Legal Secretary / Paralegal

303 Legal, P.C.

This will probably be the longest, most honest, and detailed, employment ad you will ever read here or anywhere else.

We did this so that you don't waste your time interviewing for a job that you know, deep down, you are not up to performing. We want to lay it out up front to you, what type of person we are looking for, and what we expect from you.

If you are up for a challenging job that is also rewarding, please continue reading the rest of this ad. If you are up to the challenge, we look forward to seeing your resume and cover letter.

To those of you who read this entire ad and apply for the position, we thank you in advance and look forward to meeting you.

We are a small law firm in Cedar Rapids. We primarily handle family law cases, as well as general civil litigation, and some criminal defense. We also handle a variety of other issues including business formation and disputes.

Attorney Jonathan Schmidt has been practicing for almost 14 years--about nine of those have been in Cedar Rapids. We are looking for a hardworking, detail-oriented individual to be our paralegal.

We have built something that is unique and special. We care about our employees. We care about our clients. We provide a more relaxed atmosphere than a typical law firm. If you would like to learn more about us, we hope you will check out our web site at https://303.legal. We were even featured in the Cedar Rapids Gazette for our unique approach to providing legal services. Check it out: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/business/303-legal-aims-to-stay-down-to-earth-cedar-rapids-20190204

What do our paralegals do?

Our paralegals are integral members of our firm who are responsible for ensuring our clients receive the best legal service possible. Our paralegals are the voice the clients hear on the phone and a person they will deal with regularly. Our paralegals engage in calendar management, including calendaring and arranging meetings, depositions, creation and editing of a variety of documents, and assembling and maintaining client files. (Our files are all electronic, by the way.)

What are some characteristics that a paralegal should have?

You must be a positive person. If you see the glass as being half full, you are the type of person we are looking for. No one wants to deal with toxic or negative attitudes, whiners, complainers, or victims, and you definitely will not fit in if you even think that you may fit into one of the above categories of negative people. Life is short. We would rather not spend it surrounded by negativity.

You must be competent and proficient in the use of Microsoft Word and Outlook at a minimum. You must also be able to proofread your own work.

If you are familiar with legal software like Clio, HotDocs, SharePoint, or the like, that is a big plus. We need people who are not afraid of computers or learning new things that will make your job easier. We are not shy about claiming that we are one of the most, if not the most, technologically advanced firms in the state. (Interview Tip: Be sure to talk up all of your computer experience.)

If you have worked in family law in the past, that is also a big plus.

If you lose stuff, are not organized, or get easily distracted, you would not be a good fit.

You must be able to multi-task. You must be able to think on your feet and make smart decisions.

You must have thick skin; you cannot be someone who does not take criticism well or cannot deal well with people.

To be perfectly honest, we expect you to give us 100% when you are at work.

You owe it to yourself, and to us, to do the best job that you can.

If you don’t put forth the effort needed to do your job right the first time, we will let you know about it in a constructive manner.

Additionally, some of our clients can be difficult. We can’t change them, so we have to deal with them as best we can. If you do not think that you are up to the challenge of dealing with difficult clients, this is not the job for you.

You also need to be detail-oriented and willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right the first time. In our practice, getting it done right the first time for our clients is very important and we need everyone to work with this goal in mind.

If you are lazy, don’t show up to work on time, take a ton of coffee, cigarette, or other breaks during the workday, this job is not for you. If you love to surf the internet, IM, chat on the phone, or play solitaire, this is not the job for you.

If you are one of those people who constantly gets sick on Thursday nights or Sunday nights and cannot come to work on Friday or Monday because you are sick, this really is not the job for you. Don’t get us wrong, we understand that everyone gets sick, but we also know there are people out there who get sick when it is convenient for them, like when they want a long weekend. If this is you, it would not be fair to the rest of the staff.

You must be a team player. You will be working with other members of our staff and both you and our other staff members are accountable to each other. If you can’t get along with one another and work together to get the job done right the first time, this is not the job for you. We are strong believers in the team approach and our office is a team environment, so if you are not a team player, this is not the job for you.

You need to be able to talk to people in a manner that is polite, educated, and puts them at ease.

You cannot talk down to anyone that you deal with in our office.

You should not be a person who gets angry quickly or blows their stack if someone says something you don’t like.

You need to have compassion when dealing with our clients.

You need to be able to deal with people who are stressed and emotional with respect at all times. When you are dealing with any difficult people that occasionally come to our office, they should never know that they are getting under your skin. When you are done dealing with them you are more than welcome to come to the attorney's office and vent about them.

