Law Firms Have to Do Marketing, Too

But how? Law firms (like all of us) make many mistakes in marketing online. Law Crossing posted an article to help law firms in particular to boost their marketing efforts.

  1. Not using the internet to find clients– we should ALL be using the data we have freely at our fingertips!
  2. Not including practice area and location based keywords in target keyword phrases– if someone gets to your site and can’t figure out where you are and what you do in a matter of seconds, they will leave and go somewhere they can.
  3. Not having a Google Plus business page– the easiest way to increase exposure from searches (the searches are being done on Google, so taking advantage of Google SEO opportunities should be self-explanatory).
  4. Not engaging an audience on social media– build engagement with potential clients– a great way to set yourself apart when there are so many options.
  5. Blogging on the wrong topics– give your target audience relevant material, don’t just bombard them with irrelevant content.
  6. Not targeting synonyms and related keyword phrases– use both attorney AND lawyer, singular and plural!
  7. Not creating an AVVO profile– this is a legal directory with high authority in search, great for increasing traffic to your website and linking to specific attorneys.
  8. Not using video in your marketing efforts– they are much more personal than text (and Google owns YouTube, so videos will help your search ranking).

It is not an easy task to have great marketing for a law firm. But, many of these suggestions require a minimal amount of time and can go a long way.

Source: http://www.lawcrossing.com/employers/article/900047254/8-Marketing-Mistakes-Your-Law-Firm-Might-Be-Making/?utm_source=PC&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=t_18092–dt_20160706-cid_34795-Did_100200186-ad_Employer.Mined.Legal.All-logid_14555752

Who in the Denver legal market has raised salaries?

Since the inception of the new $180k salary scale for associates at Cravath, many firms across the U.S. have matched the scale, including a few in Denver. This puts pressure on others in the Denver market to follow suit, and while a few have, it remains to be seen who else will fall in line.

Thus far, Above the Law posted an article which lists the law firms to date who have adapted this salary scale. In Denver, they include:
Hogan Lovells
Morrison & Foerster
Gibson Dunn
Arnold & Porter
Wilmer Hale
Haynes & Boone
Baker Hostetler

We’ll most likely have updates to this list as this quarter comes to an end and into Q3 & Q4!

Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/salary-wars-scorecard-which-firms-have-announced-raises/

Legal hiring today: still a highly competitive market

Today, the legal market is as competitive as ever, and with a large supply of lawyers in the market, top tier law firms can be picky with their candidates. The New York Times reports a decline in jobs for low-skilled support workers at a time of expanding opportunities for highly educated workers.

One statistic in Texas noted as high as nearly one quarter of Texas law graduates are either unemployed or under-employed. Some law schools try to implement innovative programs to help attorneys advance their own professional advancement as much as possible to be as competitive they can when they enter the market.

Law schools also encourage students to develop their networking and relationship-building skills, because without those skills, a highly educated lawyer in an over-saturated market is still likely to be left high and dry without a well-paying job.

Regardless of attorneys position within their legal careers, it is vital to maintain a key network in order to be able to take advantage of new opportunities if the situation calls for it. No matter what, because of such a competitive legal market, attorneys of all caliber need to be aptly prepared to navigate the rough waters of the legal market if need be.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20160422-nearly-one-fourth-of-texas-law-grads-are-unemployed-or-underemployed.ece

Your Next Career Move: Big or Small Law Firm?

Working for a small law firms and large law firms each have their positives and negatives, and the decision of which is better for an individual has more to do with personal style than anything.

A Canadian recruiting firm (R.Johnson) outlines some of the benefits and challenges to working in both small and large firms, and some of the major differences lie in:
-the work atmosphere
-levels of competition
-management structure
-room and pace of career advancement
-benefits
-client interaction
-billable hour requirements
-scope
-type of work

Check out the full article on the major differences to consider here.

When you are looking to make the next step in your career as a law firm attorney, it is imperative that you truly do your research and take all of the moving parts into consideration before making the jump one way or the other.

