Job: Legal Office Specialist (Open and Promotional)

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Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Title:Legal Office Specialist (Open and Promotional)
Closing Date/Time:Wed. 03/29/17 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Salary:$26.84 - $33.55 Hourly
$2,147.20 - $2,684.00 Biweekly
$4,652.27 - $5,815.33 Monthly
$55,827.20 - $69,784.00 Annually
Job Type:Full-Time
Location:San Mateo County, California
The County of San Mateo is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Legal Office Specialist.

This job classification is the senior, most experienced level in the legal office support classification series. It is not an entry-level position. Legal Office Specialists provide complex, technical and confidential clerical services in the District Attorney, Probation and Sheriff's Offices. They are considered experts in all aspects of the legal office support functions. Legal Office Specialists perform difficult legal clerical tasks; answer questions of all degrees of complexity from lower level office support staff, visitors and telephone callers and, when necessary, direct them to other appropriate individuals; create legal correspondence, reports and other documents using a computer; proofread legal material for accuracy, completeness and correct English usage; enter, edit and retrieve legal data in automated information systems; prepare reports and records that require arithmetic calculations; research and gather information from a variety of sources for the completion of legal forms and preparation of legal reports; perform routine to difficult clerical duties; and serve as back-up for clerical co-workers who are absent from the office.

Legal Office Specialists in the Sheriff's Office also perform receptionist duties in the main jail; receive, screen and direct telephone calls and visitors in the jail; have frequent contact with inmates; maintain records of inmate bookings; releases, transfers and court appearances; and take custody of money and personal property that belong to the inmates.

The ideal candidates must be able to perform several tasks simultaneously in fast paced and demanding job assignments; produce considerable amounts of legal correspondence for long periods of time; be detailed, accurate, complete and timely in their work; adapt to frequent interruptions, rapidly changing priorities and different assignments quickly and efficiently; use computers regularly and proficiently; use appropriate initiative, sound judgment and tact to handle sensitive and confidential discussions and interactions with others; relate effectively with individuals of diverse backgrounds; handle tension-filled and crisis situations effectively; and work well under stress.

NOTE: The eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future extra-help, term, unclassified, and regular classified vacancies.
 Examples Of Duties:
Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Perform difficult, complex, technical and/or specialized confidential legal office support work, which may require the exercise of independent judgment, the application of technical skills, or a knowledge of detailed or specialized activities related to the department to which assigned, such as:
  • Processing commitments for various governmental institutions.
  • Assembling, maintaining and updating master and trial calendars; setting and resetting trials, conferences and other legal matters.
  • Compiling information from various sources to complete required forms for application for state, medical and social benefits; working directly with probation officers to ensure timely and complete applications on behalf of probationers.
  • Providing specialized office support in a correctional facility.
  • Research and assemble information from a variety of sources for the completion of forms or the preparation of reports; make arithmetic and statistical calculations.
  • Provide information to the public or to County staff that requires the use of judgment and the application of policies, rules or procedures.
  • Organize, maintain and purge various departmental files.
  • Type correspondence, reports, forms, and specialized documents from drafts, notes, dictated tapes, or brief instructions, using a typewriter, word processor or computer terminal.
  • Proofread and check typed and other materials for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with departmental policies and regulations.
  • Enter and retrieve data and prepare reports using an on-line or personal computer system; review such reports for accuracy and make corrections as required; may access state-wide confidential computer data networks.
  • Oversee and personally perform a variety of office administrative details such as ordering supplies, arranging for the repair of equipment, transmitting information, and keeping reference materials up to date; may arrange meetings by notifying participants, reserving rooms, making lodging and/or meal arrangements, etc.
  • Act as receptionist and receive and screen visitors and telephone calls and direct the caller to the proper person or personally handle the call; operate standard office equipment.
  • May train others in work procedures or direct the work of others on a project basis.
  • Provide off hours support as required.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:
  • Legal office terminology, processes, procedures and forms.
  • Legal documents, forms and terminology.
  • Policies and procedures related to the department to which assigned.
  • Business data processing principles and the use of word processing or personal computing equipment.
  • Office practices and procedures, including filing and the operation of standard office equipment.
  • Business letter writing and the standard format for typed materials.
  • Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Business arithmetic, including percentages and decimals.
  • Record keeping principles and practices.
Skill/Ability to:
  • Perform technical, specialized, complex or difficult legal office support work.
  • Organize, prioritize and coordinate work activities.
  • Read and interpret rules, policies and procedures.
  • Deal tactfully and effectively with a variety of individuals, some of whom may be hostile or irate.
  • Organize, research and maintain legal office files.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.
  • Compose routine correspondence from brief instructions.
  • Make arithmetic calculations with speed and accuracy.
  • Use initiative and sound independent judgment within established guidelines.
  • Operate standard office equipment, such as a word processor, personal or on-line computer, and centralized telephone equipment.
Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is:

One year of journey level office support experience in a legal office OR two years of general clerical or office assistant experience.

Other Requirements: Selected positions may require the applicant to obtain and maintain a security clearance as a condition of employment. Some positions may require the ability to type at a rate of 40 net words per minute from printed copy.

Special Requirements: For positions in the Sheriff's Office, the applicant must pass a detailed background investigation prior to employment. Must be able to work weekends, holidays and a 12 hour shift from 6am to 6pm or 6pm to 6am.
Open and Promotional. Anyone may apply. Current San Mateo County and San Mateo County Superior Court employees with at least six months (1040 hours) of continuous service in a classified regular, probationary, SEIU or AFSCME represented extra-help/term position prior to the final filing date will receive five points added to their final passing score on this examination.

Responses to the supplemental questions must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required employment application and supplemental questionnaire.

The examination will consist of a written test (weight:100%). All tests will be held in San Mateo County, California. Applicants must participate at their own expense. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time and place of the tests. Applicants must adhere to the dates listed below. Applicant requests for alternate test dates and times will not be granted. 
IMPORTANT: Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the "Apply Online" button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to to apply. Online applications must be received by the Human Resources Department before midnight on the final filing date.

Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time and place of the tests, which will be given in San Mateo County, California. Please make sure to read your notices carefully. Applicants must participate at their own expense and must adhere to the dates listed below. Applicant requests for alternate test dates will not be granted. Accommodations for special medical conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is the applicants' responsibility to notify the County Human Resources Department at (650) 363-4343 if their appointment notices for the written examination or the panel interview are not received 5 working days prior to the event. 

Applicants are encouraged to visit libraries or bookstores to read literature on how to take written tests and interviews for government jobs. The County does not recommend nor endorse specific books to read. Job seekers should ask the librarians or store managers for guidance in selecting appropriate study aids.

Recruitment Opens: March 16, 2017
Recruitment Closes: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Written Test: Saturday, April 8, 2017

The County of San Mateo does not require job applicants to disclose conviction history information until after the applicant successfully completes all examination phases for the recruitment. All passing applicants will receive instructions by email only from Human Resources staff to complete and submit a conviction history questionnaire online within a specified deadline of two business days. Failure to do so within the timeframe will disqualify you from the rest of the process. Please visit this link at to find out more information about the conviction history questionnaire so that you can prepare accordingly.

Note: Positions in criminal justice agencies currently required by law to pass background checks are exempted from this bill, and applicants may be required to submit conviction information at the time of application.
County of San Mateo is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Analyst: Jennifer Reyes (031517) (Legal Office Specialist - E375)


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