Many of the successful law firms you see today began with a single attorney committed to making a difference. These law professionals worked diligently to acquire and successfully represent client interests. When their reputations improved and the workload increased, the need for associates and support staff became inevitable. Ultimately, they put together a team of professionals with the necessary education, skills, and experience to keep their firms thriving.
If you’re an attorney with a solo practice looking to expand, you’ll need to hire law staff to help push you forward. As selecting the right professionals is essential, you must establish key characteristics and qualifications to ensure you’re hiring an ideal team for your firm. Continue reading to learn more about what to look for in law firm staff.
Whether you’re hiring an attorney, administrative assistant, paralegal, or human resources professional, you want to ensure that they have acquired the necessary education to complete their jobs efficiently. For instance, if you’re looking for an assistant, you’d want someone that has a college degree or certificate in administrative support, business, or office management.
When hiring attorneys, it’s ideal to look for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in business, political science, or English. They should also have worked hard on LSAT test prep to achieve high scores, attend an accredited law school, and passed the bar exam.
While education is essential, most professionals agree that experience is often the best teacher. When you’ve spent time working in law or business environments, you’ve had time to apply your knowledge to real-life situations. You’ve learned how things operate, made mistakes (and took heed to the lessons), and have had time to enhance your strengths while improving areas of weakness.
The more experienced your team is, the better results they produce for your firm. As you review applications and resumes, evaluate their time in the field before making a hiring decision. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone should have over a decade of experience. Your team should include a mix of experience levels. While older and more experienced professionals can help you maintain the status quo, younger and less experienced professionals can bring innovative ideas to the table.
Another factor to consider when hiring staff for your law firm is specialization. You want a team that understands your area of practice so they can best accommodate the needs of your clients. As you’re well aware, the law is very complex and diverse. You need workers that understand the appropriate laws, processes, and community your practice serves. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time investing in education and training to get your team up to speed.
It takes more than education, experience, and the right specializations to be a good law professional. As law is a highly regulated, competitive, and demanding profession, it’s essential that you hire staff with these key characteristics.
- Organization – Keeping track of client information, case data, and billing hours in a law firm is all-consuming, especially if you have a large portfolio of clients. Therefore, you need law professionals that can remain organized and maintain the influx of files and paperwork.
- Attention to Detail – The smallest details matter in the field of law. From listening to client stories to discovering laws that support your argument, your team must have the ability to pay attention to produce the best possible outcome.
- Collaboration – From the secretary to the senior attorneys, everyone must work together to provide the most efficient service to your clients. While a person may be good at what they do, if they don’t work well with others it can cause a breakdown in morale and productivity. Therefore, you want to hire individuals that have the capabilities to work by themselves as well as collaborate with others.
- Passion And Commitment – Anyone that has worked in the law profession knows that it’s not an easy job. It’s competitive, all-encompassing, and tedious with many obstacles along the way. Ultimately, you need a team of law staff that has a passion for law and the commitment to stick to it, despite the many challenges they’ll face.
Expanding your law firm means enlisting the help of legal professionals to help accommodate the growing demand of clients. As you begin scouting for prospects, you must use credentials and key characteristics like those listed above to help drive your decision. As such you’ll have an improved chance of putting together a team that helps your practice move closer to its goals.