The Employees You Will Find in Law Firms
When you walk into a law practice, you will discover a variety of different employees, and it’s these employees that help a law firm stay afloat. Lexacount Search thought it would benefit you to understand what these jobs are, and how they help a law firm maintain stability.
The partners are the ‘owners’ of the law firm. They have the highest fees and make the most profit. They are also known as a “member,’ “shareholder,” or “managing partner.”
a. Managing Partners
A managing partner is the one who supervises the law firm. They are known as the ‘senior partner.’ They are considered the founding partner of the law firm. They tend to have a full-time practice along with having management responsibilities.
b. Equity Partners
If you are an equity partner, then you are an asset to the law firm. An equity partner is the one who generates the most business and bills the most hours. You have gone above and beyond in helping the law firm’s business.
c. Non-Equity Partners
When you are a non-equity partner, then you’re considered to be a danger to the law firm. Generally, a non-equity partner is given a chance to prove themselves one last time with the firm. They’re not profitable and generate the lowest number of hours. At times, an associate will be a non-equity partner while they are being trained to bring in more clients. Also, they could be a former equity partner that’s given more time to prove themselves to the firm.
Counsel is the title that applies to an attorney who isn’t an associate or partner. In addition to “Counsel,” firms will also use the following other titles, somewhat interchangeably: counsel, of counsel, special counsel, or senior counsel. In larger firms, the title generally denotes a lawyer with the level of experience of a partner, but who may not carry the same workload or share the same business development obligations.
An associate, usually, has the least amount of experience at the law firm. They will do a lot of work for the law firm, but don’t have much interaction with the clients. It could take several years before an associate will be considered for partner. They have the lowest billable fees compared to the partners, managing partners, and equity partners.
Contract attorneys often come to a law firm on a temporary basis. The law firm could be working on a case they don’t specialize in. They are not paid by salary, but work at the law firm on an hourly basis.
Paralegal / Legal Assistants
Paralegals or legal assistants assist attorneys in delivering legal services. Law firms employ paralegals or legal assistants to complete paraprofessional tasks. Paralegals / legal assistants work under the direction of an attorney who supervises him or her.
Law clerks are as known as “summer associates.” They tend to be law school students who are working for credits or a small amount of money. Correspondingly, law clerks are paid mostly the experience. They conduct research and assist lawyers in cases. They bill out at a much lower rate than an associate. If a law clerk does their job and impresses the firm, then they will have a chance of becoming a new associate after law school.
A receptionist is the one clients interact with the most at a law firm. They perform the everyday activities like answering phones, make appointments, and greet clients as they come into the office.
Ordinarily, only big firms have the financial stability to hire investigators. The law firm will hire investigators when they have huge cases that need a thorough investigation. The one practice that hires investigators the most is personal injury and criminal cases.
Administrative employees are frequently found in the human resource department, bookkeepers, librarians, mail-room, and accounting.
Again, usually big law firms can afford to hire marketing directors. They help entice potential clients by assisting in the firm’s advertising. They help by writing articles, produce commercials, and place promotional ads on billboards.
Law firms often employ a variety of employees to help the law firm’s daily operations. The firm may hire these employees full-time or part-time. Some of these employees are tech experts, clerical staff, runners, bookkeepers, and an operations manager. Now, unlike other employees at law firms, these employees have no interaction with clients at the law firm.
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If you are interested in becoming a partner, managing partner, equity partner, associate, contract lawyer or paralegal, contact a Legal Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group. Right now, our legal recruiters are placing outstanding attorneys at top law firms across the country. Alternatively, if you are a finance or accounting professional looking for new position or if you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Finance/Accounting Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you need assistance with your career choices and development, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services.