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Sep 29, 2021

Finding and Hiring Law Firm Associate Attorneys During These COVID Pandemic Times


I am the sole owner of an estate planning firm in Chicago Suburbs. I have three other associates in the firm. Our volume of business has expanded rapidly during the last six months and we desperately need one to two more associates on board. I have been looking for three months and have been unsuccessful. I have had some leads but when I made offers they were not accepted. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


These are tough times for attracting and retaining talent in all businesses. Law firms are having difficulty hiring lawyers as well as staff. Many of my law firm clients are telling me that finding clients is no longer their primary concern – their top strategic concern is now finding, hiring, and retaining lawyer and staff talent.

During these times it is imperative that law firms get creative and think outside of the box. Flexibility is key. Here are a few things that some of my clients have done that has resulted in successful attorney hires:

  1. Paid for sponsoring with Indeed ad placements.
  2. Took out a paid ad with their state bar association.
  3. Used a recruiter.
  4. Increased starting salary/bonuses.
  5. Added medical insurance as a benefit.
  6. Paid a signing bonus.
  7. Provided reimbursement for moving/relocation costs.
  8. Implemented a permanent remote work policy allowing all personnel to work at home a certain number of days per week.
  9. Increased number of vacation/personal time off days.
  10. Added 401k plan.

Successful law firms must attract both clients and talent in order to be successful. All businesses are suffering and having a hard time attracting and retaining attorneys and staff. This also means that other law firms are desperate and may try to steal you lawyers and staff with better pay or other incentives. You need to review all of your benefits and policies as well as compensation to make sure that you are more that just competitive – you need to be on the cutting edge and ahead of the pack. Employees now expect more flexibility, remote work, etc. than ever before.

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John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Posted at 08:24 AM in Career Management, Compensation, Human Resources

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