Are you looking to hire new associates in your law firm? Read this guide.

1. Hiring New Associates

Determining Need

A firm may decide to hire associates to relieve others who are overworked, to seek additional expertise or to improve leveraging when choosing partners. Whatever the basis for the decision, the firm is ready to embark on one of its most challenging and significant processes. The quality of hiring determines the quality of the firm over time and, to a great extent, the shape of its future.

Recruiting committees are formed in most law firms. Many hours and dollars are spent interviewing students on law school campuses. In addition, there are professional "headhunters" who, for a fee, are willing to help locate and place lawyers with various backgrounds and levels of experience. Whatever techniques are employed, recruiting lawyers usually requires considerable time, energy and expense.

After diligent effort, however, both the newly hired associate and the law firm partnership may be disappointed. This may have little to do with the lawyer's professional capabilities or intelligence. In fact, the conflicts that develop often originate in unclear hiring practices, unclear expectations and a poor match of personalities and temperament. Such a mismatch can occur if the new associate is placed in a practice area that is ill-suited to him or her, or has other issues with their particular personality traits or the work style of the firm in general.