Why Top Legal Talent Leave and What You Can Do About It

Turnover is inevitable in any law firm or legal department. When your best legal support staff or lawyers leave, however, understanding why they go can help you find outstanding replacement candidates and keep your remaining top players happy.

Why Do Top Legal Professionals Leave?

The most common reasons top legal professionals leave their jobs include:

There are no more challenges.

Whether it’s opportunities for advancement or the chance to expand their skill set, top employees thrive on challenges. When there are no more challenges, they will go looking for one.

Concerns about leadership.

Difficulty communicating with leadership or concerns that a firm or department is going in the wrong direction will often cause top legal talent to start looking for an organization with the leadership approach they seek.

Concerns about culture.

Work environment and approach are essential to top professionals doing “top” work. If the culture doesn’t support this work, top legal staff will start seeking a place that does.

Unsatisfying compensation, benefits or recognition.

We all like to feel we’re paid and recognized for what we’re worth, and top professionals know what that should look like. Chronic shortfalls in compensation or recognition will often result in a professional seeking a more appreciative law firm or legal department.

Tips to Stop the Turnover

While LinkedIn polls indicate these reasons for leaving a job tend to stay the same year after year, many law firms and legal departments do little or nothing to address them. Here’s how to tackle these issues to improve retention, engagement, and productivity:

  • Support constant learning. Keep top talent engaged by supporting their continued education, learning and growth, whether that’s through careful assignment to cases, continuing education or other methods.
  • Open up communication lines. Concerns about leadership or culture can often be addressed satisfactorily if they are addressed early. To encourage early addressing of issues, build and maintain open communication and transparency.
  • Get competitive. Use market data and benchmarking to ensure compensation is competitive with similar organizations and reflects each employee’s value to the organization.
  • Work with a recruiter. Recruiting partners specialize in identifying a firm’s “pain points” and finding ways to alleviate them. Your staffing firm can provide specific insights into your situation and strategies.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters strive to help our clients improve their recruitment and retention, implement effective staffing plans, and reach their organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more.

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