Administrative Assistant Job Description, Updated March 2020

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) strives for excellence in the delivery of legal services. Administrative assistants play an integral role in the delivery of high volume, high quality legal services. Due to the importance of administrative support in the delivery of legal services, PLA strives to maintain a qualified administrative staff that is well organized, motivated and efficient.


In general, PLA administrative assistants have the responsibility of providing support to PLA advocates. Although administrative assistants are assigned to particular advocates at PLA, they are expected to provide assistance to other PLA advocates and staff as needed.

    • Provide assistance to staff, attorneys, paralegals, law students, and other case handlers, whether specifically assigned or not
    • Seek work and proactively look for ways to be helpful
    • Organize information
    • Implement and maintain office systems, including filing systems
    • Coordinate the flow of information both internally and externally
    • Communicate verbally and in writing to answer inquiries and provide information
    • Maintain proficiency with technology, including word processing software, spreadsheet software, telephones, scanners, copiers and other office equipment


The responsibilities of PLA administrative assistants are not limited to a specific set of tasks. The tasks that an administrative assistant might perform may vary over time and may depend on the Units to which the administrative assistant is assigned. However, administrative assistants are expected to be capable and willing to take on the following specific responsibilities:

    • Handle incoming mail and other material
    • Prepare mailings
    • Maintain schedules and calendars
    • Arrange and confirm appointments
    • Organize internal and external events
    • Make travel arrangements
    • Prepare documents, including:
      • Initial drafts of pleadings and briefs with appropriate case captions and headings according to a template
      • Correspondence o    Subpoenas
      • Investigator request forms for retrieving documents from court
      • Faxes
      • Check requests
      • Reimbursement requests
      • Other frequently-used forms
    • Proofread and enter corrections to documents prepared by advocates
    • Answer phones, take messages, transcribe voice mail messages, return calls on behalf of attorneys and paralegals
    • Transcribe dictation
    • Create cases in our case management system, create file folders for cases, deliver labeled file folders promptly to advocates
    • Photocopy and/or scan client documents for the case file
    • Make corrections to case information in our case management system
    • Close cases in our case management system and prepare paper files for case closing
    • Give tours of the office to new staff, train new staff about standard office procedures, supplies and resources, and be available to answer questions and provide additional training when necessary
    • Manage, operate, and train others to operate office equipment, including multifunction devices (photocopiers), telephone system, voice mail system, and postage machine
    • Arrange for IT assistance or repair service when office equipment (computers, photocopiers, etc.) does not work properly
    • Sign checks (if designated as a check signer)
    • Monitor inventories of supplies and ensure that supplies are ordered before they run out
    • Maintain supplies of frequently-used forms
    • Hand-deliver or serve documents outside the office when necessary
    • Handle front desk receptionist duty when receptionist out or on breaks


Attention to detail, ability to handle a wide variety of tasks in an efficient and organized manner. Must be compassionate and patient with clients. Must have ability to perform tasks for several different advocates with varying degrees of responsibility . Must be a quick learner, team player, self-starter, and problem solver. Experience with Microsoft Office necessary.

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