A paralegal manager is a trained paralegal or legal assistant who manages a law firm’s paralegal staff. The manager is in charge of not only distributing cases to the paralegals on staff, but also ensuring that all work is completed on time. Many paralegals work as both supervisors and paralegals, assisting with the preparation of legal documents such as appeals, wills, contracts, and trial briefs. Another aspect of management responsibilities is to provide training and research support to the paralegals on staff keeping them up to date on current judicial decisions, legal statutes, and other legal system changes.
The paralegal supervisor is in charge of the department’s workflow and caseload management, as well as hiring additional staff and conducting all productivity and performance reviews for the paralegals. Within the organization, a paralegal supervisor should have the skills and knowledge to be a mentor, leader, and problem-solver. Because he or she must work closely with staff members, attorneys, and clients, the paralegal supervisor must have excellent communication skills.
For paralegal managers, law firms have different hiring criteria than for paralegals, which may include having a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a paralegal certificate. By demonstrating outstanding organizational skills, the ability to communicate effectively, multitasking abilities, and superior attention to detail, a paralegal may be able to advance to a paralegal management position within the law firm. Senior paralegals frequently dislike the additional responsibilities of managing staff as well as the increased administrative duties that a paralegal manager must perform. This opens up the possibility of a junior paralegal seeking a new challenge moving into management.
Law firms hire paralegals to reduce the cost of services to clients and to reduce administrative costs within the firm, resulting in increased revenue. Attorneys can produce more billable hours hiring a paralegal manager because they are not responsible for supervising staff or performing non-billable tasks. By managing the day-to-day activities of workflow, resolving potential coworker conflicts, reviewing billable hours, and verifying researched data for documents to be filed in court, a paralegal manager becomes a valuable asset to the law firm.
The needs of the law firm define the role of a paralegal manager. The role of the paralegal supervisor is also determined the type of specialized practice performed the attorneys and the number of paralegals on staff. A paralegal manager is a valuable asset to the law firm who serves as a liaison between the paralegal staff and the senior management team.