Make Attorney Job Descriptions Stand Out
Regardless of the practice area, associate attorneys know what they’re expected to do. While an attorney job description should include a description of their duties, legal recruiting efforts are more successful in attracting top legal talent when they read something in the description that intrigues them and makes them want to come to work for that specific law firm.
Consider the law firm’s overall mission or its benefits. Consider why someone in the legal market would want to work there. Does the law firm strive to make a difference in its community by providing attorneys and other legal professionals with time off to volunteer? Does it pay for continuing legal education? Does it support access to justice initiatives? A law firm’s culture should be carefully considered when it is time to hire so that its legal recruiting efforts can be crafted to attract the right candidates.
Post the Law Firm Job Opening Internally
One best practice often missed in legal recruiting efforts by law firms is posting the job opening internally and ensuring that all of the legal professionals working for the firm know about it. Happy legal professionals may know of someone who could be the perfect fit for the law firm job opening. Unless your law firm hiring process has recently changed, the employee may also be able to help the legal job candidate navigate the online application process.
For legal recruiters, contacting some of your most successful legal professional placements could be a fantastic recruiting strategy. They may know of qualified attorneys or legal professionals seeking law firm jobs. Additionally, successful placement with attorney jobs or jobs for legal professionals often ensures that the law firm will contact you again in the future when it is time to hire.
Consider Low-Cost External Legal Recruitment Strategies for Entry-Level Jobs
If an entry-level professional will be considered for an associate attorney job opening or other law firm job opening, such as one for a paralegal or a legal secretary, there are several low-cost external legal recruitment strategies that may be beneficial for your hiring efforts. Depending on the legal job opening, technical or vocational colleges offering paralegal programs, either on-campus or online, often provide job listings for their students. These colleges generally post legal jobs for free, and their current students as well as their alums have access to the postings. They may also offer job fair opportunities as well as assist you with your legal recruiting efforts by sourcing resumes and scheduling interviews on your behalf without any sort of fee.
Entry-level associate attorney jobs may be listed with local law schools. In addition to a career services office that likely offers a job board for graduating students and alums, they generally also provide law firms with assistance with their hiring efforts by way of on-campus interviews. The career services staff may also work with law students and attorneys to help them create or refresh their resumes and cover letters for law firm jobs.
Stop Making GPA the Only Predictor of Attorney Success
Of course, what law firm wouldn’t be thrilled to recruit top legal talent? However, with that said, GPA is not the sole indicator of attorney success. We should not determine whether someone is a great candidate for an attorney job based solely on their GPA. Instead, it’s important to consider their work ethic, leadership, legal research and writing ability, as well as other factors during the hiring process. If the job candidate makes it to the interviewing process, there are law firm interview questions that can be asked to determine whether they would be successful in the role of an associate attorney. Being a lawyer is about so much more than what is on a transcript. It is also about how someone is able to interact with a client as well as with the other legal professionals in the firm.
Understand That Top Legal Talent Improves Profitability
Legal recruiting efforts aren’t cheap. They take a considerable investment of finances and resources. When you’re looking to attract top legal talent and retain them, it can cost more. However, it’s important to recognize that talent acquisition of this sort does improve profitability. Top legal talent are often innovators who bring about new ideas to improve the entire way the law firm functions thus making it more competitive in the legal market and often making it more profitable as well.
Know What It Takes for Top Legal Talent to Accept a Legal Job Offer
Always keep in mind that the legal market is highly competitive. If you want your legal recruiting efforts to be a success, you must know what it takes to get top legal talent to accept your job offer. This isn’t necessarily a matter of begging and pleading or making special arrangements. Rather, it’s a matter of getting to know the candidates as well as what makes them consider one legal job opening over another. You must also know what makes them decide to not accept a legal job offer. Understanding this information can revolutionize your recruiting strategy for your law practice or as a legal recruiter. It can also put you into a better position to negotiate with legal job candidates that you’d love to hire.
Be Ready to Consider Alternative Hiring Trends in Legal Talent Acquisition
Remote work isn’t just a trend that will somehow miss the legal industry. Many lawyers have opted to become virtual lawyers. Legal recruiters as well as law firms must be prepared to consider the future of legal work and how it will intersect with technology. That does not mean that every law firm will necessarily embrace the concept of remote lawyers. However, it does mean that many law firms may consider benefits such as work from home days or hire freelance attorneys when they need them. Legal recruiters must be prepared to work with top legal talent who have specific desires as well as with law firms who need specific needs met.
Offer Opportunities for Professional Development
Although the goal is to attract and retain top legal talent, that doesn’t mean that they want to remain stagnant. When legal professionals, including attorneys, aren’t offered opportunities for professional development, things feel stagnant. When things feel stagnant, the job begins to feel boring. When the job begins to feel boring, their eyes may begin to look for what may seem to be greener pastures. Professional development doesn’t always to be about partnership tracks or management (although it is certainly fine if your law firm does offer room for growth in these areas). It can mean learning new legal tech, paying for continuing legal education for legal professionals, or even paying for personal development seminars. Personal development is often a catalyst to professional development. When law firms invest in their legal staff, it pays off in many ways.