What Are the Different Positions in a Law Firm?

| Updated on November 8, 2023

Based on complexity and size, positions in a law firm can vary widely. From attorneys to prosecutors, there are also other non-lawyer positions most law firms assign. You can discover law workforce distribution in the US on Lensa Data Insights. It showcases lawyers’ percentage by state, including gender and age distribution. Gain valuable insights on popular areas of law in specific regions. Stay informed of current job opportunities with Lensa’s analysis of legal industry trends.

Keep reading for a detailed guide about the different roles in a law firm you should know

Law Firm Hierarchy Positions

As noted by The Hogle Law Firm in Mesa, law firms are primarily grouped into sub-hierarchies within lawyers and other staff members. Hierarchy positions are divided based on ranks and status, with equity based on the firm’s regulations and general law as below:

Senior or Managing Partners

Senior or managing partners have the highest position levels in a law firm hierarch. They are considered the founding members or senior-level attorneys. Individuals at these positions are responsible for managing the law firm’s daily operations and often work as executive committee members to establish the firm’s strategic working plans, goals, and objectives.


These are lawyers who operate as joint owners of a law firm. They are also known as shareholders and often work as general law firm partners, liability company partners, and law firm associates. However, most law firms operate through partner positions by structuring their operations in a two-way partnership means where equity and non-equity law practices are considered.

Equity partners are those with ownership in the firm, and when the firm gains more money and clients, equity partners also gain. Contrarily, non-equity partners have limited rights within a law firm and are paid fixed income instead of partially earning what a firm makes. Moreover, non-equity law firm partners qualify for promotion into equity positions when the executive committee of senior and managing partners agree they are qualified for promotions. Before advancement, they must also contribute a set amount of money or buy their equity status based on the firm’s set standard and promotion charges. 

The Of Counsel 

These are lawyers that are not employees of a firm and instead work as independent contractors.  They can be referred to as special counsel or senior counsel and are mostly attorneys with extensive experience in particular areas hired to present a law firm’s clients on an individual area of the law. Typically, a law firm’s Of counsel positions are for semi-retired lawyers who previously worked as the firm’s partners. Their main work is to supplement and aid in the firm’s knowledge base and work as part-timers to help manage cases and operate as associate or supportive staff members.


These are lawyers working as junior or senior attorneys in a law firm with the responsibilities of helping out with cases and managing the firm’s knowledge base in terms of research and keeping with updates.

Litigation Lawyers

These are attorneys whose responsibilities are to represent a law firm’s clients in civil cases. They are individuals with a wealth of knowledge about trials and representing defendants and plaintiffs by understanding how to argue and communicate ideas on behalf of their clients. Litigation lawyers primarily work in private or corporate law firms.

Staff Lawyers

These are attorneys working with associates and partners offering services such as legal advice on cases and more. They also work together with associates in carrying out comprehensive and extensive research without necessarily working closely with the firm’s clients.


These are a law firm’s employees working to aid attorneys to prepare for hearings and trials. They are also responsible for presenting the firm at legal meetings and drafting documents or researching and summarizing minutes, and more.

Non-Lawyer Positions

Non-Lawyer position employees are supporting staff, and positions are according to the firm’s size and complexity.  Some of the non-lawyer positions in most law firms include:

Legal Accountants

Legal Accountants are law firm employees with finance skills to ensure firms are operating on their proper budgets and financial abilities. Their main jobs are balancing financial records such as budgets, payrolls, and salaries. They also work in reporting to top levels about overspending or other money-related changes and effects.

Legal Human Resource Managers

These are employees whose work is to manage the hiring of new employees and handling payrolls. They also manage the firm’s benefits and aid new employees with guidelines regarding their roles and act as their parties when solving workplace fallouts between different level individuals.

Legal Secretaries

These are law firm’s employees responsible for working directly with lawyers and paralegals to aid with clerical work. Additionally, legal secretaries’ main work ranges from writing emails and making phones for clients and the firm’s partners.

Legal Clerks

These employees work directly with paralegals and lawyers in properly labeling, organizing, and storing documents and records. They are also responsible for transporting files from one firm to another or different places needed by the firm.


Whether you’re a legal employee or an ordinary citizen, knowing the different positions in law firms is an incredible consideration to expand your knowledge about law and its demands. The above are the various positions in a law firm worth keeping in mind.

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Aaron Harris


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