Is the Legal Practice Manager the best known but least valued and understood person at a law firm? And is there any job we don’t do, other than fee earning work?
In an effort to raise the profile of Legal Practice Managers and their work, I have created a new Wikipedia entry called “Legal Practice Manager”.
BUT I could find so few references (other than job descriptions in recruitment advertisements for Practice Managers) it is in danger of being deleted by Wikipedia unless we build up some knowledge and references – starting with this post!
I’d appreciate your help by:
• Registering as a member of Wikipedia and improving the Legal Practice Manager entry I have created by editing it.
• Using the comments box below to point out anything I have missed (a reference or a duty) so I can add it in. For example, I came across a requirement in one job description that the LPM must be a qualified accountant – is that usual?
• Creating your own post on Law Practice Manager (please register as a member first) which describes your duties or typical day.
Or please get in touch if you are a Legal Practice Manager or any other manager at a law firm and you would like to get involved as an author for Law Practice Manager – tips, insights, knowledge, experience, amazing stuff you are doing, a new office dog, something a bloke said – anything goes so long as it has some connection with a law firm and management.
Here is the list of duties and responsibilities I have compiled so far (also in the Wikipedia entry) but I’ve left out things like collecting the Managing Partner’s suit from the dry cleaners and making tea as I thought it might not look professional:
- The financial administration of the law office including book-keeping, billing, account reconciliation and debt recovery
- Completing and filing tax documents including Value Added Tax returns (UK), employee tax and monthly payroll payments
- Working with accountants to provide documentation and information required for the purpose of completing annual accounts and returns
- Managing cash-flow and credit control
- Banking duties including checking and processing payments, paying in cheques.
- Preparing financial reports including cash-flow forecasts, unpaid bills, profit and loss, and expense budgets
Human Resource Management
- Managing the recruitment of staff including working with recruitment agents, placing recruitment advertisements, reviewing job applications and organising and attending interviews
- Managing all staff including organising and attending appraisals, maintaining personnel files and identifying development staff objectives,
- Dealing with employee grievances and disciplinary processes,
- Providing day to day guidance to support staff relating to their duties and responsibilities
- Identifying relevant legislation that applies to the law office and their staff and ensuring compliance through implementing relevant procedures and drafting appropriate documentation, including data protection, health and safety, business, and legal services regulatory law
- Initiating and maintaining relationships with suppliers of products and services
- Ordering stationary and other supplies required for day to day use in the office
- Maintaining office records relating to (for example) health and safety incidents, risks, breaches of procedure and regulations, expenses, taxation, contracts with suppliers, law library books and borrowings.
- Answering the telephone, greeting clients, and checking the general office email address.
- Creating new client files and completing file opening procedures.
- Providing training and support to staff on using software
- Ensuring software is up to date
- Researching and testing new software and hardware for business use
- Ordering hardware and setting this up for use by staff
- Ensuring business premises hold appropriate insurance and are checked and maintained by professionals
- Initiating and maintaining security processes and procedures including fire alarm checks, security and evacuations
- Maintaining records relating to the premises including fixture and fittings records, health and safety checks, lease agreements and correspondence
- Ensuring premises look professional and clean through organising and supervising cleaning, placement of publicity, flowers, etc.
- Developing a marketing plan, usually in conjunction with the Managing Partner or Director
- Performing duties required to implement the marketing plan and performing administrative duties relating to marketing such as placing advertisements, drafting and sending out newsletters or updates to the website
- Administering client feedback forms and compiling reports on feedback
- Generating and maintaining relationships with client
And to sum up with an appropriate image: