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Bridge the Generation Gap

How to communicate that your firm is not a dinosaur.

For the most part, law firm leaders have come to understand that lawyers on the job market in 2018 have different needs and expectations than lawyers twenty or even ten years ago—and that firms had better get down to business on creating a more progressive workplace culture if they want to attract and retain top talent. But how can law firms, especially well-established firms perceived to be stuck in the past, communicate their forward-thinking approach to recruits?

·  Articulate your firm’s core values and communicate them in recruiting materials, interviews, and meetings that welcome new hires. Then demonstrate how members of the firm—from executive leadership down to the support staff—hold true to these values in pursuit of the clients’ best interests and the good of the firm.

·  Highlight the ways you reward innovation. Which means first you must do so. Who are your problem solvers? Who has come to your firm via a nontraditional path? Who is serving clients in innovative ways? And how can you broadcast your pride in these team members to lawyers thinking of joining your firm?

·  Update your firm’s website. Schedule modern head shots of your partners, associates, and support staff, and consider a fresh composition or setting. Continue to announce victories on cases, but give equal billing to community involvement, diversity initiatives, and professional development to communicate that your firm has a continuous-improvement mindset.

·  Do the actual work of things like addressing wage gap issues, embracing flexible schedules, promoting collaboration across practice areas and embracing a compensation structure that rewards all players on the team—just to name a few. Even the world’s most beautifully designed recruiting brochure cannot save you if you aren’t really who you say you are.

Today’s recruits question whether the old equation—years of misery in the trenches will pay off in the end—still holds true, and many have decided that the sacrifice old-school cultures require isn’t worth the gain. They also know that firms must face social issues of access, inclusivity and innovation or risk becoming irrelevant. Don’t fear this change. Make a plan for the future that will help you better serve your clients and build an outstanding team of lawyers.