Administrative Secretary, St. Paul

SMRLS is seeking an experienced Administrative Secretary for Support Staff position with a focus on our intake systems, processes, and personnel.  The successful candidate should enjoy having high levels of client contact, significant project work, and other secretarial and office responsibilities

SMRLS is a non-profit law firm that receives federal, state, local public, and private funding to provide free legal help to low-income and elderly people who reside in 33 counties in Southern Minnesota.  As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in 1909), SMRLS has established a tradition of partnership with the private bar, a bi-partisan Legislature, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and other Minnesota Legal Service Coalition members in providing access to justice.  SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of more than 60 attorneys, 40 additional staff and 750 volunteer attorneys who provide legal assistance to over 200,000 eligible people.

SMRLS is a client-centered organization committed to its Mission to provide a full range of high quality legal services, in a respectful manner which enable clients to:  enforce their legal rights; maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; empower persons to ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual ability and circumstances permit.  SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work.  SMRLS has adopted Practice Standards and Guiding Principles to accomplish its Mission.


The Administrative Secretary is an experienced intake, support, or administrative person with a demonstrated comfort level in performing and supervising legal secretaries, support personnel, and intake staff.  This role will vary based on location within the firm, but will include responsibility for some or all of the following:

  • Provide direct secretarial support to attorneys, paralegals and other staff as needed and/or intake support to clients and partner organizations.   This can include typing, transcribing legal and technical materials, preparing, assembling and filing court documents from general instructions.
  • Follow standard client processing instructions and procedures for any of the portals to screening.
  • Proofread, edit and correct documents and materials to ensure accuracy and quality.
  • Supervise and assign work to firm legal secretaries, support staff and intake staff, as appropriate under the direction and guidance of your supervisor.
  • Provide additional front line capacity for administrative, intake, support and/or legal secretarial functions for the team, department, and other offices as needed.
  • Record information, including client information, into relevant databases and systems, including the SMRLS’ case management system.
  • Use designated interpreting services, as appropriate, for clients with Limited English Proficiency during intake and client support activities.
  • Perform administrative and office management functions as appropriate and assigned by position supervisor.
  • Participate in internal and external meetings regarding office procedures, systems, and reporting.
  • Prepare for and lead staff or team meetings as requested by supervisor.
  • Develop training materials and lead trainings when needed, including training new staff.
  • Special projects and general office duties as assigned.
  • Responsible for learning and demonstrating adherence to SMRLS Mission and Guiding Principles.


The following qualifications are strongly preferred for this role:

  • Five years of experience as an office administrator, secretary, legal secretary, or supervisory intake professional.  Two years of supervisory experience, preferred.
  • Knowledge of spelling and grammar, general office procedures, Microsoft Office programs, and legal terminology.
  • Technical skill and aptitude including proficiency with common office technology such as Google, Microsoft Office, etc.  Ability and willingness to learn new technologies quickly and to teach others as appropriate.
  • Demonstrated comfort level with high volumes of client interaction.
  • Ability to set priorities and work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to function effectively as part of a team, form strong working relationships with attorneys and other support staff, and the ability to respectfully work with clients, many of whom are in crisis. These skills should include the ability to deliver difficult messages tactfully and directly.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and lead staff and project team meetings.
  • Demonstrated discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Track record of reliability and good attendance.
  • The ability to sit or stand for significant periods of time and the ability to lift up to 25 pounds.

To Apply

Please apply online or send a cover letter, resume and three references to:

SMRLS Attn: HR, 55 East 5th Street, Suite 1000, St. Paul MN  55101  

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