Glossary of Legal Job Descriptions

Accurate job descriptions are crucial to the hiring process. For employers, job descriptions are an important foundation for resume screening, interviewing and candidate selection. For job seekers, job descriptions should clearly define the hiring organization's work expectations, as well as the experience and capabilities required for open legal positions.

This glossary of legal job descriptions includes an overview of typical skills, educational background and duties for numerous legal positions in law firms and corporate legal departments in Canada. The information was derived from the thousands of full-time, temporary and project placements made through Robert Half Legal, as well as the market knowledge of our recruiting and staffing professionals. Specific job descriptions for available legal positions will vary, based on the size of the legal organization and other factors.

Compliance administration
Contract administration
Corporate/in-house counsel
General administrative/legal specialist
Law firm lawyer
Legal support
Lease administration
Litigation support/eDiscovery

COMPLIANCE ADMINISTRATION

The compliance administration team is responsible for ensuring that the company is following all federal, provincial and local rules, laws and regulations in all its operations and business functions. The team designs internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law, conducts periodic audits to check that the policies and safeguards are working, and works to streamline the controls for maximum efficiency and compliance.

Compliance director (10+ years of experience)

Compliance manager (7-9 years of experience)

Compliance analyst (1-3 years of experience)

Compliance Analyst (4-6 years of experience)

Compliance Director (10+ years of experience)

The compliance director heads the compliance administration team and is responsible for identifying, establishing, maintaining and reviewing compliance risk controls and compliance strategy throughout the organization. The compliance director routinely interacts with senior executives, managers, external business partners and regulatory agencies in order to determine specific needs and procedures. Additionally, the compliance director supervises internal procedures, processes and programs for compliance.

A bachelor's degree is required for this position, and an LL.B or master's degree in finance or risk management is often preferred. Most companies want candidates with relevant business experience of 10-plus years and compliance expertise within their respective industries or sectors. The compliance director must also have sound leadership skills and demonstrate thoughtful judgment in strategic management of /compliance initiatives and efficient, effective operational coordination.

Typical duties include:

  • Developing, directing and executing the company's overall compliance strategy
  • Developing, managing and maintaining corporate compliance policies and procedures to ensure adherence to applicable rules and regulations
  • Overseeing and refining the company's annual compliance testing and monitoring plans, and refining those plans as required in light of evolving regulatory or business requirements
  • Acting as a liaison with regulatory agencies, internal and external advisors, and other internal control groups on compliance and exam-related issues
  • Working with management to establish an appropriate compliance culture throughout the firm, including the development of specialized training programs
  • Preparing compliance reporting to senior management and the company's board of directors

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Compliance Manager (7-9 years of experience)

The compliance manager supervises the workflow of the compliance administration team or department. This includes planning, overseeing and maintaining the compliance risk controls and reviews throughout the organization, and reviewing and testing procedures, processes and programs, as necessary.

The compliance manager should possess a bachelor's degree in a related field and relevant experience, including that of regulatory compliance in the company's respective field. Previous management experience is preferred. Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to prioritize workload and respond to variability based on organizational needs. Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office and legal software programs, are required.

Typical duties include:

  • Assisting with the implementation and maintenance of corporate compliance policies and procedures to ensure adherence to applicable rules and regulations
  • Coordinating the systems necessary for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the company's continued compliance with regulatory standards outlined by federal, provincial and local statutes
  • Collecting and analyzing regulatory compliance trends and data to assist in the development and implementation of improvement initiatives as appropriate
  • Communicating with senior management and legal staff as necessary to ensure the company is informed on regulatory issues and updates
  • Providing tools to managers, directors and staff for continuous survey readiness

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Junior Compliance Analyst (1-3 years of experience)

The junior compliance analyst typically assists in the development of compliance risk controls and works to implement compliance procedures, processes and programs under the direction of the compliance manager. A bachelor's degree or equivalent is required, along with one to three years of compliance or audit experience in the relevant field. Knowledge of data analysis tools is preferred. Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to prioritize workload and respond to variability based on organizational needs. Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office and legal software programs, are required.

