The Daily Transcript and the Association of Legal Administrators honor outstanding law firm management professionals and firms with the best office environment and culture.
When most people think of a law firm, they know that there are both attorneys and secretaries that work there, but who else? There are many professionals that have careers in law firms -- some with college degrees and some without. There are some with law degrees that do not work as an attorney. Although no two law firms are alike and employees' duties may vary, we would like to introduce you to some description of the duties of law office staff and an overview of the basic responsibilities of each position.
More than 40 years ago, lawyers began to see value in having someone other than a lawyer manage certain aspects of their practices. In its infancy, the profession of legal management wasn't a lot more than someone to order supplies, hire staff and supervise the billing process. Lawyers then and now realize they did not go to law school to learn the myriad facets of running a business or to spend time staying on the cutting edge of human resources, technology and accounting processes.
From a strictly business perspective, most of you will agree that law firms are unique. For instance, in most businesses the sales personnel are not also the production personnel; not so in law firms, where the same lawyers who generate the business, or sell, are often the lawyers who work the cases, or produce. In addition, due to ownership restrictions, which limit law practice ownership to lawyers, firms are limited in their selection options for top-level business leaders.
Over the years, office space for law firms has evolved and changed to accommodate the new technical and business needs of today's law practice.
Liz Mackres, longtime administrator for Casey Gerry, has her hand in every facet of the firm's day-to-day operations -- from managing and directing financial affairs to overseeing 27 employees.
Most law firm administrators can effectively impact their law firm's marketing by keeping their firm prepared for marketing opportunities. With a few proactive techniques in place, administrators can help their attorneys nail the new business presentation or land the new client.
As I peruse the title of this article, although carefully chosen, I continue to marvel at my perceived differences between the two environments and consider myself very lucky indeed to be in the position to address the subject.
The success of a law firm is measured in part by the effectiveness of its legal management team. The law firm management professional plays a key role in providing oversight to a firm's day-to-day operations.