CBABC Work Life Balance Section
The Lawyer Management Challenge:
Attracting and Keeping Great Talent
 Presented by Nicole ...
The Demographic Landscape

The Phenomenon:
   Women have been entering the legal
   profession in BC in numbers equal to o...
The Demographic Landscape

The Phenomenon cont.:
• not just women who are seeking greater work
  life balance from employe...
The Demographic Landscape
The Reason:
• At many law firms, wages rise steeply and schedules
  are demanding;
• Many firms ...
The Demographic Landscape

The Business Problem:

• Women, 50% or more of law school graduates, are
  leaving the professi...
The Democratic Landscape

Response:
• Law Society of BC Retention of Women in Law
  Task Force;
• Law Society of Upper Can...
The Wellness Landscape

Backdrop:
• Current economic recession
• Long term financial pressures on the
  traditional law fi...
The Wellness Landscape
The Problem:

•   Increasing competitive pressures and a rapidly changing profession
    resulting ...
A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm

Definition
1. A law firm where legal services are delivered
   to clients entirely onlin...
A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm

Why it Works:
 a firm culture predicated on balance and
 flexibility with applied techno...
A Solution: A Virtual Law Firm

How it Works: Logistics
- Do have traditional office with reception, offices
  and adminis...
A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm

How it Works - Technology
• Staff only need a VoIP phone, a broadband
  internet connect...
A Day in the Life – Associate in
Traditional Firm
      T         B   B   N     B          L         B   N   B   B   N   B...
A DayKids to the Life at Heritagereturn
      in school                Kids Law

      P         P         B   B   N      ...
A Side – by – Side Comparison

                     Traditional
    Criteria
                        Firm
 Required Hours ...
A Solution: The Virtual Law Firm

The Result:
• The autonomy and flexibility of the work
  environment suits our staff, wh...
Thank you!
 Nicole Garton-Jones

www.bcheritagelaw.com




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Lawyer Management Challenge - How to Attract and Retain Legal Talent

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Presentation to CBA BC Branch Work Life Balance Section meeting on January 21, 2010

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Transcript of "Lawyer Management Challenge - How to Attract and Retain Legal Talent"

