Every time a successful, growing firm misses out on attracting or keeping a high performing lawyer, the firm's competitive position in the market place is diminished. Attracting and retaining good lawyers requires ongoing attention.
To remain competitive in the market place, firms should:
- Consider hiring in advance of need. The legal market today is favorable for hiring and firms have a unique opportunity to attract great talent a reasonable cost;
- Take an enthusiastic approach to the interviewing process; involve other successful lawyers at or close to a recruit's level;
- Articulate the firm's vision, goals and plans and how the recruit or existing lawyer fits into these plans;
- Ensure that the firm's training and development systems can offer a genuine opportunity on the partnership track;
- Communicate the criteria for partnership;
- Determine if the firm's billing rates and productivity will support raises and bonuses to reward and sustain top performing lawyers at all levels; and
- Communicate frequently with existing top performers and reward them with competitive, incentive-based compensation; do not take for granted that these people won't move even in a soft market.
In short, firms should maintain good recruiting, training and development habits.
Read additional articles from our blog about lateral hiring and developing firm initiatives to retain your best attorneys:
- Thinking Laterals Are the Answer?: Part 1, The Opportunities and Struggles
- Thinking Laterals Are the Answer: Part 2, Improving the Odds