Occ. Code 2522210
LEGAL ASSISTANT 1, GRADE 14
LEGAL ASSISTANT 2, GRADE 17
New York State Department of Civil Service
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CLASS SERIES
In close association with an attorney or attorneys, Legal Assistants perform a variety of paralegal activities that require formal education and experience. Incumbents compile and organize files and documentation; prepare and assist in the preparation of legal documents and forms; catalog information; update databases or spreadsheets; and prepare correspondence and subpoenas.
When classified in agencies other than the Office of the Attorney General, Legal Assistants are typically assigned to Counsel's Offices.
The preponderance of duties performed by Legal Assistants is legal work, rather than office management or clerical activities.
LEGAL ASSISTANT 1: performance level; as directed by an attorney or Legal Assistant 2, performs routine paralegal work, including legal research in areas where precedent may be expected; may perform limited analysis of the research obtained; limited program or case involvement.
LEGAL ASSISTANT 2: advanced performance level; independently performs the most complex paralegal work, including legal research in areas where clear precedent may not be found; analyzes information gathered with minimal direction from attorneys; assignments are varied and require extensive involvement in the program area or cases.
Law Department Document Specialists type legal documents for attorneys, in the appropriate format, under the supervision of an attorney or higher level clerical staff. They also perform duties similar to those of an Office Assistant 2.
Collection and Civil Prosecution Specialists attempt to collect payment of debts and perform related paralegal work, such as monitoring files in which legal process has been served, drafting papers for review by attorneys, performing occasional legal research, closing files, and monitoring enforcement of judgment.
Attorneys perform professional legal work in a variety of settings for State agencies.
LEGAL ASSISTANT 1
When in a litigation or administrative hearing setting, performs pre-trial or pre-hearing related activities.
Manages the flow of case-related materials.
May draft legal responses to the courts or other interested parties as directed or authorized by the attorney.
When located outside of a litigation or an administrative hearing setting, performs preliminary background work for routine cases or for administrative review processes.
May answer routine complaints received from the public, either orally or in writing, and provides routine information regarding processes or procedures to the public.
LEGAL ASSISTANT 2
When in litigation or administrative hearing setting:
When located outside of a litigation or an administrative hearing setting, performs a variety of activities:
INDEPENDENCE OF OPERATION
Legal Assistants 1 and 2 are expected to set their own priorities and manage deadlines in accordance with legal timeframes.
Legal Assistants 1 are expected to work closely with the attorneys that assign the work, but may independently perform portions of the work assigned. The scope and depth of their work is clearly defined by the attorneys.
Legal Assistants 2 are expected to perform the full range of duties independently. They may be expected to have a caseload and manage all the related activities independently. Their work receives minimal oversight from the attorneys who assign the tasks.
Legal Assistants 1 and 2 are distinguished by the complexity of the work that they perform. Legal Assistants 1 are expected to perform routine paralegal activities related to the program area in which they are assigned. Legal Assistants 2 are expected to perform the highest level, most complex paralegal duties related to the areas in which they are assigned.
Legal Assistants 1 and 2 read, respond to, and prepare legal documents and other written materials. They speak with attorneys and other staff in their own agencies and, depending on the assignment, with outside attorneys or legal, regulatory, or enforcement staff, claimants, litigants, court staff, legislative staff, other interested parties, and the general public. They write letters requesting information, answer questions regarding the status of cases, and write responses to inquiries from the public.
Supervision is not required for classification of a Legal Assistant 1 or 2.
Legal Assistants 1 and 2 may directly or indirectly supervise lower level clerical and legal staff.
LEGAL ASSISTANT 1
Promotion: one year of service in a position allocated to Grade 4 or higher whose duties are primarily clerical, secretarial, or administrative and completion of a two-year traineeship.
Open Competitive: an Associate's Degree in a paralegal or legal assistant program or a certificate in a paralegal or legal assistant program from a regionally accredited college or university or one approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
LEGAL ASSISTANT 2
Promotion: one year of service as a Legal Assistant 1.
Open Competitive: a Bachelor's Degree in a paralegal or legal assistant program from a regionally accredited college or university or one approved by ABA or an Associate's Degree in a paralegal or legal assistant program from a regionally accredited college or university or one approved by the ABA or a certificate in a paralegal or legal assistant program from a regionally accredited college or university or one approved by the ABA and one year of experience as a paralegal or legal assistant.
NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.