The legal industry has experienced enormous challenges this year. However, some achievements have also been witnessed in several legal departments.
With the New Year looming, it is advisable for law firms to prepare accordingly and look for the trending strategies that will see them through 2017. The New Year ahead is expected to have a lot of blended workforces, which will fill the gap for work scarcity.
According to a new report released by Hays, employers will need to factor the right assignments into their workforce planning. The report further said that headcount flexibility will become the norm due to 2016’s rapid rise in the use of contract and temporary assignments.
An example that happened this year is when Allens ramped up a “multidisciplinary approach” in handling legal issues.
“Our firm has created a team of personnel that are now more than 70 legal project management, pricing and technology experts, including 12 who are well familiarised with the blend of technology and legal qualifications,” said Allens partner Anna Collyer.
She said that the multidisciplinary team worked under the firm’s management and they work in many cases directly with their clients and lawyers to develop integrated, bespoke answers that solve their clients’ issues.
Another tip that law firms should implement in 2017 is hiring highly skilled professionals. The reason behind this is because “super temps” are experts in their specific fields and they can deliver great quality results within a short period. The report stated that this trend will become more widespread among Australian law firms in the next year. The highly skilled personnel will be assigned tasks in a senior role or interim executive.
Law firms should hire professionals in different legal fields to cover a wide area of legal practice. Also, they should go an extra mile to ensure that they recognise other important parts of their employees’ lives. They should consistently support and promote positive responses to the challenges and needs of their staff.
In order to thrive in 2017, firms should mentor their new appointees and encourage them to embrace their tasks with much confidence.
Another option that law firms should explore is encouraging work from home and active desking. They should let their employees have flexibility in their work and that it shouldn’t have any negative impact to the service they deliver to their clients.
Another tactic that law firms should implement is encouraging millennials to drive flexibility in their tasks. They should expect greater flexibility around their hours if they are working within a set workplace.
She said that law firms should not be judgemental towards the hours that an employee clocks compared to their productivity.
Finally, “law firms should ensure that they give their employees real permission to use their time flexibly as per their policies,” said Libby Lyons, the director of Workplace Gender Equality Agency.