Missouri State University

3540 Paralegal

POSITION IDENTIFICATION

TITLE Paralegal

CLASSIFICATION NUMBER 3540

GRADE 16

CLASSIFICATION Nonexempt                                             

IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR General Counsel

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR President              

GENERAL FUNCTION

The primary job duties of the Paralegal include initiating and independently developing and preparing documents and pleadings for attorney review.    The Paralegal determines his/her own work assignments and priorities within general parameters determined by accepted legal practice and the General Counsel and monitors the progress of tasks for him/herself and the attorneys.  The Paralegal drafts leases, contracts for the sale of real estate, contracts, releases, settlement agreements, donor agreements, affiliation agreements, license agreements, and board resolutions either independently or with guidance, depending on the nature and complexity of the document.  The Paralegal researches case law and statutes for his/her own work responsibilities and for the attorneys.  The Paralegal assists in obtaining and renewing service marks, trademarks, copyrights, ISBNs, and TTB permits.  The Paralegal updates and tracks changes to the Policy Library.  The Paralegal independently administers a wide variety of processes, maintains confidentiality of privileged communication and records, exercises discretion in communication, assures clarity and confidentiality of communication of incoming and outgoing information, maintains the General Counsel’s recordkeeping systems, provides information needed by the General Counsel, and serves as a liaison between internal and external constituencies and the General Counsel.  The Paralegal serves as office manager, purchasing supplies and equipment, managing day-to-day expenses, and assuring an overall smooth operation of the office.

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE QUALIFICATIONS

Education/Experience:  A high school diploma or the equivalent and six years of paralegal or legal secretary experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.

Skills: Keyboarding proficiency is required; a rate of 60 words per minute is preferred.  Computer application skills (word processing, spreadsheet, file management) are required.    Effective written and verbal communications skills are required. Paralegal skills are required; must have knowledge and understanding of legal processes and procedures.  Demonstrated ability to deal successfully and accurately with complex, time-sensitive secretarial/administrative functions is required.  multitasking abilities and the ability to meet deadlines while remaining focused and composed are required. 

Effort: The position is primarily sedentary; however, it may require walking and/or standing for extended periods of time.  The position requires frequent keyboarding.  May occasionally require the ability to lift and carry materials and equipment weighing up to 25 pounds, to reach heights up to 8 feet by climbing ladders or stools, and to bend or crouch to reach materials or equipment stored on lower shelves or in lower cabinet/desk drawers.

Other: The scope of the position may require overtime and/or weekend work in order to prepare pleadings and legal documentation.  Possession of a valid Missouri driver's license is preferred.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Performs paralegal functions by determining work priorities, initiating, developing, and preparing documents and pleadings for attorney review, drafting leases, contracts for the sale of real estate, contracts, releases, settlement agreements, donor agreements, affiliation agreements, license agreements, board resolutions, and trademark and copyright applications, either independently or with guidance,  serving as a liaison between the General Counsel and the legal system, and maintaining compliance with recognized ethical and professional standards.

2. Assists University departments in obtaining and renewing service marks, trademarks, and copyrights, assigning and using ISBNs, and meeting federal licensing requirements of the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau.

3. Contributes to the achievement of a low student loan default rate by managing the collection activities of the Office of General Counsel as needed.

4. Tracks changes to and updates the Policy Library.

5. Manages the gathering of information for fiscal notes for the Missouri General Assembly by assigning the fiscal note to the appropriate department for follow-up, monitoring the timely return of requested information, and responding to the fiscal note request.

6. Facilitates the initiation of or response to legal actions by researching case law, statutes, files, and records, gathering information, and assisting with investigations as needed or as directed by the General Counsel.

7. Safeguards the confidentiality of privileged information and legal documentation by exercising discretion in communicating information to faculty, students, staff, the legal community, and the various constituencies served by the University and by exercising discretion in handling legal and administrative records and files and similar confidential items.

8. Serves as a liaison between the General Counsel and other administrators by relaying information accurately and assuring information is communicated in a timely manner.

9. Receives and greets University employees, students, and visitors, directing them to the appropriate offices or persons and providing authoritative information or materials for routine inquiries.

10. Ensures that legal documents, pleadings, and are correct and prepared properly by proofreading and reviewing all outgoing legal documents and correspondence for correctness.

11. Relieves the General Counsel of administrative details by performing office management functions, composing interpretive and/or directive correspondence, and making administrative decisions on behalf of the General Counsel when necessary.

12. Manages a complex filing system of paper and electronic records by organizing the system, creating files and records as necessary using judgment and knowledge of legal and office requirements, maintaining the filing systems, purging files, determining other forms of storage or destroying files, and retrieving files and documents as needed.

13. Maintains competency and professional currency through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contact with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as required by the General Counsel.

14.  Contributes to the overall success of the Office of General Counsel by performing other essential duties and responsibilities as assigned.

SUPERVISION

The Paralegal is supervised by the General Counsel.

OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCES

OCTOBER 2011

JOB FAMILY 1

Factor 1: Educational/Experience Requirements of the Job

Level 7 - 1160 Points: A combination of education and experience equivalent to a Level 7 as indicated by the Equivalencies Chart, when permitted by the Minimum Acceptable Qualifications.

Factor 2: Complexity and Technical Mastery

Level 5 - 580 Points: Advanced skill in oral and written communication, the ability to make basic mathematical calculations, the ability to understand and follow instructions, knowledge of moderately complex or other work procedures, the ability to work independently and coordinate a variety of activities and events, specific professional skills, and/or skills in managing a wide variety of complex processes are required.

Factor 3: Responsibility for the Work of Others

Level 1 - 0 Points: No responsibility for the work of others.

Factor 4: Guidelines

Level 4 - 370 Points: The work involves operating under general supervision expressed in terms of program goals and objectives, priorities, and deadlines. Supervision is given through statements of departmental, program, or project objectives and available resources. Administrative guidelines are relatively comprehensive, and incumbents need only to fill in gaps in interpretation and adapt established methods to perform recurring activities. In unforeseen situations the incumbent must interpret inadequate or incomplete guidelines, develop plans, and initiate new methods to complete assignments based on those interpretations. Assignments are normally related in function, but the work requires many different processes and methods applied to an established administrative or professional field. Problems are typically the result of unusual circumstances, variations in approach, and incomplete or conflicting data. The incumbent exercises judgment in interpreting the intent of guidelines, methods, and procedures, and determines the best process to achieve objectives.

Factor 5: Contacts

Level 6 - 525 Points: Contacts may involve regular interaction with senior executives other than one's supervisor, officials from government entities, elected officials, members of the media, etc. which require exercise of independent judgment and discretion in communicating information on behalf of the supervisor. Contacts with others may involve the communication of sensitive or confidential information to others with a need to know, as well as the obligation to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information obtained during the course of one's job.

Factor 6: Work Impact

Level 5 - 700 Points: Work activities address conventional problems or situations with established methods supply departments, programs, classes, or units with information, services, or products they use to perform their work and allows departments, programs, or units to function properly. Work products or services directly impact the operation, accuracy, reliability, acceptability, or design of programs, systems, or equipment that affects the operation of individual departments or units. Work activities directly affect the services or products provided by the department, unit, or program, the welfare of staff, students, or others that use the services or products of the department, program, or unit, or the reputation of the department, program, or unit.

Factor 7: Physical Effort and Work Environment

Level 1 - 25 Points: The work environment consists of exposure to physical conditions typical of a normal office environment. Most of the job is performed while sitting, although the work may require occasional standing or walking and/or the lifting and carrying of small objects.