Legal Assistant
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, CA
18d ago

Overview

Reporting to the University Legal Counsel, the Legal Assistant supports legal counsel in the Legal & Immigration Services (LIS) Office.

The incumbent is responsible for providing support for administrative tasks, file management, organization, drafting, research support, and a range of administrative tasks that contribute to the smooth and efficient operations of the office by providing support to all LIS Legal Counsel.

This position assists with the overall efficiency by assisting with the day-to-day operations and co-ordination of administrative operations of LIS.

Responsibilities

Support and Administration

  • Serving as a legal resource for informed legal decision-making and creative problem-solving to facilitate the University's pursuit of its mission of teaching, research, and service
  • Providing excellent and timely legal support to University faculty and staff to ensure excellence in fulfilling the University’s legal and ethical obligations
  • Facilitating all aspects of legal matters at the University as necessary or appropriate
  • Serving as a point of contact for interactions with external counsel, who may be retained by the University Legal Counsel to support LIS from time to time, as circumstances warrant
  • Strategic Legal Support and Leadership

  • Prepares various legal documents, forms and materials for approval (e.g. placement and affiliation agreements), and copies, collates and prepares materials for signature / distribution to internal / external stakeholders
  • Assists with handling incoming correspondence, emails, confidential files, and other sensitive legal documents, determining the appropriate response or further action required
  • Drafts responses or responds directly where appropriate, and reviews and proofreads Department documents and correspondence
  • Performs research and legal searches using CanLii and Carswell, etc. (i.e. researching case law)
  • Develops and assists in maintaining a database of all agreements and affiliations and tracks related files
  • Provides administrative support with in-depth knowledge and management of a high volume of legal files and various matters and the overall day-
  • to-day operations of LIS

  • Drafting and preparation of internal and external correspondence, various confidential legal documents, and forms to assist in the progression of legal procedures as required
  • Independently manages legal filing for all files handled by Legal Counsel, in accordance with legal requirements and University Policy, ensuring effective management of confidential and sensitive information
  • Ensures the effective management of confidential and highly sensitive information
  • Monitors LIS processes and provides recommendations to support the ongoing refinement of LIS procedures to ensure quality of service

    Liaises with external counsel, government agencies, courts, and tribunals for various matters

    Serves as a point of contact for visitors, staff, faculty members, or students contacting the office regarding sensitive or highly confidential matters, answering or re-

    directing inquiries as appropriate

    Identifies urgent issues that require immediate attention and facilitates a resolution, escalating issues that require University Legal Counsel’s attention, where necessary

    Maintains a strong knowledge base of University policies, resources and services, developing and fostering strong and constructive working relationships with senior leadership and administration of the University and often serving as a resource to consult and advise on internal and external stakeholders

    Tracks the progress, status, and deadlines related to all legal matters, ensuring deadlines are not missed and bringing forward items for action when necessary

    General Office

  • Assists in managing complex calendars of the Legal Counsel, including booking travel, coordinating appointments, organizing meetings that could include multiple internal and external stakeholders;
  • ensuring deadlines are met and that meetings are prioritized and scheduled based on time sensitivity and importance

  • Assists members of LIS with submitting Concur claims or other expense claims, ensuring all required documentation is provided
  • The Legal Assistant acts as one of the first points of contact for visitors, staff, students and faculty members contacting the office.
  • Assists in being responsible for answering or re-directing inquiries, as appropriate

  • Promotes a culture of continuous improvement in terms of efficiency and leveraging systems capacities and new technologies
  • Supports Legal Counsel in drafting the LIS newsletter that is published each semester
  • Ships packages using Agile shipping application; ensures confidential material is secure and prepares confidential shredding or recycling materials
  • Coordinates the shipping of documents or correspondence via mail or courier
  • Regularly assists the Senior Legal Administrator with records and information management within the LIS office in accordance with University records management and retention policies, guidelines and legislated requirements
  • Provide support on data implantation within the data management system
  • Performs administrative tasks and assists with project in support of the operations of the department
  • Departmental Operations

  • Provides relationship management and administrative co-ordination for LIS including preparation of reports, organizing meetings and developing agendas
  • Assesses filing systems and processes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness and proposes and implements changes where necessary and desirable
  • A resource for informed decision-making and creative problem-solving
  • Prepares records for destruction or transfer to storage facilities, in accordance with retention and disposal policies
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the University Legal Counsel, Legal Counsel, the Senior Legal Administrator, or other members of LIS
  • Qualifications

    Undergraduate Degree or College Diploma in a law-related discipline (e.g. Legal Assistant, Law Clerk, Paralegal) or equivalent education and experience required

    5+ years of experience working as a legal assistant proving administrative support in a complex office environment

    Previous experience working as a paralegal providing administrative support preferred

    Demonstrated experience working in a highly confidential environment

    Provides courteous, timely, and efficient service while reflecting a positive attitude

    Proven ability to build strong relationships and proven ability to work collaboratively with senior administration and with team members from a variety of disciplines

    Proven ability to manage a large volume of legal files, conflicting priorities and competing deadlines

    Excellent Oral and written communication skills to clearly express ideas in an objective manner, and adapt communication style to suit the situation and audience

    Demonstrated ability take initiative, to work independently and be part of a team in a fast-paced and challenging environment

    Organizational and planning skills, with the ability to think logically and anticipate outcomes

    High ethical standards with a strong commitment to maintain confidentiality and treat sensitive information with discretion

    Resourceful, creative, and a thorough researcher, and problem-solver

    Sound judgment and personal and professional integrity

    Demonstrated ability to understand and resolve external and internal partner issues

    Ability to maintain a positive, professional attitude with genuine customer service orientation with an ability to apply tact and diplomacy when dealing with sensitive client issues

    Supports the team in preparing for guests

    Ability to follow formal business practices with high attention to detail

    Ability to multi-task and maintain an organized work environment

    Adapts readily and effectively to changing priorities and demands

    Ability to interact professionally with senior administration, students, staff, faculty, and other members of the University community

    Intermediate proficiency required in Microsoft Office in order to prepare formal correspondence, documents, emails, memos, and input departmental data into spreadsheets and databases

    Knowledge of Adobe applications, Sharepoint, and OnBase a preferred asset as well as demonstrated experience with filing systems

    Familiarity with the University of Waterloo’s policies and guidelines preferred

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