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Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: C4004 / Certified Legal Specialist
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 13

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Performs highly complex and sensitive legal work of a level of professional expertise that requires national credentialing as a Certified Paralegal/Legal Assistant or a post-baccalaureate degree. Performs broad-based factual and legal research, and prepares comprehensive reports with recommended solutions. Participates in research, investigations, and preparation for litigation and/or trial proceedings

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Carries out integrated legal, legislative, regulatory, and/or related factual research and projects on behalf of the Office of University Counsel (OUC); prepares interpretive reports based on research findings, and recommends appropriate solutions or actions.
  2. Researches key University policies and practices, both existing and proposed, to identify potential legal problems; makes recommendations for policy, procedure, or legislative changes, as appropriate, under the administrative direction of an OUC attorney.
  3. Supports the OUC in significant litigation and/or other trial-related matters, to include assistance with trial research, preparation, and presentation; drafts pleadings and discovery responses, prepares affidavits, gathers and organizes evidence and other information; drafts position statements or briefs for such proceedings.
  4. As assigned, works directly with external counsel on litigation cases.
  5. Assists OUC attorneys in the preparation of negotiated agreements and settlements with commercial, governmental, and administrative entities, employees and/or members of the general public, as assigned.
  6. Provides training and professional expertise to other paralegals, and/or provides direction and guidance to legal support staff on specific issues, as appropriate.
  7. Undertakes continuing education, and remains abreast of current legal issues and trends, as required to maintain appropriate national accreditation within the field.
  8. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree; at least 4 years of experience that is directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified. Certification/Licensure National accreditation as a Certified Paralegal/Legal Assistant
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart confidential information.
  • Ability to develop and maintain recordkeeping systems and procedures.
  • Knowledge of the judicial system and procedures.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.
  • Ability to provide operational guidance and leadership to technical staff in area of specialty.
  • Ability to analyze, interpret and draw inferences from research findings, and prepare reports.
  • Knowledge of principles, procedures, and standards for drafting a range of complex legal documentation in area of expertise.
  • Knowledge of litigation and legal contract, agreement, and settlement procedures and documentation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present effectively to small and large groups.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging developments and trends within area of expertise.
  • Advanced working knowledge of legal research principles, methods, techniques, and resources.
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex legal information to senior executive staff.
  • Strong investigative and problem resolution skills.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) carrying out complex research studies on matters of significance to the University, and preparing of interpretive reports along with recommendations solutions and actions; b) review, analysis, and evaluation of key University policies and practices for potential legal problems, develop proposed solutions and strategies, and recommendations for policy, procedure, or legislative changes; c) assistance with litigation and other trial-related matters, to include trial research, preparation, and presentation, drafting of pleadings, affidavits, discovery responses, position statements, and briefs, and organizing evidence and related information; and d) professional guidance to other paralegals and support staff.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk.
  • No or very limited physical effort required.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 03/20/2017