Building A Great Team to Run Your Law Firm with Minimal Stress
For the micromanagers out there, this is a game-changer. You don’t have to be a “helicopter parent” to your employees if you hire the right way the first time and learn to let go of your perfectionist instincts. The sooner you let go of your belief that “I am the only one who can do this properly,” the sooner you can scale your firm to a level that it generates REAL wealth.
Hiring the wrong employee doesn’t just cost you a salary, you incur the opportunity cost of the time and money you could’ve spent on someone who was a better fit for your practice.
So how do you hire right the first time?
You need to take a day to outline the values your practice holds as if it were a person (if you haven’t done this for yourself, it is one of the most profitable days you will spend this year). What are your firm’s principles when it interacts with clients? When employees interact with each other? What is your communication policy? What is most important to you? WHY does your firm exist in the marketplace? What guarantees can you make to potential clients?
Until your core values are outlined, you cannot hire someone who will be a good fit for your firm, because you don’t yet know what a “good fit” is. At BenGlassLaw, we hire and fire based on our core values, plain and simple. Every time we deviate, it’s a situation where we have to fire someone months down the line, and we have to start from scratch with our training regimen.
Ask yourself: how will this potential hire interact with my current team, and how will they react to the stresses created by my practice area? Sometimes it doesn’t matter that someone is a Harvard graduate or got a perfect score on their LSAT. If they don’t interact well with people, they will become a client repellant for your firm. Even if they never interact with clients directly, they will make your team so miserable that you will lose money, plain and simple.
Across the board, you want to hire folks who are interested in learning and interested in personal development. If someone is very stagnant in their personal growth, they will not rise to the occasion when your firm starts to see real success.
In the initial interview, ask potential hires what they are reading and what kind of content they consume. If they claim they don’t really read too often, move on to the next candidate. You want to fill your firm with winners who care about improving themselves.
There’s a lot more that goes into hiring, but this at least gets you moving in the right direction. If you’re swamped with work you don’t enjoy doing and are on the fence about bringing someone in, I really encourage you to take the leap and hire. It makes a massive difference in your quality of life and allows your firm to climb to greater heights.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.