  1. 1. CBABC Work Life Balance Section The Lawyer Management Challenge: Attracting and Keeping Great Talent Presented by Nicole Garton-Jones 1
  2. 2. The Demographic Landscape The Phenomenon: Women have been entering the legal profession in BC in numbers equal to or greater than men for more than a decade, yet represent only about 34% of all practicing lawyers in the province and only about 29% of lawyers in full-time private practice 2
  3. 3. The Demographic Landscape The Phenomenon cont.: • not just women who are seeking greater work life balance from employers to enable them to juggle the demands of child rearing with a professional career; • Millenials, even in this recession, still value work-life balance above all else when listing top characteristics of an ideal employer; • Men increasingly are taking a more significant role in raising children and seek to pursue other interests concurrent with paid employment; 3
  4. 4. The Demographic Landscape The Reason: • At many law firms, wages rise steeply and schedules are demanding; • Many firms have an up-or-out system which rewards the most dedicated with lucrative partnerships; • Women are still generally the primary caregivers of young children; • The timeframe for building skills and developing a practice coincides with the timeframe for child rearing for many women; • The reason for the private practice participation, partnership and income gender gap may in in fact be the opposite of prejudice. Rather, it is that women are judged by exactly the same standards as men. 4
  5. 5. The Demographic Landscape The Business Problem: • Women, 50% or more of law school graduates, are leaving the profession in droves, just as law firms are beginning to face a shortage of qualified lawyers to serve their clients with the retirement of baby boomers; • not a problem unique to law: a combination of an ageing workforce and a more skill-dependent economy means that all industries will have to a better job of attracting and retaining all their employees in the “war for talent;” 5
  6. 6. The Democratic Landscape Response: • Law Society of BC Retention of Women in Law Task Force; • Law Society of Upper Canada Retention of Women Project; • To date, accounting firms have generally done a better job of retaining women, perhaps due to their increased efforts to maintain connections with women who take time off to have children and then ease them back into work; 6
  7. 7. The Wellness Landscape Backdrop: • Current economic recession • Long term financial pressures on the traditional law firm business model • Technological changes • Non-lawyer competitors increasingly eroding traditional marketplace 7
  8. 8. The Wellness Landscape The Problem: • Increasing competitive pressures and a rapidly changing profession resulting in all time high rates of dissatisfaction among lawyers; • law is the occupation most susceptible to clinical depression; • Lawyers 3x more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the general population; • While 10% of the general adult population is alcohol-dependant, among lawyers practicing from 2-20 years, the number jumps to 18%; • For lawyers practicing more than 20 years the number is 25%; • Many of these lawyers are both depressed and chemically dependant. 8
  9. 9. A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm Definition 1. A law firm where legal services are delivered to clients entirely online through a secure web- based portal; or 2. A law firm where there is a centralized brand, administration and management, and individual lawyers primarily work from satellite offices, often from client offices or their home. Lawyers do meet with clients in person as required. 9
  10. 10. A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm Why it Works: a firm culture predicated on balance and flexibility with applied technological solutions to facilitate it allows lawyers to “have it all”: a professional practice, competitive compensation and work-life balance 10
  11. 11. A Solution: A Virtual Law Firm How it Works: Logistics - Do have traditional office with reception, offices and administrative support; - Lawyers and paralegal staff set own schedules and can work from their home or the office at their option; some staff work 100% from home; - Lawyers and staff are contractors and earn a percentage of billed time and flat fees; - After meeting minimum billable targets, the lawyers and staff determine the amount of their earnings by how much they choose to work; 11
  12. 12. A Solution: the Virtual Law Firm How it Works - Technology • Staff only need a VoIP phone, a broadband internet connection, a PC and a combined printer/scanner to work; • The firm hosts virtual desktops in the private Heritage cloud with an integrated system of accounting, practice management, document management and document automation software applications 12
  13. 13. A Day in the Life – Associate in Traditional Firm T B B N B L B N B B N B T 7am 8am 12pm 1pm 7pm 8pm • (T) – prepare and travel to and from office • (B) – billable work at $250 / hour • (N) – ~1 hour of non-billable and administrative for each 2 hours of billable work • (L) – 1 hour for lunch and breaks 48 weeks / year X 5 days / week X 7 billable hours / day X $250/hr 1680 hours / year X $250 / hour = $420,000 client fees 13
  14. 14. A DayKids to the Life at Heritagereturn in school Kids Law P P B B N L B T N P B P B 7am 8am 9am 12pm 1pm 3pm 5pm 7pm 8pm • Work ‘9-5’ plus one evening hour, including 1 hour (T) for travel to and from office for client meetings • Flexible (P)ersonal hour mid-day; work a (B)illable hour in the evenings after the children are in bed • (B) – billable work at $250 / hour • (N) – non-billable and administrative (L) – 1 hour for lunch 48 weeks / year X 5 days / week X 5 billable hours / day X $250/hr 1200 hours / year X $250 / hour = $300,000 client fees 14
  15. 15. A Side – by – Side Comparison Traditional Criteria Firm Required Hours 1700 1200 (70% as many) Compensation $120,000 $150,000 (25% more) Flexibility Traditional hours Work on your schedule Effective hourly $45 / hr $78 / hr pay (173% as much) 15
  16. 16. A Solution: The Virtual Law Firm The Result: • The autonomy and flexibility of the work environment suits our staff, who have a self directed and pro-active work style; • The flexible work environment has enabled Heritage Law to have access to and hire highly skilled staff, to the benefit of both the firm and clients alike; 16
  17. 17. Thank you! Nicole Garton-Jones www.bcheritagelaw.com 17

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