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Your Legal Team Growth: 5 Standout Ideas To Consider

  • April 25, 2019

Effective teamwork is crucial for any Legal firm.

Whether it’s an outstanding legal secretary, fielding calls and organising schedules and paperwork or a competent paralegal, interviewing witnesses and taking statements, everyone at your firm needs to be engaged and focused on the same goals to facilitate great results.

Finding the perfect blend of knowledge, skills and attitudes for your team can help you to get ahead of the competition and achieve your goals faster. However, before you can start reaping the rewards of a high-performing team, you’ll need to know how to set your employees up for success.

Here are just some of the ways that you can develop a more cohesive community within your legal firm.

Step 1: Recruit Based On Shared Values

A high-performing team is defined by a group of people who can support each other in reaching critical professional goals. Cohesiveness is essential to your team, which means you’ll need employees who can pull together for the greater good based on a clear understanding of what your firm wants to achieve.

This will happen more easily when your employees share your organisational values. When recruiting, build into your process, questions and exercises that explore a candidate’s beliefs.
This will give you an opportunity to test if their ethics match the firm’s.

When onboarding new employees, remember to explain why your legal firm’s values are important and provide them with examples of how you see these beliefs being expressed, so they have some ideas of what’s expected.

Being clear and consistent about your vision and values will give your team a sense of direction and some common objectives. Even if individual solicitors or legal teams are working on different cases, it’s important that everyone still understands the bigger picture.

Step 2: Embrace Diversity

Legal firms can often be attracted to a specific type of candidate. After all, you need someone with the requisite qualifications and experience who understands your field of law and shares your vision. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone in your team needs to have the same perspective. In fact, you can often accomplish more by embracing a wide selection of diverse viewpoints.

As the digital world continues to have more of an impact on every aspect of our society, it’s also increasingly critical to find candidates who have varied backgrounds and skills to offer. The more diversity you have in your team, the easier it will be to overcome complex challenges with ‘out of the box’ thinking. What’s more, diverse recruitment can help to improve your employer brand, which will help you to build your legal talent pipeline.

Step 3: Build a Supportive Environment

High-performing legal teams need to feel as though they can rely on their members to help them accomplish goals on behalf of the firm. A supportive team environment will not only enhance employee morale, promote peer-to-peer learning and lead to increased retention of your legal talent, but most importantly contribute positively to the quality and consistency of service that your firm provides its clients.

Creating a supportive environment within your firm begins by exploring the idea of psychological safety. Your team members need to know that they’re not going to be punished if their creativity and independent actions lead to mistakes.

Recognising and rewarding out-of-the-box thinking among your people and celebrating those who try new things is a great way to help your legal team flourish. By encouraging as well as modelling these behaviours, you’ll bring your firm’s vision and values to life.

Step 4: Give Employees Room to Thrive

Although effective teams need to collaborate to achieve their goals, they also need room to explore their unique skills. A high-performing legal team is bound to have people from a range of backgrounds, each with their own strengths and areas of expertise. Team leaders will know how to delegate tasks to take advantage of certain talents.

Make sure that you’re providing your staff members with the environment, resources and support they need to thrive both in a team environment and individually. For instance, it’s critical to ensure you develop the right atmosphere to enable the fee earners on your team to manage multiple caseloads.

Every member of your team will have their own strengths and development areas. Pairing the right people together will naturally lead to mentorship opportunities that supplement skill gaps as well as providing bonding opportunities.

Step 5: Focus on Great Leadership

Finally, in any legal firm, it’s crucial to make sure that your team has the right leadership to guide them towards success. Regardless of your area of law, your leadership team needs to be ready to inspire and motivate the rest of your legal team.

Leaders are the people who set the standard for the rest of the group, by showing them what “excellence” means to your organisation. According to the CIPD, the input of the right leader can be enough to improve workplace engagement by 39%.

Develop leadership strategies intended to keep employees motivated as they work together with their peers, and make sure to offer rewards and recognition for those that achieve great things in their roles.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year download our latest guide here.

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