Hiring a Legal Management Professional

Defining the Legal Manager's Role

Even before the interview process, an effective job description can help ensure you are attracting the right candidates. And experts agree that the success of any new hire hinges, in part, on establishing and adhering to a clearly defined job description. In addition, the chain of command must be clearly identified in order for your new legal manager to operate effectively. This will avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration for the legal manager, lawyers and staff. This Legal Management article (or get the PDF) provides some general guidelines for writing effective job descriptions.

Oftentimes a legal manager’s responsibilities are similar to those of a corporate chief operating officer (COO). The legal manager should have responsibility for the overall day-to-day operations of the firm, including supervision of support staff. That said, specific duties and tasks may vary from one firm to the next. Likewise, the legal management professional's role will continue to change as the firm allows him or her to assume additional responsibilities. The following resources can help get you started: 

Job Descriptions

Job Description Toolkit

ALA's Job Description Toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for writing job descriptions, including sample job descriptions organized by the following areas: Administrative, Finance, Human Resources, Intellectual Property, Legal Support Services, and Marketing and Technology. It also incorporates ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS).

Online Community

In our Online Community, ALA provides its members with some sample job descriptions that provide an idea of the traditional responsibilities of a legal management professional and other legal support staff positions. They can be used as a template for crafting a more tailored description for your legal manager based on your firm’s philosophy, organizational structure and goals.