Lead Paralegal, Probate

Cook Inlet Region Inc

General Function

In alignment with CIRI’s mission and values, the Lead Paralegal, Probate serves as probate’s subject matter expert, processing estates from inception and serving as the day-to-day point of contact for the probate paralegal team’s workflow and complex cases. Specific tasks include: examining legal documents, research, and application of probate legal principles to determine the legal heirs of CIRI stock belonging to deceased Shareholders. As a Lead level position, this position is responsible for the assignment and review of estate-related matters, facilitating training for probate’s paralegal team and serving as a mentor and resource to other probate staff. Works with the Associate General Counsel and Sr. Associate General Counsel to develop new policies and procedures, increase department efficiencies and provide other managerial support as needed. Works independently or collaboratively to complete special probate projects as assigned.  


Major Activities (Typical Duties/Responsibilities)

  1. Provides training, instruction and coaching to other paralegals on the probate team; reviews written communications drafted by others as needed to reinforce training and ensure accuracy.
  2. Reviews and categorizes incoming estates for assignment to other probate staff.
  3. Communicates with and helps Shareholders, family members, potential heirs and others, in person, over the phone and through written correspondence, to answer questions and resolve estate-related concerns.
  4. Participates in the development and implementation of new probate policies and procedures.
  5. Completes special probate projects, for example, website updates; creating forms and brochures; preparation for and oversight of CIRI Stock Will or other Shareholder campaigns; and interdepartmental programs.
  6. Processes estates for deceased Shareholders. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
    • Researching various areas of the law (e.g., statutes, codes, legal articles, precedent cases or judicial decisions) to identify potential issues and determine heirs.
    • Preparing draft memoranda summarizing legal analysis, any potential and unresolved issues and recommended settlement for Associate General Counsel’s approval.
    • Oversees that all documentation required to settle estates is requested and obtained.
    • Ensuring 30-day advance notice of proposed stock distribution to inheritors and interested parties is accurate and mailed in a timely manner.
    • Drafting correspondence in response to outside requests for information and documents, including requests for copies of wills or Shareholder information, and informal or formal objections to a proposed distribution.
    • Generates reports, maintains hard and electronic files.
  7. Assists Associate General Counsel with administrative duties including, but not limited to, preparing probate-related budget figures and estate statistics reports.
  8. Oversees preparation of deceased Shareholder lists for reporting to the annual meeting tabulator and publication in Shareholder potlatch programs.
  9. Assists with and reviews all probate-related articles and publications for accuracy and with preparation of lists of missing heirs for publication. Serves as backup in reviewing synopsis of obituary and condolence notices.
  10. Serves as backup in generating reports and for maintenance of files, forms and form letters, procedures and database and spreadsheet layouts.
  11. Performs other duties as are appropriate and as assigned.



  • Understand CIRI’s mission, vision and strategic focus areas and incorporate knowledge into daily activities.
  • Knowledge of Alaska Statutes and ability to research and analyze relevant laws applicable to estate settlements.
  • General understanding of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the ANCSA amendments.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records.
  • Strong understanding of legal terminology and advanced ability to research, organize and analyze technical information with particular attention to accuracy and detail.
  • Ability to make decisions, solve problems and exercise good judgment.
  • Superior organizational, follow-up and detail-oriented skills.
  • Work well under pressure and independently prioritize workload, while working on multiple projects.
  • Work independently, as well as on a team, with minimal supervision, including ability to follow complex instructions.
  • Proficient using Microsoft office products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and industry-standard computer software and databases.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including thorough knowledge of proper grammar, advanced vocabulary, spelling, composition, editing and proofreading skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to work effectively and cooperatively with all levels of management and staff; ability to be empathetic with respect to shareholders’ needs and problems; ability to maintain poise when dealing with high-pressure situations.
  • High degree of sensitivity regarding confidential information.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Associate or Bachelor's degree in legal or paralegal studies or paralegal certificate and five or more years work experience as a paralegal OR High School Diploma/GED and seven or more years of experience working as a paralegal. 
  • Senior level paralegal experience preferred. 
  • Knowledge of probate law preferred.
  • Knowledge of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act preferred.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a notary certification.
  • Ability to pass a background check. 

Anchorage, AK

19 day(s) ago