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Administrative assistants and paralegals as notary publics

All law departments need someone from time to time to notarize documents. To be sure of that resource, one law department paid for several of its administrative assistants to become notaries. The departmental budget covered the cost of their training, about $350, and picks up the costs of licenses, which cost about $450 per year.

One of the peripheral issues that then arose was whether the notaries could sign and execute documents for the personal needs of employees. The policy eventually decided on was that the notaries could do so on their own time and could charge for the service.

This is an example of a management practice that ought to be codified so that there is consistency across the department and everyone knows where the lines are drawn (See my post of Sept. 5, 2007 on compilations of policies.).

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