competency in skills and knowledge through assessment tests,
but are not required to complete a specific number of hours.
Work Process Content
On the Job Training
Displays ethics and professionalism
- Demonstrates professional email and phone etiquette, monitoring and tracking key deadlines, and issuing appropriate reminders to clients and attorneys
- Avoids working outside their areas of knowledge and competence, seeking guidance and support where needed
- Effectively manages time on assigned tasks, including tracking their time and billing with precision, according to client and/or firm billing guidelines
- Uses professional technology including web conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams), spreadsheet programs (e.g., Excel), and other office software as required
- Demonstrates familiarity with organizational policies and processes including confidentiality
- Shows a willingness to learn and adapt to changes in work, deadlines, and team environment
- Communicates timing and billing considerations to colleagues where necessary
- Monitors and tracks key deadlines and issues appropriate reminders to attorneys and clients
- Complies with and demonstrates understanding of company policies about inclusivity and equity
Applies legal terminology in daily work
- Asks for assistance with identifying legal terminology, when necessary and in a respectful, timely manner
- Responds to attorney and other firm requests accurately
- Uses legal terms correctly in written documents, including firm specific terminology, and asks for guidance where needed
- Provides factual explanations of cases and law while avoiding giving legal advice to clients and outside parties
Conducts legal research using appropriate methods
- Performs case research using a variety of sources, including the internet, LexisNexis, Westlaw, libraries, and industry-related news articles
- Presents case law precisely, to support legal arguments or background information
- Shows accurate knowledge and application of principal pieces of relevant law
- Applies relevant cases or law in a given situation and asks for guidance where needed
- Supports attorney(s) independently in thinking through legal questions or problems before asking for guidance
- Assists attorney(s) with research and analysis as part of a transaction or deal
- Performs cite checks, including preparing in Blue Book format
Drafts legal documents for attorney and client review
- Assists attorney(s) in using clear, concise, and appropriate language, including regulatory findings when drafting a variety of documents, including but not limited to, correspondence, deal documents, case overviews, and other legal support documents.
- Supports attorney(s) with presenting logical and structured arguments of cases and law in written materials.
- Thoroughly reviews written materials for errors before submitting them to attorneys or managers
- Accepts and responds to feedback on written materials in a respectful, timely manner
- Completes written tasks on time and asks for additional resources if needed
- Drafts regulatory filings (e.g., corporate formation document drafts or renewals; for litigation, this might include very simple motion drafts as well as docketing filings and correspondence with the court)
Communicates professionally with team members, attorneys, and clients
- Demonstrates professional etiquette over all communication methods, including responding in a timely manner
- Uses positive and respectful verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with colleagues and clients
- Promptly reports challenges and successes regarding their cases and workload to supervisors
- Maintains clients’ privacy and professionalism outside of work, including when using social media
- Communicates calmly and professionally in high stress situations
- Presents alternative ideas and approaches to attorneys and suggests solutions to case challenges
- Demonstrates culturally sensitive and proficient interpersonal skills
- Assists in maintaining a workplace free from discrimination and harassment by recognizing and working on own biases
Builds skills and knowledge relevant to their own field of law
- Independently builds own knowledge of their field, including pertinent cases, regulations, and procedures for a specific area of law (e.g., civil, criminal, contract law)
- Refers to codes, regulations, or practices specific to own field of law
- Works to build their skills in required areas by seeking out opportunities and requesting feedback from supervisors and attorneys.
- Builds a network of peers and professionals that specialize in their field or specialty
- Promotes equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practices through daily activities with colleagues, clients, and others
Prepares for prelitigation and pleading phase (optional for non-litigators)
- Assists with depositions, expert interviews, and client meetings by assembling the relevant files and coordinating logistics
- Prepares fillable forms or templates related to client intake interviews
- Develops case overviews, including a summary of facts, witnesses, potential causes of action, impressions of the client, and a basic discovery plan (in coordination with other firms and under attorney supervision)
- Performs informal discovery by locating and taking statements from nonparty witnesses (under attorney supervision)
- Drafts complaints and answers on court forms (under attorney supervision)
- Analyzes the opposing party’s pleading to prepare draft motions for attorney review (under attorney supervision)
- Enters all court deadlines in a docket with appropriate reminders and with responsibility for monitoring all deadlines.
