Hiring a Good Legal Assistant

This is an ad to be used (or modified if necessary) to be used for soliciting applications for a paralegal position. But it can easily be modified for other positions that require people to be detail oriented and able to follow instructions. 

It's a “gauntlet system” designed to weed out non-detail-oriented people because the application has typos that they are supposed to find. Plus there are other (seemingly quirky, but actually strategic) elements that are part of the application.
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    Copy this and use as ad (verbatim)

    Looking for a Rockstar Legal Assistant

    This will probably be the longest and most detailed employment ad you will ever read. And that's on purpose: we don't want you to waste your time coming in for an interview for a job that you know, deep down, you are not up to performing. Why waste either of our time, right?
    If you are up for a challenging job that is as demanding as it is rewarding, please continue reading this ad, and we'll look forward to hearing from you.
    Our firm is a solo practice boutique law firm in Wesley Chapel, Florida. What we are missing is a great legal assistant to make us look good and keep us on track.
    What does our legal assistant do?
    Our legal assistant is an integral member of the firm, responsible for ensuring the firms' clients receive the best service possible. Our legal assistant is the first voice the clients and adversaries hear on the phone and a person they will deal with regularly. Our legal assistant engages in calendar management, including calendering and arranging for meetings and court hearings. Our Legal Assistant manages all incoming and outgoing correspondence, both by email and by mail. Our Legal Assistant is able to create documents using templates and mail merges, and is always looking for ways to make document assembly easier. Our Legal Assistant helps ensure our policies and procedures are documented so that if any of us gets hit by a bus, someone else can pick up and do what needs doing. Right now the, job is part secretary, part receptionist, part salesperson, part marketing assistant, part billing assistant, and part paralegal. You need to be able to wear a lot of hats and switch roles from minute to minute.
    We don't care how many years of experience you have: we care more about how much you have learned in those years and how eager and willing you are to learn daily, the first time, and implement what you've learned immediately. We care that you are willing to follow a policy and procedure manual, and are able to document your work and improve our systems and our bottom line. You must be competent and proficient in the use of Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Word styles and mail merges, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, including management of calendar and contacts. You also must be able to type at least 55 words per minute at a 95% accuracy rate or higher and proof your own work. There will be typing test. Familiarity with PACER, Westlaw, Clio, Lexicata , MailChimp, USPTO search database, and Florida's state Court filing portal is a plus.
    You must be comfortable using computer technology and the Internet and willing to learn new things that will make your job easier. If you lose stuff, are disorganized and easily distracted , please don't apply.
    You must be a logical thinker and problem solver. Someone who can read instructions and follow directions. Someone who can be shown something once and, even if you don't remember it exactly, can remember enough to look it up or figure it out. Google is your friend - if you don't know the answer, you find it. If you are not willing to do a little self-teaching , this is not the job for you.
    You must be able to think on your feet and make smart decisions quickly. You mus t have a thick skin, be able to take criticism well and deal well with all types of people. Some of the firm's clients and adversaries can be royal pains, but we can't change them, so we have to deal with them as best we can. If you do not think you are up to the challenge of dealing with difficult clients or adversaries, this is not the job for you.
    You also need to be detail oriented and willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right the first tin:,e. If you are lazy, don't show up to work on time, take a ton of breaks during the work day, this job is not for you. You need to be able to talk to people in a manner that is polite, educated, and puts them at ease. You need to have compass ion when dealing with the firm's clients. You cannot talk down to anyone that you deal with in our office. If you are a person who gets angry eve.y time someone says something you don't like, please don't apply for this job.
    Most importantly, you need to listen what people are telling you. As the ambassador to the world for the firm, you will be the first person our clients speak with. As part of your job, you will conduct an initial interview of potential clients and get the necessary information from them to allow us to efficiently deal with their legal issues. As such, your ability to listen to what you are being told and ask follow-up questions is crucial. If you cannot listen, understand, evaluate and interview someone, this is not the job for you.
    You must be able to work with several different databases of information. If you aren't 100% confident managing data and people, you are not the right person for this job. As a Legal Assistant you will be answering phones and speaking with potential clients, existing clients, adversaries and referral sources. At times, you also will need to know how to figure things out on your own, work independantly and be able to creatively solve problems, and exercise judgement. In addition, if you are above making coffee or photocopies, taking out the trash, washing your coffee cup, or running errands , this is not the job for you.
    The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm. You are expected to work Monday - Friday from 9 am until 5 pm, with breaks, for a total of 35 hours per week. If there is an an emergency or am preparing for something big, we would expect you to be willing to help out and work additional hours.
    I don't want to pay you to socialize, surf the Internet, email friends and family, or do any other non-work-related activities while you are in the office. This does not mean that my office is not a fun environment. It just means we know when we have to work, and we know when to have fun at the office.
    At this point, some of you may be thinking that this office will be the worst place to work in Pasco County. If you are thinking this, you should stop reading this ad right now. If, on the other hand, you realize that the work environment we have created will help you get your job done efficiently, allow you to earn more money and also have a life outside of work, then you are the type of candidate we would like to meet. If you are hired, you will be the foundation of a growing team of people that work hard to get the job done right the first time, takes pride in the work it does and are rewarded for their hard work.
    You will be required to clock in and out electronically. You will be paid hourly, and the amount is negotiable, based on your experience. Paychecks are directly deposited into your designated bank account every other week. You may receive a totally
    discretionary, performance-based bonus from time to time if your work helps to generate additional revenues. There will be no other benefits (health insurance, etc.), at this time. If you require your job to provide health insurance or a 401(k), I am sorry to say this job is not for you. Save us both the time and do not apply because we will just feel bad that we can't offer you what you need. We're just too small of a shop right now.
    Is this going to be an easy job? No. It might be the biggest challenge of your life. But, it is our belief that anything really great is worth working ha_rd for and that our greatest growth comes from our biggest challenges. You will be challenged, but you will have fun and you will enjoy helping our clients. If you have gotten this far, you are truly an exceptional person, as most people will have stopped reading this ad a long time ago. If you have gotten this far and are thinking about applying it means that you are a hard worker, ready for a challenge and want to be part of a team where your hard work and efforts are recognized, appreciated and rewarded.

    How Do I apply?

    Please note that your ability and willingness to follow these instructions explicitly will play a big role in whether you will be considered for this position.
    Do not use the reply option on this Ad. Email the following documents to applicationaddress@lawfirmname.com, in PDF format only, with "[insert your full name, spelled backwards] is your next Legal Assistant" in the subject line:
    •  Cover letter in 12 pt. Georgia, containing the following in bullet-point format:
    • What you think it takes to be a stellar legal assistant.
    • What are you looking for in a job.
    • What you bring to the table (i.e., qualities that would be of value to the firm).
    • What you liked and did not like about this ad. (You can be honest, we will not hold it against you.)
    • Name of one great movie you have seen or book you have read in the last twelve months, and why you liked it so much.
    • Identify the typos and grammatical errors in this ad: what they are and how you would correct them (yes, they are on purpose! We have to stop ourselves from making corrections each time we revise this ad).
    • Name of the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court.

    What you would do in each of the following scenarios:

    • As you are looking through my electronic calendar scheduler, a current client and a potential referral source have each scheduled an hour-long meeting with me out of the office. The meetings are back-to back, at different locations about a half hour from each other. What would you do?
    • I am out of the office for one week with emergency access only. My firm defines an emergency as a situation that, if not addressed within 24 hours, will immediately jeopardize the person's personal or business life, health, safety or financial viability. A potential new client calls for a consultation. She says that her boss, who has been sexually harassing her for the past month, just fired her. What would you do?

    Please also include

    • Your Salary requirements.
    • Your Resume, and
    • Your References
    Thank you for taking the time to read this entire ad, if you decide to apply we look forward to meeting you. 
    
    If you pass this initial phase, there will be an additional quiz, followed by an interview, at which we will administer the typing test.
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    Learn to Systematize Your Practice

    Learning how to create hiring policies like the one above is an important Key To Creating Systems. To learn more about doing this for your firm, check this out.
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