Round-the-Globe Conversations About Change, Chicago-Based Solutions
I recently returned from Melbourne, Australia, where I was invited to lead a strategic planning retreat for the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA). While there, I had the opportunity to meet with legal operations leaders from a number of law firms to learn more about the challenges, changes and opportunities facing the industry in their part of the world.
Not surprisingly, firms in Australia and Asia are experiencing many of the same issues as those in the Western Hemisphere — client pressures, increased competition and rapidly changing technology were common themes in my conversations. Legal management professionals have never been more essential to law firm success and their roles are growing increasingly more complex.
As this month’s feature article notes, few roles have seen more transformation than that of the legal secretary. Advances in technology, changes in client and attorney needs and process improvements have had significant impacts on the work done by legal secretaries and the skills needed to succeed in the role.
To help navigate this changing environment, ALA has produced a new white paper, “The Changing Role of the Legal Secretary,” which provides insight on how the position has changed and specific advice for managing this critical role.
But legal secretaries aren’t the only ones facing transition. Virtually every legal management position has been affected, and many new roles have been created. One of our most common requests from members is for sample job descriptions, but many that are available are no longer relevant to the current work environment. To address this challenge, ALA is creating a job description toolkit. In addition to sample position descriptions, the toolkit will provide step-by-step instructions for how to develop each role using ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) taxonomy.