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Superior Court of California

COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ


JOB RECRUITMENT: SELF HELP ATTORNEY I

APPLICATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 6, 2020 @ 3 PM

About the Position


The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz is seeking qualified candidates to fill a full-time Judicial Attorney I (Self Help Program) position to provide services to self represented litigants at the Court’s Self Help Center (SHC).  The SHC is a combined Self Help Center, Family Law Facilitator and Small Claims Advisor.  This is a regional program, with Self Help and Small Claims Advisor services also being offered in San Benito County (City of Hollister).  The incumbent will be based at the Watsonville court facility and may spend two or three days per month in San Benito County.  The position requires occasional work in Santa Cruz as well as a variety of other locations in the county for outreach purposes.

Under direction of the Managing Attorney or the Director of Operations, Judicial Attorneys in Self Help provide assistance to self-represented litigants in the areas of Family Law, guardianships, landlord/tenant disputes, domestic violence, emancipations, civil and small claims, and a variety of other legal issues.   No legal representation or legal advice is provided. The Court’s SHC operates out of multiple locations with a small staff serving about 1,600 people a month through in person workshops as well as phone, email, and letter assistance.  Family law is the primary focus of assisting people who come to the SHC. The SHC also assists a high volume of monolingual Spanish speaking customers.

 

Representative Duties

  1. Assisting members of the public with the completion of court forms;
  2. Providing members of the public with educational materials and community referrals;
  3. Conducting legal research, program development, community outreach and public presentations;
  4. Facilitating and supporting staff education activities;
  5. Reviewing the work of volunteers and incumbent self-help clerks;
  6. Performing child support calculations; and
  7. Coordinating with court personnel and staff of the Law Library to perform work assignments.

Requirements

Minimum qualifications:

Judicial Attorney I (Self Help Program): Graduation from law school, and current membership in the California State Bar.

One year of experience in Family Law or Family Law type matters and two years of experience in a nonprofit or legal services setting is highly desirable.

All Applicants must also be licensed to practice law in the State of California and have a valid driver’s license. Reliable transportation to and from work is also required.  

Other Desirable qualifications:

  1. Knowledge and experience with domestic violence, civil/small claims, DCSS child support cases; and/or
  2. Ability to speak and write in Spanish.

Submission to a background investigation is required upon conditional offer of employment.

Knowledge of

Candidates for this position must have the following working knowledge:

  • Personnel management principles and techniques;
  • Program and policy development, implementation, and administration;
  • Knowledge of law related resources, community based organizations, and referral services; and
  • Principles and techniques of quality customer service.

Ability To

Candidates for this position must have the ability to:

  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with judicial officers, court staff, and other county departments such as the Department of Child Support Services;
  • Establish and maintain a cooperative relationship and effective referral base with legal and domestic violence resources in each community;
  • Establish and maintain a positive and credible relationship with the members of the local legal community bars;
  • Work with people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds;
  • Work with customers that have mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction;
  • Recruit, train, motivate, and supervise volunteers;
  • Work in a very high paced, sometimes stressful work environment; and
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing. 

Working Conditions

The office environment is professional, generally clean inside buildings with limited exposure to dust, fumes, odors, and noise.  Incumbents will be working under sometimes difficult and stressful conditions, with frequent deadlines and expectation to produce high-quality work under limited time constraints.  Incumbents may encounter individuals who are angry or suffer from psychological impairments. The ability to deal effectively with a diverse population of people and to work independently as well as closely with others is required.

Essential Functions

Specific tasks and duties may vary, however, the following are considered essential functions expected of the Judicial Attorney I (Self Help Program) classifications:

 

  • Frequent and ongoing use of a computer terminal;
  • Regular contact with people and regular and occasional contact with employees in other court divisions, government agencies, court users, and the public with the ability to converse and respond appropriately to inquiries and requests;
  • Periodic to regular lifting, walking, and carrying of files, documents, and other court related materials. Incumbents must have the ability to lift and carry 15 lbs;
  • Work with time constraints and under pressure in some situations; and
  • Ability to complete court forms and to do legal research.

 

Selection

Only those candidates who submit a completed application packet (application and resume) and the supplemental questions (see Page 6) by 3 p.m. on February 6, 2020, and who meet the minimum qualifications will be considered for the position. Each candidate’s application, resume, and responses to the supplemental questions will be scored and ranked. The top candidates will be certified to an eligibility list from which the hiring manager will select candidates for interview. The court reserves the right to modify the above outlined selection process based on the size of the qualified applicant pool.

