Good law office management is behind every successful law office. Law office administrators direct and coordinate the activities of a law firm or legal department, including the planning, organization and direction of their department.
Some law office managers actually perform the same functions as legal secretaries, legal assistants and paralegals, and are paralegals in everything but name. They can also become paralegals with some additional paralegal training.
There is a lot of opportunity in law office management. Administrators work in law firms, legal departments, or governmental agencies and private corporations. They often do support work for lawyers, legal secretaries, legal assistants or paralegals. Law office management is often a first step into these related fields.
Law office managers play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of a law office. Their responsibilities may include:
- Overseeing salaries and benefits
- Handling budgets
- Billing and collections
- Managing staff and facilities
- Maintaining the library and office records
- Recruiting attorneys
- Doing legal research
- Coordinating client marketing
Education and Training
While there are no academic requirements for entry into the field of law office management, taking a 2-year associate's degree program or a 1-to-2 semester certificate program in law office management or public administration will help you prepare for the complexities of legal practice.
Most programs cover these areas:
- Management principles and concepts
- Legal terminology
- Human resource management
- Supervisory techniques
- Managing financial resources
- Legal ethics
Salaries for Law Office Managers
Law office managers are part of the larger field of administrative services managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for administrative services managers is $81,080. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.