Pima County

Tucson, AZ

3133 - Paralegal - Public Defense Services

Posted over 1 month ago

Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Position Description


THIS RECRUITMENT IS TO ESTABLISH A REGISTER for current and future PARALEGAL vacancies which serves all levels/assignments of Paralegal in the offices* of the Pima County Public Defense Services Department.

Salary Grade: P3

Performs paraprofessional legal work assisting attorneys in case preparation. Work ranges from handling routine assignments to autonomous decision making in coordinating, processing and monitoring complex and specialized legal casework.

*For more information on the Pima County Public Defense Services Department and the offices in this department, please visit their website at http://webcms.pima.gov/government/public_defense_services/


(Work assignments may vary depending on the department's needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the manager/supervisor.)

Typical office support duties of all specializations may include:

Case Management:
Manages case load involving specialized areas of law (criminal, juvenile, and recommends appropriate legal action;
Compiles, coordinates and analyzes case information throughout all phases of case administration and initiates appropriate action to start legal proceedings;
Plans, develops and organizes all phases of work, prioritizes sequences of work, monitors progress and follows-up to completion;
Establishes case files, organizes records and documentation to monitor case activities to ensure smooth flow and monitors for compliance with legal time constraints, court procedures, legal statutes and codes;
Prepares written reports documenting investigative, case management and collection activities;
Accounts for any actions to be taken regarding time lines, court actions or preparation of legal documents;
Performs all aspects of case management or administration regarding legal document analysis, case file review, legal issues and applicable legal authority in preparation of documents or actions.

Discovery and Trial Preparation:
Investigates case problems, gathers, reviews and verifies case documentation for completeness and accuracy;
Reviews research, analyzes case documentation and develops recommendations for case administration;
Summarizes depositions, interviews, interrogatories and other case documents to assist attorneys with case handling;
Develops and secures evidence and documentation, coordinates court notes and exhibits for trial;
Confers with attorneys and court offices regarding court cases, trials, evidence or depositions;
Coordinates discovery activities, including the identification and compilation of all pertinent case documentation;
Assists attorneys in preparation for depositions or trials and discusses case strategies;
Reviews and analyzes documentation of prior convictions for the purposes of sentencing enhancement or sentencing mitigation and plea negotiations;
Identifies and analyzes potential sources and locations of evidentiary factual data or witnesses which may contribute or impede establishment of facts of case;
Conducts in-office investigations to gather information using various databases;
Identifies, obtains and preserves evidence or testimony;
Drafts interrogatories, requests for admission or production of documents, motions, answers, complaints and plea agreements;
Prepares witnesses, clients, or victims for deposition, interview or trial;
Assists with jury selection process;
Finds relevant experts and attends conferences with the experts;
Attends scene investigations and evidence viewings.

Legal Writing/Drafting Legal Documents:
Drafts routine and complex legal documents, motions, interrogatories, arguments, briefs, opinions, petitions, changes of plea, contracts and ordinances;
Responds to motions, discovery requests, interrogatories, petitions, plea agreements, writs and orders.
Legal Research:
Researches and conducts investigations of credit histories, locating financial data and place of residence using automated data systems and restricted access sources;
Conducts legal research through the use of computerized legal research (Lexis and Westlaw) or statutes, U.S. Constitution, legal periodicals, law reviews, digests, legal encyclopedias, codes, regional and federal reporters, slip opinions and various case law;
Updates or shepardizes case law to distinguish and analogize the case to the fact situation at hand;
Identifies applicable statutes or rules that are in force and effect for the particular matter.

Judgment and Analytical Ability:
Sets priorities relating to court procedures, work production and attorney preference;
Makes decisions regarding ethical obligations;
Makes decisions and has discretional authority for actions;
Analyzes and categorizes information from which facts or evidence are discerned and maintains control and retrievability of analyses of facts;
Analyzes and executes settlements and conclusions;
Categorizes relevant topics from which evidentiary materials and testimony relate for the basis of case;
Links facts, testimony or objects together in relationship to the issues of the case;
Reads and measures statements, reported acts or events against others and examines, studies and reviews to establish the facts or answers;
Analyzes legal problems and determines cause of action or valid defense.

