How to Hire the Best Legal Staff for Your Law Firm
Did you know that there are over one million lawyers practicing in the United States? If you are opening a new law firm and are now in the process of hiring lawyers and choosing the best legal staff, you are in the right place. We have put together this guide to share our top tips on vetting lawyers for your new firm.
Read on to learn these top tips.
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Before you start interviewing or lawyer recruiting we recommend sitting down and defining what you want your firm’s culture to be like. This is important because your culture is what will set your law firm apart from other law firms.
Having a strong company culture will increase engagement between your employees and it will also decrease turnover. Fewer people want to leave their place of work when they fit in with the culture because they feel like they are part of something bigger.
When you want top talent to select your law firm over your competitors make sure that your culture is well-defined and something that you talk about during the interview process. Do not settle for an individual that has the talent but doesn’t really mesh with your culture because it will end up not working out.
Create Growth Opportunities
Something else that you want to keep in mind during the interview process is letting potential hires know that there is room to grow with the firm. If they choose to move up in their career you want to have opportunities available instead of losing top talent.
Most top lawyers look for both career growth and educational growth so that they don’t hit a ceiling in their career. When employees feel like you are investing in helping them grow they will usually stay longer because they feel more appreciated.
One way you can provide growth opportunities is by developing a career path that shows promotions and increases in salary over time. Showing this to potential candidates during the interview process will show them that you are thinking ahead about their future.
Commit to Inclusion and Diversity
A sure way to bring more diverse opinions to a law firm is by prioritizing diversity and inclusion. This will also improve employee engagement, and with more diverse teams the better the decisions will be. Top talent is also looking for a diverse workforce when they are choosing where to work.
Keep in mind that when you are writing up the job descriptions you want to avoid unintentional bias. For example, stay away from words that are associated with masculinity because it will deter women from applying.
When you are conducting interviews you want to keep in mind that you are not the only person making a decision after the interview is complete. You are also selling your firm to the potential candidate. This means you want to make sure you highlight how your law firm stands out from others and show off that workplace culture.
During the interview you also want to ask the right questions vs the wrong questions. Questions you want to avoid include: are you married, what country are you from, how old are you, do you have kids? These kinds of questions will tarnish your firm’s reputation and it can also be considered as an intent to discriminate according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Make Communication a Priority
You want to make effective communication a priority once you hire the perfect attorney’s for your firm. If you don’t do this then your team productivity, workplace relationships and well-being will be put on the line.
During the interview make sure you speak about the open and honest communication policies that you have in place for your firm. You can encourage feedback where you ask for ways to improve processes within the firm.
You can also have weekly meetings with your teams to check in and answer concerns and questions your attorneys have. As the owner of the firm, be a leader and a good example by being truthful with communications and forthcoming.
Even if you have a small law firm we recommend creating an employee handbook because it will help keep everyone on the same page. Creating this handbook early on will make things easier as your firm grows.
This policy manual can help create more certainty among your attorneys because it will promote consistency and fair treatment. This handbook can also be given to a potential candidate to give them insight into how your firm operates so that they can make an informed decision before accepting a job offer.
Don’t worry about making the handbook elaborate. You simply need to outline the procedures, policies, values, mission, benefits for employees, and codes of conduct. Make sure it covers important topics such as workplace equality, anti-harassment policy, along with any other policies that show your firm complies with federal and state employment laws.
Keep in mind that this handbook is not set in stone. As your firm grows you can adapt it to your growing firm.
Ready to Hire the Best Legal Staff for Your Law Firm?
Now that you’ve learned our top tips on how to hire the best legal staff for your new law firm, you can take action and apply everything you learned above. Now it’s time to create job postings and schedule those interviews.
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