Typical duties include:

  • Conducting compliance research on applicable rules and regulations, including specific topics such as privacy regulations, conflicts of interest and records retention policies
  • Analyzing, prioritizing and providing research data, summarized in a presentable format for discussion with management
  • Identifying education and training needs across the company
  • Preparing required audits and reports for submission after review by the compliance manager

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Senior Compliance Analyst (4-6 years of experience)

The senior compliance analyst assists in the development of compliance risk controls and works with the rest of the Compliance Administration team to implement internal procedures, processes and programs. A bachelor's degree or equivalent is required, along with four to six years of compliance or audit experience in the relevant field. Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to prioritize workload and respond to variability based on organizational needs. Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office and legal software programs, are required.

Typical duties include:

  • Identifying potential issues and deficiencies, collecting relevant data to establish facts, and drawing valid conclusions to improve compliance procedures
  • Acting as a resource to the different departments within the company by understanding how compliance requirements affect each department and how to address the issues
  • Assisting the compliance manager in identifying compliance training needs and coordinating tasks as necessary
  • Updating the compliance program manuals upon the request of the compliance manager
  • Staying apprised of new and proposed laws and regulations

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CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION

Contract administration is the management of contracts made or to be made with customers, vendors, partners or employees. It involves negotiating the terms and conditions in contracts, analyzing and minimizing risk, ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions, documenting and agreeing on any changes or amendments that may arise during implementation or execution, and drafting and executing contracts. Duties may include implementing systems and software to ensure accurate tracking and record-keeping in order to fulfill contractual obligations.

Contract administrator (1-3 years of experience)

Contract administrator (4-6 years of experience)

Contract manager (7+ years of experience)

Contract administrator (1-3 years of experience)

The contract administrator is responsible for reporting on the firm's operations, overseeing administrative departments, managing outside vendors and assisting with the firm's budget. A bachelor's degree and/or certification from a legal education program are typically required. Strong computer skills in basic computer programs and management software are preferred.

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Contract Administrator (4-6 years of experience)

The contract administrator is responsible for reporting on the firm's operations, overseeing administrative departments, managing outside vendors and assisting with the firm's budget. With four-plus years of experience, the position is also expected to oversee junior contract administrators and assist the Contract Manager with contract management and negotiation. A bachelor's degree and/or certification a from a legal education program are typically required. Strong computer skills in advanced management software are preferred.

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Contract Manager (7+ years of experience)

The contract manager oversees the contract administration staff and is responsible for contract review, negotiating and drafting any manner of agreements, including procurement and service contracts and leases. This position works closely with lawyers and contracts personnel to review and draft legal agreements and addendums. Candidates must have strong technical knowledge of all aspects of internal contract management software programs, as well as an understanding of the business and business needs. A bachelor's degree in business, finance or a related field is required, and an LL.B is often preferred.

Typical duties include:

  • Reviewing contracts for ambiguities and contemplating potential outcomes and creative solutions
  • Providing technical guidance to lawyers and law clerks involved in negotiations

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CORPORATE/IN-HOUSE COUNSEL

The term corporate/in-house counsel generally refers to lawyers who are within a company's legal department and take care of its legal affairs. In some instances, corporate counsel, in-house counsel and general counsel are used interchangeably, but here, corporate/in-house counsel is used as an overarching term for all lawyers within a legal department, while the term general counsel refers to the head of the corporate legal department. Associate general counsel, assistant general counsel and associate counsel are roles that carry specific responsibilities.

