Writing an outstanding position description is a fundamental component of hiring the best candidate to work for your organization. Hiring managers should not have to spend countless hours sifting through hundreds of resumes from unqualified applicants or those who didn’t understand the job qualifications. With a well-written job description, you can weed out those candidates who are not truly interested in working for your business or aren’t qualified for the position. If you take time to write a thorough and accurate position description before the resumes start rolling in, you will save time by eliminating sorting through piles of unqualified applicants later. To help you write a clear job description, we have included a Legal Assistant job description sample below.
Legal Assistant Job summary
As a legal assistant, you will be tasked with a variety of duties to support lawyers, including drafting documents, conducting legal research, and maintaining and organizing files. You will also help lawyers prepare for corporate meetings, trails, and hearings. You will use innovative technology including computer software for organizing and managing the data and documents collected throughout a case. You also be responsible for using electronic database management for electronic discovery related to a trial, such as websites, accounting databases, documents, data, and emails.
Legal Assistant Job Responsibilities and Duties:
- Investigate case facts to ensure the consideration of all relevant information
- Identify appropriate materials, legal articles, judicial decisions, and laws for assigned cases
- Organize, analyze, and compile information
- Collect and record exhibits
- Develop written statements
- Draft legal arguments for lawsuits
- Prepare motions and pleadings for filing in court
- Secure affidavits
- Support attorneys in trials
- Track and organize files from case documents to facilitate access and availability to attorneys
- Draft separation agreements, mortgages, and contracts
- Plan estates and establish trust funds
- Manage other law office staff and delegate responsibilities
- Maintain financial records, track hours, and bill clients
- Search legal records collected in computer databases
Legal Assistant Skills and Qualifications
- High school diploma or GED
- Legal Assistant diploma or certification
- 1+ year experience
- Familiarity with laws, legal procedures and protocols, and the court system
- Working knowledge of case management software
- Computer literacy and satisfactory knowledge of daily operations of a legal office
Grant Angel Logan, LLP is a leading trial and transactions law firm. We are known for our core strengths in middle market mergers and acquisitions within the financial services and real estate industries. Our team is recognized as one of the top law firms in the nation. Our values of excellence, leadership, and community, in addition to our commitment to your career, enable us to secure a high standard of excellence. Grant Angel Logan is a leader in educating employers about the laws of equal opportunity and recognizes the significance of creating a workforce that reflects the various communities we serve.
Writing a Job Description Best Practices
- While the above is a superb Legal Assistant job description sample, there are instances where you may not be able to find an example to follow. For those cases, we have listed some fundamental best practices and dos and don’ts to ensure that you get the posting correct the first time, and save yourself the hassle of weeding out unqualified candidates one at a time.
- Do accurately and clearly list the title and describe the role in a few sentences.
- Do write your job description to interest candidates and motivate them to apply.
- Don’t list artificial qualifications or requirements for the job.
- Do describe the advantages of working for your business, including the environment, history, and culture.
- Do ensure clarity of the employment terms, including hourly or salaried, permanent or temporary, and part-time vs. full-time.
- Do utilize precise action verbs, such as advise, reconcile, or facilitate, instead of vague action verbs.
- Don’t include statements pertaining to martial status, religion, gender, or age.
- Do mention the amount of travel required, the location, whether a partial telecommute is allowed, and whether or not compensation will be offered for relocation.
- Do include specific instructions for submitting an application.
The Legal Assistant job description sample above is a great example of what a position description should look like to attract and keep the best performers for your organization. A good investment now in the time it takes to create a clear posting will translate into a valuable return later when you locate fresh, new stars for your team.
Legal Assistant Job Responsibilities
A well-written and thorough job responsibilities section is a critical component of your legal assistant job description. By painting a picture of what jobseekers can expect to experience day to day or even week by week, you can attract stronger, more qualified candidates who have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the position.
Following a few simple best practices can help maximize the impact and usefulness of this section. To effectively convey the expectations and duties required in the role, it is best to keep this section as succinct but comprehensive as possible. A long laundry list of wordy expectations may be overwhelming and deter promising candidates, while an incomplete or unclear responsibilities section might entice unqualified jobseekers to apply, resulting in wasted time and energy on both ends.
To ensure readability, structure this portion of your legal assistant job description with bullet points, and try to include between six and eight outcome-based entries. It is also helpful to start each line with a powerful verb in the present tense.
Refer to the list below for a few examples of high-quality sample legal assistant job responsibilities:
- Support case development by preparing and filing requests, updating attorneys, scheduling depositions, preparing and delivering summonses, transcribing dictation and drafting complaints
- Communicate professionally with necessary case contacts, including court staff and witnesses
- Provide administrative support by organizing calendars and appointments, receiving and routing mail, indexing files and inputting data
- Collaborate with attorney to organize evidence and design exhibits
Legal Assistant Job Specifications
The responsibilities section may be the most substantial part of your legal assistant job description, but the job qualifications and skills section, though shorter, is just as important. This section draws attention to the attributes a candidate needs to perform well in the position. Because of the confidential and serious nature of the work many legal assistants handle, finding candidates who are properly trained, certified and experienced is essential. A detailed skills and qualities section helps narrow down the field and draw in only the most qualified applicants.
Before writing this section, it is helpful to sit down with your team and write a comprehensive list of the experience, education, skills and other qualities you think are necessary or beneficial for a potential employee in this position to possess. Next, comb through the original list, separating the required qualities from those that are just helpful. This process can help enhance the overall clarity and effectiveness of your legal assistant job description. Use the sample list below for inspiration in developing your own legal assistant job specifications for the skills and experience section:
- Associate of Paralegal Studies or related degree
- At least 2 years of relevant experience
- Strong commitment to maintaining all confidentiality policies regarding sensitive or personal information
- Demonstrated typing speed above 65 WPM
- Superior attention to detail and organizational skills
- Excellent proofreading skills, with exceptional command of English grammar, punctuation and spelling