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Secretary 2 (Legal Assistant) (Hiring Pool, Term, Temp, Casual)



Competition # : 32844 

Department: Justice

Location: Multiple Locations

Type of Employment: Term

Union Status: NSGEU - NSPG 

Closing Date: 9/29/2021​ (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 provide high quality, specialized legal administrative assistance, and file management support under the direction of two or more lawyers.  You also utilize strong secretarial/administrative skills, knowledge of legal terminology and specialized procedures pertaining to certain areas of law.  In addition, you perform effectively under the pressures and strain of inflexible deadlines in a highly confidential office setting under minimal supervision.


You will also be responsible for creating, tracking, and managing legal 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 maintain lawyers’ calendars and schedule and book rooms, court reporters, travel, discoveries, witnesses, interpreters, case conferences

- Book travel and related accommodations when necessary

- Work 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

- Act 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

- Respond to inquiries from the public to ensure appropriate and relevant information is provided

- Manage 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

- Ensure 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 of 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, give 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.

Salary Information

CL 21  

$1,719.83 - $1,917.08 Bi-weekly 




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


-Normal work week is 35 hours/week, 7 hours/day

-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 are

-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 may involve exposure to disturbing images or content in some files. 

Additional Information


This is a Hiring Pool competition that has been opened to fill both current and upcoming Term (up to 2 years), Temporary, and casual Legal Assistant employment opportunities within the Legal Services Division at the Department of Justice. The appointment status (‘term’, ‘temporary’ or ‘casual’) is dependent on the start date of the successful candidate and the end date of the assignment, in accordance with the collective agreement. Vacancies (term up to 2 years, temp, casual) may be based in various locations across the province including Halifax, Truro and Sydney.

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.
  • Mentorship through iNSpire; a new formal, interdepartmental mentorship program that connects employees so they can gain knowledge and experience to support their career development.
  • Countless Career Paths for Nova Scotians. 
  • Department Specific Flexible working schedules.


Pay Grade:  CL 21  

Salary Range:  $1,719.83 - $1,917.08 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