How to Double the Number of Employees in a Law Firm?

May 10, 2016

Human resource management is the cornerstone of running a law firm because the credentials and values of these professionals determine the successful outcome of each case they handle.

Security, firmness, agility, guts, valor, courage, and strength are essential traits for anyone aspiring to be a successful lawyer. These traits can be developed and improved with the necessary work and training. However, let us now ask ourselves: are there currently any teaching mechanisms in Spanish universities or any other educational institutions that enhance these traits? The answer is clear and simple: no!

Therefore, those of us who select other professionals for incorporation into a law firm, especially young profiles, should not focus so much on technical and theoretical training, as it is worth little or nothing if the candidate has never been invited to step out of their comfort zone to face personal risks that, subsequently, will allow them to put into practice the knowledge learned in the Academy.

Many times, I have heard university professors, especially those allergic to the noble practice of law, say, “in law, you either know it or you don’t.” Thus, these poor bureaucrats with caps encourage from their chairs and from their offices, smelling of old and rusted books, and strive to inoculate the advantages of those who will have a salary for life, as advertised by a major coffee company.

Initially, there would be nothing despicable about having a lifelong salary, if it were not for the fact that those who least need to struggle to survive inevitably see their personal comfort zone shrinking inversely proportional as the years go by. However, it is not all the responsibility of university professors because if we survey the students of any first-year law group at any Spanish university, more than 70% would answer, “I want to take a civil service exam.” This answer resonates like the sound of tormented souls being taken out of purgatory, hung on the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as if that unquenchable fire were synonymous with private activity, business, and entrepreneurship.

Undoubtedly, Max Weber, in his book «The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,» can help us understand where, sociologically speaking, the source of values and professional traits of that person who daily fights against their fears and insecurities to become more efficient and stronger in their professional sphere lies, which will also eventually encompass their personal life.

So now I think we should ask how to double the number of lawyers in a firm. The answer, at first, will also have to do with the increase in the number of clients, right? Of course, it will. So, how can we increase or double the number of clients? Undoubtedly, this is the key question, but its answer is entirely linked to the first question because there is no better business generator in a law firm than the lawyer himself, right? The responsibility for managing each client’s matter lies primarily and ultimately with the lawyer, making each lawyer an ambassador for their firm.

So, are the best records from each university those who will become the best legal professionals? The answer, once again, is simple: no!

Why? Because most of them, if they have not received or strengthened their own security, firmness, agility, guts, valor, courage, and strength through an extra-academic means, particularly through a personal environment that inoculates those values, will ultimately be nothing more than law graduates actively seeking employment, as if employment, besides being sought, could not be self-generated through entrepreneurship; which essentially involves striving to expand your comfort zone.

Consequently, a law firm grows in the number of professionals and clients when it values each candidate more for their ATTITUDES than for their aptitudes, and to do this, the person must be known better than the project of the professional in the job interview.

Finally, and after subscribing to each word of this article, it would be very unjust not to demand a profound university reform, in order to put it at the service of society, and not the other way around as it has been until now. And I say the other way around because we experienced lawyers are the ones making true legal professionals, even fighting against many of the technical and moral dogmas that new graduates bring from the sterile academic campus. Undoubtedly, the aforementioned reform can only come about by abolishing the figure of the university professor as a public servant, since the bureaucrat with a cap can never, ever, extract the skills that a lawyer needs; this is because the comfort zone of the bureaucrat with a cap can never, in any case, be equal in size and dimension to what a lawyer needs.

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