Legal Assistant (Secretary 2)

Job Title: Secretary 2 (Legal Assistant)

Competition # : 37378
Department: Justice
Location: HALIFAX
Type of Employment: Permanent
Union Status: NSGEU – NSPG

Closing Date: ​12/14/2022​ (Applications are accepted until 11:59 PM Atlantic Time)

About Us

The Legal Services Division is the government’s law firm, providing a full range of legal advice and services to support government operations and help government achieve its corporate priorities. With a staff of more than 150 lawyers, paralegals, researchers and administrative professionals, the Division is one of the largest law offices in the Province.

We are skilled in administrative law, negotiation and drafting of agreements, commercial transactions, corporate governance, property transactions, the development of legislation and regulations to implement the public policy goals of government, support in employment and labour matters, and day to day advice on routine legal matters.

We represent government in all legal proceedings, except prosecutions. This includes formal litigation on behalf of the Crown before all levels of courts in the Province, the Federal Courts, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Typical cases brought before these courts include judicial review applications, statutory appeals, contractual disputes, constitutional issues, class actions, child and adult protection proceedings, and other claims made by or against government.

We also represent government before administrative bodies and tribunals, and in arbitrations and mediations. We assist government departments and agencies navigate the procedural and substantive aspects of these proceedings and help them resolve disputes.

As well we are home to the Registry of Regulations, which is responsible for filing, consolidating, and publishing Nova Scotia regulations. The Registry is responsible for the publication of the Royal Gazette Part 1 and Part II. The Registry reviews all draft regulations to ensure the regulations meet the required plain language standards, and to ensure that the regulations are consistent in form, style and content with current legislation and regulations.

For more information on the Department of Justice Legal Services please visit our website:

About Our Opportunity

As the Legal Assistant you will provide high quality, specialized legal administrative assistance, and file management support under the direction of two or more lawyers. You will utilize strong secretarial/administrative skills, knowledge of legal terminology and specialized procedures pertaining to certain areas of law. You will perform effectively under the pressures and strain of inflexible deadlines in a highly confidential office setting under minimal supervision.

You will be responsible for creating, tracking, and managing Child Protection files. The opportunity requires you to be able to adapt to shifting priorities, balance your efforts between providing legal assistance and administrative support, respond in a timely and appropriate manner to inquiries and to be organized in your day to day file management.

Primary Accountabilities

Legal Assistance / Support to Lawyers

Provide specialized legal assistance for lawyers who provide legal advice/litigation services to government departments and various agencies, boards, and commissions
Ensure documents assigned by a lawyer are prepared, filed, and/or served within prescribed or assigned deadlines
Query and retrieve legal case law, precedent materials/documents, or other relevant information as identified by a lawyer

Secretarial / Administrative Support

Prepare correspondence, presentations, and documents of a legal and non-legal matter
Respond to inquiries from internal and external clients and the public
Schedule appointments and maintains lawyers’ calendar and schedule and book rooms, court reporters, travel, discoveries, witnesses, interpreters, case conferences
Books travel and related accommodations when necessary
Works in a team environment, providing coverage to assistants on their team and other teams as assigned by the Legal Services Coordinator

Responding to Inquiries and File Management

Acts as a point of contact to ensure clients have the appropriate information including file updates, process or procedural changes, Division updates and other general matters
Responds to inquiries from the public to ensure appropriate and relevant information is provided
Manages files in the Central Registry filing system, electronic shared directory and in the file/document management databases
Organize all hard copy and electronic files including filing of documents, data entry and the use of the STAR/STOR classification system
Ensures that files/filing is up to date and brought forward for review by lawyers as required

Qualifications and Experience

As our successful candidate you will possess a certificate/diploma from a Legal Assistant or Paralegal program and 3 years’ experience in a legal practice or an acceptable combination of education/training and experience.

Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

Preparing correspondence, presentations and documents from handwritten material and Dicta/digital dictation
Organizing and maintaining files
Answering phones, e-mails and responding to inquiries from internal and external clients and the public
Scheduling meetings and booking boardrooms
Mail duty
Making travel arrangements and preparing travel expenses

You have experience and competency in an automated environment, with proficient and accurate typing, dicta typing, MS Word, and data entry skills. You have knowledge of legal terminology, procedures, and documentation, as well as excellent research, analytical and organizational skills. Your excellent communication skills both written and oral giving you the ability to deal with clients, lawyers and co-workers in a fair, caring, and impartial manner communicating in a clear and concise manner while maintaining confidentiality and impartiality.

Assets include:

Knowledge of the various levels of Court
Knowledge of Civil Procedure Rules
Family Law knowledge
Knowledge of provincial government departments and agencies
Knowledge of legal terminology, procedures, and documentation
Experience utilizing STAR/STOR record classification system, or other file management systems

We will assess the above qualifications using one or more of the following tools: written examination, standardized tests, oral presentations, interview(s), and reference checks


Applicants relying on education and experience equivalencies must demonstrate such equivalencies in their application.


Based on the employment status and union agreement, the Government of Nova Scotia offers its employees a wide range of benefits such as Health, Dental, Life Insurance, Pension, General Illness (Short and Long Term), Vacation and Employee and Family Assistance Programs. Click here to learn more about our various benefits offerings and eligibility criteria.

Working Conditions

May be required to work overtime on occasion
Typically located in comfortable office environment
Considerable periods of time sitting at desk interspersed with movement to and from printers, file storage areas or to deposit/retrieve mail
At times required to bend and lift file boxes from storage shelving and transport to review area.
Regular need to read and analyze information and significant time focusing on a computer monitor
Must balance multiple priorities and the demand for accuracy and attention to detail in the preparation of legal documents requires acute concentration and may increase physical and mental stress
The nature of the work environment may bring staff into contact with individuals who are verbally abusive and physically threatening, exposure to disturbing images or content in some files may occur

Additional Information

This competition is to fill three Permanent employment opportunities, based in HALIFAX.

This position offers an option for flexible work arrangements.

Candidates that have a certificate/diploma from a Paralegal program or Legal Assistant program (with less than 3 years experience) are encouraged to apply and will be considered if these opportunities are not filled by candidates with a certificate/diploma and three years experience. The bi-weekly salary for candidates that do not meet the 3 years experience requirement is $1,626.82 (at the CL 18 level). Candidates appointed at the CL 18 level as Associate Legal Assistants will be term appointments with an end date of March 31, 2024.

What We Offer

Career Development where you have access to career guidance, tools, resources, and ongoing training for every stage of your career.
Engaging workplace. Our Employees feel valued, respected, connected, and tuned in. We have forward-thinking policies and strategies.
Countless career paths.
Department Specific Flexible working schedules.

Pay Grade: CL 21
Salary Range: $1,771.81 – $1,975.03 Bi-Weekly

Employment Equity Statement:

Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. The Government of Nova Scotia has an Employment Equity Policy, and we welcome applications from Indigenous People, African Nova Scotians and Other Racially Visible Persons, Persons with Disabilities and Women in occupations or positions where they are under-represented. If you are a member of one of these equity groups, you are encouraged to self-identify on your electronic application.

This is a bargaining unit position initially restricted to current civil service employees represented by the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU). If applying from outside a government office, employees must apply correctly via this link:

Failure to apply correctly means that your application will not be given first consideration as a bargaining unit applicant, and will only be included if external applications are pursued.

External applicants and current casual employees will only be considered if there are no qualified civil service bargaining unit candidates. PLEASE NOTE: Candidates will not be considered for an interview if applications are incomplete or are missing information.

Offer of employment is conditional upon the completion of all applicable background checks and confirmation of credentials, the results of which must be satisfactory to the employer. We thank all applicants for the interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All questions and concerns may be directed to [email protected]

Link to Job Posting:

Job Deadline/Expiry Date: 12/14/2022