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LAKE ARROWHEAD VILLAGE LAW OFFICE JOB OPENINGS

TWO PART-TIME OPENINGS – Posted March 30, 2021. Common Requirements: Reliability, honesty, confidentiality, team communication, ability to follow directions, core Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 skills, and ability and desire to learn new skills. Internet/social media marketing and website skills can supplement either position.

FIRST POSITION: GENERAL OFFICE.

This role is heavy on data entry and review; conversion of paper documents to digital; digital and paper filing; mail; and phones.

This is usually a part-time (20-25 hour) general office position to assist with data entry, scanning/digital filing, paper filing, mail, vendors/supplies, incoming calls, and similar general office work. The office is changing from one cloud-based case management system to another. The first several weeks of this job will be validating and editing data that has been moved from one system to another. This is a ton of tedious work dealing with tens of thousands of data items. So, attention to detail is critical.

This is on-site work in an essential business. Although the work is “in the cloud,” there will be frequent need to interact with the attorney on data items. Must be able to pass background and drug tests and maintain strict confidentiality about work.

This can work as a just above an entry-level position good for someone who has worked in an office before. We need to see a reliable track record with prior responsibilities. This will begin in the $13-15 range, depending on skills. After skills broaden into more client support or back-office/billing/accounting skills, compensation can increase considerably. This can work for a talented person for whom this will initially be less than you are accustomed to because there is plenty of room to move up into more responsible and valuable roles. Send your resume now to [email protected] along with a brief statement (less than 300 words) about how this is a good fit.

SECOND POSITION: TRANSACTION CASE ADMINISTRATION.

The Lake Arrowhead Village located law office runs an affiliated company, Title Holding Services Corporation, which acts as a trustee for trusts which hold real estate. The trustee is the legal owner of the properties and handles all purchase and sale transactions in the role of the owner. We have been retained by a new client who has a history of buying and selling more than 200 properties a year. Their new files will begin coming in soon and will require ongoing attention.

We need a new team member dedicated to see that we keep up on the handling of every purchase and sale, including the formation of the trusts which will be purchasing the properties. This role will see to it that the paperwork created by the real estate office and escrow holder are properly and timely executed by the attorney acting as trustee. Standard workflows are to be set up in our cloud-based practice management software to assure consistent handling. Once we have done the first ten or so properties from start to finish, all the others will be mostly routine but on a fast-paced basis.

Although the work is largely cloud-based, initially, all work will be done is a safe, solo office in the Lake Arrowhead Village Executive Suites. Our businesses are considered essential services and remain open with appropriate precautions. Must be able to pass background and drug tests and maintain strict confidentiality about work.

A general knowledge of residential purchase and sale processes and documentation is a plus. Solid word processing and Windows software skills must be a given. A familiarity with living trusts and legal entities will be a bonus. Work will start out around 20 hours/week and likely progress to 30-34 hours as the volume of transactions increases over two to three months.

Compensation will be strictly hourly for the first few months at a rate of $15-18 or higher, depending on abilities. Raises may be earned rapidly with increasing skill and volume of work. When fully trained and operational, compensation may be beneficially restructured, such as a fixed fee per transaction that results in higher pay for higher efficiency, depending on employee preference. Opportunities for remote work will improve as skills increase, so long as security and confidentiality can be maintained. Please email your resume to [email protected] along with a brief (300 words or so) statement of how this position interests you and why you think you are a good candidate.

GENERAL BACKGROUND ABOUT THE THREE AFFILIATED COMPANIES.

This is not your typical mountain area position. It is not a neighborhood law office, but a combined operation of three corporations that primarily serve clients virtually throughout California and the USA.

The primary company is The Ballard Law Corporation (www.ballardlaw.com), a solo attorney office handling transactional work in real estate, business and estate planning/asset protection. There is no court work, accidents, divorces, bankruptcies, etc. The secondary supporting company is Title Holding Services Corporation (www.titleholdingservices.com), which holds title to real estate for people and companies who don’t want their name on public records. It also acts as the titleholder for different types of joint ventures and special projects. The final company is currently mostly dormant; Real Estate Strategies Institute, Inc. provides online training, live events, and legal forms for creative, real estate investor transactions, such as fix-and-flip, purchases subject to existing financing, private financing, and many others.

Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of this work, every staff member must be able to pass a drug test and background check. Every team member must have complete comfort with paperless oriented office technology and be able to self-train from online tutorials and manuals.

The companies moved to Lake Arrowhead in January 2019, after 30+ years in southern Orange County. Ron Ballard has been doing everything by himself since the move. There is a backlog of filing, scanning, organizing, database updating, bookkeeping, etc. Typical office staffing is two part-time positions around 25 hours/week. Between the reduction of Covid-19 restrictions and the addition of the major, new client, it’s long overdue to get staffed back up locally.

