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A London law firm is in hot water after an Indeed.com job ad that was purportedly posted by the firm offered a junior associate salary of just $12,885.00 per year. The salary is more than a few dollars below the minimum wage. This translates to roughly $7 per hour, assuming a 40 hour work week (which we all know, only working 40 hours a week for a junior associate is the pipe-iest of pipe dreams).
The firm denied ever posting the ad, but regardless, it has caused, and will continue to cause, needless headache and loss of reputation. Now, when prospective clients search the law firm by name, they are likely to turn up an article about the questionable job posting. Making your firm stand out from the crowd is important, but standing out for the wrong reasons can be terminal.
The PR Problem
When it comes to a lawyer's reputation, everything matters. Your reputation can be harmed by the decisions you make, not just in your personal life, but also those your firm makes on how to treat, pay, hire, and fire, its employees.
Thanks to the internet putting everyone's public life on display, almost anything you do can haunt you and your firm for years, even if it was an act of a disgruntled, or even former, employee, or angry client, or angry adversary. As such, fostering an environment where your employees are happy is essential, not just for retaining your best employees, but also to make sure your worst employees can be cut from the team without fear of retaliation.
Reputation for Good Compensation
Having a reputation for paying employees well and providing fringe benefits and perks can really help take a law firm to the next level. Fortunately, pay extends beyond just the money, though that is definitely important. Offering non-monetary perks, like flextime, work from home, paid benefits (maybe even for dependents too), and in-office perks like catered lunches, or a stocked snack bar, are easy ways to attract top talent, especially if your firm is known for providing these perks.
Attracting top talent through employee compensation can pay off big time. Along with the top talent, your firm will be able to compete for those clients looking for the best and brightest. Simply stated, paying good wages can be a good economic decision, beyond just avoiding a potential PR nightmare.
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