Attracting and hiring young talent is an important and necessary investment for a law firm. After going through the process of recruiting, screening, hiring and training candidates, it is important that law firms do everything possible to retain lawyers for the long term. If a young lawyer is hired and leaves for better opportunities, law firms have to start from scratch and spend time and money hiring another. In total, hiring law firms costs the industry about $1 billion a year.
Attracting and retaining lawyers and recruiting new graduates is competitive. Law firms looking to reach the top of the talent pool should focus on flexibility, diversity, positive company culture, growth opportunities, mentorship and technology innovation.
Hiring is competitive for law firms
In 2021, lateral hiring moves among law firms rose to 41%, a rare and all-time high for the legal industry. While many experts have found this trend unsustainable and expect it to subside this year, law firms are still working hard to raise salaries and adjust their hiring practices to align with the market.
This trend of increasing salaries leaves new lawyers and partners with a flood of options. Record-breaking salaries are now more common, so other factors such as work-life balance and hybrid working come to the fore. Exorbitant salaries may attract lawyers, but it’s the quality that the employer brings to their lives that makes them stay.
The Importance of Corporate Culture and Hiring in Law Firms
Young lawyers are coming out of law school with different priorities than years ago. These new lawyers are looking for firms that offer opportunities for support and mentorship from experienced lawyers. They want to know that they are making a choice that will have a positive impact on their legal career.
Law firms can attract these lawyers by fostering a positive culture that is as current as possible on trends and innovations. One of the most important aspects of this culture is the technology that supports time management and work-life balance.
Ongoing support and mentorship
As mentioned, young lawyers are looking for law firms that will serve their future. Law firms can be competitive environments in a canine industry, but these new lawyers aren’t looking for that kind of work. They don’t want to be the best – they want opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.
Firms that want to attract these lawyers must offer opportunities for growth and demonstrate an investment in their recruits. This can include career planning advice, CLE training, professional development and coaching services. These programs not only help young lawyers grow, but show them that the firm is invested in them.
Better work-life balance
Like all young professionals entering the workforce, young lawyers place more emphasis on flexibility and work-life balance than on the culture of hustle. They don’t want to be a first-in, last-out type or married to work. They want to have a healthy personal life with time for family, travel, or hobbies.
Either way, personal and professional lives can overlap and influence each other, but law firms can try to give associates the time and space to manage their personal lives. In doing so, firms gain more productive and efficient lawyers who are loyal and satisfied with their work.
Law firms should also keep in mind that young lawyers are more open to remote and hybrid work environments. These options allow lawyers to better balance their time, avoid long commutes and traffic, and be more productive overall.
The need for advanced technology
Legal technology is a great way for law firms to attract law students or young lawyers. The legal industry is largely traditional, but it is slowly moving to embrace more innovations that improve processes or help young lawyers retain the flexibility they need.
For example, young lawyers looking for remote or hybrid work can make the most of their working time with features like mobile apps, document management, and in-office access and storage. cloud. They can work from anywhere – in the field, at home or in the office – and have the same access to the information and documentation they need.
Young lawyers are digital natives and can quickly adapt to new technological solutions. They know they can gain more flexibility and less long hours with automation, time tracking, and remote communication tools. Companies that stay traditional are less likely to attract these top talent.
Leave a positive impact in and out of your law firm
Young lawyers have many different priorities than their predecessors, including a desire to make a difference in the world. This generation has lived through many historical events, endured conflict, and desire to create a positive impact with their practice of law – even more than fame, status, or salary.
Law firms can attract this kind of talent with programs like hard-hitting pro bono work and a commitment to justice, not just by attracting the biggest, most expensive clients. They give back to the community and show their investment in others, whether through donations, volunteer programs, scholarships or volunteer work.
Support alternative career paths
Attractive law firms offer different paths and opportunities to become a partner. Young lawyers can rest assured that they won’t have to put their lives on hold, like waiting to get married and start a family, just to get promoted. Firms can give partners the flexibility and freedom to choose when they want to take the next steps in their career.
Alternatively, not all young lawyers want to be on track to partner. If young lawyers are not looking for a partnership or a management position, law firms can offer alternative career paths through professional coaching and training programs.
For example, young lawyers may want to use their legal expertise and combine it with business areas to help run a practice, such as business management, legal technology, or human resources. This allows lawyers to find the best combination of skills and responsibilities for their needs.
Lawyers should also have the freedom to explore different areas of practice and expand their skills before investing significant time and energy in an area of practice that does not satisfy them.
Embrace Modern Processes to Improve Your Law Firm Hiring
Attracting and retaining young lawyers and law students is difficult in a competitive market, but law firms can create an environment of support, continuous learning and technological innovation that retains and satisfies lawyers.
©2006-2022, BILL4TIME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 168