Conducts interviews to obtain or clarify case preparation information, prepares appropriate reports, recommendations and summaries;
Discusses and reviews cases with clients at the jail and in the office;

Identifies testimonial evidence expected to be used and measures against the elements of proof in the course of the legal matter.

Communications/Attorney Liaison:
Coordinates between the assigned department and other governmental agencies to include out of state jurisdictions;
Acts as liaison for attorney to the courts, law enforcement agencies, other county departments, clients and the public;
Prepares memos and letters regarding attorney client privilege and confidential matters.

Special Projects:
Coordinates special projects such as developing and implementing organizational redesign of case handling procedures.


Knowledge of:

  • legal code of ethics, terminology, principles, precedents, procedures, time constraints and deadlines imposed by law;
  • legal research methods;
  • interviewing techniques and procedures;
  • procedures and methods of discovery, disclosure, case analysis and trial preparation and assistance;
  • state, civil, criminal, juvenile, or probate law;
  • statutes, codes and case laws in specialty area;
  • rules of court, evidence, discovery, Federal Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act and other ordinances;
  • Lexis or Westlaw data information systems;
  • civil and criminal procedures.

    Skill in:
  • word processing, automated spreadsheets, and databases;
  • analyzing case information and making effective recommendations for case administration;
  • performing legal research using appropriate techniques and methods;
  • drafting legal documents and documentation for legal processing;
  • interviewing techniques appropriate to a legal investigation;
  • understanding and applying legal terminology;
  • establishing and maintaining effective working relationships;
  • exercising good judgment and applying legal ethics in decision making;
  • planning work to be completed within time constraints;
  • communicating effectively;
  • interpreting various data bases;
  • organizing and prioritizing work flow.

    Some positions in this classification may also require:

    Knowledge of:
  • management principles and practices;
  • specialized areas of law.

    Skill in:
  • prioritizing, assigning and reviewing work of other legal assistants, legal secretaries or litigation support staff;
  • training other legal secretarial or litigation support staff;
  • using independent judgment and decision making;
  • managing large complex case files;
  • analyzing information and legal elements of proof or cause of action.
Minimum Qualifications

(1) An Associate's degree from an accredited college as a paralegal or legal assistant.
(2) A certificate of completion in paralegal or legal assistant studies from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved program at an accredited college or university.
(3) A Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university in a related field such as law, business, legal secretary, criminal justice, political science, interdisciplinary studies, regional development, communications or a related field as defined by the appointing authority at the time of recruitment.
(4) Two years of experience with Pima County as a Legal Secretary.
(5) One year of experience with Pima County as a Legal Assistant.

Qualifying education and experience must be clearly documented in the "Education" and "Work Experience" sections of the application. Do not substitute a resume for your application or write "see resume" on your application.

All qualifying candidates will be required to complete and pass online assessments.

Pima County Human Resources Department reserves the right to admit to the selection process only those candidates that meet the minimum/desired qualifications. All applications will be assessed based on an evaluation of the listed education and experience. Candidates meeting the minimum/desired qualifications may be further evaluated/scored against any advertised Preferred Qualifications. The hiring authority will interview and select the successful candidate from a referral list provided by Human Resources. Additional assessments/testing may be required as part of the selection process.

Supplemental Information

Licenses and Certificates: Valid driver license is required at time of application. Valid AZ driver license is required at time of appointment. The successful applicant will be subject to a 39-month DOT Motor Vehicle Record review to determine applicant's suitability to operate county vehicles in accordance with Pima County administrative procedures. Failure to obtain and maintain the required licenses and certifications shall be grounds for termination. Any offer of employment resulting from this recruitment is contingent upon Fleet Services' review and approval of the candidate's driving record.

Special Notice Items: The County requires pre-employment background checks. Successful candidates will receive a post-offer, pre-employment background screening to include verification of work history, education and criminal conviction history. A prior criminal conviction will not automatically disqualify a candidate from employment with the County.

Physical/Sensory Requirements: Physical and sensory abilities will be determined by position.


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