Source: http://rjohnsoncorp.com/a-lawyers-guide-to-working-for-small-vs-large-law-firms-36-tips/

The ever-elusive “purple squirrel” in the legal talent search world

“In the world of talent recruiting and human resources, there is a creature known as the purple squirrel, which is the code name for the perfect employee”. In the legal profession, the purple squirrel has the right academic pedigree, work experience, solid book of business, winning track record, works 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will accept whatever pay her employer is willing to offer. They are almost as hard to find as the Loch Ness Monster. In an Above the Law article, Shannon Achimalbe contends that going with the next best candidate, someone who is exceptional but imperfect, is truly the better option for employers.

Why would going with a less than ideal candidate be best? It seems counter-intuitive. For one, it takes a significantly longer time to find, and in the meantime, billable hours are lost and other staff has to unwillingly pick up the slack. Furthermore, if attained, the purple squirrel will likely expect to be treated accordingly, meaning expecting to be catered on his every whim, creating tensions with management and colleagues.

Looking for someone exceptional who shows promise and drive that could improve with the right training is prudent. Holding out only for the purple squirrel may not only waste valuable firm time, but has the potential to be a bad investment as well. Law firms should take this into consideration and ensure they are utilizing the most efficient hiring processes possible.

Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/09/back-in-the-race-stop-trying-to-hire-the-purple-squirrel/?rf=1

How Can Law Firms Keep Top Talent from Slipping Away

One thing is for sure: the war for legal talent will continue unremitting into the foreseeable future. A Law360 article discusses how law firms can prevent their top talent from jumping to another one, and conducted a survey that determined that attorneys are more likely to stay put if their law firm has advancement opportunities than if they are being paid a generous sum but feeling stagnant in their current position.

It’s always important to focus on the long-term. Even if a firm is trying to save money by delaying promotions, based on the findings of this survey, it would be a wise investment to cater to the 89% of attorneys who reported that they were both “very dissatisfied” with their firm’s opportunities for advancement and that they were “very likely” or “likely” to look for a new job within the next year. Firms can do this by placing a bigger emphasis on communicating with their employees the timeline and requirements necessary before promotions are considered.

Source: Law360

The Elephant in the Room: Discussing Compensation in the Interview Process

In the hiring and interviewing processes, compensation is more often than not a touchy subject, and can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for the talent the company wants. Timing is essential in job interviews, especially regarding the discussion of salary. It is important to recognize the when it is most conducive to broach these matters for both candidates and employers, and to attempt to find that sweet spot.

One of the benefits to working with a recruiter is that he or she will likely be the one doing the dirty work and negotiating salary. However, both sides should still know how to address the issue if it comes up. According to an article on Business Insider, an IT recruiter,Dan Martineau, notes that “the best employers don’t focus on money until the very end, and the same goes for candidates”. For the candidate, it is much more appropriate to discuss salary once the company has expressed a sense of commitment. In the first meeting, the candidate should be focused mostly on selling his/her skills to the employer, and deflect the compensation issue until later on.

On the employer side, although it may feel like a cruel game to candidates, it is important for them to hold their cards closer to their vest– compensation is traditionally not disclosed until the offer. This is because everyone assumes that they are on the top of the pay scale, and if a job is advertised at a range at which the company offers a lower amount on that range, the candidate would be unhappy even if he or she would have been happy with that amount having never known the range in the first place.

Being aware of the etiquette around compensation discussion is key in the interview process, and mastering the art of timing is everything.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-say-when-an-interviewer-asks-about-salary-2014-11

How to get headhunted

It’s not about finding the ideal legal role, it’s about it finding you. Good employers searching for quality lawyers aren’t going to be posting on public job boards, either. That’s where hiring a knowledgeable headhunter comes into play.

Headhunters don’t waste time with a “scattergun approach”, but meticulously research a long list of candidates before even deciding to initially reach out. If you want to be on their radar, Jason Elias, a recruiter in the Australia legal community, highlights six things you could be doing to put yourself a cut above the rest.

