You are here

Director of Paralegal Management

Fenwick & West, LLP
Mountain View, CA
United States

Fenwick & West is a top-tier law firm with an open and inclusive culture. With more than 400 lawyers and 400 employees in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle and New York, we work with companies on the cutting edge of technology, life sciences and cleantech. For more than four decades, our firm has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders. We are proud to have been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area for the twelfth year.

Fenwick is seeking a Director of Paralegal Management who will be responsible for managing our Corporate Paralegal department, creating strategy to support the team based on practice group needs. The Director of Paralegal Management will supervise direct and indirect reports, manage the operation of the Paralegal department and continuously create processes that will enhance the department. This position can be based in any of our offices.

Responsibilities Include:
Management and Leadership
- As a strategic thought partner to leadership, work closely with Practice Group and Subgroup Leadership (“Leadership”) and the Senior Director of Practice Management (SDPM) to develop and execute a strategic plan for the paralegal team.
- Introduce innovative approaches to process improvement focusing on the overall operation of the paralegal team, retention of talent, and high-level service and value to the firm’s clients.
- Build rapport and maintains effective relationships with paralegal team and attorneys to constantly improve internal relationships and communication.

Process Improvement
- Develop process improvement plans focusing on the retention and development of paralegals, specifically in the areas of onboarding, staffing, training and recruiting.
- Own the design, development, and maintenance of ongoing metrics, reports, analyses, dashboards, etc. to drive decisions related to areas such as recruiting, retention, and talent management.
- Develop, implement and maintain current core competencies for paralegals in each of the practice groups.
- Oversee substantive paralegal and attorney training programs.
- Collaborate with attorney population and work with the team to achieve better utilization and realization of paralegals; coordinate with practice areas to promote teamwork and effective use of paralegals; monitor progress of changes in utilization; develop, propose and implement new paralegal policies as needed to enhance the productivity of the team.
- Analyze data regarding paralegal and case assistant hours; prepare staffing plans and recommend billing rates to leadership.
- Develop work standards and evaluate paralegal performance and eligibility for promotion.
- Prepare annual budget for paralegal program, including all staffing, training and operational costs; reviews monthly financial reports and prepare variance reports as indicated.

Talent Development and Workflow Management
- Support the management of the workflow system, monitoring work assignments for all paralegals, and make recommendations for improved workload distribution.
- Monitor paralegal productivity to achieve firm goals and to assure effective distribution of workloads.
- Ensure the appropriate development, mentoring and training of the paralegal team.
- Conduct regularly scheduled meetings with paralegals to communicate new policies and procedures; oversee the design and implementation of training materials, procedures manuals and related materials.
- Collaborate with the Human Resources department to counsel paralegal staff who are not meeting expectations.
- Receive staff grievances in a confidential manner and serve as liaison between paralegal staff and their attorney supervisors.
- Conduct the paralegal portion of new hire orientation.
- Supervise and monitor use of temporary employees.
- Develop and present attorney orientation and education programs pertaining to the effective use of paralegals.

Desired Skills and Qualifications
- Ability to motivate and inspire teams with high emotional intelligence and an aptitude for helping teams collaborate.
- Knowledge of the legal industry and paralegal law firm management.
- Ability to continually learn and grow, to quickly absorb the nature of the firm’s practice and its sub-specialties, and to regularly absorb new information about the practice group’s and firm’s legal practice, business practices and the industries and technologies of its clients.
- Sound and practical business judgment, intellectual curiosity, and comfortable and adept at balancing risk and opportunity.
- Excellent organizational skills; ability to manage multiple projects at once, follow through and meet deadlines.
- Executive gravitas and polish, with the ability to deal effectively with paralegals lawyers, staff and peer administrators, and to influence people at all levels to respond and collaborate without overt use of authority.
- Self-motivated and enthusiastic, with proven ability to anticipate problems and move things forward with limited direction.
- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, including the ability to oversee the development of new systems and processes and to suggest and execute on solutions.
- Superior client service ethic, communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to gather information from a broad range of sources and to influence others to make changes.

Reporting to the Senior Director of Practice Management, the qualified candidate will have 8+ years of management experience that is directly related to the objectives, duties and skills described above; 5+ years of law firm experience and a solid track record of success in a professional services environment. Exposure to a paralegal department is strongly preferred. Bachelor’s degree required; JD or MBA preferred.

To be fully considered for this position, please apply directly online:

COVID Vaccine Policy
On July 7, 2021, Fenwick implemented a policy requiring all new hires to receive the COVID vaccine. Proof of vaccination will be required as a condition of employment. Fenwick will continue to comply with applicable laws regarding the reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities and/or strongly held religious beliefs. This policy is part of Fenwick’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and-well-being of our employees and community, and to support public health efforts.