FAQs – LAW OFFICES, BIG OR SMALL

What are the differences in size of law firms and different types of law that can be practiced?

Some law firms consist of one attorney with a small amount of support staff, while other firms may consist of two attorneys. Larger law firms, also known as partnerships, may consist of partners, multiple associate attorneys, paralegals and law assistants, secretaries, bookkeepers, receptionists, and other support staff. The different types of law that can be practiced at a law firm can range from personal injury, criminal law, corporate, and international law to family law, wills and probate, estate, and maritime.

How has technology changed the law office?

Understanding technology is very important in a law office, as daily duties consist of communicating through email and phones, while keeping calendars online. Also, a law firm uses computers to draft pleadings, efile documents, maintain a client’s file, and other numerous jobs.

Why is human relations important? 

Human relations is extremely important within a law firm, as legal professionals don’t just communicate with coworkers. Rather, they must communicate and encounter clients and opposing counsels through email, phones, and face-to-face. It is also important to maintain these great relationships, as legal professionals assist others in personal and concerning issues.

What is meant by privileged communications?

Privileged communications refers to the private information client and attorneys, attorney and support staff, and client to law office discloses amongst each other. Support staff therefore cannot testify for said clients because of knowing such information.

What kind of careers are available? 

Careers available in the legal profession include attorney, law clerk, paralegal, legal administrator, and legal administrative assistant.

What associations support the legal professional?

Associations that support the legal professional include the American Bar Association,  Association of Legal Administrators, National Federation of Paralegal Associations, National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., and The Association for Legal Professionals.

How are the Codes of Ethics defined? 

The Code of Ethics are divided into three separate sections, canons, ethical considerations, and disciplinary rules. Thus set of values guide a law firm’s goal toward decision making.

What kinds of qualifications does the legal professional need?

Legal professionals not only need a certain amount of schooling and professional training, but also needs personal qualifications such as having a positive attitude, discretion, loyalty, accuracy, professional appearance, a desire to learn and grow, and an understanding of legal ethics.

Who are the staff that make up the law office?

The staff that make up the law office start off as the attorney, then branches down to law clerks. Law clerks are usually law students receiving experience in a law office as they attend law school. Next is the Legal Administrator, a manager for other legal personnel and finances. The paralegals or legal assistants prepare pleadings, research cases, and prep for trials. Then the Legal Administrative Assistant assists in daily tasks to help maintain files and records, as well as assisting the attorney in whatever he/she needs to run a smooth operation.

What are the professional associations and how are they defined?

Professional associations, found in many cities, provide opportunities for legal professionals. Such associations are developed to allow the legal realm to grow professionally, while providing educational opportunities. An example of a professional association is the NALS, the Association for Legal Professionals. NALS offers education, certifications, information, and training to legal professionals.