What Does a Law Firm Administrator Do?
Law firm administrators are professionals who handle the day-to-day administrative tasks at a legal firm. They must have excellent multi-tasking skills to work on the variety of tasks and projects required on a daily basis in a law firm. Most likely, they will be working for one law firm where they will help manage multiple lawyers on a daily basis. As law firm administrators, they may spend their time ordering office supplies, answering phones, greeting clients, taking notes during meetings, and setting the lawyers’ calendar schedules.
This is a fast-paced career, and law firm administrators will need excellent time management skills, interpersonal skills, written communication skills, and a professional attitude. This role usually requires the candidate to be independent and be able to work without a lot of guidance and oversight.
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National Average Salary
Law firm administrator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Law Firm Administrator is:
Law Firm Administrator Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great law firm administrator is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
The law firm administrator helps to facilitate clear communication between clients, their attorneys, and the courts. They also must ensure that legal documents are organized and conduct supervision over the efficient operation of the law firm. They may counsel the supporting staff members and also are in charge of any discipline or termination needed for non-attorney employees. They must have the ability to keep records confidential and have a keen approach to professional communication skills for interpersonal and customer service-related interactions.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Supervise staff and day-to-day operations
- Collaborate with office managers, human resources specialists, and other office administrators
- Maintain appropriate staffing levels for reception, secretarial, etc.
- Assist human resources with integrating new team members
- Help plan and coordinate office functions and events
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, and experience working in administration in an office setting.
Required skills and qualifications
- Leadership abilities, including supervisory and team-building skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Superior oral and written communication skills
- Solid working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
- Professional and courteous with a positive attitude
- Able to manage multiple tasks
- Can work with minimal guidance and oversight
- At least 2 years of proven accounting and administrative experience in a law firm setting
- Familiarity with IOLTA accounts and the rules surrounding the same
- Proficient using Microsoft Excel, Word, and Outlook as well as Adobe
- Effective written, verbal, and communication skills and experience in developing policies and procedures
Our growing law firm is looking for an experienced Law Firm Administrator (Director of Administration) who will work directly with the Owner to manage the firm’s daily business operations and coordinate administrative projects.
This position provides an opportunity to grow along with the firm. The firm offers competitive pay and benefits including paid time off, health insurance, retirement plan, and profit-sharing. The successful candidate will be part of a dynamic team of caring professionals who are passionate about helping special needs children. Our office is located in the heart of the Manhattan financial district.
Duties and responsibilities
- Works closely with the Owner to create the firm’s business and marketing plans, budget, and strategic calendar
- Recruits, onboards, supervises, and manages the performance of support staff
- Performs Human Resource functions including personnel file maintenance, benefits administration, payroll management, PTO tracking, and personnel policy implementation
- Coordinates training for support staff and attorneys regarding policies, procedures, and systems use
- Coordinates, monitors, and improves key operating systems (internal policies, external policies, procedures, checklists, templates, examples, scripts, etc.) in direct and close consultation with the Owner
- Ensures the firm’s business systems and processes are fully documented and followed
- Documents and monitors the flow of work from client intake to billing and collection, as well as takes corrective action as needed to resolve workflow issues
- Manages financial system including time-tracking, billing, trust account management, collections, bookkeeping, expense management, and accounts payable
- Monitors budget variance and cashflow
- Manages the firm’s physical plant including office organization and cleanliness, emergency preparedness, furniture and equipment functionality, computer systems, and phone systems
- Coordinates with the Owner, third-party vendors, and/or marketing staff to create and implement marketing and sales strategies
Essential job functions
- Bachelor’s degree in Business, Management, or a related field
- M.B.A. preferred
- Minimum 3+ years of supervisory experience in a professional services organization
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- On-the-job experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Office 365, as well as bookkeeping, timekeeping, and billing systems
- Experience with recruiting, hiring, performance management, and other human resource functions
- A desire to work with a growing team of legal professionals who are dedicated to helping children with special needs
We are looking for an experienced administrator, regardless of industry, to work closely with our CEO to grow the practice, improve internal functions, handle financial evaluations, forecasts, and other issues, as well as handle HR functions, work with vendors, and otherwise make a positive contribution to our culture. This is a job for a person that really wants to make a difference.
