Lending Library

ABA Guide to Professional Managers in the Law Office, The

By Carolyn Thornlow

Lending Library Number: 3

As the legal industry continues to face such challenges as increased competition from non-legal service providers, increased client insistence on alternative billing arrangements, and rising overhead costs, realizing greater efficiency has become a matter of survival.

Hiring professional managers to handle administration of your law firm freesup your attorneys to do what they do best–practice law and develop new clientrelationships. And it provides you with the leadership of a competent professionalspecifically trained to provide top-notch management services. The ABA Guideto Professional Managers in the Law Office is a "soup to nuts" guideon interviewing, hiring, and training this essential member of your firm.

No matter how large or small your firm, corporate or private, professional managementcan improve operations in many areas, including:

  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Information
  • Human Resources
  • Specialized areas, like marketing and facilities and office services

This handbook explores each area in depth, beginning with an overview of specific professional-level positions and an explanation of how these individuals function. You'll then learn essential tips and techniques for hiring and training the right person for the job, including:

  • How to find a candidate whose personality fits into your firm's corporate culture
  • How to determine if the candidate has the background and experience to do the job
  • When to promote from within, i.e., from paralegal to administrative manager
  • How to assess on-the-job performance
  • How to enhance performance through continued professional development

Once your firm is ready to hire and train a professional manager, The ABA Guide to Professional Managers in the Law Office will help you jump-start the process. An extensive listing of model job descriptions in virtually every area will save you hours of time and frustration. To help you quickly refine your candidate search and evaluation, there's a handy checklist of qualifications and characteristics of successful managers. And to promote continued professional development and training, an appendix of professional associations is included.