Law Firm AdministratorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Law firm administrators must have excellent management 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 a law firm administrator, 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. They must also be a self-starter and be able to work without a lot of guidance and oversight.

Sample job description

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

Preferred qualifications

  • 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

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a law firm administrator is $80,750 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$80,300$108,650
Los Angeles, California$90,600$122,600
Denver, Colorado$75,500$102,150
Washington, DC$91,950$124,450
Miami, Florida$75,150$101,750
Orlando, Florida$69,300$93,800
Tampa, Florida$70,000$94,700
Atlanta, Georgia$73,450$99,350
Chicago, Illinois$84,400$114,200
Boston, Massachusetts$91,300$123,500
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$72,750$98,450
New York City, New York$96,100$130,000
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$78,250$105,850
Dallas, Texas$76,200$103,100
Houston, Texas$75,500$102,150
Seattle, Washington$87,850$118,850
National Average$68,650$92,850

Typical work environment

Most law firm administrators train and supervise support staff. They spend a lot of time in the office performing tasks to oversee a variety of clerical and administrative duties. They also spend their days managing the equipment and facilities, dealing with human resources, and delegating accounting functions as needed. 

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a law firm administrator are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. 

Available certifications

Most law firms will need law firm administrators, so many institutions offer different certifications to help. Check out the following: 

  • 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 participants 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, students 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.

Career path

The path to becoming a law firm administrator starts by first obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. It helps to achieve certification as a Certified Legal Manager to lay the groundwork to advance in a career in law firm administration. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3010

2020 Employment322,000
Projected Employment in 20308,600
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift350,600 increase

The employee experience is expected to become more central in the responsibilities of law firm administrators, as is an expanding need to multitask. 

Sample interview questions

  • Which personal strengths of yours are key for your role as an administrator?
  • How do you handle confidential information?
  • What sets you apart from other applicants for the administrative position?
  • What field experience do you have for this position?
  • What have you done over the course of the past year to improve your understanding of law office administration?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What goals do you have as it relates to this role?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What knowledge do you have about this company?
  • How do you ensure the confidentiality of office information?
  • What processes of administration functioned smoothly in your previous role. What didn’t?
  • How do you prioritize your schedule for the day?
  • How do you keep track of office resources?

Law Firm Administrator Jobs in Ashburn

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