- Coordinate activities throughout the firm to ensure efficiency and maintain compliance with firm policy
- Supervise members of the administrative staff, equally dividing responsibilities to improve performance
- Act as a go-to between staff and the CEO
- Handle some HR functions
- Counseling any employees struggling in their roles
- Developing and implementing firm protocols, such as onboarding procedures and training
- Running and reporting analytical analysis as designated by the CEO
- Manage agendas, travel plans, and appointments for upper management
- Manage emails, letters, packages, phone calls, and other forms of correspondence
- Support bookkeeping and budgeting procedures for the firm
- Create and update databases and records for financial information, personnel, and other data
- Track and replace office supplies as necessary to avoid interruptions in standard front office procedures
- Submit reports and prepare proposals and presentations as needed
- Assist colleagues whenever there is an opportunity to do so
- Excellent leadership, time management, and organizational skills
- Proven excellence as an office assistant, office administrator, or in another relevant position
- Outstanding abilities to communicate in person, in writing, over the phone, and by video conferencing
- Ability to work independently
- Resourceful team player with the ability to work both independently and within a team
- Attention to detail to ensure tasks are completed thoroughly and correctly
- Flexibility to adjust to new tasks should firm or office needs change
- Familiarity with common procedures and basic account principles used in the office
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office and other office management tools and applications
- The ability to learn and train on new software platforms
Our Firm Administrator will provide dedicated executive administration and support to the managing attorney and the business manager. We are looking for someone to be a trusted member of our leadership team. The Firm Administrator will ensure the delivery of efficient, effective, and detail-oriented administrative services for our law firm. General responsibilities include vendor relationships, including negotiations and management of vendors, onboarding new clients, managing and entering all costs and expenses into the firm billing system, assisting in closing client files, and assisting the managing attorney with managing the support staff. Discretion and the ability to maintain confidentiality are required, as our Firm Administrator will be exposed to sensitive information.
Our Firm Administrator is enthusiastic, flexible, organized, detail-oriented, and a team player with strong interpersonal and communications skills. They can operate well in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. The Firm Administrator is experienced in handling a wide range of administrative and executive support-related tasks and is able to work independently with little or no supervision. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (including Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel) is required; we also use TimeSolv.
Primary responsibilities and essential duties
- Provide effective oversight of the administrative function for a small law firm with the managing attorney
- Be a thought leader
- Consistently demonstrate initiative, professionalism, poise, and flexibility, and work within an environment of frequent interruptions, conflicting priorities, and varying workloads
- Observe strict confidentiality in all aspects of services provided
- Maintain office policies as necessary
- Manage vendor selection and negotiations, supervise vendor charges, and maintain relationships with vendors
- Develop and maintain processes and systems for a streamlined, cohesive standard of support that includes office operations and procedures, and communications
- Maintain and enforce Firm procedures
- Coordinate firm functions and activities, including firm meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, luncheons, and firm parties
- Monitor firm calendar and all administrative functions and activities
- Manage and monitor the firm website by updating attorney profiles, creating new content, and coordinating the execution of the same
- Create and control law firm messages to clients
- Coordinate holiday gifts and other gifts to clients or for other marketing purposes
- Physical Office Maintenance Work with the Office Services Specialist who maintains all office equipment
- Coordinate services with our IT provider; conduct hands-on, onsite IT troubleshooting of servers, office computers, and laptops
- Coordinate and manage phone systems with vendor
- Manage the general office, including supply management
- Monitor and implement all aspects of facilities management including office lights, blinds, chairs, cleaning kitchen and dishes, plant watering, and maintenance
- Organize and maintain all administrative files
- Oversee and manage the onboarding of new clients including reconciling conflict checks, creating retainer agreements for new clients, creating electronic files for new clients and enter into the billing system, and handling communications with clients regarding new client intake information for the firm billing system
- Update and maintain the master client list, including closing files
- Billing and Management of Costs and Expenses Manage and enter all invoices (including Westlaw) and credit card expenses into the firm billing system
- Enter all expenses from employee expense reports into the firm billing system
- Consider and plan for efficiencies in operations
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Legal Manager Certificate (CLM). This comprehensive program is provided by ALA and will assist law firm administrators with gaining the distinction as certified legal manager. Certification will increase a candidate’s overall competency when it comes to increased ability to manage a law firm. It also encourages and improves job performance and provides acknowledgement of professional acumen of its passing persons.
- Law Office Administration Specialist Certificate Program. This program offered by the University of Texas at Austin is great for helping paralegals to fill management roles in law offices. It’s an online and self-paced course which includes exercises, quizzes, and more. For the elective requirement, candidates may pick one of these courses: e-discovery, legal ethics, laws of evidence, advanced legal research, and constitutional law. Participating in this program will increase understanding of personnel relations, timekeeping and billing, and law office technology and systems.
How to Hire a Law Firm Administrator
Consider the following when hiring a law firm administrator:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring a law firm administrator, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder for law firm administrator openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What knowledge of the legal industry do you have?
- When managing multiple tasks and priorities, how do you meet deadlines?
- What is your experience with office software, such as Microsoft Office or Google Suite?
- What steps do you take to ensure the privacy and security of confidential or sensitive information?
- Can you give an example of how you handled a challenging client or coworker?
- How do you ensure accuracy and organization in your data entry and record-keeping?
- If unexpected tasks or projects occur, what are your methods for prioritizing and managing your workload?
- Have you ever coordinated travel arrangements, such as booking flights and hotels?
- In your experience, what are the best ways to resolve conflicts between coworkers and supervisors?
- Do you have any experience with project management or event planning, and how did you handle these responsibilities?