Hiring a Legal Management Professional

Defining The Administrator'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 administrator to operate effectively. This will avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration for the administrator, lawyers and staff. This Legal Management article (PDF) provides some general guidelines for writing effective job descriptions.

Oftentimes a legal administrator’s responsibilities are similar to those of a corporate chief operating officer (COO). The administrator should have responsibility for the overall day-to-day operations of the firm, including supervision of support staff, but specific duties and tasks may vary from one firm to the next. Likewise, the administrator’s role will continue to change as the firm allows him or her to assume additional responsibilities.

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Job Descriptions

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

Job Description Toolkit

The Association of Legal Administrators’ Job Description Toolkit will provide a step-by-step guide for writing job descriptions, including sample job descriptions organized by area: Administrative, Finance, Human Resources, Intellectual Property, Legal Support Services, and Marketing and Technology. It incorporates ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS).