Law firms have unique staffing needs. Not only are you looking for associates and partners, but you may also be hiring for accounting/billing staff, IT wizards, and your support staff positions. With colleges turning out Paralegal candidates with their certificate and 2 year programs, it can be hard for law firms to find qualified candidates that want to take Legal Secretary, Legal Assistant, or File Clerk positions. But these positions are vital to keep your firm running smoothly. Like in many industries, having the right team of support staff behind you can either make or break your firm.
So what can you do to make legal staffing less of a challenge for your firm?
Be open to non-traditional backgrounds.
Based on the practice area you are working in, try searching for candidates with that industry background. For example, if you need a Legal Assistant to assist Corporate Banking and Finance attorneys, then an administrative assistant from a bank or financial institution could be a viable candidate, who is already familiar with many aspects of the position.
A lot can be learned on the job and quickly picked up by a bright candidate. Skilled administrative professionals will be able to learn the legal jargon and process, much like they did in other industries. Also, be aware that you aren’t going to find a carbon copy of the person you are trying to replace. Chances are they learned a lot about the role and streamlined it over the years. Don’t let your memory of that person dissuade you from seeing what new candidates have to offer.
Ask your employees for referrals.
People know others like them. Chances are your legal assistants and paralegals know individuals who are qualified for these roles either from previous firms they worked at, or networking groups they belong to. By offering a referral bonus, you are more likely to entice your employees to leverage their networks to help solve your legal staffing problems.
Seek out good writers.
The mark of a good paralegal or legal assistant is one with strong writing skills. A solid grasp of the English language with proper spelling and grammar isn’t something that can be easily taught. Consider making a cover letter part of your application process so you can get a feel for their writing abilities right from the start.
Partner with a legal staffing firm.
Recruiting agencies that specialize in legal staffing have access to passive candidates softly seeking new opportunities. These candidates don’t have their resumes plastered all over the internet and can be very difficult for a firm to find on their own.
Ready to solve your legal staffing problems? Let Key Resource Group put our 30 years of legal staffing experience to work for your firm today. Contact one of our recruiters to get started.