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A Day in the Life of a Legal Office Administrator

April 9, 2014

Legal office administrators live in a world of deadlines, documents and legal terminology. Taking initiative and utilizing their skills in word processing, technology, communications and human relations, they provide professional administrative support to any legal team. They are familiar with:

  • Wills and estates
  • Litigation real estate
  • Family law
  • Intellectual property
  • Corporate law

They also have an interest and aptitude in computers and technology and enjoy a hands-on approach to learning. They possess good communication skills (oral and written) and interpersonal abilities. They are, of course, well-organized, pay attention to detail and can multi-task effectively under time constraints.

In the morning

The nature of the legal office administrator position is the arranging of the law firm’s day-to-day operations. In the morning, the administrator responds to emails that have accumulated overnight, answers phone calls, reviews the schedule for the day and manages the activity of administrative assistants, legal secretaries and paralegals.

Once this is done, the administrator often does some bookkeeping. If the administrator is not a certified accountant, then he or she must at least understand the general concepts of bookkeeping systems, such as payroll training. If you’ve ever received medical office assistant training, some of these skills may carry over. The administrator’s duties can extend into recruiting and selecting candidates, like paralegals, secretaries and other law firm staff. For most small to mid-size law firms, the office administrator essentially handles both the accounting and human resources duties.

Communication and conflict resolution skillsare important management tools, because good communication yields good results.

Additional duties

Legal office administrators are sometimes required to write memorandums, proposals, work policy manuals and job descriptions. Under the direction of attorneys and paralegals, assistants they may prepare legal complaints, motions, summonses and subpoenas. They may also conduct research, review legal publications and verify citations or quotes. To fulfill their job duties, they should be familiar with various legal processes and terms.

Other tasks of the legal office administrator can include:

  • Apply scheduling, task coordination and organizational skills to facilitate the completion of tasks and to meet deadlines in the legal environment.
  • Establish and maintain data management systems to ensure organized electronic and paper records for the legal environment.
  • Coordinate the organizing, processing and responding to electronic and paper communications to facilitate the flow of information in the legal environment.
  • Produce accurate financial records for the legal environment within a specified time frame by compiling information and using appropriate software.
  • Produce legal correspondence by a specified deadline.
  • Use effective interpersonal skills in the legal environment to assist the completion of individual and team tasks and to ensure effective customer service.
  • Produce accurate documentation for civil, corporate, real estate, family and wills and estates law.
  • Demonstrate administrative skills to enhance the effective operation of the workplace.

Rewarding careers in this field all begin with the proper legal training at a top career college.


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