Law Firm Human Resources for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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Why Small Firms Should Hire for the Long Term

When it comes to the whole hiring game, there is a fundamental difference between the BigLaw paradigm and the small practice paradigm. One of the most glaring differences? Money and perks.

In fact, just the prestige of going to a large law firm is oftentimes enough to lure new grads. It's true, small firms have it tougher when it comes to choosing the cream of the crop. But they really should be looking for different qualities in a new hire. In a word: loyalty.

Checkpoint Tackles ACA ALE Requirements for Tax Firms, Clients

As lawyers in the field know, a boutique tax firm has many of the same kinds of issues as their fellow professionals -- in the medical field. That's right, a firm that specializes in criminal law will, they fervently hope, never have to deal with criminal acts in their own house. But much like a doc with high blood pressure, a tax firm is often going to have to take its own advice. The new ACA ALE requirements are great examples.

As tax legal professionals also know, advising your clients on changes brought about by the ACA is crucial. As they might be slightly less aware, ACA changes are also crucial for their own business if they fall within the definition of an "applicable large employer" (ALE) under the Act. For 2016, boutique tax firms with more than 50 full time employees are going to have to advise clients wisely and then take their own medicine. Fortunately, a new special report from Thomson Reuters Checkpoint can help. (Disclaimer, Thomson Reuters is the parent company of FindLaw.)

A law firm is more than a collection of lawyers. Often, the staff keeps things running, handling case logistics, managing scheduling, and even researching and drafting. That is to say, your paralegals and legal assistants matter. A lot.

Here are FindLaw’s seven best posts on how to get the best paralegals and legal assistants around and how to make the most of the support staff you already have.

If arguments about gender parity, viewpoint diversity, and good old-fashion equality hasn't convinced you of the importance of women in leadership, maybe this will: having women in power is connected to increased profitability.

A study recently released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY (Ernst & Young) shows that having a woman in the highest corporate positions is correlated to better profits. The legal industry, long dominated by men, might want to take note.

It's Black History Month, the annual celebration of African American contributions to culture, society, and, of course, law.

While Black History Month is hardly the card-sending, cocktail-houring, office-partying event that some other winter holidays are, it's still worth celebrating in your firm. Here's how.

Diversity matters. It increases the variety of viewpoints available, improves performance, and boosts revenue -- a lot. The most racially diverse companies bring in 15 times more revenue than the least diverse, according to a study by the American Sociological Association. In the legal market, diversity isn't just good for business, it's good for business development, helping you reach a broader base of clientele.

In a profession that's absurdly homogenous, diversity is something that you need to work at. Here's how.

Tougher Law Firm Interviews Lead to Happier Associates

Here's a fact that's sure to leave some partners smiling: tougher interviews lead to overall happier employees, according to job site Glassdoor.

Although this may not be the most welcome news for grads, studies seem to support this tough approach.

Where to Find Legal Interns

If you're not using interns, you're missing out. Sure, interns provide work -- often cheap (but not free) work. But more importantly, they can bring fresh perspectives and energy to your practice. Working with interns is an easy way to mentor a new generation of lawyers and give back to the legal community. Plus, the really good ones might even join you after they graduate.

Here's where you can find them.

What to Look for When Hiring a Legal Assistant

Finding the right legal assistant for your law firm may not be as easy as you think. The position of legal assistant or paralegal may attract job-seekers with any combination of skills and professional competencies. When hiring for the position, what do you look for?

For all the attention and effort spent interviewing new candidates for employment, firms often overlook the exit interview. This is a mistake. Exit interviews offer attorneys and support staff the chance to discuss their experiences more candidly and allows the firm to assess what areas it might need to improve in.

If you're not regularly conducting exit interviews, it's time to start. If you're already doing them, now's the time to improve. Here's how.