Job Description: Special Needs Trust Paralegal

Summary:  The paralegal’s primary responsibility is to draft documents including a variety of Trusts and Trust Amendments, Health Care Directives, Wills, Codicils, Powers of Attorney, etc.  The paralegal will prepare and submit court petitions to the probate court for various matters including motions, appearances, and petitions.  Additionally, the paralegal must be able to multi-task, prioritize work and support the attorney with various tasks including monitoring calendar daily, meeting with clients, and preparing for upcoming meetings.  This position calls for the paralegal to have an understanding of state and federal agencies that provide benefits and services to persons with disabilities and persons seeking support from Medicaid programs.   The paralegal works collaboratively with the attorney in completing legal work in a timely manner.

 

Reporting Relationship:  Reports to the managing Attorney for legal/drafting responsibilities.  Reports to the Office Manager for Administrative functions.

 

Full Time:  37.5 hours / week

 

Duties and Responsibilities:  Performs a wide variety of Paralegal functions to support all legal areas of the firm with a focus on Special Needs Trusts.

-          Client Contact – Communicates with clients via mail, email and telephone to schedule appointments, discuss draft documents and changes to documents, and answer general client inquiries.  Also communicates with financial advisors, insurance companies, probate court clerks and state agencies when necessary.

-          Problem Solving – Proactively anticipates and resolves issues quickly.   

-          Draft Documents – Draft documents and revise draft documents, run final documents for execution.  Drafts should be completed within a timely fashion of receiving assignment.  Proof-reading is an essential skill accompanying this responsibility.

-          Real Estate/Land Records – Verify property ownership, request property descriptions from Town Clerks, record deeds on the land records, and verify insurance coverage when appropriate.

-          Probate Court - Prepares files/matters for Court hearings.  Communicate with Court clerks.  Draft Probate Court motions.  

-          Client Execution Meetings – Schedule and attend document execution appointments for Clients.  Complete last minute edits to client documents.  Learn the legal requirements for executions of Wills, Trusts and Power of Attorney documents.

-           Tickler System – Use and regularly update the firm’s tickler system to track file activity and to document work completed and work to be completed.

-          Billable Time – Keep track of and post all billable and non-billable work.  The firm has a billable time goal of 80% for all legal staff.

-          Process Improvement – Makes recommendations to improve processes that will increase the service quality, efficiency, and responsiveness to clients.

-          Other Duties – Performs other duties as assigned including scanning documents, conforming documents, and drafting Trustee Instruction letters.

 

Qualifications & Skills:

-          Bachelor’s Degree is preferred, but at least an Associate’s Degree or a Certificate in paralegal studies from an ABA approved program. 

-          Two or more years of experience working in an administrative assistant or legal assistant position preferably in a law office.

-          Knowledge of Public Benefit programs is a plus.

-          Understanding of fiduciary relationships is a plus.

-          Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Office Applications including Word, Outlook and Excel.

-          Ability to anticipate client needs and to avoid surprises and unpreparedness.

-          Excellent client service and communications skills – both oral and written.

-          Excellent proof reading skills and attention to detail.

-          Solid organizational skills and ability to prioritize tasks.