Retaining Legal Talent in the Remote Workplace
Finding top-quality legal professionals to join your law firm is always a challenge. It requires a significant investment of time, money, and resources to secure attorneys who are the right fit for your team. However, even if you manage to hire the best talent available, the real test lies in retaining them over the long term, especially when they are working remotely.
Retaining remote legal talent is no simple task. It demands creativity and expertise to fulfill their need for a satisfying work-life balance, particularly when they have limited physical connection to the firm. But how can law firms effectively combat the rising issue of attorney burnout during the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation’s Impact on the Legal Profession
Following the onset of the pandemic in 2020, employees began to reassess their work-life balance. Dissatisfied with their current situation, many took the bold step of leaving their jobs in search of a healthier equilibrium. This widespread movement, known as the “Great Resignation,” also impacted the legal community, with burnt-out attorneys reexamining their law firm cultures and striving for a better work-life balance.
This wave of resignations can be seen as a wake-up call for attorneys to acknowledge their value and explore other opportunities to address their burnout. As a result, many attorneys chose to prioritize their well-being and walk away from the law firms that once seemed ideal. Offering salary increases as incentives proved insufficient to lure them back, leading to the loss of valuable talent that law firms worked so hard to secure.
The Remote Workplace’s Influence on Attorney Burnout
Law firms can adapt to the needs of their remote attorneys, provided they are willing to embrace new methods of support. According to the 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market, law firms have demonstrated surprising agility in transitioning to remote work during the pandemic. Firm leaders agree that a combination of in-person and remote work will likely remain a part of law firm culture.
To ensure the long-term success of remote work, law firms must continue to be adaptable in meeting the needs of their attorneys. Issues such as equitable workload distribution, mentoring, evaluations, career advancement, and maintaining firm culture can lead to burnout and increased attrition rates. Simply increasing an attorney’s salary is not enough to compensate for their disconnection from the office environment and the missed opportunities it entails. Recognizing the importance of appreciation, recognition, equity, and mental well-being is crucial in preventing burnout, reducing attrition, and retaining legal talent.
Seizing the Opportunity: Combating Lawyer Burnout
The Great Resignation has presented law firms with a prime opportunity to reflect on how they can adapt and change to retain their top legal talent and attract new recruits. When it comes to the remote workforce, law firms must prioritize strengthening the connection between remote attorneys and the firm. These attorneys need to feel appreciated, acknowledged, and treated fairly.
In addition to adapting to remote work, law firms should also expand their agility and flexibility into other areas of their practice. Employing time-saving tools for billing, case management, fee collections, and client communications can streamline operations and give attorneys more time to focus on their well-being.
To gain further insights into how the Great Resignation has impacted law firms and discover strategies for combating attorney burnout, you can watch our on-demand webcast “Stop the Great Resignation” here.