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OPTIMIZING YOUR FIRM FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LAWYERS

If you’ve scrolled through social media recently, you’ve probably seen a fair number of think-pieces about millennials. Law schools continue to produce exceptionally talented millennial graduates. In order to attract the most promising candidates, you may find yourself asking: how can I make my firm more attractive to the next generation?

 

Encourage collaboration

While there is a time and place for competition, many people don’t want to join a firm where you have to tear down others to build yourself up. Recent graduates, as well as millennials who have a few years of experience under their belt, are more inclined to value collaboration than other age groups.

The fact is, the millennial generation values collaborative environments and shared ideas. Team dynamics are often an afterthought for firm leadership. Despite this, they have a measurable impact on productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall success.  In order to distinguish your firm culture from the crowd, place an emphasis on mentorship and teamwork.

 

Ditch the cubicles

Although you don’t have to remodel to look like a tech start-up, there are plenty of benefits to a modernized office space. An overly formal atmosphere can feel stuffy and off-putting. More importantly, it also discourages spontaneous interactions. These unplanned interactions often produce some of the most inspired ideas and strategies (think: collaboration). Integrating a coffee bar or a casual sitting area creates an environment where conversations can flow freely and naturally.

In addition to more informal spaces, technology-free zones and areas with natural sunlight are also great investments. Without the distraction of constant emails and phone calls, a simple conference room transforms into the perfect place for focused and energizing team meetings. Furthermore, natural sunlight is the cheapest morale booster on the market. Sunlight has a myriad of proven health benefits, such as improving brain function as well as lowering blood pressure and instances of depression.

 

Embrace your core values

If you’re like most firms, you’ve probably got a set of core values listed on your website. Words like trust, honesty, and commitment are fantastic tools for marketing and user conversion. Unfortunately, all too often those core values stop at the surface level. In order to truly differentiate your firm for the next generation, you have to practice what you preach.

Your core values must measurably influence your company culture. This is most effective as a top-down strategy.  Positive company culture starts with an executive team that takes the initiative to foster open communication and acts as an example. For example, if service is one of your core values, take things a step further by dedicating some time every month for office-wide volunteer service.

By investing both money and time in your values, you show potential employees that you have a distinct identity as a firm. When done with sincerity, you create a movement that people of all ages will want to be a part of. (As a bonus, your efforts are sure to resonate with the most socially conscious generation in history!)

 

Upgrade your technology

In the case of technology, millennials are at the forefront of an already shifting tide. From remote depositions to eFiling to digital forensics, the legal field benefits as society changes. As technology evolves firms will need to adapt just to keep up.

It goes without saying that the machines you provide need to be capable of running all software and programs necessary for daily work. To really stand out, take things a step further. Collaborative cloud technology like Dropbox or Google Drive allows your team to work together and fine-tune new ideas. Plus, your team can reliably interact in real-time, even across state lines and time zones!

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