How do lawyers recruit and retain law firm administrative staff?

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No matter what type of law firm you run, there are pros and cons whether it’s a solo law firm or a larger firm. Yet sole proprietorships and small businesses can be undeniably more overwhelming to manage without the luxury of administrative staff to take care of day-to-day tasks. Lawyers in small firms often find themselves knee-deep in paperwork, a far cry from the romantic day in the life of a lawyer perpetuated by Hollywood. It’s no surprise that 40% of lawyers take an average of three days to respond to a potential client.

The truth is that small businesses have their work cut out for them, juggling the responsibilities of an entire staff. But at some point, that can become too much for busy attorneys to handle, as they have to step away from their paying clients to perform non-revenue-generating tasks, answer the phone, execute a marketing strategy, or conduct business. customer reception.

For this reason, many lawyers overwhelmed with backlogs are scrambling to quickly find a solution by hiring more staff. In this article, we’ll go over some of the top tips for recruiting the right legal industry team to help you grow your law practice and run it more effectively. Let’s dive into it.

When is it time to hire?

Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to hire employees. The longer you let things get worse, the harder it is to brief your new law firm employees. Not only will this make it even more difficult for the new person you hire, but you will be sacrificing the quality of your work.

By rushing to do everything in crisis mode, you don’t have enough time to properly train your onboarding staff. Expanding your small law firm is something that should be done methodically and selectively, not as a knee-jerk reaction. That said, the best time to hire more employees is the right time. before you anticipate an influx of new customers.

Where to start?

The most important thing to remember when hiring staff for your legal practice is that the employee alone will not carry your business. Rather, it is how they perform their duties that makes the difference. It’s up to you to put in place the right infrastructure that sets them up for success.

To start, make a list of all the things you don’t want to do as a lawyer and develop an effective system for passing that responsibility on to the person you hire. The more specific you are about what you are looking for in someone, the less likely they are to end up in over their head. If your goal is to really get away from the day-to-day administrative tasks of running a law firm so you can focus on practicing law, then you’ll need to provide your employees with the guidance, training, and tools.

The type of tasks you hope to assign to someone else will determine the type of person you are looking to hire. Whether it’s helping you with your billing, answering phone calls from current clients, or performing paralegal duties, not everyone will be qualified for every job you need, so the more specific you can be on what you need help with. , the more likely you are to find the right fit.

How to hire the right team?

Beyond finding people who can do the jobs you’re looking to do, you want to make sure they share the same vision for your business. You want a team behind you that is as invested in the success of your law firm as you are. A good place to start is to ask yourself what kind of image you want to portray. Chances are you want someone with strong people skills who can make a positive first impression when dealing with legal clients.

Having staff who are not only reliable, but who are clearly invested in making a positive impression on your legal clients will make all the difference in the overall success of your firm.

How to integrate and train new employees?

Small businesses often don’t have the time to effectively train and onboard their new employees. Yet the onboarding and training process is an essential part of preparing your team for success. To help your employees get started, you need to make sure your onboarding involves the following:

Clearly described work

Take the time to detail all the content, tasks and tasks you expect from them. Review their current skills and if they need additional training. Getting an idea of ​​their current knowledge and skills will help you better identify which areas of the training process you should focus on the most.

Form

Once you’ve clearly defined what the job entails, it’s time to tackle the training. To get the most out of your employees, a training program is ideal. Far too many companies rely on an overly laid-back style of training, which can lead to missing milestones that end up being an unfair advantage for a new staff member. So be sure to make a list of all their scheduled tasks so they can refer to it for information.

Communicate effectively

Effective communication is essential in any industry. Yet this is especially important in a law firm with so many different moving parts between cases. As such, it’s essential that you clearly explain how each element of their work works and how it affects the overall customer journey. Review all important legal terminology and revise as needed. The more resources you give your staff to help them succeed, the easier it will be to walk away and eventually let them take the wheel of their jobs.

Demonstrate whenever possible and take the time to answer questions as they arise. While it may seem tedious to answer so many questions and revisit your expectations repeatedly at first, you’ll save more time in the long run than you would have spent retraining.

How to effectively manage new staff?

When it comes to effectively manage your staff, delegation is essential. While it can be difficult initially for small law firms and independent attorneys to hand over important tasks to someone new, it’s essential for your overall productivity. Ultimately, your goal should be to get all of your non-billable work off to someone, so you never have to focus on files again.

Since time is of the essence, you should boost your productivity even further by equipping your team with the right law firm technology. A legal CRM and law firm client intake software can further streamline your law firm’s processes and improve communication between staff. By having everything stored in one cloud location, you can ensure everyone stays on the same page, and automation helps speed up time-consuming customer onboarding items like large documents, emails from tracking and invoicing.

The right legal software will help you:

  • Automate your team with time-consuming tasks like onboarding customers
  • Direct integration with other legal tools so they don’t have to enter the same information in multiple places.
  • Access your practice from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Offer self-scheduling to customers to automatically confirm appointments
  • Track and Nurture Leads on Autopilot
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