For many law firms, fall represents a big time for hiring, since this is the period when they are able to look at the attorneys in their summer associate class and decide who should be brought on in entry-level positions.
But there is another key component of legal operations that is just as important as bringing on quality individuals: making sure that law firms and legal departments put their talent in the right places. It is a busy time, and it’s a moment that law firms understandably view as very important since the quality of new hires a firm brings on can help determine the future success of the firm as a whole.
Keeping track of capabilities
For law firms of all sizes, knowing the specific skills and strong points of each lawyer is an absolute necessity. And this knowledge of each lawyer’s capabilities must not be confined to the surface – instead, it should accompany every niche talent and qualification, since you can never predict what particular ability will become useful for a case.
The need to keep tabs on talent is what leads law firms to maintain directories. But not all firm directories are created equal, and many are not equipped to deal with the true needs of firms. Here are some common problems when it comes to directories:
Reliant on outmoded technology:
Firms that don’t immediately recognize the importance of having a robust directory at their disposal are likely to have directories that rely too heavily on outmoded methods like spreadsheets, thereby demanding too much manual data entry. The requirements of outdated directories for greater human involvement leads to a second key problem …
Not updated frequently enough:
For a directory to work as it should, it needs to be reflective of lawyers’ skills as they stand at that moment – not what they were, say, three or six months ago. As lawyers acquire new skills and areas of expertise, these must make their way into the directory so that firm leaders can take advantage of these skills down the road. A directory that does not account for timely skills updating risks having clients miss out on lawyers whose specialized skills could benefit them and increase their satisfaction.
“A successful legal firm depends not only on the skills of its staff, but on those skills being well applied.”
How The Firm Directory (now ikaun) takes legal firms to the next level
The Firm Directory (now ikaun) is a cutting-edge tool for locating internal expertise, and its future-focused design makes it perfect for legal firms that are looking to give directory operations the dose of improvement they deserve. Here are some of the main ways The Firm Directory provides firms with expert finding that leads to higher client satisfaction:
Comprehensive view of attorneys and staff:
The Firm Directory was designed to integrate with both SharePoint and Skype for Business, and this integration enables it to provide firms with 360-degree views of lawyers and staff. Because the SharePoint integration happens out-of-the-box, there’s no need for attorneys to manually enter all of the biography information.
Advanced experience finder options:
When a prospective client meets with your firm to discuss taking on his or her case, it’s imperative to know if you have someone on staff who is suited – perhaps uniquely so – to provide counsel. The Firm Directory’s Experience Finder presents an easy avenue through which lawyers’ specific experiences can be accessed and eventually leveraged to offer clients the best representation possible.
Tools for collaboration:
Apart from having strong individual lawyers, one thing firms strive for is having good collaboration across matters, clients or practices. After all, a single case can often call on expertise from different fields, which a robust collaborative system can enable. With its offering of next-gen secure communications, The Firm Directory provides the vehicle for this kind of collaboration to take place. Legal organizations that leverage The Firm Directory will find that collaboration becomes something that can happen with ease.
As the fall hiring season hits its stride for law firms, it would be beneficial for these firms to take a moment and consider the importance of having a strong directory as well.
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