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Trust and Estates Legal Secretary - Parsippany, NJ

The legal administrative assistant is responsible for managing, producing and processing administrative and client-specific information in a manner that ensures that Day Pitney successfully meets its business and client service objectives. Providing support to attorneys and paralegals and working as part of a virtual support team, the legal administrative assistant is responsible for complex work that requires knowledge of trusts and estates, knowledge of procedures and filing requirements of courts and government agencies, and knowledge of and adherence with compliance policies (e.g. conflicts of interest, privacy, deadline docketing, misuse of inside information). A successful legal administrative assistant will perform administrative and client-specific work in a manner that supports Day Pitney's objective of distinguishing itself through exceptional service. The legal administrative assistant serves as a "client relationship manager" and is responsible integrating new clients into the firm's business structure, maintaining and managing critical client information, and coordinating and producing a high volume of client and administrative work. The position requires exceptional administrative skills; effective judgment managing information; excellent organizational, client service and communication skills; the ability to multitask while adapting to changes in priorities; excellent technological skills; and the ability to adapt to changes in technology and process.


New Client Intake and Management: Administrative responsibility for opening new client matters in compliance with Firm and Departmental policies and protocols (obtain required information including potential conflicts; complete new business intake [NBI] and engagement letter requirements; ensure correct format and folder structure for virtual file [workspace] for the matter; confirm client billing arrangements; enter client information into Firm marketing/contact database and mailing lists as appropriate; enter trust client information into ICD Trust Account Profile database); update client-related information in various data resources as and when warranted.

Production: Prepare, compose and assemble documentation into proper legal format based on court and government agency requirements and in accordance with departmental procedures and/or general instruction, ensuring the proper inclusion of correct attachments, exhibits and enclosures. Type, edit, format and proofread a variety of moderate to complex documents. Create, edit, format and proofread basic PowerPoint presentations and Excel worksheets. Assemble and electronically file documents with courts and agencies on behalf of an attorney or paralegal. Perform reference searches and research (e.g. internet searches, Lexis searches) as may be required to support client or administrative work. Save work product accurately in virtual files using correct folder structure and document naming conventions.

Planning: Administrative responsibility for scheduling and coordinating conference calls, meetings, and appointments, including management of individual (Outlook) and conference room (Rendezvous) calendars; travel arrangements.

Records Management: Administrative responsibility for the management and organization of client and administrative records, both virtual (in workspaces) and hard-copy (only when the nature of an original document requires hard-copy storage). Establish and maintain client, departmental and administrative files and workspaces using established firm and department protocols for Virtual Files and correct document naming conventions.

Finance: Comply with financial month-end closing schedule requirements, including ensuring that all recorded time (in DTE) is released prior to deadline; submit requests for invoice payments, checks, and expense reimbursements (using Chrome River) in compliance with firm's Accounts Payable policies and protocols; assist with client billing (CMS and Prebill Viewer), including editing billing narratives according to Firm time-entry standards and completing other billing-related tasks as may be required; ensure cost-accountability in use of firm resources.

Reference and Resource Responsibility: Become familiar with so as to be able to obtain reference information from various firm and departmental resources (e.g., firm website and Portal; ICD Resources workspace, CMS/Quicklook, InterAction, TAP database, WFM, etc.); become familiar with so as to be able to collaborate with internal firm and departmental support resources (e.g. Office Services, Records, IS, Marketing, IRC, Finance, HR, EPDM, Trust Operations, etc.). Comply with Day Pitney policy requiring shared awareness of critical deadlines by using DP Docket system or other approved deadline management resource.

Communication, Collaboration and Teamwork: Answer, screen and forward telephone calls; assist and provide information as appropriate. Anticipate the needs of timekeepers, colleagues and clients. Work with other timekeepers and colleagues when needed to complete assignments and meet deadlines.  Assist with special projects and other duties as required.

Notary/Witness Service: Serve as a witness and/or Notary Public at a client's signing of original documents; arrange for additional witnesses to be available when necessary; ensure original documents signed by the client are forwarded to EPDM in accordance with original document tracking protocols.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum five years of legal secretarial experience
  • Experience in handling a wide range of administrative and executive support related tasks
  • Ability to support multiple timekeepers in a fast paced, changing environment
  • Excellent calendar management skills
  • Experience making travel arrangements
  • Excellent verbal, written, organization, analytical and interpersonal skills
  • Outstanding client service and decision-making skills
  • Excellent spelling and grammar and strong, accurate keyboarding skills (minimum 55 wpm)
  • Familiarity with procedures of courts and regulatory agencies
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervision, while also contributing to a team
  • Demonstrates a high degree of professionalism, confidentiality, discretion and decorum
  • Thorough knowledge of legal terminology, documents and procedures
  • Advanced word processing skills (use of styles, tracking, sophisticated mail merges, outline numbering, pagination, headers and footers, creating tables and document comparisons)
  • Experience with working in Excel to create spreadsheets, including simple formulas and formatting
  • Experience with creating and editing PowerPoint presentations, including incorporating transitions and builds
  • Ability to produce accurate draft documents from a variety of rough sources that are handwritten or 'pieced' together or from oral instructions
  • Ability to learn and use advanced software programs and new technology and desire to seek and attend training to improve skills
  • Flexibility to work overtime, as deadlines require
  • Ability to maintain concentration in a shared working environment
  • Good understanding of basic business relationships and client confidentiality principles
  • Notary Public in state of residence