Most importantly, you need to listen to what people tell you, not just hear them. As an ambassador to the public for our firm, you will be a key person our clients speak with. As part of your job, you will be asked to conduct interviews of clients and witnesses and get the necessary information from them to allow our attorneys to efficiently deal with their legal issues. As such, your ability to listen to what you are being told and ask follow-up questions is very important. Critical thinking is important here.

You must be able to handle working with several different applications and databases of information. As a paralegal, you will be answering phones, meeting with clients, existing clients, and working closely with other staff members and attorneys. We have software applications to work on all of these areas.

At times, you will also need to know how to figure things out on your own and be able to creatively problem solve and come up with solutions. Additionally, if you are above making coffee or helping out in another area of the office, this is not the job for you.

Our office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. You are expected to be here during those hours, with the exception of 1 hour for lunch, a morning break for 15 minutes, and an afternoon break for 15 minutes. If you think you can eat at your desk and leave early each day, this is not the job for you.

We have taken what we believe are appropriate safeguards for our staff during this unprecedented pandemic called COVID-19. We ask that all people who enter our office wear a mask and you will be asked to wear a mask when meeting with anyone. We have hand sanitizer stations available. We also screen people who enter by taking their temperature before entering our office. The current staff have all been vaccinated.

With regard to evenings and weekends, normally you will have those off. But if we have an emergency or are preparing for a big trial, we would need you to help us out. This is a rare request. We believe strongly in promoting a good work/life balance. But, sometimes, deadlines get in the way of that.

To put it simply, we want you to earn what we pay you. We don’t want to pay you to socialize, surf the internet, e-mail friends and family, or do any other non-work-related activities while you are in the office. This does not mean that our office is not a fun environment, it just means we know when we have to work, and we know when to have fun at the office.

If this sounds harsh or unfair, then this is not the job for you, you should stop reading this ad right now.

At this point, some of you may be thinking that this office will be the worst place to work in the Cedar Rapids area. If you are, this is not the job for you.

If, on the other hand, you realize that the work environment we have created will help you get your job done efficiently and also have a life outside of work, then you are the type of candidate we would like to meet with to discuss the opportunity we are offering.

If you are hired, you will be part of a wonderful team of people who work hard to get the job done right the first time and take pride in the work that they do. You will be part of a team that is rewarded for hard work.

With regard to compensation, it is negotiable based upon experience and is subject to review annually. The starting wage for a Paralegal will be dependent upon experience. The payroll is run on the 15th and at the end of the month.

Is this going to be an easy job? No. It might be the biggest challenge of your life. But, it is our belief that anything really great is worth working hard for and that our greatest growth comes from our biggest challenges. You will be challenged as a paralegal, but you will have fun and you will enjoy helping our clients.

If you have gotten this far, you are truly an exceptional person, as most people would have bailed on this ad a long time ago.

If you have gotten this far and are thinking about applying, it means that you are a hard worker, ready for a challenge, and want to be part of a team where your hard work and efforts are recognized, appreciated, and rewarded.

HOW TO APPLY:

Send an e-mail to opportunities "at" 303.legal with “[insert name] is your next Paralegal” in the subject line and the following documents attached (PDF format preferred):

  • A cover letter containing the following in bullet point format:
    • What you think it takes to be a stellar paralegal.
    • What you are looking for in a career.
    • What you bring to the table (i.e., qualities that would be of value to the firm).
    • What you liked and did not like about this ad. (You can be honest we will not hold it against you.)
  • Salary requirements
  • Resume
  • References

Thank you for taking the time to read this entire ad! If you decide to apply, we look forward to speaking with you! If you have made it this far and are not sure whether this is for real, we can assure you it is. We are looking for someone immediately and will start scheduling interviews soon.

We ask that all people who enter our office wear a mask and you will be asked to wear a mask when meeting with anyone. We have hand sanitizer stations available. We also screen people who enter by taking their temperature before entering our office.

Job Benefits:

Dental insurance, Health insurance, Paid time off, Retirement plan, Vision insurance

COVID-19 Precautions:

We ask that all people who enter our office wear a mask and you will be asked to wear a mask when meeting with anyone. We have hand sanitizer stations available. We also screen people who enter by taking their temperature before entering our office. All current staff have been vaccinated.

Application Instructions:

Please include:

  • A cover letter containing the following in bullet point format:
    • What you think it takes to be a stellar paralegal.
    • What you are looking for in a career.
    • What you bring to the table (i.e., qualities that would be of value to the firm).
    • What you liked and did not like about this ad. (You can be honest we will not hold it against you.)
  • Salary requirements
  • Resume
  • References

Applying for:

Legal Secretary/Paralegal

303 Legal, P.C.

(.DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .RTF, .TXT, .ODT, .PAGES, .WPS up to 2MB)

Job ID: 75235

Posted 15 days ago

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