HR Changes Your Small Law Firm Should Make Now

//HR Changes Your Small Law Firm Should Make Now

Time is a luxury most small law firm owners don’t have. Not only are you faced with the daily hustle and bustle of client work, but as administrative staff become increasingly uncommon at small law firms, you may also find yourself stretched thin trying to keep up with HR tasks and other operational concerns. Here are three changes you can make to your firm’s HR practices in 2016 in order to ease the stress of human resources responsibilities.

  1. Designate Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Designating an employee to focus on day-to-day HR responsibilities can help keep your small law firm afloat during even the most hectic times. It can be difficult for legal staff to find time to handle staff concerns, payroll and other office duties amidst the demands of their regular work, but setting aside at least 25 percent of an employee’s time for operational tasks can help them plan accordingly. You might consider changing the scope of work for a paralegal who is already on your team, or hiring someone new who has the ability to contribute to both legal work and operational needs. By establishing one point of contact to handle your firm’s daily HR needs, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in your firm’s productivity and your employee satisfaction.

  1. Establish a Consistent Recruitment Approach and Budget

Hiring top-tier talent is crucial for your firm’s success. However, many small law firms do not invest as much as they should in recruitment, which can lead to poor hiring decisions and high turnover. Establishing a consistent recruitment approach and a setting budget will position your firm up to succeed as you grow. Consider spending some time brainstorming with other leaders at your firm about the traits that are the most important to your organization. Once you have clearly defined a picture of your ideal candidate, you’ll be well-positioned to make smart decisions about how to target these individuals and attract them to your firm.

  1. Build a Strong Training Program

Developing a strategic training program will help you streamline the process of getting new and existing employees up-to-speed on workplace technologies and office policies. If your firm uses specific legal software, it may be cost-effective to outsource tech training to the company behind each tool. Many legal tech companies will be happy help.

Smokeball’s professional onboarding process exists to walk new employees through our software and help them get comfortable navigating document automation, matter management and more. All firms that use Smokeball are assigned a Client Success Trainer who will conduct training sessions with every member of your team. The best part? Onboarding your employees requires little to no effort from you!

While HR is often overlooked, a solid talent and culture strategy can help your firm’s productivity skyrocket and draw top talent to your team.

Are you investing in your firm’s talent? Download the Tharp & Associates Case Study to see how one small law firm grew its workforce by investing in a strong case management software and new talent.

By |January 5th, 2016|

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.