Recruiting is hard — it takes time, money, and a good network. Legal recruiting as a business development tool, however, is key to ensuring a law firm’s continued success in the legal services market. Law firms of all sizes, from BigLaw to solo practitioners, use recruiting to grow their client roster, bolster their practice areas, open offices in new markets, and expand their reach into new areas of law.
Recruiting has become an increasingly indispensable business development tool for law firms in the digital age. By utilizing litigation data law firms can narrow down strategic hires for their specific needs while avoiding those who may not add value to the firm’s goals.
In this article, we’ll cover what makes legal recruiting a crucial tool for law firms, and how firms can use litigation data to recruit smarter.
Legal Recruiting and Business Development
Legal recruiting is one of the main ways a law firm can improve both profitability and its client roster at the same time. New partners and lateral associates with strong books of business not only add value to a law firm, but they are also key in bringing in new, big-name clients.
Legal recruiting also differentiates a law firm from its competitors in times of positive or negative growth. As different practice areas ebb and flow, legal recruiting allows law firms to pivot to new concentrations to solidify their profitability, as well as strengthen practice areas in demand.
What’s more, legal recruiting can help law firms expand into new markets. When law firms have outgrown their local legal services market, recruiting gives firms a way to build out their practice into new cities through talent acquisition or strategic purchases of other law practices. In doing so, law firms can develop a solid presence in a new city, employing already-respected lawyers with significant knowledge of the local judges, systems, and even competitors across state lines.
Most of the AmLaw 200 law firms constantly hunt for new talent, while simultaneously battling to retain their best lawyers. The competition to find, recruit, and retain the best and brightest is tough — just look at the ongoing BigLaw associate salary wars and the latest jump to paying first year associates $215,000.
The legal tech ecosystem is heating up, providing more available and affordable litigation data every day. By harnessing the power of Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS), law firms across the board can use litigation data to upgrade their legal recruiting.
Recruiting Smarter with Litigation Data
Law firms want to put their best foot forward when it comes to lateral hires, especially in new practice areas or markets. That’s where litigation data comes in. By looking at a potential lateral recruit’s litigation experience and client roster, law firms can target their legal recruiting to grow strategically without the overwhelming guesswork and unnecessary overhead expenses.
The first step in using litigation data for recruiting is to gather data. By collecting data on all of the matters an attorney has handled for the past few years, a law firm can get a bigger and better picture of who they’re hiring.
Litigation data can provide clarity on a multitude of areas. Are there noticeable trends in the prospect’s caseload? Are those trends positive or negative? Has the prospect jumped between firms often? Have their clients followed them as they moved?
Law firms can also use litigation data to target clients and hire lateral attorneys likely to attract or bring those clients with them. Litigation data can help weed out attorneys that may not be a good fit for your law firm by examining what practice areas and types of cases the attorney routinely handles, as well as their experience going up against difficult or otherwise formidable opposing counsel or judges.
Litigation data also allows law firms to conduct due diligence and understand an attorney’s legal practice without asking them directly — much like looking at a LinkedIn profile on private mode. Through leveraging litigation data, law firms can understand an attorney’s courtroom experience and book of business without having to request it from the potential hire themselves.
Litigation data saves an immense amount of time and energy on legal recruiting, ultimately saving law firms money that would otherwise be included in overhead costs. Even further, a data-driven method for recruiting provides a story that law firms cannot glean from just a LinkedIn profile or padded resume.
With litigation data, law firms can whittle down to what really matters: effective and efficient legal recruiting adding directly to positive business development and outcomes. Grow your client base, develop and grow your practice groups, and expand your market reach all through unlocking the power of litigation data.