Legal Assistant

  • Contra Costa County, CA
  • Contra Costa County, California
  • Dec 06, 2023
Full Time Accounting and Finance Legal Services
  • Salary: $67,363.20 - $81,880.44 Annually USD

Job Description

The Position

Bargaining Unit: Local 21

Contra Costa County Public Defender's office is seeking highly motivated Legal Assistant candidates with a strong ability to understand, interpret, and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Legal Assistants in Contra Costa County provide confidential specialized legal and other complex technical and paraprofessional assistance. Incumbents in this classification will assist on various assignments with a team who are passionate about the clients they serve.

Why join the Contra Costa County Public Defender's Office?
The Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office provides vigorous, client-centered advocacy to indigent persons accused of crimes in Contra Costa County. Our overriding goal is to serve the best interests of our clients in everything we do. We tirelessly fight for our clients and ensure that they receive excellent representation. We believe that justice can only be served when the most underserved and vulnerable among us are treated with the same attention, dignity, and respect as the most powerful. Our main office is located in Martinez along with offices located in Richmond, Walnut Creek, and an Alternate Defender Office in Martinez.

We are looking for someone who is:
  • an issue spotter and problem solver as it pertains to all facts and data;
  • an active communicator that presents information clearly and in an organized manner;
  • proficient with computer equipment and applications;
  • constantly staying current on relevant laws and regulations and ensures practice conforms to them;
  • committed to maintaining high level of care, thoroughness, focus and quality under pressure; and
  • interested in understanding the needs, expectations, and circumstances of all clients.
Depending on assignment, you may be responsible for:
  • Preparing routine legal documents and other paperwork, including drafts of legal motions, points and authorities, declarations, affidavits, etc. for review, approval, and use by a deputy district attorney
  • Collecting and analyzing data for deputy district attorney administrative reports
  • Searching and obtains recorded documents and court records as requested by district attorney investigators and deputy district attorneys
  • Assisting attorneys in preparation, litigation, and at trial
  • Interviewing Public Defender clients in the local jails and in the courts to screen them for eligibility
  • Preparing legal documents, collecting, analyzing, and summarizing data
A few reasons you might love this job:
  • You will work in a team environment with supportive colleagues that adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and confidentiality
  • You will perform varied assignments in a challenging environment with specialized responsibilities
  • You will work with dedicated attorneys who are passionate about the clients they serve
  • Every day brings a new challenge
A few challenges you might face in this job:
  • Heavy workload; handling several cases at once
  • High expectations without much turnaround time
  • The emotional strain of being involved with your clients and their case outcomes
  • Staying up to date with new legal developments and professional standards
Competencies Required:
  • Professional & Technical Expertise: Applying technical subject matter to the job
  • Critical Thinking: Analytically and logically evaluating information, propositions, and claims
  • Attention to Detail: Focusing on the details of work content, work steps, and final work products
  • Handling Stress: Maintaining emotional stability and self-control under pressure, challenge, or adversity
  • Listening: Fully comprehending spoken communication
  • Informing: Proactively obtaining and sharing information
  • Teamwork: Collaborating with others to achieve shared goals
  • Valuing Diversity: Appreciating the benefits of varied backgrounds and cultures in the workplace
  • Self-Management: Showing personal organization, self-discipline, and dependability
  • Professional Integrity & Ethics: Displaying honesty, adherence to principles, and personal accountability
  • Reading Comprehension: Understanding and using written information
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing

To read the complete job description, please visit the website here .

The eligible list established from this recruitment may remain in effect for six (6) months. Other departments throughout the County may use the eligible list from this recruitment to fill future vacancies as well.

Minimum Qualifications

License: Specified positions will be required to possess a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator’s License. An out of state valid Motor Vehicle Operator’s License will be accepted during the application process.

Education & Experience:

Successful completion of an approved paralegal training program. OR
Successful completion of the first year at an accredited school of law. OR
Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in any subject and a minimum of one year of full-time attorney supervised* law-related experience in a public or private law office. OR
Possession of a high school diploma, G.E.D. equivalency or a high school proficiency certificate AND Three (3) years of full-time or its equivalent attorney supervised* law-related experience in a public or private law office. This experience and training shall be completed no later than December 31, 2003, per the California Business and Professions Code Section 6450.
Attorney supervised law-related experience must be verified with a written declaration from that attorney stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks; The supervising and declaring attorney must be an active member of the California Bar for at least the preceding three (3) years or have practiced in the federal courts of California for at least the preceding three (3) years.

Other Requirements: This classification is required to furnish personal transportation which will be reimbursed according to County policy.

Desirable Qualifications:
  • Experience working in a legal setting for a public agency
  • Bilingual communication skills, to speak, read and writing in other languages

Selection Process

Application Filing and Evaluation: Applications will be evaluated to determine which candidates will move forward in the next phase of the recruitment process.Legal Assistant Multiple Choice Exam: Candidates who clearly demonstrate that they possess the required minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in a Legal Assistant Multiple Choice Exam. The exam is designed to measure candidates' competencies as they relate to the Legal Assistant classification; these may include, but are not limited to: Professional & Technical Expertise; Critical Thinking; Attention to Detail; Handling Stress; Listening; Informing; Teamwork; Valuing Diversity; Self-Management; Professional Integrity and Ethics; Reading Comprehension and/or Writing. (Weighted 100%)
The assessment will be administered remotely using a computer. You will need access to a reliable internet connection to take the assessment. It is not recommended to take the assessment using a cell phone.

If you apply for another recruitment that uses this exam and the test is scheduled within 6 months of the date you took the test this time, you will not have the option to re-take the exam.

The Human Resources Department may change the examination steps noted above in accordance with the Personnel Management Regulations and accepted selection practices.

For recruitment specific questions, please contact Amanda Monson at For any technical issues, please contact the Government Jobs' applicant support team for assistance at +1 855-524-5627.


After you receive a conditional job offer, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you have received a conditional job offer. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances. Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with Contra Costa County. If you accept a conditional job offer, the Human Resources department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.


All Contra Costa County employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law. Employment with the County requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


It is the policy of Contra Costa County to consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identify, gender expression, marital status, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

To find more information on Benefits offered by Contra Costa County, please go to

Job Address

Contra Costa County, California United States View Map