A legal administrator is largely responsible for the day-to-day operations of a law firm, including personnel management, financial administration, and facilities management. To become a legal administrator, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to your anticipated administrative responsibilities. It is also very useful to have additional education or certification as well as job experience in a legal setting.
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor of arts programs in legal administration. Some schools also offer a bachelor of science in legal studies. Either of these degrees would be ideal if you are looking to become a legal administrator. Alternatively, a bachelor degree in fields such as business administration, marketing, finance, or human resources is also acceptable for the position of legal administrator.
Aside from a bachelor’s degree, additional certification can prove to be very helpful for you to become a legal administrator. Many colleges and universities offer postbaccalaureate certification programs in the area of legal administration. You may also want to consider obtaining a masters degree as well. Obtaining a master of arts in legal administration or a master of business administration with a concentration in legal administration can open up greater opportunities for you to become a legal administrator.
A position as a legal administrator will likely involve aspects of information technology. Many law firms will look for legal administrators to be proficient in a variety of computer programs dealing with database management, accounting, word processing, and other programs specific to the legal industry. Consequently, if you hope to become a legal administrator, you might want to boost your computer skills in those areas by taking related courses and seminars. A variety of such courses and seminars can generally be found at local community colleges.
One other aspect to consider if you are looking to become a legal administrator is experience. Quite a few law firms interested in hiring a legal administrator will look for candidates who have experience in the legal field. Often, the candidates who receive the most serious consideration are those who have had experience as a legal secretary, legal assistant, or paralegal. Of course, having prior experience as a legal administrator will weigh in your favor as well. It is not easy to become a legal administrator, but with dedication and persistence, it can prove to be an exciting and rewarding career.