Not everyone who starts a law firm needs to think about staffing. In the early days, there is a good chance you will be all on your own.
The idea of hiring someone will probably seem foreign and immeasurably luxurious (and terrifying).
But the second you start thinking about adding to your headcount—whether your spouse or partner, an independent contractor, a part-time employee, a law clerk, associate, partner paralegal, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, or office manager—you need to simultaneously start thinking about your values and how you’ll treat the folks who’ll be joining you.
Law Firm Hiring & Staffing on Lawyerist
In our view, that means:
- You have a written organizational chart that includes everyone in the firm and their actual reporting structure.
Your organizational chart and job duties are structured to encourage employees to focus on what they can do best (their highest value) and to delegate other work to those who can do it better or more efficiently.
You hire and fire people based on how they fit with your firm’s mission and values and the roles in your organizational chart. You follow a “right people, right seats” model.
Your compensation and benefits structure is fair, rational, and encourages the right long-term incentives that reflect your values.
You have systems in place to make sure you staff your firm with diversity, access, and inclusion in mind.
Managers at your firm (anyone with direct reports in the organizational chart) are all skilled at managing other people and you actively train them in the skills of people management.
Your firm has a culture that reflects your values.
Everyone is engaged in regular firm-wide and team meetings and communication is frequent, open, and honest.
Everyone at your firm keeps the number of hours they work in balance. Except in an actual emergency, no one in your firm regularly works more than 55 hours per week and most work 40 or less.
Everyone in your firm is allowed, and actually uses, a reasonable amount of vacation or paid time off.
Your firm has systems in place to support your staff with self-care, wellness, addiction-support, and mental health needs.
In this “Law Firm Hiring & Staffing” hub, we’ll talk about compensation models and formulas, diversity, and your firm’s culture.
We’ll explore managing people, recruiting & interviewing & hiring & firing.
And we’ll spend some time in the nuts and bolts of employee handbooks, contractors, and organizational charts.
Along the way, we hope you’ll figure out why it is so crucial to think about building your law firm to support a team well before you actually on board your first employee.
So, let’s dig in. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you around the Lawyerist ecosystem!