Supports attorneys for e-discovery, document review, and production (optional for non-litigators)
- Supports team members and attorneys on tasks including discovery preparation, depositions, and document review
- Uses electronic discovery software to collect, organize and process Electronically Stored Information (ESI) to discover facts relevant to the lawsuit and identify potential witnesses and evidence
- Organizes and issues code to ESI to facilitate quick retrieval and production of redacted or Bates-stamped documents to the opposing parties
- Prepares and tracks the production of documents in response to subpoenas and discovery related documents, including correspondence and timelines
- Drafts form interrogatories, special interrogatories, inspection demands, requests for admissions, and responses for attorney review
- Coordinates with outside vendors or other in-house legal professionals for the collection and production of ESI
- Organizes and processes electronic data and paper files and assists in creating databases and preparing files for attorney review
- Demonstrates attention to detail in document production and a thorough understanding of the production process
- Organizes critical case documents for attorney review and retrieval
- Researches and alerts attorney(s) on the local rules for the discovery process
- Reviews case documents for attorney/client privilege and indexes and tracks the privilege log
Assists in trial preparation and presentation (optional for non-litigators)
- Prepares deposition summaries to assist attorney team with witness outlines
- Prepares general communication for the attorney about settlement and mediation
- Researches the applicable rules on pretrial requirements
- Drafts jury instructions, verdict forms, witness and exhibit lists, and drafts basic motions
- Operates the trial presentation software or coordinates with outside vendors
- Locates exhibits, builds witness binders, and tracks which exhibits have been admitted into evidence
- Coordinates the delivery of files to the trial site and setup of a trial office
- Organizes trial exhibits by building the demonstratives and working with opposing parties to access the exhibits
Related Instruction Content
English composition and grammar
• Demonstrate the ability to write using proper paragraph form, spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization. • Prepare short (1–3 pages) essays, declarative documents, instructions, and research summaries that are accurate, grammatically correct, concise, and clearly written. • Prepare longer (3–20 pages) written documents, including appropriate citations and references. • Demonstrate the ability to prepare documents and bibliographies using APA style guidelines. • Demonstrate the ability to conduct library research, distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources, compare and contrast information, and prepare written statements in support of a given position.
Legal terminology, writing, and critical analysis
• Demonstrate the ability to write a legal memo that includes pertinent information and uses appropriate legal terminology, formats, and syntax. • Prepare a legal brief that includes the results of legal research and makes an argument in support of or against a set of facts. • Prepare a written analysis of fact patterns and relevant case law to support a position or argument. • Take accurate notes during witness interviews, meetings with other colleagues, in court, and in other settings. • Demonstrate the ability to proofread documents in a way that effectively identifies errors in spelling, syntax, grammar, format, or facts.
Ethics and professional practice
• Explain the laws and professional standards that dictate ethical practice. • Analyze the ethical implications of various scenarios and develop an explanation of the appropriate response to ensure that professional ethics are upheld. • Explain the importance of privacy, confidentiality, and proprietary information as well as the penalties associated with breeches, both intentional and accidental. • Describe the importance of confidentiality and legal privilege, including who and what kinds of information exchange may be protected by privilege and how to properly document privileged information. • Describe the fiduciary obligations of legal professionals. • Describe and demonstrate the ability to properly communicate, share necessary information, and advocate for a given position in communication with other attorneys/legal professionals, courts, opposing counsel, and subject matter experts.
The US legal system
• Compare and contrast systems of common law, civil law, religious law, and customary law and describe the legal system that serves as the basis for US law. • List the three branches of government and the roles and responsibilities of each in making, applying, and enforcing law. • Describe the content and history of the US Constitution, the process by which the constitution may be amended, federalism, and the role of states versus the federal government in establishing and upholding the law. • Demonstrate the ability to identify federal and state regulations that describe how various laws will be implemented and upheld by the responsible agencies. • Describe the role of plaintiffs, defendants, judges, juries, attorneys, court reporters, witnesses, and subject matter experts in the legal system and in making legal decisions or judgments. • Describe the system of federal and state courts, describing the authority of each and the ways in which legal decisions are made, challenged, upheld, or overturned as they move through the hierarchy of the US court system.
• Conduct and properly document legal research, including by using electronic databases such as WestLaw and LexisNexis. • Identify regulations at the federal and/or state level that guide the implementation and enforcement of specific laws. • Provide a written history of a given law and how it has changed (in statute and/or regulations) over time. • Identify and explain the significance of court opinions relevant to a particular legal question or case. • Prepare summary documents that accurately and succinctly provide information gathered during legal research and relevant to a given case or legal question.
