What is a legal manager?
Wherever attorneys practice law, you will find legal managers. A legal manager (or any of the many titles listed inside this brochure) is a non-attorney responsible for the strategic and operational aspects of managing a law office, corporate legal department or legal division of a government agency. In this role, a legal manager might be a CEO or Executive Director, who directs many parts of the business, or a specialist who focuses on a specific area, such as finance, human resources, IT or marketing. Legal managers play a vital role in making sure the law firm or department runs smoothly, efficiently and profitably.
What skill set does a legal manager need on the job?
A law firm or legal department’s size, focus, philosophy, business model, and immediate and long-term needs will influence and shape the role of
the legal manager. A broad skill set and extensive range of business knowledge are essential.
- Superior critical thinking and analysis
- Written and oral communication
- Organizational and logistical skills
- Knowledge specific to the areas of
organizational management, finance,
human resources, operations and IT
What level of education is required?
The role of the legal manager is constantly evolving, and different organizations will require different levels of education.
Generally, a bachelor’s degree with major coursework in business administration or management, finance, human resources, technology
or marketing is desirable.
Comparable work experience and professional certifications, such as the Certified Legal Manager (CLM)SM designation, are helpful as well.
Student membership in ALA is only $49 per year and can supplement your current education plans with expert insights and networking opportunities.
These benefits of membership can help you jump-start your career right away:
- Members-only Career Center resources and Job Bank
- Online Communities and Forums for connecting
with professionals who are in the industry now
- Free subscription to ALA’s Legal Management interactive digital magazine
- Weekly BOLD Bites e-newsletter featuring the latest industry news, association events and scholarship opportunities