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Legal Secretary

Electronic Frontier Foundation
San Francisco, CA
$43.27 - $48.08 / hour DOE (Approximate yearly equivalent of $90,000 to $100,000)
Closing date
Feb 24, 2023

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Focus Areas
Civil Rights / Advocacy
Job Function
Administrative / Clerical, Legal
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
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Job Details

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. EFF’s mission is to ensure that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all people of the world.  EFF is looking for an experienced professional to join our Legal team as a full-time Legal Secretary.

EFF Legal Secretaries support up to nine attorneys in their litigation, appellate, and policy practices.  Representative duties include monitoring dockets, manually calculating and calendaring litigation dates, advanced formatting, researching applicable court rules to ensure filings are compliant, and e-filing. EFF legal secretaries also provides admin support such as maintaining case files, running and entering conflict checks, creating binders, and maintaining the legal policy docket. If another secretary is unavailable due to illness or vacation, may be asked to provide short term support to an additional attorney on an ad hoc basis.

Essential Functions:

  • Court filings
    • Prepare shell documents with appropriate captions, styles, certificates, etc.; draft forms and simple pleadings such as notice of appearance, certificate of interested parties, notices of motion, motions for pro hac vice, proposed orders, stipulations for extensions of time, dismissal, etc.
    • Understanding, and/or be able to research and learn, civil and appellate procedures in courts across the country, including research appropriate rules (CCP, FRCP or FRAP and local rules) to ensure all court submissions are compliant
    • Format documents and generate TOC/TOAs using MS Word and styles
    • Revise, apply edits, proofread, and finalize documents through multiple drafts
    • Prepare and assemble exhibits
    • E-file documents in state and federal courts using ECF, truefiling, etc.
    • Coordinate with external vendors for manual filings, binding, etc.
    • Prepare and send chambers copies and service copies to co-counsel
    • Prepare documents for service of process and arrange for service of process
  • Calendaring
    • Manually calculate and calendar all litigation, appellate, and discovery due dates based on applicable federal, state, and local rules
    • Monitor litigation dockets and proactively calendar dates triggered by motion practice, orders, scheduling orders, etc.
    • Calendar other dates such as agency comment deadlines, attorney PTO, etc.
  • Administrative and Case Support
    • Regularly update/maintain legal team policy docket; attend legal team meetings
    • Organize and regularly maintain case materials/files according to established protocols
    • Regularly update/maintain case costs spreadsheets
    • Run conflict checks, maintain conflicts database, prepare draft retainer letters, and maintain retainer file
    • Update incoming attorneys’ ECF account contact details
    • Regularly update/maintain attorney admissions and ECF spreadsheets
    • Generate and finalize routine correspondence; finalize and submit other documents such as agency comments or FOIA requests
    • Gather materials (pleadings, statutes, cases) and prepare binders (hearing, moot, working)
    • Update case pages
    • Submit expense reimbursement requests
  • Discovery
    • Prepare shells for discovery requests and responses
    • Create spreadsheets to track requests and responses
  • Other research, projects, and tasks determined in collaboration with lawyers or manager


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong time management skills in a fast-paced environment; ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently, complete tasks on schedule, and respond to changing deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Problem solver and solution-focused
  • Ability to work independently
  • Be welcoming, approachable, and empathetic when responding to inquiries
  • Comfortable learning and using unfamiliar software
  • Willing and eager to help keep EFF’s legislative and legal teams running smoothly, including working proactively to identify and solve problems
  • Ability to work effectively within a team environment including:
    • Demonstrate care and respect toward coworkers, outside partners, members of the public, donors, and others with whom this role interacts;
    • Work to positively and collaboratively resolve conflicts and overcome challenges
    • Be available and responsive to colleagues, outside partners and others over email, phone, and online chat, with the ability to respond and reliably to time-sensitive requests for assistance and opportunities;  
  • Contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences including race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Adaptable to different working and communication styles

Required Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Significant and recent experience as a litigation or appellate secretary
  • Demonstrated knowledge of procedures, terminology, and documents relating to litigation and appellate practice
  • Experience filing documents in state, federal, and/or appellate courts
  • Experience researching rules/procedures in unfamiliar venues
  • Experience manually calculating and calendaring litigation and/or appellate deadlines
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Word, styles, and generating TOC/TOAs

Preferred Education & Experience:

  • Experience supporting multiple attorneys
  • Proficient using Adobe Acrobat
  • Prior knowledge of intellectual property, free speech, and/or digital civil liberties issues. 

Classification: Non-Exempt, Union, Full-time (40 hrs per week)

Compensation:  $43.27 - $48.08 per hour DOE (Approximate yearly equivalent of $90,000 to $100,000)

Expected hours of work:  Typically Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00.
Reports to:  Legal Support Manager
Supervisory responsibilities:  None
Physical Demands:  This position requires the ability to lift up to 10 lbs on occasion.
Location:  This is a full-time position at EFF’s offices in San Francisco.

How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume by February 10, 2023 for full consideration. Please know we value hearing about you, so applications without a cover letter will not be considered.


Commitment to Diversity
As an advocacy organization, EFF is committed to being part of a diverse community. Diversity of life experiences makes a big difference in how we identify and litigate legal issues, design privacy-enhancing software, and organize our activism. To that end, we deliberately seek applicants with different perspectives, identities, and experiences to build an inclusive workplace to better inform our advocacy and defense of freedom in our digital world. EFF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all races, genders, ages, abilities, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply.


Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


Opportunities About Working With EFF

Find Us
815 Eddy Street
San Francisco
United States
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