The nature of the legal administrator position is the arranging of the law firm’s day-to-day operations. Legal administrators are non-attorney employees of law firms. They are directly responsible to managing the activity of the administrative assistant, legal secretaries, and paralegals. Legal administrators must have knowledge of the accounting trade.
If they are not certified accountant, they must at least understand the general concepts of bookkeeping systems. With regard to accounting, many jurisdictions have specialized accounting procedures specifically applicable to law firm operations. Legal administrators must display knowledge of this aspect of the position. Knowledge of federal payroll taxestax codes
In addition to financial management of budgets and books, Legal administrators are also entrusted with managing people as well. They implement techniques of maximizing legal staff performance. Recruiting, selecting, and promoting skills are also required of legal administrators. Legal managers hire attorneys, paralegals, and other law firm staff. They are also responsible for pairing a lawyer with a paralegal to maximize productivity of that professional relationship.
Conflict resolution and performance consultation is an invaluable skill legal administrators have. Knowing US federal employee benefit laws is also important with regard to the human resources aspect of the job. Legal managers also have to know labor laws with regard to providing prospective employees with an equal shot at employment. Reasonable employee retention is also a priority of the legal managers because staff development is critical to the success of a law firm.
Miscellaneous skills in this legal administrative position pertain mostly to computer skills and knowledge of technological trends. Legal administrators must also be excellent written and oral communicators. Legal managers are often required to write memorandums, proposals, work policy manuals, and job descriptions.
Communication is an important management skill because good communication yields good results. Legal administrators skilled in this capacity will be better able to get what they are looking for from staff. Due to the severe time restrictions and stressful atmosphere of a busy law firm, legal administrators should have an excellent grasp of time management skills and multi-tasking.
Legal administrators function as both the accounting and human resources of most small to mid-size law firms. Since their job involves a hybrid of both departments, which are usually separated in most other businesses, the legal manager position could be stressful. Legal administrators are handsomely compensated for the crucial role they play in the administration of a law firm. The national average salary for legal administrators is over $160,000 a year.