What does a federal legal assistant do?
August 8, 2014 9:14 PM Subscribe
I recently applied for and am now actively being considered for a legal assistant/senior case technician position with the federal government (Social Security Administration). The job description sounds a lot like what I used to do as a paralegal (reviewing records, analyzing cases, making recommendations for further action, contacting medical providers), but I'm worried that what I've actually applied for is a secretarial position (e.g., making travel arrangements, maintaining calendars, hanging out a copy machine a lot, collating and binding copies).
At the firm I used to work at (less than a year ago), legal assistants and paralegals were 100% different with 100% different responsibilities, but there are some Websites I found that say legal assistants and paralegals are the same thing. I'm more confused about this than I feel I should be.
Can anyone tell me what a federal legal assistant/senior case technician actually does? Bonus question: can anyone share what the hours/work atmosphere would actually be like? Federal government makes me think it'll be 8-5, weekends and holidays off, but I've been burned by the legal field before and don't feel like repeating those three years of endless, unstable hours and absolutely no personal life again. Overall, I want to have a family in the near future, and I don't want to still be in a job where I worry about when I'll be getting off work every day.
I realize these are questions I can ask at the interview; however, I have very few days off from my current job, and if this is a secretarial position, I'm likely not going to waste my one day off a week going to the interview, or risk having the agency contact my current employer (who is known for demoting employees for expressing interest in stepping down or going elsewhere).