Book review: Three titles on recruiting and keeping lawyers and partner departures
The practicePRO Lending Library has more than 100 practice management titles available to Ontario lawyers free of charge. Here are three titles that make for great additional reading for the topics covered in this issue of LAWPRO Magazine.
Recruiting Lawyers: How to Hire the Best Talent
Recruiting Lawyers: How to Hire the Best Talent by Marcia Pennington Shannon and Susan G. March is the result of the authors’ 30 years of research into law firm hiring practices. It is a solid guide for firms that perhaps don’t have a lot of experience in hiring associates and are looking for practical recruiting strategies. The first few chapters will help firms assess their needs, learn how to write position descriptions, and decide where to focus their recruiting efforts. From there, readers will be guided through the interview and hiring stages. Included throughout are several worksheets and checklists to help make the whole process of bringing on a new lawyer simpler.
Keeping Good Lawyers: Best Practices to Create Career Satisfaction
Once you’ve got the lawyers, you need to hang on to them. Keeping Good Lawyers: Best Practices to Create Career Satisfaction by M. Diane Vogt and Lori-Ann Rickard addresses the fact that while many firms go to great lengths to attract the best talent, they often don’t put as much effort into keeping the lawyers they have and are often oblivious to job dissatisfaction in the firm. The authors interviewed lawyers and firm managers to try to understand what lawyers want to have greater career satisfaction, and developed a series of “best practices” firms can adopt to address these needs.
The book first examines the somewhat unique nature of a law firm workplace, in which each lawyer is a free agent who likely sees the work as a vocation more than just a job. as such their demands on themselves and their employer are higher. and younger lawyers expect more flexibility and work-life balance than did previous generations. The authors look at what firms can do to address the career needs of their lawyers in such areas as career guidance, mentoring, compensation, and workplace evaluation.
Partner Departures & Lateral Moves
Inevitably though, people will leave a firm. Partner Departures & Lateral Moves by Geri S. Krauss acts a guide to a process that once was rare but is becoming more common: partners making lateral moves to new firms (and sometimes taking large clients with them). The risks and potential liabilities to both the old and new firm (and the lawyer making the move) can be huge; but as the author points out, there is little guidance out there as to how the process should happen. This book explores the fiduciary duties owed to partners and clients, due diligence regarding conflicts and obligations to the prior firm, what to do with files, and a look at claims and cases that have arisen (in the U.S.) from lateral moves. Too often the process of moving is already underway before lawyers seek advice on what to do – or not do – and errors may already have been made. This book aims to help partners contemplating a move get off on the right foot.
Tim Lemieux is practicePRO coordinator at LAWPRO.