September 01, 2019

Succession Planning for Your Next Firm Administrator

It’s time to document crucial day-to-day information and craft a succession plan for your next administrator.

Cynthia Thomas

Many firms have developed a written succession plan to assist with transitioning the managing partner role. However, when it comes to the operational leaders of the firm who are responsible for the day-to-day functions, the topic of succession planning usually falls short.

Law firm administrators are in charge of the day-to-day operations of a law firm. From vendor relations to managing nonlawyer staff members, law firm administrators coordinate and direct the daily activities of law firm management. Your firm administrator possesses a great deal of knowledge, key experience, information and skills about the operations of your firm.

However, what if one day your firm administrator walks into your office and tells you that she or he is planning to retire next month. Or, even worse, what if your administrator suddenly becomes gravely ill? Will you be left scrambling trying to figure out how the guest Wi-Fi login credentials and password are stored, or where the telephone number to your photocopier repair representative is housed, or perhaps something as simple as how many vacation days are available to your paralegal? Once the initial shock dissipates, what action steps will you take? Are you prepared to hire an immediate replacement or bring in a temporary or interim firm administrator?

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