Senior Paralegal - County Counsel, San Jose, California

Created 11/25/2021
Reference 479778
Job type Full Time
Country United States
State California
City San Jose
Zip 95110
Salary $80,901.60 - $97,945.12 Annually

Under general supervision, to perform a variety of complex and/or difficult paraprofessional legal duties in support of Attorneys in the Office of the County Counsel for a wide variety of legal practice areas. Incumbents assist in the preparation of civil or quasi-civil cases for trial or other legal proceedings, prepare legal documents and instruments, conduct interviews and meetings, perform legal research, and prepare written memoranda; all under the general supervision/direction and review of an attorney.

The County of Santa Clara Office of the County Counsel is one of the premier public law offices in the country and offers an interesting, varied, and dynamic practice. The Office is recruiting to fill several Senior Paralegal positions. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication abilities as well as proficiency with interpersonal, client and customer service, and organizational skills. The capability to work collaboratively with your colleagues and clients, and strong research and problem-solving abilities are valued. An eagerness to take on interesting challenges with a commitment to public service in a fast-paced, professional environment are all essential qualities for success in this job. Experience in a legal or government office is highly desirable.

Applicants may also be considered for Senior Paralegal positions that are designated as Confidential and receive five percent (5%) premium pay. Positions that are designated Confidential support the County Counsel's Labor and Employment Team, whose attorneys are involved in contract negotiations with various employee bargaining units, personnel and union grievances, employee discipline, arbitrations, and other personnel matters involving union members. Confidential employees are not represented by SEIU Local 521.

Applications cannot be submitted without attaching a writing sample. The writing sample must include your name as the author.

Typical Tasks

The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  • Establishes procedures for organizing and processing work;

  • May provide training to County agency personnel regarding impacts of new legislation, court decisions, or other legal changes;

  • May have responsibility for highly specialized and complex assignments requiring a high level of independence, including the organization of documents used in civil litigation or other legal proceedings, including discovery, motions, trials, and appeals, or in the preparation of contracts, agreements, ordinances, resolutions, policies and procedures, etc.;

  • May perform complex legal research in which issues are not readily defined and a substantial amount of research is required from a variety of references;

  • May prepare and assist County Counsel attorneys called to provide information at court or administrative hearings;

  • May provide direction and coaching to Paralegals, paralegal interns, trainees, or other staff;

  • Collects, compiles, and prepares documents responsive to subpoenas and requests under the California Public Records Act (CPRA);

  • Drafts and prepares a variety of legal documents, correspondence, and reports that are complex and may require a significant amount of original writing;

  • Collects, organizes, and summarizes a wide variety of documents, information, materials, reports, and evidence;

  • Interviews clients, witnesses, and others;

  • Drafts subpoenas, written discovery, and pleadings using templates;

  • Researches, compiles, studies, evaluates, and summarizes laws, court decisions, and other legal authorities for use in the preparation of cases, appeals, opinions, motions, pleadings, petitions, interrogatories, briefs, declarations, judgments, laws, ordinances, resolutions, regulations, policies, and other legal actions and documents;

  • Performs basic legal research under the direction of an attorney; identifies issues relevant to the subject;

  • Analyzes and evaluates information and documentation; prepares and communicates responses to such information, as directed;

  • Assists attorneys in preparing pleadings and motions; checks legal citations; and drafts declarations and other related documents;

  • Organizes, indexes, and/or summarizes motion/trial binders, evidence, and research results, including reviewing opinions, testimony, and other documents or reports relevant to the matter; and prepares exhibits as directed;

  • Logs and tracks cases to ensure that timelines are met;

  • Arranges for the presence of witnesses for deposition, trial, or other legal proceedings; assists attorneys with preparing witnesses for testimony; and reviews and summarizes witness statements and depositions;

  • Files legal documents with court or other adjudicative bodies, and delivers materials regarding ongoing cases;

  • May assist attorneys in court and administrative hearings by taking notes, distributing materials, and coordinating witnesses;

  • Assists in the tracking and responding to persons who have filed claims against the County;

  • Uses standard office machines (computer, printer, scanner, etc.) and business software (Microsoft Office suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) and/or specialized equipment, applications, or procedures, as needed;

  • Works within a legal office case management and billing system;

  • Maintains confidentiality consistent with ethical obligations, attorney-client privilege, and attorney work product protections;

  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as required;

  • Performs other related duties as required.

Employment Standards

Sufficient education, training, and experience to demonstrate the possession and direct application of the following knowledge and abilities:

Training and Experience Note: The required knowledge and abilities attained through possession of one of the following, per Government Code 6450(c):

(1) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA);

(2) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program at, or a degree from, a postsecondary institution that requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in law-related courses and that has been accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization or approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education;

(3) A baccalaureate degree or advanced degree in any subject, and one (1) year of law-related, attorney-supervised* experience; with a written declaration from that attorney* stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks;

(4) A high school diploma or GED, and three (3) years of law-related, attorney-supervised* experience; with a written declaration from that attorney* stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks. This experience and training shall be completed no later than December 31, 2003 per Government Code 6450(c).


One (1) year of experience as a paralegal.

*The supervising and declaring attorney must be an active member of the State Bar of California for at least the preceding three (3) years, or have practiced in the federal courts of California for at least the preceding three (3) years.

Special Requirement

MCLE Post Employment Standards per Government Code 6450(d) - Paralegals/Senior Paralegals are required to certify completion of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credits every two (2) years. These credits consist of four (4) hours of general law or a specialized area of law, and four (4) hours of legal ethics.

Knowledge of:

  • Methods and techniques of legal research and available legal resource material, discovery, and fact investigation;

  • General office practices, procedures, and equipment used;

  • Principles of legal writing, formatting, and use of correct legal forms or documents;

  • Legal terminology;

  • Federal, State, or appellate court rules and procedures and/or administrative or regulatory agency rules and procedures;

  • County organization and departments, programs, policies, and services for obtaining information, materials, records, and documentation; ability to use the knowledge when dealing with other public and private agencies, firms, etc.;

  • Interviewing to obtain information from witnesses and other persons;

  • Ethics of law practice;

  • Civil and/or administrative law processes and judicial structure.

Ability to:

  • Prepare complex legal papers that may require a significant amount of original writing;

  • Perform advanced legal research and writing using on-line legal research programs and printed materials to summarize and present information in a clear and concise manner;

  • Logically and accurately read, understand, analyze, and interpret applicable statutes, court decisions, ordinances, court rules, codes, laws, policies, procedures, and other legal documents;

  • Draft, review, proofread, and edit reports, pleadings, motions, briefs, discovery, contracts, policies and procedures, correspondence, case files, memoranda, records, etc.;

  • Gather, prepare, analyze, and organize all types of documents, materials, and evidence;

  • Operate various office equipment, including computer hardware and software;

  • Utilize computerized case management, document management, e-discovery, and billing systems;

  • Work independently to organize work, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, follow up on assignments; and effectively re-prioritize assignments as necessary;

  • Maintain confidentiality consistent with ethical obligations, attorney-client privilege, and attorney work product protections;

  • Work cooperatively with a variety of groups and individuals while establishing and maintaining effective professional interpersonal working relationships with all levels of employees, elected and appointed officials, management, colleagues, attorneys, and the public;

  • Identify and assess issues of factual and legal significance;

  • Understand and follow written or oral instructions;

  • Communicate clearly, logically, and effectively, both orally and in writing;

  • Coach and train other staff.

Closing Date/Time: 12/13/2021 11:59 PM Pacific

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