In addition to the new client with 200 transactions per year, we are looking to launch a new estate planning system for wills and trusts. Prospective new clients will begin fulfilling their needs online. There will undoubtedly be email, telephone and maybe, chat, questions about what they need to do. Work will also involve arranging for notaries and remote signings of documents anywhere in California; coordinating receipt of original documents back for signing and uploading to the online client portal, or, having clients who are capable to scan themselves and email the PDFs to us for entry into the client portal. There may be times when video conferencing (Skype, Zoom, etc.) will be needed to help coach clients and notaries through signings. Most estate plans will be packaged into an instructional, records binder for which scanning, copying, assembly and shipping will be required.

Over time, partial remote work from home will be possible after training. We use an online, VOIP/Internet phone system. Any employee with high-speed Internet and a 3-year-old or newer computer can handle phones the same at home or office. We have an additional scanner that likely can be used at home as well. The database software is online and can be updated remotely. However, live training will be needed at the office and for most other physical document handling and shipping. As an essential business, we can keep our office working regardless of the “color” of Covid restrictions. Both staff desks are in the same, spacious office, but hours will be staggered to reduce shared time and to maximize office coverage time.

Typically, my staffing has been one person who focuses on legal client service and document production and one person who focuses on bookkeeping, billing, payables, receivables, and administration. Both team members will be cross-trained for skills to support incoming inquiries from prospective clients, online students/subscribers, and their technical support issues for the training sites that will be developed again and the forms systems they will be using. The basic, entry-level candidate preferably will be promoted to one of the two positions.

LEGAL: For the legal support and transaction coordination side, an existing familiarity with estate planning or real estate transactions and lending is a plus, but not required if there are strong computer and people skills with an ability to learn fast. This involves strong word processing skills, learning computerized drafting software, calendar coordination, case/file management software operation, lots of email, and usual types of correspondence, phone work, and digital and paper filing. Expect to learn marketing-oriented client intake skills.

OPERATIONS: For the operational support side, our online case management system has integrated billing and links to QuickBooks Online. Most payments are received via online credit card payments. All the usual needs of billing, booking payments, tracking payables, and paying them online or via check, ordering supplies, online and live banking, etc. We also handle some accounts for clients that Title Holding Services Corporation holds title to the property. These might involve receiving payments from borrowers for clients who are lenders, making payments on client construction projects, and dealing with bonds and insurance for clients and our offices.

By the end of 2021, I expect to begin re-activating Real Estate Strategies Institute with online training and digital forms systems. This will involve creation of digital products, online courses, and instructional videos. In 2022, I expect to get back to hosting a few live events per year and speaking at numerous events to promote the company through training talks. Much of product development and promotion might be outsourced and need in-house coordination. Or a team member might have or develop these skills. When we host live events, everyone works on location.

My wife is a wonderful person who is currently in a corporate position coordinating a panoply of special projects and teams. She will be integrating into the business over time and wind out of her corporate executive position. She is strong with project coordination, team supervision, and performance accountability. (Nevertheless, she is very nice and personable.) I get too focused on providing services and creating product, so you will likely welcome her involvement to add stability and order over time.

CANDIDATE CHARACTERISTICS: Both candidates will have proven reliability in a job, academic, or volunteer capacity. A candidate who is more suited for either of the eventual two positions might be taking a step down from a Covid-canceled position for several months and then be able to advance in duties and compensation. My office used to be located near a college, so I often had at least one staff member who was a college student. With most campuses going to mostly online learning, this position might work for a local student who has returned “home” due to distance learning. Another common profile has been a parent who is returning to the workforce. That might be more difficult now with the kids home from school for at least several more weeks, if not the rest of the school year. I have had semi-retired team members and even a part-time pastor. It is mostly about job-fit and the candidate being able to work with me in exchange for sensible flexibility, as I understand life situations.

These are part-time, hourly positions. Most of the time I can offer decent flexibility with hours, which has worked well for college students and parents with children in school. “Benefits” are simply the applicable legal requirements. As new skills are developed and mastered, hourly rates can increase to $20/hour and beyond. With time, we may add some form of “benefits.” Depending on work demands, scheduling might be five days for around five hours/day or four days for around six hours/day. I often work a bit on Saturdays, so that is possible too. Work-from-home client support might be demand-based, on call, without fixed hours. For example, if there are two signings to coordinate one day, then that needs to be done. A day or two might go without signings or new client signups where database updating is done.

Candidates might be required to take one or more online skills tests and a personality/job suitability test. Utmost integrity, ability to keep confidential information, and persistent attention are mandatory. Hence, the necessary ability to pass drug and background tests.

If you like to sincerely serve people, are good in dealing with constant change, can learn quickly in a high tech environment, and made it this far in reading all of this, then please email your resume to [email protected] along with a brief (300 words or so) statement of how this position interests you and why you think you are a good candidate.

I will collect responses for maybe a week, depending on how many and how strong the candidate pool. Then phone and/or live interviews. Naturally, we are an equal opportunity employer and follow all employment law requirements. The top candidate or two or three will likely then go through skills and personality testing. Any job offer will usually be contingent upon drug and background screening. Please, no drop-ins or phone calls. You can check for status updates on this page. If you send a follow-up email, it might take a day or two for me to reply. Thank you for your interest.

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