Staffing - Paralegals First...Maybe Second Too.
Updated: Mar 2
Attorneys with a small or solo practice have to be scrappy and willing to find ways to make things work. The entrepreneur attorney can spend so much effort making do with what they have, they miss some of the key planning for what they need and what to do about it. A successful new hire usually takes 90+ days from idea to hired worker sitting at their desk. A quarter of a year, when you’re doing things right! The Of Counsel recommends hiring a paralegal/legal assistant 1st and the reasons are obvious: a legal professional can free a business owner’s time that would be otherwise occupied by non-attorney-only work. That’s easy.
In most practice areas, the next hire should be a paralegal, not an attorney.
Why? A new associate attorney would otherwise be thrown in the exact same position as the partner: doing non-attorney-work while being paid an associate attorney's paycheck! Now, imagine what happens when a new associate attorney is hired with their paralegal already in place, already knowing the office & the systems, AND the clients they’re about to inherit. THAT is what you call “hitting the ground running”! More importantly, those 90+ day periods can overlap, easing the process and significantly reducing the time it takes for a new associate to become profitable!