Serves as legal assistant responsible for directly and independently supporting one to three Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) by providing a wide variety of technical assistance services. The work requires a specialized knowledge of the processes, procedures, and practices of legal assistance activities in conjunction with a knowledge of clerical and administrative office skills and an ability to apply these skills to increase the effectiveness of the assigned AUSA.
A. Provides a variety of direct legal support assistance services to serviced AUSA staff. Typical assignments include:
- Examines, prepares and processes a variety of technical legal documents which are characteristically voluminous and complex in format. Reviews incoming material and independently determines the need for assembly and preparation of a variety of legal documents, e.g., complaints, motions, orders, answers, pleadings, and subpoenas. Obtains needed information from files, law enforcement agencies, or other sources, and submits completed legal documents to the appropriate AUSA or, in limited cases, directly to the court. In preparation of documents, considers the nature and the status of the case involved. With limited instructions from the AUSA, prepares such legal actions as indictments, criminal complaints, search warrants, judgments, applications, notices, affidavits, summonses, grand jury subpoenas, rules to show cause, proofs of claim, and satisfaction of judgement. Completes variable aspects of recurring legal documents in conformance with the rules governing their style and format.
- Provides assistance to attorneys in trial preparation by performing duties such as independently compiling trial notebooks, assembling jury instructions, and compiling witness and exhibit lists. Coordinates with the victim/witness specialist to ensure adherence to current Departmental guidelines relating to victims’ rights and services responsibilities. Notifies appropriate individuals of victim/witness issues.
- Using original and online legal resources, verifies citations and statutory references contained in legal documents. Ensures citations are complete and consistent with source material.
- Develops tables of contents and indices to briefs in accordance with established format. Lists cited cases, opinions and miscellaneous references in briefs.
- Composes original letters that do not require legal interpretations, but do require a good working knowledge of legal procedures and specialized terminology, e.g., transmittal of pleadings, requests for extensions of time in certain cases, advising of actions taken or developments in cases referred by other federal departments and agencies, and notices to attorneys representing defendants.
B. Provides a variety of direct clerical and administrative support assistance services to serviced AUSA staff. Typical assignments include:
- Receives visitors and telephone callers. Furnishes requested information concerning pending and closed matters and cases, functions and general procedures of the office. Determines which matters should be referred to the AUSA and the urgency of the matter.
- Establishes and maintains a variety of files. Searches legal reference files for information needed by AUSAs in conducting interviews and preparing correspondence. Assembles exhibits, affidavits, and other legal documents from file material. Separates, screens, selects, assembles, and organizes files and records material for disposition or transfer to records depository in accordance with established procedures.
- Performs docketing duties such as opening, updating and closing cases through use of the automated case tracking system. As necessary, searches database for required information.
- Obligates funds for litigation expenses and monitors for continued necessity. Reviews bills and invoices and submits to budget office for payment.
- Maintains calendar of assigned active cases. Tracks filing, hearing, and trial dates, and scheduling conferences and interviews. Develops and maintains suspense system for ongoing cases and informs the AUSA of pending dates and deadlines. Maintains calendar(s) of the AUSA(s), scheduling appointments, interviews, and conferences, and provides reminders of commitments and court appearances.
- Arranges travel by preparing itinerary, and securing transportation and hotel reservations. Prepares travel authorizations and vouchers.
- May perform general clerical/administrative functions e.g., ordering supplies and equipment, processing time and attendance records, and maintaining administrative files.
C. Produces a variety of written documents and materials utilizing a wide range of office software applications. For example, assignments may include integrating output from different software types, e.g., tables produced by database applications and charts and graphs produced by electronic spreadsheet applications, into word processing or desk top publishing text. Products include complicated tables, graphs and charts which may be incorporated into legal documents or courtroom presentations. Ensures proper format, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar.
D. Provides automated litigation assistance to attorneys in trial preparation and courtroom presentations. Utilizes various software applications and graphics hardware such as scanners and plotters. Prepares documents, charts, and visual materials for use in trials. Provides technical support e.g., enlarging charts and photographs, duplicating tapes and videos, and marking exhibits.