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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1408

Class Designation: Civil Service

June 1997

Representation Unit: Torrance City Employees Assoc.

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Legal Secretary

 
Definition
Under general supervision, performs a broad range of legal secretarial duties in the Office of the City Attorney; and performs related work as required.

Reporting Relationships

The Legal Secretary receives general supervision from Law Office Administrator*, Assistant City Attorney or the City Attorney. The Legal Secretary may receive functional supervision from a Deputy City Attorney.

Examples of Job Duties

  • Prepares a broad range of legal documents, memoranda, City Council items, ordinances, resolutions, pleadings, briefs and transactional documents from dictation or rough drafts;
  • Checks and corrects legal citations to ensure accuracy and format.
  • Maintains a chronology, calendar and docket of litigation cases including appearance dates, deposition dates, and other related matters.
  • Provides general information to the public and responds to inquiries from City officials, staff and employees of other agencies on matters such as status of cases, scheduling of depositions, coordination of witnesses, etc.
  • Learns and stays current with court rules, legal procedures, office equipment and software in general use in the legal community.
  • Transcribes dictation.
  • Composes routine correspondence for signature.
  • Reviews and distributes mail.
  • Maintains the City Attorney's law library by updating materials, documents and references as needed and maintains a current database of all information.
  • Prepares litigation reports for the City Council.
  • Acts as a liaison between outside counsel and City employees.
  • Minimum Qualifications Guidelines

    Knowledge of:
  • Rules for formatting, preparation, filing and service of legal documents;
  • Legal terminology and legal citation formats;
  • Applicable state and federal legal procedures including court rules, court proceedings and deadlines;
  • Office practices and procedures including business correspondence, filing, and standard office equipment operation;
  • Proper use of business English and grammar and accurate spelling;
  • Computer software used in a law office.
  • Ability to:
  • Perform a range of legal secretarial work involving independent judgment and requiring accuracy and speed in typing and transcription;
  • Exercise judgment and discretion, and respond courteously and tactfully in a wide range of situations;
  • Handle multiple tasks and shift priorities to meet deadlines as needed;
  • Understand and carry out complex oral and written instructions;
  • Operate a personal computer utilizing software commonly used in a law office;
  • Type neatly and accurately from rough drafts, reports, and dictating equipment;
  • Read and understand legal documents;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of City employees;
  • Develop and maintain accurate recordkeeping systems.
  • Education/Training/Experience

    High school graduation or equivalent. A minimum of one year of recent clerical experience in a legal setting or completion of a legal secretarial program that required a minimum of one year of study. A combination of experience and education that is equivalent to either the experience or education requirements indicated above may be substituted.

    Special Requirements

    Knowledge of general municipal or governmental legal office practices and procedures and posession of a certified legal secretary certificate are desirable.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to the classification of Senior Legal Secretary (when established by the City Attorney's Office).

    * Working Title for Assistant to the City Attorney