Superior Court of California
County of Calaveras
SELF-HELP PROGRAM ASSISTANT
Under general supervision, assists self-represented litigants with a variety of legal process issues; provides intake, screening, document preparation, legal processing, information distribution and other administrative support work, as necessary in the court’s Self-Help Legal Assistance Center. Incumbents provide customers with procedural information, but may not give legal advice. The position may also perform the duties of a Court Clerk.
This classification is an advanced/specialized level of the Court Clerk series. This classification requires advance expertise and knowledge in court processes and assists self-represented litigants in completing court documents and provides administrative support to a court program. This class is distinguished from the Court Clerk IV in that incumbents provide more expanded assistance in the preparation and completion of documents; have some responsibility for program administration and do not perform lead clerk duties such as scheduling and coordinating the work of a team and/or the unit.
SUPERVISION RECEIVED AND EXERCISED:
This classification receives general direction from the Court Program Manager and may receive instruction from the Family Law Facilitator, Contract Self-Help Attorney and Legal Process Unit Manager. The Self-Help Program Assistant is required to exercise judgment and independence when performing the assigned duties. This position does not exercise supervision.
QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO PERFORM ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
1. Employee must have proficient knowledge of:
- California statutes governing court procedures and rules;
- Judicial Council forms;
- Court policies, procedures, forms and documents;
- Legal principles;
- Legal Terminology;
- Basic communication skills including questioning and investigative interviewing techniques
- Court operations and services
2. Employee must have the following skills and abilities:
- Effectively communicate in writing, in person and on the telephone with self-represented litigants, court personnel and community partners and agencies;
- Excellent customer service skills, including ability to work with people in difficult or challenging situations;
- Operate proficiently in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint;
- Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities and maintain and coordinate a heavy workload;
- Research statutory laws and rules of court and apply them as they pertain to the completion and/or processing of legal documents;
- Exercise sound judgment within the framework of policies and guidelines;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to present information to groups;
- Operate standard business equipment including computers, copy machines, etc.and type accurately;
- Understand and follow oral and written instructions;
- Maintain the confidentiality of court-related records;
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships;
- Complete and/or update legal forms
- The same knowledge, skills and abilities of a Court Clerk III
3. Employee must have and maintain the following certifications / licenses:
- A California driver’s license requirement will be reviewed on a position basis in accordance with ADA regulations.
4. Employee must not contribute to or create a hostile work environment:
- Employee shall not engage in any activity that unreasonably interferes with the performance of any other employee, such as sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination or any other behavior that unduly demeans or intimidates another employee.
- As an essential function of this position, the employee must be able to handle high levels of stress satisfactorily and be congenial with other employees, judicial officers, supervisors, subordinates, outside contractors, and other agency personnel.
5. Employee must have the following minimum experience or training:
Any combination of education and experience that could likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities required would be:
Four years of legal secretarial or court clerical experience preferably involving court document processing in small claims, unlawful detainer, Child Support Services and family law cases and experience dealing with the public. Completion of an American Bar Association accredited and certified paralegal program or an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies may substitute for a maximum of two (2) years of experience. A Bachelor’s degree in a field other than paralegal studies may substitute for a maximum of one (1) year of experience.
TYPICAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS (With or Without Reasonable Accommodation)
- Ability to use a personal computer and its peripherals including keyboarding, mouse and monitor use for extended periods of time.
- Ability to grasp and manipulate files.
- Frequent hand and/or wrist motion.
- Frequent reaching at or above shoulder level.
- Ability to sit for extended periods of time; frequently stand and walk or otherwise move within the court;
- Normal manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination; corrected vision to normal range; verbal communication;
- Lift boxes of stored documents weighing up to 30 pounds.
- Shared office environment with varying degrees of hot and cold air.
- Constant interruptions, with high volume of telephone and personal interaction.
- Requires exposure to dust, fax or printer toners, perfumes and other allergens such as perfumes and dust; and unpleasant odors, such as unwashed clothing, and unwashed people.
- Requires exposure to customers who may be in crisis, are verbally or physically abusive, and exposure to unpleasant odors, such as unwashed clothing and unwashed people.
TYPICAL DUTIES ASSIGNED TO SELF-HELP PROGRAM ASSISTANT :
Depending on assignment, duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Assist self-represented litigants, in person or by telephone, one-on-one and in group/workshop settings, providing procedural information; answers inquiries and explains the court filing processes and procedures, use of court forms, and basic rules of the program; assists individuals in locating material and information.
Interview and triage self-represented litigants, assessing their legal problems and determine the appropriate next steps;
Review and analyze a variety of documents associated with a variety of case types including but not limited to paternity, dissolution, child support, small claims, unlawful detainer, guardianship, civil harassment and limited civil cases.
Assist the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Attorney with a variety of para professional legal duties;
Receives phone calls, schedules appointments, distributes information for both the Calaveras and Amador Self-Help Programs
Coordinates the use of interpreters and/or interpreter services such as Language Line; utilizes interpreter services to communicate with non-english speaking customers
Uses Microsoft Office software including, Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint to create documents and communicate with employees and the public
Provides marketing materials and performs community outreach on behalf of the court’s Self-Help program
Collects and monitors program statistical data; enters data into statewide FLFED system
Monitors use of contract attorney and other services
Coordinates volunteer attorneys and clinics