When deciding whether your firm is ready to fill a new position, consider these questions:
Has your firm experienced rapid growth where you cannot keep up with all of the work that demands your time in a given day?
Are you turning down client work that comes in the door?
Are you unable to keep track of important administrative and business tasks because you simply do not have enough time?
Are you working around the clock without having any down time?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above questions, it may be time for you to reward yourself by hiring a legal assistant. Hiring a legal assistant to help you with your non-lawyer work can be a great next step to provide you with more time to focus on the specialized work that you’re uniquely qualified to do, i.e. practicing law.
How Can a Legal Assistant Help My Small Law Firm?
A legal assistant is a trained law firm employee who helps take care of a law firm’s administrative needs. When you are looking to hire a legal assistant, you should consider the following skills and characteristics when searching for the right candidate:
People Skills. You may consider hiring someone with excellent people skills who is able to help you organize your firm's administrative tasks as well as interact with clients and other outside parties in a professional and courteous manner.
Organizational Skills. When evaluating candidates to fill your legal assistant position, it is important to identify a candidate who has exceptional organizational skills to help you complete day-to-day tasks (such as as sending invoices, keeping files organized and up-to-date, assisting with electronic filings, scheduling meetings for attorneys, handling other logistical issues, and other administrative tasks)
Technology Skills. A legal assistant at your firm will likely need to work with various forms of technology. When hiring, be sure to assess your candidates’ ability to effectively and efficiently utilize your law firm’s technology.
If you identify a legal assistant with these core skills, you may have just found “the one” to provide you with the legal support you need.
Hire Consistently with Your Firm’s Core Values
In addition to hiring a legal assistant who has the right skill set and knowledge, you will also want to hire a candidate who is also a culture fit for your firm.
Before hiring, identify what your firm’s core values are so you can identify the right candidates who will flourish in your firm’s unique environment.
For example, if your firm is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service to clients and goes above and beyond to make clients feel special such as sending them birthday cards, celebrating their anniversaries with your firm, or sending them cookies around the holidays, you may want to search for a candidate who is a people person and who is service oriented by nature.
If your firm is very advanced technologically, and likes to find new ways to use technology to “work smarter not harder,” then you should carefully search for a candidate who has core technology skills and who is open to change and trying new things as technology evolves.
Finding out who may be a culture fit for your organization during the hiring process or even before is essential.
Invest Time in Creating a Well-Designed Hiring Process
Although hiring for a new position can be time consuming, putting in the time up front to design a hiring process will be worth it in the end when you successfully identify the right candidate for the job.
You should design a hiring process before you post the initial job advertisement for the position. This can help you select the right person once the resumes start trickling in. To get started with your hiring design process, consider the following:
Carefully consider what you are looking for in a candidate. Consider your core values, what characteristics the ideal candidate should possess, the skills the candidate should possess, etc.
Create an attractive position description and recruiting plan. Once you are ready to hire, create a position description that accurately reflects what you are looking for, takes into consideration your core values, and that is attractive and interesting to bring in the quality of candidates that you want. Also, carefully think about your recruiting plan and how and where you will advertise your job opening.
Create an effective screening process. Before you schedule candidates for interviews, consider how to screen candidates through a well-thought-out application process. Consider questions you may want to include in your job application that are important to know and that may give you additional information about the candidate that you would not learn from a resume.
Design an interview process. Carefully design your interview process in advance. Think about issues such as how many interviews you will conduct, who will be involved in your interview process, and how you will conduct each interview (such as a phone screen, in person interview, or zoom interview).
Putting in the time and effort into your recruiting process up front, can help save time later by hiring the right person up front. Remember hiring the right person takes time. Avoid rushing the process just to get someone in the door. The right candidate who is a perfect fit for your unique firm is worth the wait.
Interested in Other Ways to Save Time? Consider Document Automation Services Like AccessioDocs.
If you’re looking for other ways to save time and become more efficient, there are steps you can take, in addition to hiring, to save time and increase efficiency. You may consider automating your document drafting process.
If you want to find out more about document automation services, contact AccessioDocs today for more information. Document automation can increase the quality of your services for your clients and decrease costs to you and your clients.