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all job duties.  Therefore, it is also not, nor can it be implied to be, a contract of employment.   The contents of this position description may be changed without notice, and employment may be terminated by either party, at will.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential tasks. 

 

How to Apply:

Application - Complete the application and return to:
 
                         Otero County Administration Office
                         1101 New York Ave 
                         Alamogordo, NM 88310.

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