Compensation and Benefits

The position of Judicial Attorney I (Self Help Program) is classified as exempt and is paid according to the following bi-weekly salary range:

 

Judicial Attorney I Self Help

$3,153.10 to $3,989.68/Bi-Weekly

$81,890.60 to $103,731.68/Annually

 

The Court offers a generous benefits package, which includes life insurance, a choice of health plans, dental and vision plans, membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), paid holidays, and paid time off. Employees pay a portion of their own PERS retirement.  Please contact HR if you would like more specific benefits information.

Application Materials

Applications are available on our website: http://www.santacruzcourt.org (by clicking the link to “Employment”). For additional information please email us at hrinfo@santacruzcourt.org or call (831) 420-2275. Hearing impaired TDD# (831) 429-5514. Application packets can be emailed to hrinfo@santacruzcourt.org or mailed to the following address:

 

Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz

Human Resources Department

701 Ocean Street, Room 110

Santa Cruz, California 95060

 

 

Supplemental Questions

Please respond to the following questions on a separate sheet of paper using sufficient detail to demonstrate your experience, knowledge, ability, and qualifications for the position. In order to be considered for the position, applicants must respond in detail to all questions.

  1. Describe your experience working with self represented litigants.
  2. What areas of the law have you practiced and what is your area of expertise?  Please elaborate on any Family Law experience, especially any experience in the area of domestic violence, child support, and more specifically, Department of Child Support cases.
  3. As an attorney, do you see any challenges in holding a job where you can only provide legal info instead of legal advice?
  4. Describe your experience working with diverse groups of people, specifically non-English speakers and customers with mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction.
  5. Describe any experience you have working with community based non-profits, courts or in public interest legal offices.
  6. Please describe your ability to multitask, including your ability to assist multiple people at one time.  For instance, you may have up to six people you are working with on a variety of complex subject matters. 
  7. Please describe why you want to work for the court and specifically the Self Help Center.  List pros and cons you see working for the court instead of a position in the private sector.
  8. How will you approach learning new areas of the law, for instance, if you have practiced Family Law, how will you approach learning guardianship, evictions, and small claims?
  9. If you speak Spanish, please elaborate on your oral and written fluency levels.  How did you learn Spanish (i.e., is Spanish a second language, did you study Spanish in school and so forth)?  Have you used your Spanish language skills in a legal or nonprofit setting, and if so, please explain?

 


 

 

 

 

The Grunsky Law Firm in Watsonville has an opening for a Probate Paralegal.  Duties include:

 

            Estate administration:  preparation of documents:  petitions, notices, inventories, accountings, distribution, transfer of assets, etc.; summary administration such as 13100 declarations, spousal property petitions, joint tenancy termination, small estates, etc.; drafting documents; client interview; calendaring due dates for annual accountings; research re procedures and documents.

 

            Conservatorship and guardianship proceedings:  preparation of petitions, notices, and related documents to commence proceedings; accountings; termination, etc.; monitoring of files to keep them moving along and calendaring due dates for annual accountings; research re procedures and documents.

 

            Trust administration:  preparation of inventories, petitions, notices, etc. to administer living trust after death of trustor/trustee; preparation of documents to funds various trusts, including affidavits of death, deeds and other transfer documents required by the various agencies; client interview to obtain necessary information; preparation of petitions.

 

            Estate and trust litigation:  Experience with court rules, and filing procedures with Federal and State courts, preparation of pleadings, discovery, notices, etc.; interview witnesses; trial preparation; research re procedures and documents.

 

            Other duties include screening new clients, checking for conflicts of interest, typing of letters, pleadings, agreements, statements, appellate briefs, etc.; scheduling appointments and calendaring due dates; opening files, answering correspondence; and related duties.

 

 

Position Requirements:

 

Paralegal Certificate with Bachelor’s Degree strongly preferred; 3-5 years of experience as a Litigation Paralegal with Probate and Estate experience; Ability to effectively set priorities, meet deadlines, and manage multiple projects for several attorneys; Strong verbal and written communication skills; Exceptionally well organized and detail oriented; Adaptable to changing priorities; flexible; Excellent interpersonal skills; Ability to work as part of a team with all levels of experiences as well as independently while being productive and proactive; Ability to troubleshoot issues and create solutions; Proficient in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); Notary public preferred

 

Position is full time and offers competitive compensation.  Benefits include paid time off, health insurance, 401k, optional vision and dental insurance and Flexible Spending Account.  Email resumes to kmachado@grunskylaw.com

 

 


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