How do lawyers recruit and retain office administration staff?

There are pros and cons to every type of law firm you run, whether it is a sole proprietorship or a larger firm. However, sole proprietorships and small businesses can undeniably be more overwhelming when they don’t rely on the luxury of administrative staff to handle day-to-day tasks. Attorneys at smaller firms often find themselves knee-deep in administrative work, a far cry from the romantic day in the life of a lawyer immortalized by Hollywood. Not surprisingly, 40% of attorneys take an average of three days to respond to a prospective client.

The truth is that smaller companies have their work to do and juggle the responsibilities of an entire staff. But at some point, it can become overwhelming for busy attorneys as they need to step away from their paying clients to perform non-revenue-generating tasks, answer the phone, implement a marketing strategy, or onboard clients.

For this reason, many lawyers, inundated with pending to-dos, find themselves finding a quick 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 grow your law practice and run it more efficiently. Let’s dive in.

When is it time to rent?

Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to hire employees. The worse you let things get, the harder it is to bring your new office staff up to speed. Not only does this make it extra difficult for the new person you are hiring, but you will also be sacrificing the quality of your casework.

The rush to get everything done in crisis mode means you don’t have enough time to properly train your onboarding staff. Expanding your small law firm should be methodical and selective, not knee-jerk. However, the best time to hire more employees is the right one before They expect an influx of new customers.

Where to start

The most important thing to remember when hiring employees for your law firm is that the employee alone will not carry your law firm. Rather, it’s how they do their jobs that makes a difference. It’s up to you to set up the right infrastructure that will lead them to success.

First, make a list of all the things you want Not want to do as a lawyer and develop an effective system for offloading that responsibility to whoever you are hiring. The more specific you are about what you expect from someone, the less likely they are to feel overwhelmed. If your goal is to truly detach yourself from the day-to-day administrative tasks of running a law firm so you can focus on administering the law, you need to give your staff the right guidance, training and tools.

The type of tasks you want to delegate to someone else will determine the type of person you want to hire. Whether it’s helping with your billing, taking calls from current clients, or performing duties as a paralegal, not everyone will be qualified for every job you need them to do. So the more specific you can be about where you need help, the more likely you are to find what you need.

How do you hire the right team?

Aside from finding people who are able to do the jobs you want to do, you want to make sure they share the same vision for your business. You want to have a team behind you that is just as interested in the success of your firm as you are. A good place to start is what type of image you want to portray. You probably want someone with strong people skills who can make a positive first impression when dealing with legal clients.

Having employees who are not only reliable, but who are clearly committed to making a positive impression on your legal clients will make all the difference to your firm’s overall success.

How do you onboard and train new employees?

Smaller companies often don’t have the time to effectively train and onboard their new employees. However, the onboarding and training process is a crucial part of building your team successfully. To get your employees off to a flying start, you need to ensure your onboarding includes:

Clearly defined job

Take the time to list all of the content, tasks, and responsibilities you expect them to have. Check what their current skills are and if they need additional training. Having an idea of ​​what their current knowledge and skills are will help you determine which areas of the training process you should focus on the most.


Once you have a clear outline of what the job entails, it’s time to tackle the training. To get the best out of your employees, a training plan is ideal. Far too many companies rely on an overly casual style of training, which can result in missing important steps that ultimately become an unfair advantage for a new hire. So make sure you make a list of all the expected tasks so they can refer to them for information.

Communicate effectively

Effective communication is essential in any industry. However, especially in a law firm with so many interrelationships between matters, this is particularly important. Therefore, it is important that you clearly explain how each element of their work works and how it impacts the overall customer journey. Review all key legal terminology and revise it as necessary. The more resources you can devote to your employees to help them succeed, the easier it will be to step down and eventually let them take the reins of their jobs.

Demonstrate whenever possible and take the time to answer any questions as they arise. While answering so many questions and repeating your expectations about them may seem time-consuming at first, in the long run you will save more time than you would have spent on retraining.

How do you effectively manage new hires?

When it comes to effectively managing your workforce, delegation is key. While handing off important tasks to someone new can be challenging at first for smaller law firms and sole proprietorships, it is key to your overall productivity. Ultimately, your goal should be to offload all of your non-billable work to someone so you never have to distract yourself from casework again.

Since time is of the essence, you should increase your productivity even more by equipping your team with the right office technology. A legal CRM and client onboarding software for law firms can further optimize the processes of your law firm and improve communication between employees. By storing everything in a single cloud location, you can ensure everyone stays on the same page, and automation helps speed up the time-consuming elements of customer onboarding like lengthy documents, follow-up emails, and invoicing.

The right legal software will help you:

  • Automate your team with time-consuming tasks like client onboarding
  • Integrate directly with other legal instruments so they don’t have to enter the same information in multiple places.
  • Access your practice from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Offer customers self-scheduling to automatically confirm appointments
  • Track and nurture leads on autopilot

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