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Three Ways to Increase Attorney Satisfaction and Attract Top Talent

Keeping employees happy can be a complicated challenge across all industries. When it comes to law firms, there are a specific set of factors that contribute to attorney satisfaction. One of the obvious factors is competitive compensation but almost equally important is the law firm’s culture and core set of values.

So, what makes a firm culture conducive to a high rate of attorney satisfaction? One of the leading factors is opportunity for advancement. In a 2016 survey, when asked about which aspects of their profession made them unhappy, 40% of attorneys expressed dissatisfaction with opportunities for advancement. Attorneys want their firm to help facilitate the development of each individual and their practice by providing opportunities and tools to facilitate that advancement. The best way for law firm leadership to instill this value into a firm culture is by implementing policies and dedicating resources to creating these opportunities for each attorney.

Here are 3 ways to promote and value individual attorney development within law firm culture to foster satisfaction and attract new talent:

Encourage community engagement.
Attending networking events and connecting with the community creates opportunities for individuals to grow their network and ultimately their practice. It also provides personal satisfaction. Firms should encourage attendance at community events or organizations, and allow flexible work schedules to accommodate those pursuits. Providing regular firm-wide reminders about events going on in the community demonstrates that community engagement is valued by the firm.

Additionally, the firm should engage with the community as a whole by partnering with local businesses and referring local partners when possible in order to foster positive and mutually beneficial relationships.

Provide marketing opportunities and continuing education for associates.
Attorneys want to be treated as individuals, and to be allowed to enhance and market their specialized practice in an entrepreneurial way. Providing firm-wide marketing tools will position the firm as forward thinking in the industry and attract energetic attorneys that want to market themselves and build their business. Here are a few ways to provide marketing opportunities to attorneys within the firm:

1. Promote attorney achievements, awards, and speaking opportunities.
2. Host regular firm networking events, and encourage attendance.
3. Provide basic marketing tools such as professional headshots, business cards, etc.
4. Encourage and fund continuing legal education.

Encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Maintaining work-life balance policies is important for attorney satisfaction. But the work does need to be performed. Implementing policies that demonstrate a commitment to finding a balance communicates to employees that the firm values them as individuals. Here are a few policies to consider:

1. have a flexible policy as to where and when the attorney works
2. have a fair and generous parental and maternity leave policy
3. offer a childcare benefit plan

Having solid work-life balance policies communicates to attorneys that they will have the ability to pursue a career while raising a family and having leisure time.

There are many other factors that influence attorney satisfaction, but demonstrating that individual growth is an integral part of law firm culture is a good start.

Questions about this post? Contact Oren Saltzman, Managing Partner
OSaltzman@Adelberg.com; (410) 986-0864

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