Four Departments You Can Expect to Find in Every Modern Law Firm

Nov 5 08:53 2012 Mario Cora Print This Article

Modern law firms are organized into well defined departments. This article explores the departments you will tend to find in a modern legal practice.

These days,Guest Posting the structure of most modern law firms is made such that four departments are almost always present. We are here today to find out what these departments are. In the process, we will try to gain some insight on what roles these departments play in the overall operation of the law firm. We will also be seeking to have some understanding of the types of members of staff you are likely to find in each department. It is common to find some firms that do not make clear distinctions of these departments, sometimes not even bothering to assign a head for each. But these departments still exist, albeit in different forms. In fact, in some law firms, especially the smaller ones, you will find a department manned by only one person. The convergence of departmental functions is also not unheard of. This results to instances when, in smaller firms, one person could end up doing the work of two departments. But if the law practice is bigger and there is a substantial number of people in the workforce, the departments could be properly identified, and there could be a designated department head leading all the staff members in said department.
First of all, every modern law firm is expected to have a department for its main operations department. This is known as the legal department. This is the backbone of the legal practice: the department that actually brings money to the legal practice. The workforce that you will encounter in this department are the partners and the associates. They are composed of qualified and experienced lawyers who are the ones who represent clients in various cases and legal matters. It is also normal to find legal assistants and interns in this department. These are usually people who are undergoing legal training, but who are not qualified attorneys. Left in charge of the more routinary tasks are the staff members who are referred to as paralegals.
Next, there is the administrative and secretarial department. The lawyers are often assigned specific secretaries to assist them. The secretaries all fall under this department, as well as the members of the firm's typing pool. Bigger practices have human resource officers who also fall under this department. In some ways, it could be classified as the catch-all department, since the utilities, messengerial, security and even the catering services of the company could also fall within the jurisdiction of the administrative department.
In this day and age, having an information technology or IT department has become vital. That also applies to law practices. Modern law offices tend to be highly computerized, with networked computers. It becomes necessary, at some point, to have someone or a group of people in the bigger law firms to maintain the computers. 
An accounting and finance department is also necessary for the functioning of a law firm. Huge sums of money go in and out of the law firms on a day to day basis, and at some point, it becomes necessary to employ a person, or a group of people in the bigger law firms, to keep track of the cash.

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Mario Cora
Mario Cora

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