Our firm is an eight attorney firm located in Minneapolis. We have 5 partners and three associates. I serve as the managing partner and frankly I do not have the time or the skills to do an effective job. My performance as managing partner is marginal at best. We have recently been discussing hiring a professional legal administrator to manage the firm. What are the essential skill sets that we should be looking for?
Larger firms that have several administrators/managers can have the luxury of having specialists - for example a HR manager, a IT manager, a Marketing Manger, a Finance/Accounting Manager, Executive Director, etc. In a firm your size you need a hands-on generalists that can perform all of these roles. The top three skill sets that you should look for are:
- Accounting/Bookkeeping/Financial Analysis Skills
- Human Resources - especially leadership and strong interpersonal skills
I would look for someone with 5 years or more experience in managing a law, CPA, or other professional services firm and a B.S or B.A. degree in business, management, or accounting.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC