Law Office manager and Paralegal

In an interview with Randy Leitzke, law office manager for ten years, he describes the position of Law Office Manager as responsible in client relations, marketing, library services, human resources, conflict management, central records, finance and accounting, information technology, and facilities and office services. Leiztke point out that, the position of law office manager, is the non-lawyer position in any legal firm, yet acting as a problem solver for the firm (Interview with Law Office Manager 2002-2008).

In the paper published by Monster Career Advice regarding law office manager, it outlined the job of law office manager as follows: First, support law office functions by managing staff and maintaining legal reference resources, equipments, and office supplies. Second, make sure that the office meets the terms of legal requirements and work to lessen operational costs; and third, recognize potential client service requirements.

The paper cited that the skills needed by the law office manager involves effectiveness and competence in managing support staff, efficiency in handling client records and office supplies, and budget expenses. Law office managers should be at least bachelor’s degree graduate although the position does not require specific college course. In describing further the job of law office manager, Leiztky pointed out that, law office manager deals with a number of business owners who do not like being directed and the position requires a strong will as most of the clients are very intelligent and strong willed individuals.

The average salary of the Law Office manager according to an internet source is around $64,000, which is quite low compared to the salary of those in large business firms in the same position. However, is quite evident that strategic skills requirement is not strictly demanded than those in other large business firms.

The Paralegal Profession

On the other hand, Paralegal or in the narrower term, the legal assistant is the person with legal skills and works under the supervision of a lawyer. Thomas R. Van Dervort (2000) pointed out that, Paralegal is,

“law firm or government employees who do not have law degrees and are not licensed to practiced law but who perform many of the legal tasks that were once done only by lawyers” (p. 10).

Paralegal is defined in the published article of the University of Las Vegas as any body who are working under supervision of an attorney, working on behalf of the client, creating legal documents, investigate legal and relevant facts, interview client and witnesses, conduct legal research and performs that is done by a lawyer. Van Dervort cited that there is no general licensing procedure for paralegals, so all it takes to become a legal assistant is to work with a law firm or a government agency. However, he emphasized that in the paralegals are not allowed to provide legal services with out attorney supervision. They cannot sign any documents submitted to court or any documents that necessitates attorney’s signature.

Van Dervort noted that today, larger firms, and government agencies employ a growing large number of these paralegals to perform tasks formerly done by lawyers. These includes drafting legal documents and discovery instruments, doing legal research, investigation and title searches, preparing briefs, and closing real estate transaction (Van Dervort, p. 10).

The development of paralegal institution started in the early 1970s after the American Bar Association not only recognized but to steps to encourage the creation and development of more sufficient training programs in this field by establishing an ABA endorsement procedure. These initiatives paved the way for more development as textbooks began to be published for the training of paralegals prompting higher institutions to introduce educational programs for paralegals (Van Dervort, p. 11).

Thus, in the early 1980s, there were about three hundred public and private educational programs specifically for paralegals. Van Dervort also noted that today, paralegals are hired for their management skills and usually involved in the recruitment, training, and management of the office paralegals.

Salaries of Paralegal in Las Vegas Nevada

Salaries of Paralegals in Las Vegas Nevada vary depending on the nature of their work. Those engaged in corporate real estate paralegals get the highest salary at the average of fifty-two thousand dollars, while Immigration Paralegal legal assistant get the lowest at $13,000. Senior corporate paralegal receives slightly higher salaries with those at the real estate. Paralegal manager have an average salary of $64,000, while the general average salary of Paralegals in Las Vegas stands at $39,000 (Internet Source, Legal paralegal salaries in Las Vegas, NV). The source however, noted that the Average legal and paralegal salaries in Las Vegas, NV are twelve percent lower than the average legal paralegal salaries nationwide.

The Job Outlook for paralegal

According to the article published by the University of Las Vegas, NV paralegal occupation has ranked among the fastest emerging profession. The article noted the results of surveys showing that the salaries of paralegals are rising at a remarkable rate. Projections of the paralegal employment are that it will grow a great deal faster than the average for all employment through 2014.

The article cited that as employers are trying to reduce costs, they increase the availability of legal services by hiring paralegals to carry out tasks previously done by lawyers. The article also envisioned that as competition for jobs will continue despite of projected rapid employment growth, those experienced, formally trained paralegals could have the best employment opportunities.

Is this Type of Employment Consistent with my Values skills, interest, and personality?

I would definitely say yes to the question above. There is nothing bad whatsoever, about this paralegal profession and it is one of the booming employment profession with promising salary increases in the future. It is consistent with my values and it does not violate any ethical standard or the moral principles of humane society.

The job is descent, highly demanding skills, interpersonal relationships, and great intelligence as clients are very intelligent. In other words, the Job is challenging and very interesting.  On the one hand, the job of the Law office manager is equally interesting and quite high paying, as this position does not much require great skills in management. Both these employment profession is seen as a growing institution that can generate more employment opportunity in the future.

Conclusion

Anywhere in the world particularly in the United States, the demands for paralegals are high. No doubt, it will be sooner that this profession will run short of its employees as the demand for paralegal is increasing at a great deal. However, despite of this, these do not mean that lawyers have no more jobs. It only means job is made easy for lawyers.

References

Job Profile: Law Office Manager (2007)

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-industry-profiles/administrative-support/legal/Job-Profile-Law-Office-Manager/home.aspx

Interview with a Law Office Manager (2002-2008)

http://www.allcriminaljusticeschools.com/faqs/lawoffice-manager.php

Legal and Paralegal Salaries in Las Vegas, NV (2008)

http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=legal+paralegal&l1=Las+Vegas%2C+NV

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Paralegal Studies.

http://www.unlvparalegal.com/profession.htm

Van Dervort, T. R. (2000) American Law and the Legal System: Equal Justice under the Law. USA: Thompson Delmar Learning.