Updated: 11 hours ago
You’re a small firm. You are focused on your day-to-day goals. You are checking your case files, clearing your calendar, getting in new clients, and paying the bills. But now you have done so well for yourself, it's time to hire more help. So, you go for the obvious addition – the legal assistant. And they have been a blessing in disguise. Then you hire a paralegal to help with your drafting. But now things are getting to the point where you need another YOU. You need an associate but aren’t making a “full-time associate” income. So, what do you do? You hire a contract attorney.
Many attorneys make the mistake of things contract attorneys are only there to cover a hearing once in a while or draft a few documents. But they are an important tool to help you grow your firm as well. Once you learn to leverage this tool you can grow your firm by leaps and bounds while having a firm safety net in place. Here’s how you do it
First, you need to establish a relationship with a few contract attorneys that you trust. If you have followed our step-by-step guide on finding and hiring contract attorneys, this step will be a no-brainer. You should have at least three contract attorneys that you regularly work with by this point. If you do not have those attorneys in place, this is the time to find, recruit, and start working with them ASAP.
Second, you need to expand that relationship to something more regular. This part is tricky because not all contract attorneys wish to be a part of a firm. They may have their own goals and do not wish to become a part of your growth. This is not a reflection on you and should not damage your relationship in any way. The best way to go about this would be to hand off something they are comfortable with such as coverage. Schedule a month’s worth of coverage with them in advance to see how they handle it. If this works out, then you can use them more often while you spend more time in the office.
Third, you need to use this extra time to find your next hire. A good place to start is with the attorneys you are already familiar with. If you feel the contractor is open to employment, float a good faith offer to them and see if they will bite. If yes, then you have found your next employee, yea! If not, then use the extra time they are giving you with coverage or drafting to hire your new associate. A contract attorney is also a good source here because they may know someone who is looking for a position and would be a good fit for you.
Finally, while working with your new hire, keep the contract attorney working at the same level as before. This is an important step that most firms fail to do. You will need this extra time to train your new associate. If you reduce the workload on your contractor, you will have to carry that burden and train your associate at the same time. This can lead to burnout on your end and the associate not feeling supported on their end. And that can make your new hire quit before you even get started.
If you follow this process when hiring your next associate, you can rest assured that you will be able to grow your business successfully. Eventually can recycle this process over and over while you grow from solo to small firm to mid-size firm and more.
If you follow these simple steps, you will find it very easy to find a contract attorney to help you grow your firm. Contact Bird Law Pro to see how we can help you. Bird Law Pro also provides of counsel services to family law firms in the Orlando area. Please feel free to contact Bird Law Pro for a consultation.