Outstanding Legal Professionals: Mary Baker

An adaptable administrator at Snell & Wilmer

As far as Mary Baker’s day-to-day goes, there isn’t one.

“The best thing about this [job] is you never know what you’re going to deal with on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

She’s the Denver-based director of administration for Snell & Wilmer, which has 400-plus attorneys practicing out of 11 U.S. locations. In that position, she oversees a swath of non-attorney operations including the firm’s paralegal, secretary, IT and research departments. It runs the gamut from conducting new employee orientation for a legal secretary, to coordinating a volunteer park cleanup event for the firm to assisting with the firm’s recruiting efforts. She’s effectively a reliable catch-all for operations-related questions and concerns.

“Everything eventually works its way to me,” she said. “You never know what it might be.”

In a testament to how much law firm administration is changing, her work increasingly involves oversight of the firm’s IT needs, and “technology has just more and more taken the forefront,” she said. Lawyers and their support staff need digital tools to do their most basic work, and those tools need to be functioning properly at all times. That works its way to Baker, too. If a client needs a document sent immediately, and the legal secretary, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfill the attorney’s request to send it, Baker is often called upon to troubleshoot the issue to make sure the client gets what they need.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the July 23, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.