Crucially, technology can also help attract and retain talent. However, this requires going beyond a top-down approach and creating a true culture of innovation that fosters more collaboration, transparency, and opportunities to introduce new ideas that benefit both customers and colleagues. The pandemic has forced people to really think about the intersection of their personal and professional lives, including how they want to develop their careers. In the legal sector, this can lead lawyers to look for alternatives to the traditional partner-to-partner track. Law firm executives should therefore give their lawyers a choice: the ability to manage their own career path in a way that aligns with their personal goals, preferences, interests and lives. At the end of November, the 2022 report on the state of the legal market: a difficult path to recovery stated: “All law firms were dangerously close to losing almost a quarter of their employees in 2021. To be successful, feedback providers may need to evolve their delivery and wording to better minimize the experience of aggression during informal feedback and evaluation conversations. This is a new dynamic for experienced lawyers, and it is imperative that law firms invest in training all partners and supervisors to understand the differences in how feedback is provided and can be perceived by the recipient. In my opinion, there are growing arguments in favour of treating lawyers as temporary and other professionals as permanent. I say this because of the current and probably future dynamics of the labour market for each category of professionals.
If you`re not well done by your lawyers, there`s never been a better time to open your own law firm. If you think about it, you no longer need to have an office. You can start your law firm without having any real estate. You don`t need to invest in a huge amount of technology. A really hard part for young law firms was that they got started and then, once things got too big, invested in technology. Now I can start my practice management for about $60, instead of: going to hire a computer scientist, buying a server, having a place to place that server, and then going to someone like Thomson Reuters and paying them $20,000 for software that`s already outdated and doesn`t offer support. So opening a law firm in the past was very capital-intensive, and opening a law firm now is a weekend project. Young lawyers who take advantage of these changes in the client experience are better placed in a law firm to identify these opportunities and position them in a way that is in the best interests of both the client and the law firm. I would like to emphasise the second because legal technology is a bit unique, because we really have to balance several obligations. The duty towards the client, the duty of judicial officer, the duty of lawyer of the rule of law, partner within a law firm and the unique legal responsibility of the partners towards each other, which do not always exist in other companies.
Law firms need to balance all of this, and legal technology allows these young lawyers, with their lived experience and expertise, to bring together the right technology and help partners implement it for existing clients and existing legal services. Think about where your business naturally has the greatest impact on the world – your goal. Formulate it as part of your recruitment process. Be sure to regularly present work that aligns with your goal so that existing employees remember that what they do is important. Going forward, strategy and human resources leaders will need to adopt innovative approaches to staffing in order to adapt to the transformation of the profession. Companies will continue to want to show that they can offer their customers the best products, prices and services. However, prioritizing what to focus on will help you get a better return on investment. In this context, companies should develop talent dedicated to their relevant strategy. We expect that three “talent pools” will form the structure of the front office staff within the future law firm: the lawyers` market is now temporary and will likely remain so. A robust marketplace for time-based lawyers – from personnel service providers to online marketplaces – already allows law firms to easily make the number of lawyers actively working on issues more flexible. In addition, lawyers are obviously already very ephemeral: lateral movements occur on a daily basis.
The fact that we have so many temporary employment services and career changes suggests that the market is already seeing that lawyers are quite fungible. And with a persistent oversupply of lawyers, recruitment isn`t that difficult. It will therefore be easy to make the number of lawyers more flexible. How does your company behave in terms of diversity? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors when it comes to diversity? Use Legal Compass to compare companies based on key measures of racial and gender diversity and find out which companies are Mansfield certified. Now more than ever, there is a need to integrate trust building into day-to-day efforts to manage talent well, and we consulted Julie Henson, Client Director at Taft Law Firm, to understand how to do so. In many ways, the battle for top talent has become as fierce as the battle for client business. You need to create an attractive culture for millennials and zoomers to give your business a chance to win it. An example would be to make an appointment online with a professional. I can make an appointment with my doctor through their website. The same goes for a dentist. The same goes for an accountant, isn`t it? But many law firms do not pass this agency on to the client.
One way for leaders to operationalize this is to provide incentives that encourage lawyers to come up with new ideas and by providing the support needed to make those ideas a reality. For example, we host an annual Innovate 100 hackathon for Littler lawyers around the world to develop the firm`s next major innovation. The winning teams will receive the necessary support to develop and develop their proposed concepts. In addition, our biennial Wesley J. Open to all employees, the Fastiff Ingenuity Award is designed to inspire creativity and new ideas from across the company and to award a cash prize to the winning team. This is not the case for other professionals. Law firms are now struggling to find legal project managers and pricing professionals. Current trends suggest that demand will continue to outstrip supply. Either way, sought-after experts such as data scientists and online professionals will have plenty of job options across all industries over the next few years.
This will make it more difficult to find and retain these professionals than it will be for lawyers. This suggests that law firms should work hard to keep other professionals permanent and long-term employees. Below are four key insights that emerged from Littler Mendelson`s experience that we continue to focus on as we look to the future. Here are three keys to attracting and retaining the best talent for your business: For example, Littler was one of the first to embrace affinity groups that offer support, development, networking opportunities, and a launching pad to create affinity-driven communications and programs. In addition to our existing groups, Boll (Black/African American); Ohana (Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, North African and Pacific Islander); Pride (LGBTQ+); and Reunión (Hispanic/Latinx) and our Women`s Leadership Initiative launched two new affinity groups for veterans and people with disabilities in late 2021.