For your law firm to be the very best it can be, you need the best lawyers. After all, a law firm and its reputation are only as good as its people. 

You might think that impressive college qualifications and experience are what you should be looking for when you’re expanding your workforce or replacing someone who has moved on. And you’d be right – they need to meet the intellectual demands of the job.

However, there is so much more to look for in a lawyer, and the headlines of their resume are just your starting point. So, set the bar higher, your law firm deserves the best. Look for the following skills and qualities when you next search for a lawyer and your law firm will go in the right direction. 

  • Diversity

Before you set out on your search, make a point to seek diverse candidates. Assembling a diverse and inclusive team will elevate your practice. Diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and age will increase creativity and innovation.  Several studies have shown that diverse teams are more likely to be objective, examine facts more closely, and commit less errors.  Be sure to build a diverse recruiting strategy while understanding and eliminating bias as you begin to evaluate potential candidates. 

  • Empathy and compassion

When a client engages a lawyer, they may be going through the toughest time of their life. Having a compassionate person on the other side of the desk means everything. Look for someone who has shown that they can put others first – whether in their personal life as a volunteer in a community group or their professional life with pro bono work for someone who needed their help. These are the people you want on your team. 

  • Time management skills

Juggling the demands of clients and requests from colleagues, competing deadlines, climbing mountains of legal paperwork and correspondence, and getting to court on time: ah, that’s the life of a lawyer. 

You need people on your team who can manage their time and workload effectively. Watch for those who can work smarter, not harder. Hold on to those who have proven that they can streamline their practice, prioritize tasks, plan ahead, and organize their  case load.

  • Interpersonal skills

A good lawyer is a good communicator since the job involves liaising with clerks, clients, colleagues, and judges. The ability to build relationships is a quality you need to look for. Not only does this make for a more pleasant and productive work environment (both face-to-face and remotely) but it’s invaluable when it comes to client retention and satisfaction, helping to gather and share relevant information. Remember, you’re looking for someone who can not only talk but listen.

  • Written Skills and accuracy

Top lawyers have excellent writing skills and can convey information easily using technical or legal language. Being able to effortlessly draft letters, protocols, or legal documentation is an essential quality that your law firm needs. Remember to employ people with impeccable attention to detail, as mistakes or poor punctuality, grammar, and spelling all reflect badly on your law firm.

  • Problem-solving

Ask at the interview for an example of when the person had to think creatively or when they experienced a challenge. This may give you some insight into how the person solves problems. Thinking strategically in a high-pressure role with a heavy workload is a great skill and will win great rewards for the client.

Tailoring your search criteria

Overall, when looking for someone to join your law firm, you want someone compatible with your firm’s vision, core values, and culture. . Ideally, your recruit shares the same goals and plans for the future and believes in the same ethos. 

Sit down with your team to work out what qualities are important to your law firm specifically. Do you want someone productive, efficient, motivated, resilient, tenacious, creative, enthusiastic, or energetic? Only you and your team will know what qualities will mix with your firm’s dynamic. 

If you need more guidance in this area, let’s set up a consultation. At Yaeger Legal Consulting we help law firms to evolve. We start by getting to know your unique situation and develop custom strategies to cultivate efficiency and growth. We love to watch a law firm thrive!