COUNTY OF ERIE - DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL
invites applications for the position of:
Senior Paralegal PROMOTIONAL
#72-659 - Promotional (for current employees only)
|Salary:||$37,648 - $47,572 Annually|
|Opening Date:||April 7, 2020|
|Closing Date:||May 6, 2020|
**********************Application Fee Waiver**********************
Employees of Erie County CSEA collective bargaining unit shall have all fees associated with County provided promotional civil service examinations waived.
THIS EXAMINATION IS OPEN TO ALL QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES OF THE ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES. At present there are five anticipated vacancies at the Erie County Department of Social Services.
The eligible list resulting from this examination will not supersede currently existing promotional eligible lists for this title, if any. The duration of all promotional eligible lists is four years from date of establishment unless otherwise indicated.
Examples of Duties:
A Senior Paralegal performs specialized paralegal duties in a Social Services Division dealing with child support and child welfare issues and legal advocacy for the disabled (claims for disability benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act.) , or in the District Attorney's office;
Supervises and trains paralegal and clerical staff;
Monitors status of files;
Files appeals as necessary and/or directed by supervisor, in a timely fashion;
Assists with preparation of rough drafts of briefs and various legal documents as assigned and prepares summaries of selected decisions and opinions;
Incorporates legal references and includes an analysis of precedents involved in relation to the case or matter under discussion;
Searches legal reference files and other sources for information and data required by the attorney in conducting interviews and answering correspondence;
Assembles exhibits, affidavits, legal documents, etc., for the use of attorneys in the preparation for trial of cases, and collects any additional information which is needed;
Verifies citations and statutory references contained in legal documents against original sources such as legal texts, reports, etc., making certain they are correct and in complete conformance with the source material;
Prepares drafts of motions and responses to motions, prepares complaints, determines status of cases and responds to inquiries;
If assigned to the Department of Social Services:
Prepares summons and subpoenas relating to Family Court support proceedings;
Prepares Court Orders relating to child welfare proceedings;
Interviews claimants, determines eligibility and assists in the preparation and review of pleadings and applications;
Prepares SSI/DIB applications for submission to SSA;
Acts as a liaison between Family Court and Child Support Investigators;
Maintains contact, personally and in writing, with SSA;
May represent claimants as well as DSS and department's interests at administrative hearings;
Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with other units in DSS and other agencies in the community;
May utilize community medical and health resources;
May evaluate and interpret the social/medical factors relevant to employability and/or eligibility of clients for disability benefits;
May make referrals for medical care;
May act as liaison between social services case staff and community groups and individuals in medical/social matters;
May establish and maintain effective working relationships with medical and allied professional and other agencies in the community;
May maintain medical, social and other records in individual cases.
If assigned to the District Attorney's Office:
Maintains specialized knowledge of regulations, procedures and laws pertaining to Buffalo City Court, Family Court, County Court and Superior Court;
Mediates problems between attorneys, victims and witnesses;
Provides required information i.e. in-state and out of State Certificates of Conviction/Incarceration, program narratives, etc. necessary for court proceedings;
Maintains contact with all arresting agencies locally, state-wide and on the federal level;
Prepares standardized forms concerning Extradition, Prisoner Return Orders and Writs of Habeas Corpus and presents legal documents in court;
Reviews parole notifications and informs victims of offender's incarceration status, past and present;
Provides information to victims and families regarding convicted criminals and present prosecution;
Review case schedule for court and insures quality of case preparation is high;
Appears as expert witness;
Presents cases before hearing officers;
Reviews and enhances court face sheets;
Completes court turn around documents;
Prepares and follows up on summonses.
QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE FOR TAKING THE TEST: Candidates must be permanently employed in the competitive class and must be serving and have served continuously on a permanent or contingent permanent basis in the competitive class for 18 months immediately preceding the date of the written test in the position of Paralegal.
A medical examination may be required before appointment.
VETERANS: PROOF OF SERVICE MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE LIST IS ESTABLISHED TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL POINTS. (See application for more information.)
NOTICES TO APPEAR FOR THE EXAMINATION ARE MAILED APPROXIMATELY ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE EXAMINATION DATE
NO CELL PHONES ARE PERMITTED AT THE EXAM SITE.
June 13, 2020
Applications Must Be Postmarked or Hand Delivered By:
May 6, 2020
A Guide for the Written Test for Legal Services is available at the New York State website:https://www.cs.ny.gov/testing/testguides.cfm. Candidates not having access to a computer or the internet may request copy of the test guide from the municipal civil service office conducting this examination using the contact information found elsewhere on this announcement.
