The Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), a leading, innovative and client-focused law firm in Canada, is seeking a Practice Assistant, Corporate Commercial Group (Contractual – one year).
Purpose of the Role
The Practice Assistant will be expected to act as a workflow coordinator for other support services including delegating and reviewing the completion of document production, file management, copying/scanning work and other administrative work. The Practice Assistant takes an active interest in, and obtains a thorough understanding of, all aspects of client requirements to provide exceptional service levels to the lawyers and our clients.
The key responsibilities of this role are:
- Arrange/perform photocopying, printing, scanning and faxing, and review material prior to delivery, such as to court, counsel and clients
- Arrange for files to be opened and closed, supervise general filing requirements and record keeping
- Use effective systems to ensure that both short and long term tasks are completed within required timescales
- Support lawyers in marketing activities including involvement in preparation of pitches and presentations
- Perform administrative activities related to lawyer's professional memberships, certifications and Law Society of Ontario requirements
- As required, manage calendars, ensuring they are up to date and reminding lawyers of meetings etc. on a daily basis
- As required, arrange meetings, book conference rooms, refreshments, check rooms prior to meetings etc. and liaise with other attendees, both internal and external
- Make travel arrangements as/when instructed
- Take internal and external telephone queries, responding as appropriate and/or ensuring that all messages are passed on in a timely manner
- Monitor post and/or e-mails and dealing with as appropriate and ensure that all client related correspondence is passed on to an appropriate lawyer if the relevant person is out of the office
- Liaise with administrative support departments on behalf of lawyers as required
- Liaise with the department’s Team Leader over any planned absences, arranging cover as necessary and communicating this to the relevant lawyers.
Client relationship management
- Become an active part in the care of clients and be wholly familiar with contacts/clients
- Ensure the entry, maintenance and update of client details and relevant information in the Firm’s CRM contacts system, through Administrative Assistant or directly
- Deal with basic client queries and general administration
- Arrange client meetings
- Short drafts/edits of documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- As required, arrange and review material prepared by Document Specialist for accuracy and completeness prior to lawyer's review, and arrange/perform corrections as necessary
- Ensure documents in final form are saved electronically
Financial - Billing
- Arrange opening/closing of client matters in accounting system, arrange updates, and coordinate changes with clients
- Liaise with lawyer and billing coordinator to prepare accounts on a regular basis, including reviewing draft bills online, arranging/performing edits and delivery. Arrange revisions to accounts and coordinate with clients as necessary
- Liaise with lawyer, client and Finance department to collect on overdue accounts
- Assist lawyers in the billing and credit control process by liaising with the lawyer and accounts and to produce standard prebill financial/time reports through the system
- Request cheques, bank transfers and paying in money received, as appropriate
- Coordinate and process vendor payments, ensure payments are made
Other duties and responsibilities
- In addition to providing support to the lawyer(s) to whom they report, a Practice Assistant will also provide assistance to their immediate colleagues in the department and, where practical, other departments.
- Team duties will therefore include:
- Assisting other members of the firm, both proactively and at the request of the Team Leader
- Any other duties as requested by the Lawyers or Team Leader
A Practice Assistant has responsibility to ensure that their skill set is up to date and they are familiar with the firm’s departments, key personnel, clients, internal systems and procedures. This will ensure that the Practice Assistant is able to carry out his/her role effectively and, where appropriate, discuss any training requirements with the Team Leader.
In addition to this, they should have/be:
- 2 – 5 years of diverse legal support experience in Corporate law
- Demonstrated understanding of Civil Litigation inclusive court filing/service procedures
- Experience supporting an International Trade Law and Competition Law Practice as asset
- Accurate typing speed of 60 words per minute
- Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, research tools and other systems implemented by the firm. iManage experience an asset
- Understanding of law firm billing processes
- Excellent telephone manner and competent knowledge of telephone system
- Top notch communication, organizational and team skills
- Excellent attention to detail
- Extremely adaptable and dependable, ability to think ahead and take initiative
- Able to remain calm, diplomatic and think quickly under pressure
- Highly responsive, comfortable with tight turnaround times and deadlines
- Conscientious, approachable and outgoing
- Confidence and forbearance, ability to build respect and trust, with a view to developing a strong, cohesive team
- Other Requirements
- Sound knowledge of support services in a demanding, fast paced legal environment
- A desire to enhance the skills of self and others
- A strong focus on ensuring the highest levels of service standards are delivered and maintained
How to Apply
We thank all applicants for their interest in this position, however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.
At BLG only those BLG members who are fully vaccinated against COVD-19 with a vaccine approved by Health Canada will be permitted to attend a BLG office or event. “Fully vaccinated” means having received the full series (usually 2 doses) of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, with more than 14 days having passed since the second dose was administered. “Attending a BLG office” includes attending social or business gatherings organized by the Firm, with limits on the number of attendees in accordance with public health guidelines. With respect to client meetings, only fully vaccinated members of the Firm can meet in person with clients (others can attend virtually), unless prior authorization has been obtained from BLG and the client. For any BLG member who is not fully vaccinated, and if the Firm requires your attendance in the office to perform your role, you must take a rapid antigen test conducted within the 24 hours prior to your coming to the office, and you must show proof of a negative test result. A new test is required for each day you are physically in the office. Accommodations will be made for valid medical and religious reasons.
Everyone at BLG is required to carry out the duties of their role while upholding the important principles of our respectful workplace policies, and treating everyone with respect, regardless of position. At BLG, valuing diversity and inclusion is key to a respectful workplace.
BLG is committed to building and fostering a workplace that is reflective of our communities, where all firm members feel included, valued, and heard. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates but acknowledge the systemic and structural barriers that have, historically, marginalized and barred certain groups from accessing employment opportunities. As part of our commitment to removing barriers to employment, we strongly encourage applications from members of these historically marginalized groups including, but not limited to, Indigenous peoples, racialized individuals, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and women. Accommodations are available, upon request, in all aspects of the recruitment process.
* Please note that relatives of current BLG employees and partners are not eligible for consideration.