General counsel

In-house counsel (0-3 years of experience)

In-house counsel (4-9 years of experience)

Associate General Counsel/In-house counsel (10+ years of experience)

General Counsel

The general counsel (GC) is the head of the corporate legal department and is responsible for the legal affairs of the entire corporation. The GC provides legal counsel to the board of directors, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and other senior management. The GC typically holds additional positions and responsibilities within the corporate structure, such as Chief Legal Officer, vice president or corporate secretary. In recent years, the GC's role has been expanded to include greater risk management tasks, such as identifying potential areas of weakness and making recommendations for improvement. In many corporate legal departments, and especially smaller ones, the GC is often responsible for duties typically performed by the chief compliance officer, chief privacy officer and chief security officer if these positions have not yet been created.

The general counsel must possess strong initiative as well as excellent management, teamwork, delegation and problem-solving skills. An LL.B is required. The amount of experience required for the position may vary depending on company size: For example, large companies (more than $250 million in revenue) may prefer candidates with 15 to 20 years of experience, while small companies (up to $25 million in revenue) may seek five or more years of relevant experience. Companies seek candidates who also possess experience in a major law firm or corporate legal department where they have held positions of increasing responsibility, such as associate general counsel or partner. Many employers want candidates with experience representing public companies, including familiarity with periodic reporting, regulatory and corporate governance mandates.

Typical duties include:

  • Advising the company and senior management on a broad range of federal and provincial regulatory and compliance matters, including identifying areas of risk and making suggestions for improvement
  • Managing outside counsel and developing strategy for litigation and regulatory proceedings
  • Developing an in-house organization of legal professionals to provide legal assistance to the company
  • Negotiating transactions on behalf of the company
  • Planning the company's strategy for handling government affairs and lobbying efforts

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In-House Counsel (0-3 years of experience)

In-house counsel provides legal research, advice and other legal assistance as directed by the general counsel (GC), deputy GC and other senior-level lawyers in the corporate legal department. This position also may provide counsel to management within the company and coordinate with outside legal counsel. Depending on the industry or size of the company, in-house counsel may be placed in a specialized division within the legal department, such as litigation, real estate or regulatory compliance.

In-house counsel must have an LL.B and excellent analytical, communication, diplomatic, research and writing skills. Employers may hire candidates straight out of law school for this position or require that they have one to three years of experience working for a law firm or corporate legal department.

Typical duties include:

  • Researching and analyzing law for the preparation of legal memoranda
  • Performing due diligence for a potential transaction involving the company
  • Representing the company in a court of law, administrative body or tribunal
  • Analyzing and summarizing legal documents
  • Negotiating with outside parties, outside counsel, vendors and clients
  • Anticipating and mitigating potential legal problems involving the company

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In-House Counsel (4-9 years of experience)

In-house counsel with four to nine years of experience would have developed some expertise within the legal department, while still providing research, advice and other legal assistance to the general counsel (GC), deputy GC and other senior-level lawyers in the corporate legal department. This legal position also may provide counsel to management within the company, coordinate with outside legal counsel and be expected to take on a more managerial role within the legal department.

In-house counsel must have an LL.B and have excellent analytical, communication, diplomatic, legal research and writing skills. Employers may require five to nine years of experience working at a law firm or another corporate legal department, depending on the level of the position offered.

Typical duties include:

  • Developing the organization's policies on industry-specific issues, corporate governance or regulatory affairs
  • Researching and analyzing the law on complex issues and writing a brief for submission to a supervising lawyer or executive of the organization
  • Appearing in a court of law, arbitration or other judicial tribunal and initiating, prosecuting or defending litigation on behalf of the company
  • Analyzing and summarizing complicated legal documents, including contracts, and making suggestions for alterations of those documents
  • Negotiating with outside parties on contractual issues and legal disputes, including settlement conferences
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts
  • Anticipating and mitigating potential legal problems within the organization and developing strategies to avoid costly litigation and reduce potential areas of risk

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Associate General Cousel/In-House Counsel (10+ years of experience)

In-house counsel with more than 10 years of experience is expected to provide a wide range of legal services and advice to the company, including developing a budget for the legal department. Tenured corporate counsel would also have cultivated a specific area of expertise, such as litigation, mergers and acquisitions or securities regulation. The position works closely with the general counsel (GC), deputy GC and senior management, and is responsible for managing outside legal counsel and employees at all levels, assigning cases to legal teams and hiring legal staff.

