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What does a Legal Coordinator do?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The primary function of a legal coordinator is to work with lawyers, law clerks, paralegals, and other members of the law services team. They are responsible for managing the flow of documents, information, and data within the team. The vast majority of legal coordinator positions are found in large law firms, where multiple people work on client files.

There are multiple career paths and methods to become a legal coordinator. In Europe, these coordinators are fully certified lawyers. They are often required to travel extensively, and must be licensed to work in multiple European countries. This role is often found in large, international firms that require information from multiple locations to complete different processes. The coordinator is responsible for managing the file, in a role very similar to project manager.

In North America, legal coordinator is typically an administrative position. Candidates must have some type of legal training, but it is usually as a legal assistant or associate. The primary purpose of the role remains the coordination of information, but the level of responsibility is very different. In Europe, clients on large cases expect to communicate directly with the coordinator. In North America, the coordinator provides an overview of the file status to the lead lawyer, who communicates directly with the client.

Experience is the most important consideration when looking for a position as a legal coordinator. There are two types of experience required in this position: file management and process documentation. As a coordinator, he or she must have advanced computer software skills, in addition to excellent organization, communication, and interpersonal skills.

File management is more than just filing, and this is especially relevant for a legal coordinator. The management of document flow, ensuring the appropriate people receive the right documents in a timely fashion, and that the information in the primary file is well organized and up to date is very important. Archiving, indexing, and cross checking techniques are all necessary to ensure that documents can be retrieved quickly when needed.

Process documentation is a written set of instructions regarding the management of different business processes within the company. In the legal profession, it is very important for all the processes surrounding the management of documents, files, information, and data to be clearly documented. These procedures may be used in court, should there be any disputes surrounding the security of documents, and the steps taken by the law firm to protect its clients' confidentiality and rights.

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Discussion Comments
By MaPa — On Jul 19, 2011

I have a friend who had this job for a major car company. She was paid well and apparently had a lot of responsibility. She traveled constantly as well.

I remember once she landed in her home city, picked up her car from the parking garage, went home, showered, changed clothes, took the dirty clothes out of her suitcase, put clean clothes in, went back to the airport, and got the same parking spot. That's the kind of turnaround time her weeks would have.

It was a very interesting job to hear her talk about it, but pretty much all consuming. She does something else now.

By Nepal2016 — On Jul 18, 2011

@idemnifyme- Some insurance companies do use a coordinator. I got in a minor accident a few years back and the woman I hit put on an Academy Award performance of being maimed for life. It was the tiniest little tap of my car against hers, I only cracked one of her tail lights. She actually used the word "maimed" in her description of her injuries.

I had a lawyer assigned by the insurance company, but my primary contact was a case coordinator who kept track of everything in the file and made sure it all went where it was supposed to go.

Greatest day of my life when it got thrown out of court. I wanted to send her a muffin basket but my lawyer thought the judge might get mad.

By indemnifyme — On Jul 18, 2011

I don't work in a very big office, and I'm not in the legal field. However, I deal with a lot of documents and information in my profession as well.

I wish there was some equivalent of the legal coordinator in the insurance field. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of all the paperwork that comes through!

By strawCake — On Jul 18, 2011

My mom used to work as a paralegal for a medium sized law office. They handled a lot of complicated personal injury cases and the office did employ a legal coordinator.

The legal coordinator only worked half time though, since it wasn't a very big office. My mom said that having the legal coordinator there was invaluable because of the amount of documents they dealt with for the personal injury cases.

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