  1. If you’re not already building a profile for yourself, start now: you’ll never be headhunted if no one has heard of you. Make sure that you connect with the people on LinkedIn that you are connected with in business, that you are active within your professional community, and that you come across as an expert in your field.
  2. Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn: make sure you are detailed with what you have accomplished and worked on and the value you have brought in your current and past jobs.
  3. Give off subtle signals: as in, do not change your LinkedIn status to “Currently seeking new opportunities”. Consider updating your experience, and change your Inmail settings to notify others that you are open to hearing about “career opportunities”, so that headhunters can reach you.
  4. Make yourself reachable: provide an email or phone number where you can be reached, or make sure to keep up with your LinkedIn, because if a headhunter struggles to reach you, he or she will move onto the next one on their list.
  5. Don’t breach etiquette: don’t tell anyone in your firm about your plans to move, never approach the employer directly (they’re using a headhunter for a reason). You don’t want to jeopardize your current position as well as any new one.
  6. Take advantage of the resources that a headhunter has to offer: the headhunter will most times be highly knowledgeable about the state of the market and trends, and can be used as your trusted source of intelligence on the employer as well. Even if the specific opportunity isn’t right at the time, you never know when something else might come up in their sphere of influence that could be.

Surprisingly enough, following these simple tips makes a huge difference on whether or not you end up on a headhunter’s short list of candidates to approach for a top tier position. Make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your good side showing even when you don’t know you’re showing it.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-get-headhunted-jason-elias-

On the legal industry embracing social media

As unnatural (and sometimes risky) as it is for lawyers to embrace social media, the New York State Bar Association came out and called it an “indispensable” tool for legal professionals. While the profession is based on leather-bound books and a reverence for the past, the industry is changing rapidly to keep up with the times. Here are a few ways Bloomberg has noted that the legal profession has already embraced the social media revolution:

  1. Law firms are going virtual to keep up with the trend of reducing waste and increasing inefficiency while maintaining quality: a more fast-paced, culturally modern, tech-centric model where lawyers have more flexible schedules and firms have reduced some of their overhead expenses.
  2. Virtual lawyers: lawyers work more remotely, and have access to a larger client base. One of the noted downsides to this, however, is that there is a lack of direct access to coworkers where the Internet is an inappropriate arena to discuss some matters.
  3. Law firm marketing now almost all includes social media strategy.

There may be some aspects of social media where the legal profession is indeed behind the curve, but the industry really has clearly taken big strides. The truth of the matter is that there are some aspects of practice that cannot be easily replaced with technology, but where it can lean out, it should.

Source: https://bol.bna.com/get-social-why-the-legal-industry-needs-to-embrace-social-networking/

Reducing Bad Hires

Spending thorough time and effort when making a hire may seem like a headache when a business is in dire need of talent, and fast. However, Brandon Hall Group’s 2015 Talent Acquisition Study found that a majority of organizations of all sizes make bad hires every year, and analyzed the significantly larger financial burden that ensues from doing so, proving that doing the footwork is all the more worth it. So how can companies be smarter about their hiring decisions?

The key criteria for quality of hire is new hire productivity, hiring manager satisfaction, and organizational fit. Recruiters must properly assess candidates from the sourcing phase through the entire interview phase in order to be able to properly ascertain if the candidate is the right fit.

There are several things that companies themselves or outside recruiters can do in the talent acquisition process to make the right hire:
– Focus on employer branding in order to convey company culture
– Utilize behavioral and peer-to-peer interviews
– Focus on the candidate experience to ensure he or she will perform, stay motivated, and want to stay with the organization
– Provide recruiters and hiring managers with the tools to ask the right questions to evaluate candidates
– Look past hard skills
– Assess candidates often

The solution to reducing bad hires is multi-faceted and requires a significant amount of effort in the short-run, but is an investment with a much higher return for the company’s long-term success.

Source: Brandon Hall Group Talent Acquisition Study 2015, http://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire.pdf