Building Your Legal Dream Team

//Building Your Legal Dream Team

Like many small businesses, your law firm’s #1 asset will always be your employees. That means hiring the right people will be one of the most important steps you take when it’s time to grow your small law firm. Remember, company culture is much more apparent when working in a small office. One ill-fitting hire can have a profound effect on the day-to-day operations of your firm.

Building your legal dream team may seem like a daunting task, especially when you consider the costs associated with hiring and onboarding new employees. So before you hire a recruiter or invest time in posting to job sites, here are a few things to think about when building your roster of talented legal professionals.

Define your needs before you start looking

Does your small law firm need a seasoned professional or a clerk fresh out of law school? Knowing exactly what kind of experience is required of the position you need to fill will help you narrow down the field of candidates, as well as direct you towards the best place to begin your search. More experienced candidates might be found at local networking events or through the local Bar Association. Recent graduates might be relying more on online job boards, university websites or formal recruiting events.

Highlight company culture

Take a good look at your small law firm and assess the personalities and attitudes of the team members you already have. Does everyone collectively value the “work hard, play hard” mentality, or does your team usually get straight down to business? When looking to add a star player to your legal team, it’s important that your new hire’s values and attitudes match that of your existing team members. Certain skills can be taught over time, but if there’s a disconnect between your office’s work style and the new employee, you may be headed for trouble.

Be prepared to onboard

Building your dream team doesn’t end after an official offer letter is signed. Once you’ve added another legal professional to your team, it’s important that you have an onboarding process in place to help new hires get acquainted with your firm’s way of doing things. Think back to your first day at a new job; it’s never easy being the “new kid.” Firms that set procedures to help educate new employees will likely have better retention rates and a smoother transition process.

Building your legal dream team will take time, patience, and hard work. But when your team is in place, you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort to recruit the right people.


By |June 2nd, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.