City of Sunnyvale, CA - Sunnyvale, CA

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* This classification has been designated as confidential. In addition to the base pay indicated above, individuals in this classification receive a 3.5% confidential premium.

Please note: Typical placement is made at the first step of the salary range.


Under general supervision of the City Attorney, performs varied and complex paraprofessional legal research, records management, and office administrative support functions on behalf of the City Attorney's Office; and performs related work as required.


The position of Paralegal is a fully qualified journey-level technical classification. This classification supports the City Attorney and attorney staff, and performs directed technical legal and/or factual research in support of specific cases or legal projects; prepares and administers legal documents and records, information databases and office files; and, performs administrative and budget support functions, as assigned. This classification differs from the lower-level classification of Legal Secretary in that the Legal Secretary classification performs a wide variety of complex and confidential legal secretarial services, including litigation support, for the Office of the City Attorney.

Essential Job Functions:

(May include, but are not limited to, the following):
  • Performs specialized legal administrative duties including preparation and management of complex legal documents; prepares a variety of other materials, including correspondence, reports, charts, spreadsheets, and statistical data for review by professional and managerial staff; coordinates and may perform related statistical and clerical work, including typing, word processing and data entry.
  • Prepares draft sections of contracts, leases, permits, ordinances, resolutions and amendments for review by professional and managerial staff.
  • Coordinates the gathering of information from various departments in the preparation of contracts and other legal documents; reviews and proofreads contracts and other legal documents to ensure necessary provisions are included.
  • Checks consistency of clauses and provisions and accuracy and pertinence of citations and code checks through the use computerized legal databases; notes necessary changes, additions, deletions and corrections.
  • Performs routine legal research and compiles data from such references as digests, encyclopedias, practice manuals, or other sources.
  • Collects, compiles and utilizes technical information to make recommendations to staff attorneys; compiles, organizes and analyzes various data for use in reports or other documents.
  • Assists in the preparation of form complaints, declarations and other basic pleadings.
  • Coordinates and monitors overall office activities and work flow ensuring timely completion of clerical and administrative support; performs administrative detail, such as coordinating and scheduling activities; acts as liaison with other City departments, as assigned.
  • Establishes and maintains confidential files and recordkeeping systems; maintains calendars; processes documents appropriately.
  • Maintains and updates legal library and other manuals and resources materials, City Attorney Office website, and performs other general clerical services.
  • Organizes and maintains legal records and office files by legal subject, litigant name, case record, and by type of legal service request, case, or action.
  • Drafts agendas for meetings and prepares, posts and disseminates public notices, affidavits and transcripts to appropriate parties.
  • Serves as contact or resource person in answering questions and complaints; provides information related to the work of the office to the public, law firms, Courts, and various entities.
  • Assists City personnel and the general public at the front counter; answers questions regarding legal documents, procedures, filings, and the status of various cases and legal actions.
  • Maintains and updates the City's Municipal Code.
  • Assists in department budget preparation and budget administration.
  • May perform other secretarial, administrative and support functions as assigned.


Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading written reports and work related documents and using a computer. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal customer service. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper, books and documents weighing up to 25 pounds is also required. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodation.

Minimum Qualifications:

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in one of the following ways:

(1) Certificate of completion from any paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association; OR

(2) Completion of a degree or certificate of completion of a paralegal program from an accredited post-secondary institution that requires completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in law-related courses. The degree or program must also have accreditation from a national or regional accrediting organization or approval from the Bureau for Private Post-secondary and Vocational Education; OR

(3) Bachelor's degree or advanced degree in any subject from an accredited college or university and two years of law-related work experience under the supervision of a qualified and practicing California attorney. Additionally, a written declaration is required from the supervising attorney that states the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks.

Knowledge of:
  • Modern legal office practices, procedures and terminology.
  • General legal principles and application.
  • Legal proceedings, Court practices, and the proper handling of legal documents.
  • City ordinances, contracts, codes, and labor contract provisions.
  • Methods of legal research and legal research materials.
  • Basic data gathering and analysis techniques.
  • Various legal document formats and presentations.
  • Municipal government operations.
  • Court rules relating to preparing and filing legal documents, including time frames.
  • Modern office equipment and designated specialized computes software and operating programs.
  • Case files and records management practices.
  • Filing, indexing and cross-referencing methods.
  • Proper English usage, spelling, grammar, composition and punctuation.
  • Business correspondence methods.
  • Record keeping, proofreading, and filing practices and procedures.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.
  • Basic budgetary systems and procedures.
Ability to:
  • Prepare complex legal records, reports, documents.
  • Research legal information using books, manuals, and on-line and automated resources
  • Perform arithmetic calculations.
  • Maintain confidential data and information.
  • Accurately interpret and analyze information.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Organize and set priorities within areas of assigned responsibility; complete assignments in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Compile, prepare and maintain clear, concise and accurate reports, correspondence and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain accurate records, databases and other related legal and office administrative support files.
  • Organize and maintain specialized legal files.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, public officials and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in performance of duties.
  • Exercise tact and diplomacy in dealing with sensitive, complex and confidential personnel issues and employee situations.
  • Learn the operation, policy and procedures of the City Attorney's office.
  • Deal with City officials, employees and the public concerning matters which involve a high degree of sensitivity and confidentiality.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
Willingness to:

Complete mandated training and continuing education, including at least four hours of legal ethics and four hours of general or specialized law courses every two years. Supervising attorneys certify that paralegals have completed the continuing education requirements.


Possession and continued maintenance of a valid class C California driver's license or the ability to provide alternative transportation as approved by the appointing authority and a safe driving record.

  • California paralegal certification.
  • Experience in a law office of a California public agency.

Application and Selection Process:

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a City of Sunnyvale employment application and responses to the supplemental questions to the Department of Human Resources no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 6, 2013 (postmarks or faxes are not accepted). Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page at or application materials may be submitted to: Department of Human Resources, 505 West Olive Avenue, Suite 200, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position. Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the examination process, which may consist of an oral examination and a writing exercise scheduled for the week of September 23, 2013 . (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Those candidates that receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City’s Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies. Any candidate that is selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a background history check, as well as a medical exam(s) administered by a City-selected physician(s) before hire. Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. Positions which are covered by the Department of Transportation regulations are required to submit to a pre-employment drug test and to random drug and alcohol testing.

Please note: Any successful candidate, selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e. original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).


The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of race, religion, color, sex (including gender, gender identity, and gender expression), sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality), national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, marital status, pregnancy, age, medical condition, genetic characteristics or information, and physical or mental disability. Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application.