In these changing times, who knows what the legal landscape will look like in six months, six weeks or even six days.
But if you think you’ll be in the market for a law job, or if your firm will be hiring full-time or part-time lawyers, you need to understand the marketplace – and especially you should know what millennials and young attorneys want in a career.
One key trend: the increasing importance of online legal communities.
“Lawyers have always depended upon community to survive, as it helps them share information, locate clients, mentor one another and make cross-referrals,” according to Legal Recruiter Directory. “But new digital attorney communities that exist outside of social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are starting to pop up. One of the largest is LawyerSmack, an online discussion forum with 100+ dedicated channels and hundreds of members that allows legal professionals to privately mentor and inspire fellow lawyers around the world, learn from other members, and share common interests and job opportunities with colleagues.”
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Four Other Legal Recruiting Trends
(Quotes are from Legal Recruiting Directory)
1. Millennial power. “There are an estimated 73 million Americans born between 1980 and 2000 who are members of the Millennial Generation. Based on sheer numbers and purchasing power, millennials have now become an even more influential group than baby boomers as a target audience for your firm’s marketing and hiring practices. Here are some ways to attract millennials: (a) Ensure that your digital footprint and Web presence is positive, because millennials will Google you. (b) Provide them with regular feedback and constant access through online platforms. (c) Accurately present your law firm’s mission on your website because millennials want to know the ‘why’ behind what exactly it is that you do.”
2. Virtual reality. “Unless you’re an avid video gamer, you may not be familiar with virtual reality (VR) technologies. But as a lawyer, you may very soon find yourself participating in a trial where the attorneys, jurors, judge and witnesses all do so virtually. Today’s VR capabilities allow a participant to feel like they are sitting right there in the courtroom listening to a witness testify even though that witness is really located several hundred miles away. Consider outsourcing some of your firm’s administrative duties as a cost-saving measure to virtual legal assistants like: contract attorneys, virtual paralegals, freelancing law students, legal court reporters and transcriptionists.”
3. Legal process outsourcing. “The use of legal process outsourcing, or LPO, actually began in the 1950’s. Driven by the Internet and globalization, LPO today is now a common practice that transfers some of the job responsibilities for attorneys, paralegals and other law professionals to outside sources in the U.S. or abroad. LPO service providers have become more prevalent the past few years because they allow firms to expand their in-house capabilities, improve the flexibility of personnel and resources, enjoy faster turnaround times, connect with outside talent, lower their operating expenses (Legal employees in overseas markets typically earn up to 70 percent less than their U.S. counterparts!).”
4. E-Discovery. “As an alternative to traditional paper-shuffling between litigants, e-discovery has become a more efficient way for attorneys to manage stacks of paper files by organizing the same information in click-accessible ones.”
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