It’s happened: you’ve launched your law firm, you’ve started getting cases, and your star is on the rise. You’re getting more cases and earning more money. However, you’ve started noticing that you’re missing out on cases, or the quality of your work is starting to slip.
You’re ready to grow your firm, but knowing who to hire, and why, is an important next step before you start recruiting.
3 Employees to Consider when Scaling Your Law Firm
As your firm grows, you’ll need to consider your goals: would you like more clients with smaller cases, or would you like to expand the practice areas offered?
Having a vision for your firm’s future can help you plan beyond the next quarter or fiscal year, but it’s vital to remember the basics. You only have so much time available for work or social life. When you’re ready to expand your law firm, finding the first fundamental employees is a great way to ensure success.
Getting Legal Help In the Office
Once your caseload grows, you’re going to have less time for each function in your law firm. You may find your crowded schedule interferes with court appearances as you attempt complete research that might be better left to a new employee.
Consider hiring a law clerk or a paralegal. Although they wouldn’t be able to give out legal advice on their own, and any documents, briefs, or motions they draft would need your authorization, you’d have one more person working to grow your bandwidth.
It’s important to note this new employee wouldn’t just be someone to dump all the “dirty work” or office responsibilities on; you’re hiring them to benefit your legal work, not to make them a secretary.
Directing Growth for Effective Change
If you’re getting more cases, you’re having to deal with more clients, which means more case details, more meetings, and more support necessary to effectively represent clients.
Finding someone who can handle to day-to-day operations while you handle legal work is critical to growing your business: you can’t expect to continue to effectively represent your current clients when you’re devoting time to new or potential clients.
Hiring an administrator to organize your workload and help onboard new clients gives a professional air to your operation while also improving functions within your operation.
Increasing Bandwidth Calls for Increased Support
Even if you’re prepared to scale your law firm, you may not be ready to bring another lawyer full-time as a partner. That decision shouldn’t be a hasty one. You do have another option, one that might be overlooked, but can help in a pinch: a freelance attorney.
It may seem counterproductive to hire someone on a temporary basis when you’re looking to grow full-time but hiring someone who can take an extra case or two will benefit your firm. A freelance attorney can appear as counsel on your firm’s behalf or assist with legal documents.
Bringing a freelancer into your firm is a reliable way to cut back on overhead while also getting reliable help. You’ll be able to breathe easier knowing your cases are receiving professional attention.
Other Things to Consider
Although business is often unpredictable, bringing on more employees to help increase coverage for your clients, current and prospective, can help you continue to scale. You’ll want to remember some key points as your firm continues to grow towards your vision.
Establish Some Best Practices and Systems
You’ll want to make sure your firm has established processes in place, especially as you look to expand beyond your first three hires. It does not need to feel like you can just plug any employee into any role and jet forward but having a set way to function can cut confusion down.
Knowing where someone is in a checklist as they help a new client, for instance, can help you understand how you can help if your employee reaches out to you for guidance.
Delegate and Assign Duties as Necessary
It might feel like a difficult position to operate in, but as the founder of your firm, you are the boss. You shouldn’t feel bad delegating work, but make sure you’re not going on a power trip. Understand your team’s capabilities and assign them work that can facilitate their abilities.
Directing workflow is supported by established processes. Setting expectations ensures less confusion.
Finding a Strategic Business Partner
If you’re looking for advice online, you’re going to find varying opinions on how to scale your firm. Not everyone has real-life experience to support their directives. It could benefit you to go to the source: find a professional strategic business partner.
They can look at your financial records, your caseload, and trends to see what realistic and attainable growth might look like for your firm. They can ensure you don’t burn too bright, too quickly.
Scaling Your Firm at Your Pace
As you continue your legal career and see your firm expand, you’ll need to find what works for you. Building a firm doesn’t follow a cookie-cutter design. Your market will be different from other firms’ markets. Your record will not match other firms.
Finding the right employees that fit your vision, your wallet, and your standards will help you reach your own goal.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.