A Law company or a law firm is that kind of an organization which is dedicated in the service of clients/individuals to fight for legal rights. A law firm is a group of lawyers with focus on law practice. The main service which any law firm as a whole provides is suggestions and advice to the clients and represents them at hearings.
A law firm may either be a few-people entity or may be a big company with separate departments looking into various aspects of the business. The following given details will throw more light on the hierarchy structure of a law company.
Privately owned law companies have to have an owner who has the right over the company, its profits and its losses. The owner or CEO of a law firm is similar to the CEO of any other company in terms of rights, responsibilities and power. All lawyers or other staff working in a law company falls under the supervision of the owner.
Attorneys form the backbone of a law firm and are the ones who fight the cases, represent clients at meetings, give advice and suggestions to them and have expert knowledge about law practices and legal rights. Basically, attorneys are licenses law practitioners. Now within the term ‘attorney’ come several other divisions which are given as follows:
- Partners-Partners are the most experienced and practiced lawyers and are also called the proprietors of the firm. They are the ones who charge the maximum fee.
- Associates-Associates are also practiced and licensed lawyers who may charge a lower fee than the partners.
- Contract Lawyers-Contract lawyers are not permanent lawyers for clients but are hired on contract basis or for particular cases. They work on part time basis.
B) Legal assistants
After the position of the attorneys comes the position of the legal assistants. Legal assistants work under the attorneys and support the lawyers in their tasks. These individuals are trained in law but do not have the license to represent clients or practice law. The following is the hierarchy of legal assistants:
- Law Clerks– Law clerks are students who are still attending law school and work in a law firm for internships or trainings. They help in preparation of cases and do the research or background work.
- Paralegals-Paralegals handle most of the paperwork and have legal training.
- Legal Secretaries– To help a lawyer carry out day to day tasks, a legal secretary are hired. He/she may assist the lawyer and organize his work life.
C) Support staff
Apart from the above given positions, a law firm may have several support staff members who may not be trained in law but help to carry out various daily tasks for the company. The following are some of the support staff members:
- Administrative Personnel– They run the internal operations of the law firm and help in day to day administration or management of the workplace.
- Marketing Directors-They help in marketing or promotion of the law firm.
- Receptionists-Handle the reception work at law firms and answer calls.