Law Firm Human Resources for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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When an employee quits, it's not just a worker walking out the door, its years of training and investment. Hiring replacement employees is expensive and time consuming, requiring you to invest resources in job search and training -- resources that could be better spent on the firms' practice.

Retention is key. With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons law firms suffer from high employee turnover and how you can prevent them.

If you are a lesbian, gay, bi, or transgendered worker, outing yourself in the office can be risky, even today. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is banned in only 21 states and the District of Columbia; protections against gender identity discrimination are even rarer. There are huge swaths of the country where LGBT employees can be freely fired for no other reason than their sexuality or gender identity.

But the legal industry across the country continues to be one of the most LGBT-inclusive industries in the nation. The nation's law firms "set the standard for LGBT workplace inclusion," according to a recent report by the Human Rights Campaign. So give yourself a pat on the back, lawyers. You're not as bad as everyone says, after all.

Given the increases in electronic storage and data archiving, eDiscovery has exploded in recent years. That explosion has helped fuel a growing industry of legal support professionals, from attorneys to IT workers to project managers, who manage you eDiscovery needs.

But, of course, not all litigation support specialists are equal. Here are some tips to help you out in your search for the perfect match for your firm.

7 Tips for Your Online Lawyer Bio

First impressions are important. If you want to make a great first impression on prospective clients, it's crucial to have a great lawyer bio. Whether it's the bio on your website, your LinkedIn page, or some other online destination, you should keep it up-to-date, reader-friendly, and appropriately detailed. 

Want your bio to stand out? Follow these 7 tips: 

A good paralegal can be invaluable to your practice, managing your schedule, fixing your typos, and making sure your documents actually get to court. Paralegals are the unsung heroes of many small practices and are often the first support staff small firms bring on.

With a bit of training and investment, a good paralegal can become a great paralegal. Professional development can expand the range of your paralegal's skills, allowing them to stay up to date on legal developments and develop new skills that aid the practice.

It takes a lot more than just lawyers to make a law firm work. From secretaries who keep an office running to paralegals who make sure your filings actually get filed, successful lawyers require a whole team to keep them afloat. (You could, of course, answer your own phones and file your own filings -- but you can bill a lot more when you're spending that time lawyering.)

How much do those teams need to make?

If you're considering bringing more lawyers into your practice, hiring support staff, or just want to see how your riches measure up against your neighbors', we've got good news for you. Robert Half Legal, the staffing agency, has released its 2016 Salary Guide. The guide breaks down typical salary ranges for a wide variety of legal careers, from attorneys in midsize firms with 7 years experience to compliance managers fresh out of school.

Here are our highlights. So grab a ruler, because it's time to see how you measure up.

You can't do it all yourself. At some point, you've got to hand work off to someone else. Great! Proper delegation is an integral part of running an effective firm. After all, your associates, interns, and paralegals need something to do. And delegation can help save your clients money by passing work off to those with lower billing rates.

But delegating is useless when you don't really relinquish some control. Excessive micromanaging -- checking in constantly, making needless corrections, demanding that everything is done exactly as you would do it all the time -- wastes both your time and your staff's. Here are three tips to help avoid it.

When it comes to recruiting new attorneys, it can be hard for small practices and boutique firms to compete with for top talent -- but it's not impossible. After all, there's a reason you don't work for a major firm. Because those jobs are awful. Instead of being another overpaid drone working ten hours every day on a brief no one will see, you decided to set out for something different.

What drew you to your practice can also draw others. A committed small firm, focused on what sets it apart from the crowd, can still compete with bigger employers and bring in the talent it needs to advance.

Few firms have physical libraries anymore, but that doesn't mean there's no work for law librarians. While much of their time is spent on helping research through electronic databases and keeping practitioners on top of recent developments, law librarians also see plenty of opportunity to expand their role in the firm.

That's the message found by a new survey of law firm librarians conducted by Bloomberg Law. Those librarians feel underused and underpaid and they're ready to take a more active role in bringing in business. So, if you want to make your law librarians happy, give them more work -- and maybe a raise.