Published March 11, 2020

Position Details

Position Title: Legal Assistant
Department: County Attorney’s Office
Reports to:  County Attorney & Deputy Attorneys
Location: Lewistown, MT
Pay Rate: $15/hour (Full-time)
FLSA Status:  Non-exempt
Opening Date:  March 2, 2020
Closing Date: Until filled
Interviews Begin: ASAP

The County Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of criminal offenses committed within the County and for serving as the attorney for County government, including all agencies and boards.

The Legal Assistant performs a variety of technical and administrative tasks in support of department goals and functions such as preparing correspondence, performing internal and external customer service, and researching and preparing technical reports. Duties also include performing clerical functions such as taking meeting minutes, managing filing systems, assisting professional staff with trial preparation, special projects and responding to information requests. Must be proficient in Microsoft Office (i.e. Excel, Word, Publisher, and Outlook).

Applicants will be required to provide a writing sample as part of the interview process and must be able to pass a background check. This position normally works 8-5, Monday through Friday, but may require occasional evening coverage for special meetings and/or trial situations.

For purposes of this position, “County Attorney’s Office” includes all matters relating to the City of Lewistown, Petroleum County, and other counties/entities the County Attorney’s Office is assisting. Reports to and provides support to all attorneys in the office; County Attorney has ultimate disciplinary authority.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities)

These duties are the essential functions and are not all-inclusive of all duties that the incumbent performs.

  • Set up and maintain a variety of files and records including confidential or personal files, and ensures that only authorized personnel have access to contents of files in accordance with operation procedures.
  • Set up and maintain subject matter; chronological, alphabetical, and numeric file systems (electronic and hard-copy) according to managerial requests, functional use or administrative guidelines. Act as custodian of department documents and records.
  • Maintain calendars and set up appointments for County Attorney’s Office staff, according to standard operating procedures established by the County Attorney; confirm or reschedule appointments based on mutual agreement and knowledge of their work schedules, notify appropriate persons and interested parties of rescheduled appointments, anticipate the need of reference materials to be used by them and/or participants and assemble materials for their use, brief employees of the nature of appointments prior to their scheduled meetings.
  • Perform customer service duties, including screening correspondence, telephone calls, and visitors for the County Attorney’s Office; independently schedule conferences, conference calls, meetings or appointments; refer matters not needing the personal attention of that person to the appropriate staff personnel; track progress to insure timely reply by supervisor or staff as needed.
  • Compose, type and edit a variety of correspondence, reports, memoranda, and other material necessary to conducting the business handled by the County Attorney’s Office and ensure that content is accurate and complete.
  • Perform a variety of secretarial duties associated with the administration of the County Attorney’s Office, including responding to various inquiries and complaints from the public and program constituents by determining and asking appropriate questions to identify information needs, explaining applicable policy or procedure, locating pertinent information in files, or directing caller to appropriate sources based on legal requirements (e.g., in case of formal complaint, etc.).
  • Answer a variety of routine and semi-technical questions related to the organization, functions, procedures, regulations, and programs of the County Attorney’s Office after determining that information may be given; answer inquiries for complaints which do not need policy interpretation or expertise. Handle requests for information appropriately and use judgment in handling sensitive information by adhering to department rules of confidentiality.
  • Research, organize, and coordinate a variety of special reports, summaries and related materials as assigned.
  • Perform routine clerical and administrative work answering phones, referring messages, receiving the public when receptionist is not available, providing customer service, entering data and word processing in accordance with standard operational procedures in support of department functions and objectives.
  • Providing backup for Receptionist and other staff as assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Non-essential Functions

  • Supervise central supply activity to ensure department is stocked with needed supplies and equipment according to established procedures and protocols. This includes administering the budget for supplies and providing related input to management for budget planning and administration purposes. Notify appropriate managerial staff when funds are low.
  • Maintain list of duties, promises, missions, requirements and miscellaneous business for department heads or the County Commissioners to have available whenever needed.
  • Receive and distribute incoming mail and process outgoing mail according to established procedures to ensure proper parties obtain mail in a timely manner, when receptionist is not available. Copy, package, and distribute a variety of materials as requested.
  • May perform routine administrative work in keeping official records and providing support to the Board of County commissioners and assist in the administration of standard operating procedures.
  • Attend workshops, seminars and educational sessions to keep updated on changes in assigned area of departmental responsibility.
  • Perform a variety of miscellaneous duties such as running errands, picking up supplies needed for activities, making arrangements for use of County facilities, setting up tables and chairs, etc.
  • Train and assist other employees, as requested by managerial staff.
  • Perform other duties as assigned including but not limited to managing special projects, coordinating public meetings, attending meetings and conferences, providing backup for other staff, participating in training and continuing education, etc.

Physical Demands & Working Conditions

The demands and conditions described here are representative of those the employee must meet to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • The employee is constantly required to use hands to handle or feel objects and to keyboard.
  • Frequently required to sit, talk, write, listen and read.
  • The employee may infrequently be required to stand, walk, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl and reach with hands and arms.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision and depth perception.
  • The employee is infrequently required to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • The noise level of the office is usually moderate.
  • May involve occasional travel by auto to attend meetings with community partners.
  • Employee is assigned to the County Attorney’s Office; exposure to criminals and danger is a possibility.

Supervision Exercised

The primary function of this job is not in a supervisory capacity.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • The job requires knowledge of Computers; electronic data processing; modern office practices and procedures; administrative techniques and principles of organization; accounting; budgeting; techniques and practices of research methodology; data collection, and preliminary analysis; report writing; application and use of basic statistics; interview techniques sufficient to obtain information related to employment and administrative matters; written and oral communications, including language mechanics, syntax and English composition; database, spreadsheet and word processing applications including basic methods of graphic presentations.
  • Must be able to operate all types of office equipment which may include operating a computer, multi-line telephone, calculator, fax, copy machine, DVD/CD duplicator, scanner and shredder.
  • The job requires the ability to effectively meet and deal with the public; communicate effectively verbally and in writing; maintain complex filing systems; handle stressful situations; work extra hours as required and pre-approved; compose correspondence from general instructions; collect, compile and analyze qualitative and quantitative data; understand and explain laws, regulations and policies governing program operations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with management, employees, clients, and the public; understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures; organize and prioritize work assignments; use and understand common database, spreadsheet and word processing applications; learn specialized computer applications.
  • English grammar, spelling, written format and punctuation; the functions, timetables, workload, and priority of the administrative and professional positions served. Must pass a criminal background check and be bondable. Will need to become, and maintain status as, a Notary Public.
  • The position must learn to interpret and apply well-defined administrative rules, regulations, and policies to determine how to take care of problems and issues on the spot

Education & Experience

  • The job requires education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school or GED equivalent with specialized course work in general office practices such as typing, filing, accounting and bookkeeping and two (2) years of increasingly responsible related experience.  Equivalencies include an associate’s degree with course work in public administration, political science, accounting and one (1) year of related experience.
  • Interest and desire to work in the criminal justice system.
  • Excellent organization skills; ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks at one time.
  • Ability to work with individuals from a variety of social, economic and racial backgrounds.

Application Instructions

Apply Through: Lewistown Job Service or Fergus County Human Resources
Materials: Fergus County Job Application, Writing Sample

The County is an equal opportunity employer. The County shall, upon request, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

This job description is intended to reflect core areas of responsibility and an incumbent employee’s knowledge and skill set needed to complete those functions. This document is not intended to catalog each individual duty; employees are routinely called upon to address emerging employer requirements in alignment with individual work units and assignments of jobs. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer change.