As a company’s legal needs change, managing attorneys and general counsel should consider how much time they spend on administrative tasks that take time away from client matters and managing outside counsel. Employing a legal administrator allows certain tasks to be delegated, freeing up time to concentrate on more substantial matters, and often getting the work into the hands of someone better trained to do it.
It would be nice if there were hard and fast rules about when it is time to hire an administrator – if you knew, for example, that when you got to a certain number of lawyers, the time had come. Unfortunately there is no magic formula or rule. What normally drives law departments to hire their first administrator is a fear that things are slipping through the cracks – a fear that usually peaks when turnover rises or morale plunges.