Montana State Government


Job Information

To be considered for OPD positions, applicants must complete and submit their application online, as well as upload any required application materials.

Materials Required of Applicants:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References: Please provide contact information for three (3) professional references.
Our Mission

We provide effective professional legal services with equal access to quality client-centered representation.

Our Vision

As trained legal professionals we strive to represent our clients in an effective and efficient manner to ensure a more fair and balanced justice system. We are dedicated and committed to improving overall outcomes for our clients and addressing the conditions that led to their involvement with the justice system.

Reasons to work for the Office of the Public Defender: Our work changes lives! The work OPD does, makes a difference for the people in our communities. Our employees work for their clients, protect constitutional rights and ensure the system remains fair. We are proud of the work we do, to find out more about OPD visit our website .

Benefits of working for OPD: The ability to work and play in the beautiful state of Montana is one of the benefits you will love about this opportunity! Other fantastic benefits include:
  • Health Coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and Holidays
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexible schedules
  • Opportunities and room for professional growth
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness- Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive loan forgiveness- click
to learn more!

About this Opportunity!

Job Overview: The Legal Assistant is instrumental in ensuring the effective operations of Public Defender offices by performing various administrative and office support activities. This position's responsibilities include but are not limited to administrative functions such as scheduling appointments, providing correspondence, assisting clients and office staff with information requests, data input and maintaining files. The Legal assistant provides exceptional customer services to all clients, courts and internal customers in support of Public Defender Offices.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities):

Administrative Assistance/Office Support
  • Arranges meetings, conferences and schedules appointments for clients and staff.
  • Manages information requests received from clients, courts and office staff.
  • Receives and screens office visitors and telephone calls.
  • Formats, drafts, prepares and proofreads a wide variety of time sensitive legal documents such as legal pleadings, affidavits, warrants, motions and orders, summonses, subpoenas, correspondence, briefs, complaints, appeals, and pretrial agreements, stipulations, finding of facts, judgments, dismissals, and related documents in criminal cases and other public defender cases in accordance with instructions established in policies and procedures.
  • Reads and analyzes incoming correspondence, faxes, e-mail, memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.
  • Prepares open cases and submits referrals to the Conflict Defender Office in accordance with office procedures.
  • Establish and maintain case files and ensures that such files are complete, up to date and in proper format and order, for criminal, dependent neglect, mental, and juvenile cases; retrieves legal documents, records, and reports.
  • Inputs data into Case Management System concerning all clients, case information, closes cases and runs reports from the OPD Case Management System.
  • Creates, reviews and maintains court calendars and provides complete and factual court calendars to appropriate parties and makes sure attorneys are notified.
  • Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and/or presentation software.
  • Maintains filing system and records for criminal, dependent neglect, mental, and juvenile cases, opens files, closes files and files documents.
  • Coordinates office functions with other state and local government offices.
  • Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials .
  • Make photocopies of correspondence, documents, evidence, and other printed material.
  • Assists attorneys in collecting information such as employment, medical, and other records.
  • Organizes, prepares and maintains documents, evidence, trial notebooks, various exhibits obtained during discovery by subject matter and chronologically for Public Defenders to use at depositions, motions hearings and during court.
  • Gathers and compiles information for exhibits and appendices, and discovery requests received from Public Defenders and Investigators. This includes requesting documents from County Attorney Office, Police Department, records management, and other sources.
  • Retrieve and copy all documentation that relates to a particular case, subject, event, person, etc. as requested.
Physical and Environmental Demands: Typical office environment, utilizing a computer, telephone system and other office equipment. Minimal travel is required approximately 5% of the time.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (Behaviors):

Required for the first day of work:
  • Knowledge of office administrative processes and procedures.
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping and recordkeeping.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Professional customer service skills.
  • Ability to operate personal computer and general office equipment as necessary to complete essential functions, including using spreadsheets, word processing, database, email, internet, and other computer programs.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative working relationships.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and gather information.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information.
  • Ability to accurately track numerous details simultaneously.
  • Ability to perform tasks with accuracy while under pressure of strict deadlines.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):
  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • One year of directly related office experience of performing a variety of office support or clerical work.
  • Other combinations of directly-related education and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Knowledge of the functions, procedures and organization of a law office and the principles and practices of legal research; court and law enforcement systems and understanding of different aspects of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement and jail procedures as well as legal terminology.

Montana State Government