Candidates should possess strong leadership, analytical, verbal and written communication skills. An LL.B is required. Depending on the size and structure of the corporate legal department, this position generally requires more than 10 years of experience in a law firm or corporate legal department. Employers often require candidates to have a background in transactions, intellectual property, labour, real estate and securities laws. Companies may request experience in compliance and corporate governance issues. Many companies also prefer industry-specific government regulation experience.

Typical duties include:

  • Consulting with management, commercial advisors, tax experts, accountants and marketing staff
  • Coordinating and managing outside counsel and litigation
  • Negotiating and drafting contractual agreements, such as real estate leases, and advising on employment matters
  • Overseeing compliance and corporate governance issues
  • Keeping informed of industry-specific regulations and ensuring that appropriate risk management strategies are in place

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GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE/LEGAL SPECIALIST

Legal receptionist

Legal word processor

Office clerk

Office manager

Patent agent

Records clerk

Time and billing clerk

Legal Receptionist

Legal receptionists are responsible for managing a multi-line phone system — placing, receiving and directing calls. They may report to the senior/executive legal assistant and are responsible for responding to requests from callers, relaying messages, coordinating with mail delivery services, and greeting clients and other visitors. Legal receptionists may be responsible for the receipt, logging and distribution of legal documents. The position requires typing and computer proficiency, along with strong interpersonal skills.

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Legal Word Processor

Legal word processors scan, clean and repair documents, as well as transcribe notes and dictation from lawyers to produce correspondence, pleadings and other legal documents. They may report to the senior/executive legal secretary. The position requires outstanding typing skills (at least 75 words per minute) and the ability to type tables of authorities for lengthy briefs. Legal word processors need to be proficient in Microsoft Office programs and transcription software and equipment. A high school diploma is required, but employers may prefer a bachelor's degree or college diploma and prior law firm experience.

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Office Clerk

Office clerks distribute mail and perform filing, copy and clerical work for lawyers, law clerks, legal assistants and other legal staff. Office clerks typically report to the senior law clerk and require excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, along with the ability to multitask and meet deadlines.

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Office Manager

At smaller law firms, the responsibilities of office managers tend to be the same as legal administrators — supervision of all administrative functions. In very small firms, duties also may include helping lawyers in scheduling appointments and ensuring timely and proper preparation of documents. By contrast, office managers at larger law firms tend to focus more specifically on facilities management and information services. This role generally requires at least a college diploma and five years of experience in an office administration role, as well as strong communication skills and attention to detail.

Typical duties include:

  • Facilities management, including leasing, building maintenance and cleaning services
  • Provision and maintenance of equipment
  • Provision of office supplies
  • Coordination with IT to ensure quality information services
  • Management of office budget
  • Visitor hospitality
  • Employee onboarding
  • Event planning, from in-office catering to parties and conferences

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Patent Agent

Patent agents represent clients applying to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to obtain patent protection. While patent agents don’t have to be lawyers, they must successfully compete a series of exams in accordance with the Canadian Patent Act. They are also generally expected to have a bachelor’s degree in the area in which they specialize, for example, engineering, computer science or the life sciences.

Typical duties include:

  • Study of client inventions and their potential for being patented
  • Research, preparation and filing of documents with the CIPO
  • Negotiation and drafting of patent agreements
  • Handling of communications between the CIPO]\ and client

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Records Clerk

A records clerk is responsible for maintaining both electronic and manual systems where cases, evidence and records are organized and filed. This entails developing and maintaining organized filing systems, organizing files and case documents, keeping track of discovery documents, preparing records to be sent off-site for storage, assisting the legal team with document requests and file creation, and disposing of files in accordance with established document retention procedures. While candidates don’t necessarily need a post-secondary degree, they should demonstrate excellent organizational skills, proficiency with basic computer programs and the ability to adhere to strict confidentiality rules.

