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In a market where 32% of equity partners are approaching retirement age and only 50% of firms are expected to grow, having a strong talent management strategy is essential for law firms. We have previously discussed the challenges of hiring legal support staff, so let’s focus on how to hire attorneys with partner potential.

Hiring, training, developing, and retaining the RIGHT attorney is one of the best ways to prepare a law firm for sustainable growth. The problem is, it’s harder than it sounds. With more than 1M attorneys in the United States, you would think hiring attorneys would be easy. So why is it not?

Attorneys are Niched

Most attorneys have a few practice areas in which they specialize. Often, the challenge is finding a good attorney who has experience in the specific practice areas for which your firm specializes.

Law Firms Have Lots of Personalities

Most law firms have multiple attorneys, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Finding an attorney with the right culture fit is imperative. Hiring an associate is easy but hiring an associate who meshes well within your firm, supports your core values, and can visualize a long-term career with your firm, is VERY difficult.

Being a Lawyer can be Stressful

Attorneys have stressful jobs and many young attorneys have the additional stress of paying off significant financial debt from their education. Many attorneys are turning away from practicing law after a few years because of the stress and competitiveness. Fostering a great employee benefits and wellness plan can help retain attorneys, minimize burn out, and therefore increase the likelihood of developing a viable succession plan.

Enormous Competition

There are a lot of law firms competing for top talent. Attracting and retaining the best attorneys can be a challenge for firms with below market compensation and bonus programs. If you want to be in the 50% of growing law firms, you have to hire the RIGHT lawyers and be able to RETAIN them! Turnover is expensive!