Subjects of Examination:
Scopes / Subjects of examination: A test designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and /or abilities in the following areas.
Preparing written material
These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.
Understanding and interpreting written material
These questions test for the ability to understand and interpret written material. You will be presented with brief reading passages and will be asked questions about the passages. You should base your answers to the questions only on what is presented in the passages and not on what you may happen to know about the topic.
Legal terminology, documents and forms
These questions test for the ability to recognize definitions of specific common legal terms or the term which fits a certain description. The questions are presented in various forms such as simple definitions, examples of terminology, and the use of this terminology within documents and forms related to the legal field.
These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in obtaining information from individuals through structured conversations. These questions require you to apply the principles, practices, and techniques of effective interviewing to hypothetical interviewing situations. Included are questions that present a problem arising from an interviewing situation, and you must choose the most appropriate course of action to take.
NOTICE TO CANDIDATES: Unless otherwise noted, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculators. Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", "Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited. You may not bring books or other reference materials.
INFORMATION FOR PROMOTION CANDIDATES
Unless otherwise indicated, the eligible list resulting from this examination will have a duration of four years and will not supersede existing promotional lists, if any.
RATINGS REQUIRED: Test is rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.
Points will be added to scores of candidates who achieve a passing mark as follows: Seniority: For each year of service in the classified service:
Less than 1 year.............................................0 points
1 year up to 6 years...........................................1 point
Over 6 years up to 11 years................................2 points
Over 11 years up to 16 years..............................3 points
Over 16 years up to 21 years..............................4 points
Over 21 years................................................5 points
VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 5 and 2.5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.
NOTICE TO CANDIDATES WHO ARE ALSO TAKING ANOTHER CIVIL SERVICE EXAM(S) ON THIS DATE (See Below)
(IF YOU ARE TAKING 2 OR MORE ERIE COUNTY EXAMS ON THIS DATE IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO CALL)
INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES
APPLICATION FORMS: You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo. Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.
Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.
Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.
MILITARY STATUS: Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam. A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty. Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.
VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the OPEN examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.
In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.
MORE THAN ONE EXAM ON THE SAME DAY: If you have applied for more than one exam on the same day you MUST make arrangements to take ALL of the examinations at ONE examination test site. If you have applied for both STATE and LOCAL government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the STATE examination center. If you have applied for both COUNTY and CITY government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the COUNTY examination center. You are responsible to notify EACH Civil Service Agency no later than TWO WEEKS before the examination date on which you are taking multiple examinations by submitting a Cross-Filer form; EACH Civil Service Agency has their own Cross-Filer form. The Erie County Cross-Filer form can be found at http://www2.erie.gov/employment/sites/www2.erie.gov.employment/files/uploads/EC%20Personnel%20Form_Exams%20Cross-Filer%202015.pdf. If you are taking multiple exams on the same date with Erie County only, you do not have to file a Cross-Filer form.
Candidates taking more than one exam in DIFFERENT exam series will be allowed the specified length of time for each exam, up to a maximum of eight hours. Example: If you are taking one exam which allows six hours and another exam in a different series which allows four hours, you must complete both tests in eight hours, but no more time can be spent on each exam than the time allotted for that exam. Candidates taking more than one exam in the SAME exam series will be allowed up to the specified length of time for each exam. Example: If you are taking two exams in the same series with a maximum time of five hours for each exam, you can spend no more than five hours to complete both exams.
ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION: Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test. Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test. You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.
RATINGS REQUIRED: Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment. If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your application subject to verification. If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only. Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION: You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position. In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs and activities.
VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.
ELIGIBLE LIST: The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate. Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (*including psychological evaluation when required by position): Candidates may be subject to a thorough background investigation or psychological evaluation when required to determine eligibility for appointment. Applicants may be required to authorize access to educational, employment, criminal history and other records check as part of such investigation or participate in related tests or interviews. Criminal convictions or other offense are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law. Applicant will be required to submit the necessary fees for the fingerprint processing, where required. (*If a psychological evaluation is required, it shall be specified in the minimum qualifications or special requirements for the position.)
**IMPORTANT APPLICATION FEE - READ CAREFULLY**
A None filing fee is required for this exam. The required fee must accompany your application. Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.
APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.
All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement. The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at www.erie.gov. Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service.”
This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service,
and held in compliance with the New York State Civil Service Law
and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.