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Time and Billing Clerk

The time and billing clerk, also known as a billing clerk or legal billing clerk, is responsible for tracking all the hours worked for individual clients, plus other related client expenses. They then communicate that information to clients and create invoices. They may also perform other accounting and bookkeeping duties as needed. Some firms require only a high school diploma, while others require a college diploma or bachelor’s degree, plus accounting or bookkeeping credentials. Required skills include excellent attention to detail, ability to maintain confidentiality, and a proven ability to work with numbers.

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LAW FIRM LAWYER

First-year associate

Lawyer (1-3 years of experience)

Lawyer (4-9 years of experience)

Lawyer (10+ years of experience)

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First-Year Associate

The duties, attributes and educational requirements of a first-year associate are generally the same as those listed in our general job descriptions for lawyers. Entry-level associates perform a variety of tasks under heavy supervision and should be familiar with standard legal concepts and procedures. They must have an LL.B, and be a member of an applicable provincial bar. Employers prefer candidates with summer associate experience.

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Lawyer/Junior Lawyer (1-3 years of experience)

The duties, attributes and educational requirements of a junior lawyer are generally the same as those listed in our general job descriptions for lawyers. Entry-level lawyers perform a variety of tasks under general supervision and should be familiar with standard concepts and procedures within a particular practice area. This position typically requires one to three years of experience in a law firm or corporate legal department. They must have an LL.B, and be a member of an applicable provincial bar.

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Lawyer/Senior Lawyer (4-9 years of experience)

The duties, attributes and educational requirements of a senior lawyer are generally the same as those listed in our general job descriptions for lawyers. As a senior associate, the lawyer still answers to the partner in charge, but has greater latitude in conducting cases, more access to clients and is generally in charge of managing the entry-level associates and professional staff. This position typically requires four to nine years of increasing responsibility and experience in a law firm or corporate legal department. They must have an LL.B, and be a member of an applicable provincial bar.

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Lawyer (10+ years of experience)

The duties, attributes and educational requirements of a lawyer with 10 or more years of experience are generally the same as those listed in our general job descriptions for lawyers. However, these senior-level lawyers must have extensive skills, knowledge and legal practice experience, and they typically perform a variety of difficult and complex legal work — and operate with substantial discretion and minimal direction or supervision. An experienced lawyer creates proactive or defense strategies regarding major legal actions and may provide functional advice or training to less-experienced lawyers. This legal position typically requires 10 or more years of increasing responsibility and experience in a law firm or corporate legal department.

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LEGAL SUPPORT

Law clerks and legal assistants directly support lawyers and may be required to supervise other legal staff, such as file clerks. While they cannot offer legal advice, they work closely with lawyers on legal matters, perform basic legal research and draft legal documents for lawyers' review.

While law clerks may train on the job in some jurisdictions, employers often seek candidates with a bachelor's degree or a diploma and/or certification from an accredited postsecondary legal institution. Law clerks should have computer and technical knowledge as well as strong analytical, communication and organizational skills. Larger law firms generally prefer three to five years of law clerk experience in a law firm or other corporate legal department. Employers may require previous clerical or administrative experience, or demonstrated knowledge of particular computer software programs.

Typical duties include:

  • Assisting lawyers in preparing for transactional closings, depositions, hearings, trials and conferences; completing many administrative tasks, including individual cases or transactions
  • Investigating the factual evidence of a transaction or case and preparing exhibits, charts and diagrams to display information
  • Drafting legal court documents, such as pleadings, motions, affidavits and subpoenas; transactional documents, such as trusts, wills, contracts and real estate leases; and closing documents
  • Conducting routine discovery
  • Obtaining due diligence materials, such as corporate certificates of good standing, real estate and title information, and securities filings
  • Organizing and tracking files for important transactions or case documents, including pleadings and voluminous discovery documents; creating and maintaining a case-management database

