Who To Hire Next In Your Law Firm

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As a law firm owner, do you often feel like you’re on your own when it comes to hiring staff?

No one else knows what you need, but the problem is, you often don’t know yourself.

So how do you figure out the role that will make the biggest impact on your firm?

For a lot of law firm owners, it can feel like a bit of a guess.

If you think you need more fee-earning lawyers, you’ll hire a lawyer.

If you think you’ve been busy on the admin side, you might hire a bookkeeper or an office manager.

These guesses sometimes pay off, and sometimes don’t. But without a clear hiring strategy, you’ll end up just making more work for yourself.

I had this exact problem in my law firm.

But after a while, I came up with a criteria that really helped me to identify the kind of role that would best support my firm at the time.

In this video, I’m going to run you through my 5 top tips for figuring out who to hire next in your law firm.

When you watch this video, you’ll learn:

– How the right hire can help you to focus on your strengths
– How to assess your own workload for areas you need help
– My love it or hate it approach to work
– How to identify and delegate low-value tasks that aren’t worth your time
– Why the energy you have for different tasks can guide your next hire

Hiring the right person can really start to move the needle for your business and can change your life.

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Most little firm owners struggle with hiring people. They struggle with assessing the needs of their law firm, of their business, and figuring out who to hire next, to get the growth that they’re looking for to go to the next level.

I work with a lot of lawyers in my coaching program, Scale Up, and I regularly get asked by lawyers, they’ll say something like, “I’m at this level of revenue. So who do I hire next?” Like there is a standard answer for everybody. And unfortunately, there’s not. It’s not that simple – it’s more subjective than that.

It really depends on how you’ve built your law firm to date, how you want to build it going forward. It depends on what your strengths are. And it depends on how you want to show up in your law firm as well.

As a result of law firm owners struggling with hiring, it means that law firm owners work way too many hours. Law firm owners feel like they have to work all the hours to get all the work done, otherwise the walls of their law firm will come crashing down around them. Which is why it is really important, how to figure out who to hire next for growth.

So perhaps you are a law firm owner who isn’t sure who to hire next. Should you be hiring a paralegal? Should you be hiring an admin person? Should you be hiring a practice manager? Perhaps you should be looking at a bookkeeper. Maybe you need a marketing person. Who do you need?

Or, perhaps you are a law firm owner and you are not keen on hiring because you feel like hiring somebody is actually going to create way more work for you.

Now, I have experienced both of those things. So when I was a law firm owner, I became a law firm owner when I was 26 in 2010, and I would just hire based on gut feel. I would hire just who I thought I needed at the time. I didn’t really have any criteria to actually figure out who I really needed to achieve my law firm’s goals.

So I would hire a lawyer, because I would think that I wanted to increase my revenue and I needed to bill more on fees. And what ended up happening is, we just added more complexity to the firm in terms of more people for me to manage, and as a result, it just turned into a big headache for me.

But when I did start hiring strategically based on some of the criteria I’m going to share with you today, we really started to see some amazing results and some really good growth.

For example, I used to manage my team, all the employees of the law firm. I did not enjoy it at all, but I thought that as a law firm owner, that’s just what I had to do. I thought that that’s just what business owners did, they managed their team.

I realised that actually, no, managing people is not a strength of mine – leading people, and inspiring people is, but not managing them day to day.

So when I hired an operations manager who came in and started managing the team, that’s when we saw our performance improve, and that’s when we saw our law firm’s revenue really start to grow. That’s an example of how strategically hiring somebody can really start to move the needle for your business.

I’m now going to share with you the five criteria that I use to figure out who to hire next in my business.

#1: Work your strengths

Working your strengths is all about figuring out what you’re strong at, and by strong at, I mean, what you’re naturally strong. This is not about what you’re skilled at – skills are things that you learn at school, at university, on the job.

You might be really well skilled at something, but that does not mean you’re naturally good at it. It’s really important to figure out what you’re naturally strong at, and then look at that and really try and position yourself in the business so that you can double down on those strengths. The things that you’re not as strong at, look to hire for those.

There are a number of really good strength tests out there that can help you with this. My favorite one is StrengthsFinder, which is the Gallup one, G-A-L-L-U-P. There’s also DiSC, Kolbe, there’s the one at 16personalities.com, which is a free one. They’re all different, but they will all give you valuable information as to what you are strong at.

Being able to double down on your strengths is not only going to increase the revenue of your business and allow you to grow faster, but you’re going to be so much happier as well. Because when you create a business that’s rooted in your strengths, it will really, really let you gain momentum quickly.

#2: Do a time study

This is one of my favorite exercises to do with my law firm coaching clients. It’s all about looking at your time for a week. It’s writing down everything you do. And this is at work and outside of work as well. Because there’s often efficiencies and things you’ll learn about your life outside of work that may lead you to believe, or to figure out, that you actually need to hire somebody outside of work in the home rather than at work. Because you have your at work team and then you have your home team as well.

The way the time study works is to analyse your time for a week. At the end of every day, once you’ve written everything down, you start to value your time, and you separate it into $10 tasks, $100 tasks, $1,000 tasks, and $10,000 tasks.

Once you’ve done that, you can really start to see, what are the lower value tasks that you should not be doing, and that you need to start getting off your plate.

Time studies are also really good for figuring out times of day when you have energy, which is an important part of growing your business and scaling your law firm as well.

#3: Avoid the spreadsheet of doom

When I had my law firm, and before I started really scaling it and growing it in a way that made me really happy, I had what I called the spreadsheet of doom, which was basically a long list of all my to-dos.

I called it the spreadsheet of doom because, basically, I never liked to go and even open it, because I knew that a good portion of the tasks on there were things that I really just hated doing. After a while, I figured out that having a spreadsheet of doom was no way to live.

So at the start of every week, when I would go into my spreadsheet of doom and set out all my tasks for the week, I created a new column that was ‘Love it or Hate it’. Every time I would put in a task, I would say whether I loved it or I hated it.

The way that I figured that out was that even if I was like, “Hm, I kind of like it, but it’s kind of annoying”, then it was a ‘hate it’. It was either a “fuck yeah” or a “hell no”. If it wasn’t a “fuck yeah” it was a “hell no”.

So I created that column, and it really started to let me see which tasks were on my to-do list that I really loved doing and which ones I didn’t. That meant that when I kept writing in tasks over and over again, that I could see that I didn’t like, I got kind of sick of my own bullshit, and that was a really good indicator that I needed to either delegate those tasks or hire somebody to do them.

#4: Move the needle

So as part of the planning that you’re doing for your law firm every year, every quarter, you’ll be identifying opportunities as well as challenges for your law firm that you really need to work on.

It’s really important that when you’re doing that, you’re looking at fixing challenges or looking at opportunities that are going to move the needle the most in your law firm.

It’s really about assessing them and figuring out which one you can have the most impact on, so that you can focus on that, and hire somebody else to do some of the other stuff you’re doing. Then you can free yourself up to really focus on driving that part of the business to either improve it or take advantage of that opportunity.

#5: Follow the energy

Regardless of strengths and skills and all of that, there will be things in your business that energise you and that you just absolutely love to do. So that sort of energy leaves clues, right?

That means that you really want to be filling your day with as much of that energising work as possible, and getting the stuff that saps your energy off your plate.

It’s really important to follow that energy in your business and use that to really figure out, who could be taking those tasks that are draining you of energy off your plate? If there is not a person on your team who can do them, then looking to hire somebody to do them is a really good option.

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