How can law firms continue to provide their services in today’s competitive legal market effectively? Some argue that full-time lawyers are better than flexible, but what is the best way to ensure your firm continues to offer excellent services. Thanks to the technology available to the legal profession today, communication and collaboration are just as accessible with both models.
Rigidly adhered to work schedules are rarely followed in legal firms today. Instead, the traditional hiring model of full-time employees has given ways to flexible, part-time, or even project-based hirings in law firms. Despite what many people believe, flexible work is not something that just became popular recently but has been increasingly sought by many legal employees for some years now.
Moreover, flexible lawyers are proving to be far better than full-time for many law firms, and here is why:
Flexibility for Employees and Employers
Many people believe that flexibility means that legal employees won’t be able to meet the needs of the firm’s clients. This is wrong because it offers flexibility to everyone, the employer, employee, and clients.
The more flexible the legal team is, the better it can respond to client needs. Meanwhile, extra-legal employees can also be hired when needed. This makes it more cost-efficient for the firm owners than having to pay full-time salaries.
Diversity is Improved
Flexible work allows legal employees necessary time off to catch up with the demands of family life and other personal issues. It also decreases work-related stress, productivity issues, and sick days taken.
This means that a law firm that adopts flexible work doesn’t lose valuable employees, especially women who decide to take time off to raise a family. In addition, law firms with flexible employees can retain a vital gender diversity that plays a crucial role in accessing new clients. This way, every talented lawyer can continue their career in law, no matter the demands in their personal life.
Therefore, law firms can still employ the most skilled candidate for the job. They can open up their recruitment pool, regardless of whether the people they are hiring can work full-time or flexible hours.
Increased Productivity and Client Retention
When employees are satisfied, they are more productive, according to various studies, including a more recent one by Stanford University. Economics professor Nicholas Bloom reached this conclusion after surveying 16,000 workers for ten months at a Chinese firm. Productivity increased by 13% in the subjects allowed to work flexible hours.
Another benefit is that employees take less sick leave because of their better work-life balance. Flexible work also allows them to pursue other interests, helping to boost their engagement with the team and increase morale. This means a decrease in employee turnover, which is directly connected to client retention.
Company Culture Wins
Flexibility and the diversity it encourages in a law firm positively affect your law firm’s company culture. This is because your legal employees have more opinions, viewpoints, and experiences, allowing them to use them positively when it comes to innovation and problem-solving. This will make your law firm more attractive to clients who associate themselves with your legal staff members. Positive company culture is directly linked to new client acquisitions, something a growing law firm needs.
Like in all industries right now, law firms also have a talent race. This means that if you want to capture the best talent, then flexibility will more likely be the most attractive perk. Indications are that 40% of lawyers consider it one of the most significant benefits when looking for an employer, and they will look elsewhere if their request is refused.
Besides saving your firm money, flexible work gives you access to a larger talent pool and a happier workforce. So it appears that in the argument full-time vs. flexible lawyers, flexible wins.