Administrative assistant

Law clerk (0-2 years of experience)

Law clerk (2-3 years of experience)

Law clerk manager

Law clerk/legal assistant (hybrid)

Legal assistant (1-2 years of experience)

Legal assistant (3-6 years of experience)

Legal assistant (7-11 years of experience)

Midlevel law clerk (4-6 years of experience)

Senior law clerk/legal assistant (hybrid)

Senior/executive legal assistant (12+ years of experience)

Senior/supervising law clerk (7+ years of experience)

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants prepare administrative documents and correspondence and oversee day-to-day office operations and administrative support activities. They may support receptionists or legal assistants as needed. Administrative assistants work directly with the legal support supervisor and must maintain a professional working relationship with lawyers and legal staff. Employers generally prefer two to five years of work experience. Administrative assistants must be detail-oriented and have excellent communication and organizational skills.

Typical duties include:

  • Managing budgetary information and coordinating the ordering of office supplies and facility maintenance
  • Preparing a variety of documents necessary for the administrative operations of the law office, such as time cards and expense reports, and fulfilling cheque requests
  • Preparing, organizing and maintaining correspondence and administrative files
  • Scheduling and coordinating meetings and conferences
  • Providing relief to receptionists by answering incoming phone calls or assisting legal administrative staff by handling word processing, filing and document transmission

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Law Clerk (0-2 years of experience)

Individuals in this entry-level position support lawyers and legal staff. Their duties include basic legal research, data entry, document review and case file management. The job requires excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, computer expertise and the ability to follow instructions. Law firms prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree and one to two years of experience in a law firm or judicial environment.

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Law Clerk (2-3 years of experience)

The responsibilities of a law clerk with two to three years of experience include basic law clerk duties in addition to extensive document review and organization. The law clerk produces transcript summaries and prepares documents for discovery, performs data entry, document coding and imaging, and other support functions during trial and motion preparations. Candidates must understand legal concepts, terminology, principles and procedures. Experience in one or more specialized practice areas is a plus.

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Law Clerk Manager

Law clerk managers are responsible for managing both law clerk teams and the systems and technologies they use to create and track legal documents. Requirements usually include a bachelor’s degree, a law clerk certification, about five years of law clerk experience, and excellent communication skills and attention to detail.

Law clerk managers also are typically responsible for:

  • Case assignment and workflow
  • Support for team members in legal research, including use of relevant technologies
  • Accurate and timely delivery of projects
  • Coordination with lawyers, especially on urgent or complex tasks
  • Recruitment and training of law clerks

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Law Clerk/Legal Assistant (hybrid)

Professionals in a law clerk/legal assistant hybrid roles often work closely with lawyers on legal matters, perform basic legal research and draft legal documents for lawyers’ review. In addition, they are usually expected to perform clerical duties traditionally performed by legal assistants. The hybrid law clerk/legal assistant must have excellent written and oral communication skills, technical savvy and strong attention to detail.

Typical duties include:

  • Note taking at meetings
  • Communicating with clients, witnesses, court officials, opposing counsel and other parties
  • Scheduling depositions, site inspections, hearings, closings and meetings
  • Preparing legal documents and notices
  • Updating transactional documents
  • Maintaining case and correspondence files
  • Assisting lawyers in preparing for transactional closings, depositions, hearings, trials and conferences
  • Investigating the factual evidence of a transaction or case, and preparing exhibits, charts and diagrams to display information
  • Conducting routine discovery
  • Obtaining due-diligence materials, such as corporate certificates of good standing, real estate and title information, and securities filings
  • Organizing and tracking files for important transactions or case documents, including pleadings and voluminous discovery documents; creating and maintaining a case-management database

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Legal Assistant (1-2 years of experience)

A legal assistant provides legal and administrative support for lawyers and law clerks. Duties include transcribing dictation, producing letters and court documents, and coordinating mailings. This position works directly with the legal support supervisor. The position requires exceptional computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office, as well as law office technology such as legal calendaring software.

