How technology can help law firms retain their top talent

If you want your law firm to be successful long-term then you’ll need to keep hold of your best lawyers. We explore 4 steps you should be taking now to ensure your best people stay when the Covid-19 crisis abates.

Forward-thinking Managing Partners are already planning for the “new normal” in the legal sector. And, as you might expect, there’s a large emphasis on remote working. If you’re a law leader then you’ll be acutely aware of the emerging challenge of helping staff to retain the new-found benefits of remote working. You’ll need to find an equilibrium between productive and efficient working and the no longer fanciful dream of a work-life balance. This is a crucial undertaking that could have significant ramifications for the long-term success of your law firm. If you can strike the right balance you’ll stand a greater chance of retaining your best fee-earners. But, if you get it wrong, you risk losing your best talent to rival firms with more progressive operations.

At Atlas Cloud we’re already working closely with our legal sector clients to help build robust, yet flexible, remote working solutions to prepare their firms for the future of work. We’re also in constant dialogue with industry experts to help understand the needs of law firms in this challenging new environment. Recently we spoke to Chatham Group director, Alex Hutchinson, to discuss the patterns he has observed in how firms are tackling the retention of their best people. Alex identified four crucial steps that all law firms should be looking to take in order to be successful in this pursuit:

The 4 step plan

1. Begin your journey now

The Covid-19 pandemic may feel like a bit of a hiatus but it’s crucial not to fall into the trap of inaction. Alex stresses “It doesn’t matter what your initial plan looks like, just start now“. We’ve long been expecting a remote working boom but we never expected it to be thrust upon us in such an uncontrolled manner. Nevertheless, remote working has arrived and, while it may still split opinion to an extent, the overriding sentiment of those that really matter (i.e. your top fee earners) is that this is an inevitable, necessary, and desired evolution of work. If you’re not prepared or able to help your best employees retain the benefits of home working then you risk losing them to rival law firms and tipping the scales decidedly in the competitions favour.

2. Focus on your top talent

This isn’t to say that non-fee-earners are unimportant, but it’s essential that you identify who your top people are. Who are the fee earners that you expect to help drive your law firm forward? You’ll probably already have a handle on this, but in bigger firms you’ll want to discuss it with fellow leaders, to help zone in on the individuals that make up the backbone of your firm. Once everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet you’ll be well-placed to create a more effective plan.

3. Identify what they want

Create a culture of constant dialogue and feedback and listen closely to what your top fee-earners are saying. What are their wants? What are their needs? Think about how you can increase their engagement with their work while addressing the all-important work-life balance. You don’t have to action everything they say, but it will pay dividends in the long-run if you can identify common themes and strive to make improvements in these areas.

4. Use tech to satisfy their needs

Once you’ve identified what’s important to your top people you can start looking at ways to address these points. The responses they give will form the cornerstone of the technology solution(s) that you’ll need to look to employ. Let the needs of your firm shape the software and solutions that you bring on board. Don’t blindly go with a solution simply because it was proposed by a preferred vendor/provider. Look for solutions that hit all of the important criteria you’ve identified, or at least those that can be moulded to do so.

Legal Insight:
Alex Hutchinson from Chatham Group talks legal tech and how it can help you retain your best people.

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Putting it into action

Following the four steps outlined in this article will not only help you to retain your top people but it will also help you to attract exciting new talent to your firm. The important thing is not to rest on your laurels, take positive action now and begin reaching out to software vendors and solution providers that can meet the needs of your firm.

At Atlas Cloud we have a range of remote working solutions that are more than proving their worth to our legal services clients. We’re also experts in virtualisation, which means we can integrate with any software that your fee-earners rely on and we can host on-premise or legacy solutions in the cloud. Once you’ve identified what’s important to your firm, why not give Atlas Cloud a call to discover how our solutions can be shaped to create the perfect fit? Call us today on 0191 250 5222 for honest and frank advice on how you can satisfy the needs and wants of your staff through technology.

About Chatham Group

Chatham Group is a small consultancy helping law firms unlock business potential using technology and process improvements. We provide the project and change management resource required to make good change happen.

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