Paralegal I, II, III

Weld County Government Greeley, CO
Description

Paralegal to the Assistant County Attorneys for the Child Welfare Department in the area of Dependency and Neglect Actions, Delinquency, Guardianships and Conservatorships. Researches law, investigates facts, and prepares documents to assist attorneys.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Other duties may be assigned. (Any one position may not include all of the duties listed nor do the listed examples include all duties which may be found in positions of this class.)

Organize and coordinate office operations by maintaining legal file system on the computer which keeps case information; hearing and trial date; adjudications, treatment plans, termination, etc., legal information on all the Dependency or Neglect cases, Order to Investigate cases, Review of Need of Placement cases, Relinquishment cases and Guardianship cases, which is accessible to all caseworkers, attorneys and paralegals, to assist in getting legal information as needed; anticipate attorney's need for information and initiate communications with caseworkers or other attorneys.

Assist in coordinating and implementing procedures and communications between the Assistant County Attorneys, the Court, other attorneys, clients and caseworkers, by providing them with information on cases, upcoming hearings, status of cases, and by: coordinating County Attorneys' calendars and e-mail calendars with caseworkers and other attorneys and the court for appropriate setting of hearings, trials, depositions or meetings; consult with caseworkers and clients regarding status of cases; initiate contact with caseworker when filing a new case; initiation of legal pleadings; contact caseworkers for additional information on requests for legal services; to assist attorney and speed up the process of attorneys responding to caseworker requests.

File documents in respective court systems and act as liaison between court divisions and various agencies and departments. Maintain case files and tickler systems. Type pleadings and orders, file, copy work, maintain forms, receive, copy and distribute mail; prioritize items for attorneys; distribute work among attorneys when one or more are in trial or unavailable; track assigned work to assure timely completion.

Review caseworkers Family Services Plans (FSP) for upcoming hearings and based on the caseworkers' recommendations in their FSPs determines what type of order is needed and prepares draft orders. Ensure correct documentation is attached to the caseworkers' FSPs. Attend court hearings with attorneys on motion days in three different divisions and prepare orders issued by the Judge and/or Magistrate, for their signature. Copy and distribute signed orders to the parties present at court hearings; calendar in the next hearing dates.

Prepare for adjudication and termination trials as follows: Ensure that caseworkers provide complete and thorough information so that paralegals can prepare endorsement of witnesses and exhibits in a timely manner for final review by attorney; meets deadlines on endorsement of witnesses and exhibits, interrogatories, hearsay statements and depositions; help prepare trial notebook with all necessary information, i.e. witness list, exhibits, experts, direct-examination, cross-examination, discovery etc.; initiates interrogatories to respondents, answers interrogatories addressed to the Department, sets up depositions, prepares Motions in Limine and Hearsay statements; subpoenas witnesses, schedule witnesses for trial, prepare jury instructions, prepare voir dire for jury, etc.

Checks and applies relevant statutes, citations, and resources in order to make determination, identify relevant issues, and/or draft legal documents or supportive reports. Help with legal research when necessary to help attorney respond to motions or orders in a timely manner and prepare for trials; also do research to find out addresses or other information on parties to the cases by using the following systems: Child Support, Food Stamps, Whippet, County's client tracking system, Court Data Access, trails, etc.

Implement, maintain and revise office procedures by meeting weekly with the County Attorneys, to go over the calendar, discuss any issues or concerns, docket days, court etc.; go over the trial schedule with a list of all pending trials and appeals, etc., to enable the work flow in the office, as well as with the caseworker and Court, to run more smoothly and efficiently and to manage the work flow and help in coordinating the attorneys' calendars and e-mail calendars.

Prepare Adult Guardianships and/or Conservatorships and electronically file (e-file) with the Court. Provide direction to adult protection staff regarding necessary information to complete court pleadings.

Compile and analyze dependency and neglect action statistics and drafts monthly and yearly reports; ensure compliance with Judicial and State regulations on initiation of legal pleadings and timelines in filing cases. Accept Subpoena's for the Department of Human Services and assist with Motions to Quash, Prepare Motions, Notices and Orders in Delinquency cases; work on Service of Process; review and process Change of Venue cases, review and process Referrals/Orders to Investigate from the Court.

Actively work and monitor 25-50 potential ICWA cases. Prepare ICWA Notice and follow up with tribes. Correspondence via email, phone, or by fax with Caseworkers, attorneys and tribal representatives, scanning and emailing Notices and responses from tribes, maintain Tracking Form, tickle dates for Termination trials and court hearings, prepare Affidavits, and process responses from the tribes. Actively work with Child Welfare to ensure the Department is in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Qualifications

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Education:

* Successful completion of Bachelor's Degree in business administration, criminal justice, or other appropriately related field;

OR

paralegal certificate and four years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

* Must possess ability to keyboard at 55 words per minute.

* Must pass Weld County Background Checks.

Condition of Employment:

Must obtain Paralegal Certificate within first 12 months of employment if

not certified upon hire.

Other Necessary Requirements

Additional Requirements:

Ability to enter data into several different computer programs. Ability to learn and apply new computer skills on a regular basis. Knowledge of computer programs such as Microsoft Windows and Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Ability to read and comprehend instructions, correspondence and department policies and procedures. Ability to write correspondence.

Ability to apply math concepts and calculations in the work environment.

Ability to apply common sense to problem solve in a work environment.

Ability to adapt to fast paced, high volume and ever changing work environment and be able to handle high stress situations.

Follow the Weld County Code of Conduct and adhere to strict confidentiality guidelines and appropriate release of information outlined in both.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee may be required to sit for extended periods of time and is occasionally required to stand and walk. Occasionally the employee may be required to lift and/or move heavy files or objects up to 25 pounds. The employee frequently is required to use their hands and reach with hands and arms. Specific vision abilities required for this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, and ability to adjust focus such as that used when using a computer or reading.