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Legal Assistant (3-6 years of experience)

The responsibilities of a legal assistant with three to six years of experience encompass basic administrative duties, as well as additional tasks, such as court filings, maintaining lawyers' calendars, scheduling lawyer time and completing billing sheets. Candidates should possess precise knowledge of court forms and filing procedures and an understanding of one or more specific practice areas. The ability to multitask and prioritize is critical, as the position may support up to five lawyers. Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail are required.

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Legal Assistant (7-11 years of experience)

The duties of a legal assistant with seven to eleven years of experience include the basic responsibilities as well as taking on a supervisory role of the legal support staff. The legal assistant can oversee day-to-day workflow of legal support staff and scheduling, provide support for lawyers and law clerks, assist with case management, and manage administrative functions. Candidates should have precise knowledge of court forms and filing procedures and experience and in-depth understanding of one or more specific practice areas. A legal assistant at this level must have exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, as well as the ability to multitask and prioritize.

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Midlevel Law Clerk (4-6 years of experience)

The responsibilities of the midlevel law clerk encompass basic law clerk duties but also include providing advanced legal support to lawyers and clients, conducting extensive case research, preparing detailed reports and memoranda, assisting with transactional closings, and drafting legal documents. The position often handles technical aspects of case management, and advanced knowledge of legal concepts and procedures is required.

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Senior Law Clerk/Legal Assistant (Hybrid)

Legal professionals in these senior law clerk/legal assistant hybrid roles generally supervise other members of the legal support teams. In addition to the basic hybrid law clerk/legal assistant responsibilities, they may take a more active role in client interactions. They are generally expected to have three to five years of experience in the industry, previous supervisory experience, and a college diploma, preferably in a law-related field.

Besides their legal assistant work, additional duties include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day workflow and scheduling
  • Ensuring coverage during evenings and weekends as required
  • Hiring and training general administrative staff

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Senior/Executive Legal Assistant (12+ years of experience)

In addition to handling legal assistant duties, the senior/executive legal assistant may also interact with clients and assume a supervisory role by managing legal support teams or legal administrative departments. This also includes overseeing day-to-day workflow and scheduling, as well as monitoring evening and weekend support for lawyers and law clerks. The senior/executive legal assistant often is responsible for hiring general administrative staff.

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Senior/Supervising Law Clerk (7+ years of experience)

The responsibilities for the senior/supervising law clerk are similar to those detailed for other law clerk positions. They also include supervising discovery and litigation support teams, assisting with case management, performing court filings, participating in evaluations and hiring decisions, and working closely with lawyers and clients on high-level matters. The position requires advanced knowledge of the law and legal procedures, along with superior leadership and management skills. Experience in a specific legal practice area is highly preferred.

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LEASE ADMINISTRATION

Lease administrator

Lease assistant

Lease manager

Title Closer

Lease Administrator

A lease administrator is generally found in a real estate practice or in a commercial property management company. The duties and responsibilities of this specialist include creating leases from templates, tracking leases through the process, ensuring compliance with federal, provincial and local regulations for landlords and tenants, reviewing leases and verifying related documents for proper execution, abstracting leases into a database, and maintaining data integrity. Preferred candidates typically have worked as an administrator or office manager before, preferably in a law firm or corporate law department, and have experience managing personnel, benefits, payroll, vendor relationships and financials. Post-secondary education and experience in retail leasing, retail or commercial property development are also preferred. Excellent computer and organizational skills are required.

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Lease Assistant

A lease assistant supports the lease administrator or manager in creating, tracking and storing leases, collecting and verifying related documentation, and ensuring compliance with regulations governing landlords and tenants. Typical duties include filing, database management, report creation, reviewing and drafting legal corporate documents, and ensuring adherence to deadlines. While there are no specific education requirements, candidates should demonstrate attention to detail, strong communication skills, and some knowledge of leasing regulations and processes.

