6 NON-ATTORNEY JOBS AT LAW FIRMS
March 20, 2016
Interested in Business Law? Here Are 6 Non-attorney Positions You Might Be Interested In.
Attorneys, law firms often need to employ people in a number of different positions that don’t require a degree in law to assist with the firm’s operations. Together with lawyers, various legal staff help run the law practice and assist with day-to-day operations. Depending on the size and structure of the practice, a law firm may hire people to fill any or all of the following:
Often the first point of contact for new and prospective clients, the receptionist serves as the law firm’s gatekeeper––answering phones, greeting guests, and scheduling meetings as well as performing a variety of other clerical tasks. At smaller law firms, a receptionist may also be responsible for administrative duties that would otherwise be done by a secretary. Strong interpersonal and organizational skills are must-haves for receptionists at any legal practice.
Sometimes referred to at a law firm as an administrative assistant or a legal assistant, a legal secretary is responsible for organizing and filing documents, answering phones, and data entry. Secretaries at legal firms often have specialized knowledge or skills specific to working at a legal practice and play an important role in making sure the practice operates smoothly. At smaller practices, secretaries may perform the functions of a receptions or vice versa.
Some firms also have the need to employ an office administrator to oversee the operations of the office and its employees. Other duties of Office Administrators include managing office supply inventory and organizing files. The duties of the office administrator may overlap with those of the secretary or receptionist at some firms.
Sometimes called the Executive Directors, Chief Managing Officer (CMO), or Chief Operations Officer (COO), the Law Firm Administrator is responsible for managing the executive and business aspects of a law firm. Highly-skilled professionals, their role often includes creating strategic vision for the firm, hiring staff, managing human resources, gathering competitive intelligence, marketing, branding, and business development.
Paralegals are trained legal professionals who assist lawyers with a number of services that make their law practice more efficient. Unlike lawyers, paralegals don’t need to have a degree from a law school or a license to practice law. In smaller practices, paralegals may perform a variety of administrative or clerical duties in addition to their assistance with legal services.
Many law offices offer internships to students interested in practicing law. Paid and unpaid internships are available for undergraduate and law school students and can be a great way to gain entry-level work experience inside a law firm. In addition to gaining practice and experience working in a legal practice setting, interns may assist lawyers by doing extensive research, writing, and organizing paperwork.
How these Positions Aid the Work of an Attorney
When these non-attorney employees come together, the time spent on a case can be shortened immensely. These educated individuals can come together to aid the work of an attorney to help better their chances of winning the case.