County of Alameda

Civil Legal Secretary (#1242)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Clerical (010)
$41.27-$50.16 Hourly / $3,095.25-$3,762.00 BiWeekly /
$6,706.38-$8,151.00 Monthly / $80,476.50-$97,812.00 Yearly

Under general direction, to provide attorneys in the Office of the County Counsel the full range of civil law secretarial support services. Duties performed are of considerable variety and may be complex and require independent thought. They often involve preparing time sensitive civil legal documents to abstract information which may be confidential in nature; and performing other assigned duties as required.


This is the journey level classification in the series. Incumbents are given direct and detailed supervision when learning departmental policies and procedures, proper format for a variety of legal documents, and appropriate document processing procedures. Close supervision and frequent routine review of work will lessen as the incumbent gains experience and demonstrates skill to work independently in completing assignments.

Positions in this classification are located in the Office of the County Counsel. The classification is distinguished from the classification of Legal Secretary in that the incumbents work only in the Office of the County Counsel and perform civil litigation duties.

This classification is distinguished from the classifications of Legal Stenographer, Stenographer II, and Stenographer I in that the Civil Legal Secretary is responsible for scheduling attorneys’ calendars, composing correspondence of a general and confidential nature through oral directions, answering phone calls for the attorneys, and relaying accurate information to staff, court personnel, judges, witnesses, and clients. Incumbents report to a designated manager.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Types or uses word processing equipment to prepare, format, edit, or revise civil legal documents which may include briefs, orders, motions, warrants, citations, complaints, information, subpoenas, interrogatories, affidavits, pleadings, resolutions, ordinances, opinions, contracts, reports, memos, forms, editable computer files, witness and client interviews, and correspondence from rough draft, oral instruction, or dictation; may abstract information from various files and organize into proper legal form.

2. Schedules attorney’s calendar for meetings, conferences, court hearings, trial conferences and depositions, continuances of court hearings; assures that proper civil legal forms are prepared and filed.

3. Maintains case management software to open and track the status of cases; performs data in-put; may enter attorneys’ time for billing or other purposes; retrieves information when requested by attorneys or other parties; closes out cases upon case completion.

4. Composes routine correspondence regarding the status of a particular case or action.

5. Sets up, organizes and maintains attorney files and index for quick reference; closes court ordered dismissed cases; notifies all concerned parties and prepares for storage.

6. Checks civil legal documents for correctness and completeness; files legal documents with court clerks and obtains judges signature, if necessary, on court orders and pleadings in a timely manner; schedules hearing dates; sends necessary copies to all persons involved.

7. Prepares briefs and files in all courts.

8. Acts as resource for, and assists attorneys in using word processing software and equipment.

9. Researches applicable civil code sections; reviews relevant subject matter.

10. Answers telephones, screens calls and receives clients; personally assists callers when possible; exercises considerable judgment and discretion in dealing with confidential matters.

11. May perform other general office clerical functions, including but not limited to copying, faxing, printing, and mailing; may act as relief receptionist.

12. May be assigned to assist new attorneys to become familiar with office procedures and legal forms.

13. May perform difficult and complex civil legal work assignments within the Office, including the preparation of complex pleadings and litigation matters, such as trial documents including binders and exhibits.

Either I


The equivalent of three years of full-time experience as a Civil Legal Clerk in the Alameda County Counsel’s Office performing duties such as preparing documents such as pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda and opinions and other papers containing extensive legal citations. (Completion of one year of legal secretarial training curriculum in a recognized business college may be substituted for one year of the required experience.)



The equivalent of three years of full-time experience performing the duties of a legal stenographer or legal secretary for attorneys or judges in a civil legal environment that included preparing documents such as pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda and opinions, and other papers containing extensive legal citations. (Completion of one year of legal secretarial training curriculum in a recognized business college may substitute for one year of the required experience.)

Special Requirement:

Must be able to type into a word processor at a minimum of 50 words per minute from clear copy.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Legal terminology, general legal forms and documents.
• Business English usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and punctuation.
• Filing, indexing, and cross-referencing methods.
• Proper telephone etiquette and procedures.
• Law office practice, work procedure and equipment practices.
• Word processing/computer applications and techniques.
• Applicable civil law practice terminology, statutes and court rules.
• Civil law court filing and calendar procedures.
• Law library arrangement.

Ability to:

• Prepare civil legal documents from general instructions.
• Apply specialized knowledge of complex civil legal procedures.
• Identify and correct basic English usage errors in documents.
• Organize and maintain legal files and records.
• Abstract pertinent information from files to prepare civil legal documents.
• Plan, organize and prioritize work.
• Make decisions and use good judgment.
• Analyze and problem solve.
• Work independently in the absence of specific instructions.
• Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
• Deal tactfully with members of the public, co-workers and clients under stressful conditions.

BG:pf 1/15/03
Newspecs: 1242.doc
Csc Date: 9/3/03


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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