You are running a law firm, not an institute of higher learning

It can be a hard transition for new individuals who are transitioning from school to the work-force.  In school, they are being taught.  They are being trained.  They are being shaped, molded, and educated in the hopes that they can find a job and be productive.  The work they do is not for real clients.  It’s for academic purposes.  It’s for preparation in aiding future clients when they leave school and obtain a full-time job.

This transition is not easy for many new attorneys, paralegals, and other professionals.  In the work-force, they are being asked to perform for real clients, not fake clients.  They are being asked to put that education they have obtained to good use for the benefit of real people, not for academic reasons.  This isn’t an easy transition.

Getting new employees to understand the difference is not easy for many law firms.  New attorneys and legal staff will often want a continuation of their education.  They expect the law firm to institute training programs, in-depth education, and exhibit patience over a long period of time in terms of their development.  They don’t understand that the work they are doing now is not for imaginary clients, but real clients who have real problems.

All law firms have to provide quality representation to their clients.  It’s their duty and obligation.  Otherwise, the law firm isn’t going to stay in business for long.  Additionally, from a financial standpoint, law firms have to at least bring in as much money as is going out.  Otherwise, the obligations of the firm cannot be met.  And the firm won’t stay in business for long.

At the end of the day, a law firm might be able to provide a day or two of training.  Training can consist of a training video or in-person presentation.  It can consist of a walk-through of the employment manual.  It might involve a meet and greet with other employees.

But past that, a law firm is not an institution of higher education.  New employees have to understand that this is for real.  This is the pros.  Law firms were also not set up to educate employees.  They were formed to give quality legal services to clients.  All employees in a law firm have to provide good legal work.  They also have to be profitable for the law firm.

If they don’t feel ready to perform in a professional environment, their gripe is with the institution of higher education they attended, not the law firm.  Finding employees who are ready to accept that a law firm has no duty to train is hard.  It is hard to move from school to the real world.  It is hard to shift the thinking for somebody transitioning into the workforce.

But law firms have to instill this mentality in their firm.  They also have to find and retain employees who get this if they want to succeed.  It isn’t easy to find folks like these, but they are imperative to the success of a law firm environment.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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