Human Resources Consulting For Law Firms
Everything about a law firm is fungible, except for the talents of the people who work there. Unfortunately, too few law firms make talent acquisition and retention a priority. Too often, human resources issues are either delegated to lower level personnel or hiring decisions are made on a crisis basis, when someone gives notice and you have to fill their position in short order.
Gideon Grunfeld started his career as a human resources executive. He has been making hiring and firing decisions for more than 20 years and has helped law firms address recurring human resources, staffing, and compensation issues. Projects on which he has consulted include the following:
- On behalf of a business and real estate transactional firm located in southern California, devised and implemented a strategic hiring plan that resulted in firm more than doubling in size within five years. Primarily worked with firm’s managing partner to identify a system for identifying potential contributors months and sometimes years before they were hired. Also advised managing partner on compensation increases, bonuses and increases in base pay, for all of the personnel at the firm.
- On behalf of a firm in the Bay area that is headed by an experienced business trial lawyer, acted as firm’s outsourced HR executive. This included identifying staffing needs, establishing a compensation budget, drafting the job description, reviewing resumes, conducting telephonic and in-person interviews that enabled managing lawyer to interview final candidates for the position.
- On behalf of an estate planning firm, recruited and conducted initial orientation and ongoing support for a billing coordinator. This included advising on how to respond to billing inquiries and billing-related complaints from clients.
- On behalf of new firm, created the annual staffing and growth plan, which identified the sequence in which the firm should hire, beginning with hiring a litigation paralegal who would free up the firm’s leader to do more in-person networking and marketing.
- On behalf of a boutique law firm, worked with leadership team to restructure requirements for making partner, including creating system for communicating partnership requirements to mid-level associates.
In addition to advising law firms on issues relating to hiring of employees, have also helped firms take advantage of recent staffing trends that enable a law firm to scale up and hire highly credentialed and experienced lawyers on a project basis. Thus, for example, we helped a law firm client expand its ability to defend class-action litigation by coordinating their use of lawyers provided though an outside staffing agency. Gideon Grunfeld also has more than 20 years of experience working with legal recruiters, and has collaborated with firms and recruiters regarding attracting lateral partners.
From Struggling to Thriving
In today’s legal climate, the ratio of available legal talent and its cost has rarely been more favorable to law firms. Likewise, the risks associated with failing to develop and implement a talent acquisition and retention strategy can be the difference between struggling and thriving as a law firm.