I think the biggest mistake that most lawyers make when they tackle the question of how to hire the right firm administrator is they forget to ask when to hire the right firm administrator and what they end up doing is they hire the right – they start looking for the right firm administrator when they’ve reached a point of overwhelm and desperation.

Clearly, overwhelm and desperation is not the right mindset to be in for how to hire the right legal administrator so you want to be able to project the growth of your firm by looking at your business model, by looking at your financial projections, by looking at the marketing and the sales that you’re building today and see where, if this stuff works, which we hope it will, where is this going to have your firm in six months?  And if in six months your firm is going to need a legal administrator the time to start looking is now not six minutes before it needs a legal administrator and sure as hell not six months after you should have hired a legal administrator because you’re going to need time to screen, to test, to vet, to train, you’re going to have to make an investment in this process because this is a really important position for the growth of your firm; so how is in the right mindset of being proactive.  That’s number two.

Clearly define the job of a legal administrator.  That means you’ve got documented processes and policies and systems and procedures and job descriptions which define this is the job of the legal administer so you know what position you’re actually hiring for.  Then what you do is you, this sucks, I know this sucks, but this is what everyone goes through to build a multi-million dollar firm.

It’s not easy but I promise you, this is worth it.  You – you do the job of the legal administrator yourself for at least 90 days.  Take this written job description you come up with and follow it and learn it and understand it and live it then you’ll know when you’re interviewing prospective candidates you’ll know whether they get it or don’t get it because you’ve done the job.  They’ll never be able to hold you hostage, you’ll always be able to spot check them to know if they’re doing the job right or wrong and you’re never going to have that fear factor of, oh my God, desperation, what happens if they quit?

If you know how to do the job in your firm, I’m not saying you should do it, but you should know how it’s done so you can never be held hostage and then you’ve got to have a screening, testing mechanism, a way to vet prospective candidates before they waste your time and last, and definitely not least, and I don’t provide this service myself so I have no vested interested in telling you this other than I want you to be successful, hire a professional.  You can’t be a brilliant lawyer and a brilliant recruiter, they just don’t go together.  You focus on being a brilliant lawyer, let the recruiter find you the brilliant legal administrator.  Please don’t try to do that job yourself.  This isn’t a DIY, this isn’t a do-it-yourself.  Get the professionals to help you with that.