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State of Montana Legal Assistant – Office of Public Information Requests in Helena, Montana

Why live in Helena, Montana? * Helena is surrounded by rolling hills and lofty mountains and is tucked below the Continental Divide. * It is a relatively quiet place to call home where small-town living collides with outdoor adventure. * Helena has a rich history and was originally founded as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush. Why should you keep reading and consider working here? We know you have other work options, but we ask you to consider working with us at the State of Montana Department of Administration. Our foundation of success is having effective working relationships, built on mutual trust and respect. We will challenge you to be the best you can be and will work hard to provide a work environment that allows you to succeed. What is this career opportunity? Montana law, see MCA 2-6-1001, gives citizens the right to inspect any “public writings” of the state except where prohibited by statute. Further bolstering Montana’s culture of open records, the state Constitution stipulates, “No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents.” Requests for public records, also referred to as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, have significantly increased in number and complexity. Prior to releasing public records, agencies must balance the right to know with individuals’ right to privacy which is also protected under the Constitution. Given this complexity, the Department of Administration seeks to broaden its legal expertise in this important and highly visible arena. The Department of Administration is seeking an individual to manage requests for information as afforded under Montana public records laws. The incumbent will directly support and assist specialist attorneys and generally engage in the following duties: * Communicate information request process to members of the public; * Gather and compile information sought in a request for public records, typically in the form of emails, reports, memoranda, and other forms of legally available documentation; * Prepare estimates and track costs associated with fulfilling requests; * Redact confidential and protected information from proposed responses; * Work with our team to implement a document and case management system for public information requests; * Track and maintain case files, work flow, legal documents, and case information; and * Prepare statistical reports of information required in statute. While this position primarily serves the Office of Public Information Requests, there will be opportunities to support specialist attorneys in other areas of the Department such as: procurement, construction and human resources. What are we looking for? Education and Experience: * Associate’s degree; * Experience organizing, maintaining, and tracking records; AND * Substantive experience providing legal support to attorneys; OR * Alternate combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Competencies: * /Knowledge of:/ * Research using information technology systems; * Case file organization and management; and * Spreadsheets and word processing systems. /Ability to:/ * Gather and compile a significant amount of information for presentation to a requestor; * Collaborate with state agency professionals; * Manage workflow and provide timely responses; * Communicate professionally and directly with requestors; * Organize gathered records for production; * Identify confidential and privileged material; * Make decisions about material that will be released as part of a public record request; * Appropriately redact confidential and privileged information with input from Attorney; * Provide litigation support, though lawsuits are somewhat rare in this field. * Work independently, effectively time manage, and meet varying demands of position which may include extremely short deadlines, complex and detailed projects; * Calendar critical deadlines and set appropriate task reminders; * Provide public records customer service support to requesters and agencies * Act with initiative and apply sound judgment to a variety of assignments; and * Handle confidential and sensitive material; *Does this sound like you? * Please tell us how and why by submitting your resume and cover letter. (Please Note: You do not need to complete the “work experience” or the “education & certifications” portion of the application process in our recruiting system. You only need to upload the requested documentation.) *What can you expect from us in return for your work with our agency? * Work/life Balance * Health Coverage * Retirement plans * Paid Vacation and Sick Leave and Holidays * And more… Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive student loan forgiveness under the PSLF. Other important information to be aware of. * This position requires the successful completion of a criminal background check. * Only online applications are accepted. By applying online, you can receive updates and monitor the status of your application. Title: Legal Assistant – Office of Public Information Requests Location: Helena Requisition ID: 24141697