Law office management, technology, and records
• Demonstrate proper use of email, text, and client management software to exchange information, ensure timely responses are provided, and ensure that appropriate stakeholders receive relevant updates regarding firm or company policies, actions regarding specific cases, and pertinent information regarding document requests or holds. • Demonstrate ability to use calendaring software to set up meetings with internal and external constituents. • Demonstrate ability to track billable hours, prepare invoices, and track payments, including by using tracking and billing software. • Demonstrate ability to preserve documents according to employer’s document retention and storage policies and professional legal standards. • Demonstrate ability to use word-processing software to format documents, track and resolve edits and changes, add line numbers and pagination, and put documents in appropriate or required format. • Create and preserve briefs, evidence logs, documents, research compilations, and pretrial binders. • Manage relationships with outside vendors, including tracking schedules for follow-up interaction, payments, or renewals. • Use calendar technology to set up deliverable schedules and deadlines and to send gentle reminders.
Writing composition and writing for business or communications
• Demonstrate the ability to write clear and concise memos, emails, legal analyses, and requests. • Demonstrate proper use of email communication, including labeling privileged information appropriately, emailing only relevant stakeholders, and sharing information appropriately. • Demonstrate proper use of telephone technology, including mobile phones and landlines, to transfer, connect or join calls, open and maintain conference lines, organize large group calls, initiate and terminate recording technology when appropriate, and interact with external conference call services. • Communicate clearly and professionally with colleagues, supervisors, clients, court personnel, court reporters, opposing counsel, clerks, and other members of the legal profession. • Interview clients, asking relevant and appropriate questions based on the legal issue at hand and correctly recording their answers. • Review contracts to understand terms, conditions, and deadlines; identify errors or discrepancies; and make recommendations regarding the content and format of contracts.
• Identify federal, state, and local statues and regulations regarding legal remedies available in the event of injury or accident. • Collect relevant information from complainants to accurately record information about when and how an injury or accident occurred, who witnessed it, and what subsequent actions were required to remedy personal injury or property damage. • Describe the role of class action litigation, the process for identifying a potential member of a class, and the process for distributing proceeds that result from successful litigation. • Effectively collect necessary information to support or defend tort claims, including medical records, insurance records, etc.
Business law and contracts
• Discuss the types of business entities that exist, the requirements for legally establishing a business entity, and the types of documentation that must be filed and retained to serve as evidence of a business organization’s founding and history. • Discuss the relevant aspects of federal, state, and local employment law that employers must consider in hiring, managing, terminating, promoting, and laying off employees. • Review contracts to identify errors, interpret stipulations or exemptions, and explain contract terms. • Describe the legal requirements to engage in business mergers, acquisitions, and terminations. • Define the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and explain the relevant statutory requirements and regulations to protect workers from unlawful discrimination.
• Identify and explain relevant state, local, and federal statutes and regulations regarding marriage, divorce, and custody for minor children. • Identify and explain relevant state, local, and federal protections for disabled individuals, disabled dependents, and the elderly. • Interview parents and children using appropriate techniques to gather information about the conditions of family life, including allegations of domestic abuse, child abuse, or elder abuse. • Describe the process for separation of property during divorce proceedings. • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of mediation in resolving family disputes.
Estates, wills, and trusts
• Describe the relevance of estates, wills, and trusts and the steps that must be completed to ensure the legality and enforceability of those documents. • Obtain and file documents to register wills and trusts, file death certificates, establish or identify an executor, and instruct the executor on steps to fulfill their legal and fiduciary responsibilities in managing and closing an estate. • Define the types of trusts that exist as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each for managing assets, reducing tax liabilities, and ensuring the protection or transfer of assets upon the trustee’s death. • Explain the process for establishing trusts, including individual trusts, family trusts, and land trusts, and for disbursing trust assets in the event of the death or disability of the trustee or beneficiaries.
Real estate law
• Define the types of property that exist, including personal and real property. • Describe the main elements of a valid real estate contract and the process for verifying legal ownership of real property. • Describe the methods and requirements for legally transferring property to a new owner. • Demonstrate the ability to conduct research to collect necessary documents for real estate transactions, including deeds, identifying and interpreting zoning requirements and restrictions for the construction or use of property, and documentation of relevant warrantees or liabilities that will transfer to a new owner. • Describe the protections that individuals and business have when purchasing real estate.