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Lease Manager

Lease managers are generally found in large real estate practices or commercial property management companies. Typical duties include supervising all aspects associated with documentation and operational support of lease and loan transactions, document analysis and preparation of documents, managing leasing systems, and supervising team members. Preferred candidates possess previous management experience, preferably in a law firm or corporate law department, and have experience managing personnel, benefits, payroll, vendor relationships and financials. Post-secondary education and experience in retail leasing, retail or commercial property development are also preferred. Excellent computer and organizational skills are required.

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Title Closer

Titles closers are responsible for preparing all the legal documentation — including mortgage documents, deeds, tax records and insurance policies — necessary for the closing of real estate sales. They also evaluate these documents to ensure there are no problems such as outstanding liens or taxes due. Finally, they help prepare title commitments, settlement statements, financial distributions and closing packages. While a university degree is not required, title closers generally require a license and some training in real estate law and processes.

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LITIGATION SUPPORT/EDISCOVERY

The litigation support professional (also called an eDiscovery professional) is a hybrid law clerk and IT specialist that supports the litigation needs of the law firm by using law office technology to manage voluminous data in various formats so that it is readily accessible.

In a large firm setting, the litigation support professional typically reports to the practice group manager. In many midsize firms, law clerks with specialized law office technology training may fill the litigation support role. Litigation support professionals typically have a university degree or college diploma, advanced technical skills, and training on database and litigation support applications. Some also have advanced certifications in addition to their degrees. Candidates must have solid IT knowledge, familiarity with document management systems and trial presentation software, and strong communication skills in interacting with lawyers, staff and vendors, as well as excellent organizational abilities, critical thinking skills and attention to detail.

Typical duties include:

  • Using litigation and eDiscovery software to manage evidence and case-related documents
  • Designing and implementing databases for managing, sorting, indexing and abstracting large volumes of data produced in litigation
  • Providing training and user support to lawyers, law clerks and other support staff on litigation technology software and systems
  • Supporting and supervising in-house scanning and processing of electronically stored information
  • Ensuring compliance with provincial and federal rules regarding electronically stored information
  • Implementing litigation hold and document retention procedures within the law firm and within clients' organizations

Document Coder

Litigation Support/eDiscovery Specialist/Analyst (1-2 years of experience)

Litigation Support/eDiscovery Manager (3-6 years of experience)

Litigation Support/eDiscovery Manager (7-9 years of experience)

Litigation Support/eDiscovery Director (10+ years of experience)

Document Coder

The document coder or case assistant receives, organizes and enters data into database programs, imports data to specialized legal software and prioritizes/batches material for data entry. The position often reports to the senior law clerk or senior legal assistant. Candidates are required to have technical proficiency, knowledge of legal concepts, organizational skills and attention to detail.

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Litigation Support/eDiscovery Specialist/Analyst (1-2 years of experience)

The duties for the litigation support specialist/analyst are similar to those detailed for other litigation support positions, but also include conducting eDiscovery and other data tracking for litigation. The litigation support specialist/analyst also assists the litigation support manager. This position requires proficiency in case management and eDiscovery software, great attention to detail and project management skills.

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Litigation Support/eDiscovery Manager (3-6 years of experience)

The duties are similar to those detailed for other litigation support positions, but the litigation support manager also oversees all project teams and litigation projects undertaken by the litigation support department. This position calls for strong project management, professional and interpersonal skills.

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Litigation Support/eDiscovery Manager (7-9 years of experience)

The duties are similar to those detailed for other litigation support positions, but the litigation support manager also serves as the primary liaison between outside firms and vendors. The position manages document-intensive litigation projects and supervises project teams.

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Litigation Support/eDiscovery Director (10+ years of experience)

The litigation support director oversees the litigation support/eDiscovery team and acts as the primary liaison with the litigation practice group, clients' in-house discovery team, opposing law firms and vendors. This position supervises large-scale document review and litigation support projects.

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