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Talent Acquisition

Leveraging Professional Networks to Find Legal Talent

When law firm managers and partners hire new employees, the stakes are high. You want to find top-performing talent so that the firm’s clients are well-represented. The wrong hire could be disastrous.

Knowing where to look for professional legal network recruiting is essential to finding the best attorneys to join your firm, and today we’ll share some legal industry networking strategies to get you started.  

The power of professional networking in legal recruitment 

Expanding your legal talent pool through networks that are likely to connect you with qualified attorneys is the best hiring strategy for law firms. 

Professional networking is essential for law firm hiring because you can meet other well-connected legal professionals who are great at their jobs and open to connecting you with attorneys who would benefit your firm. 

It’s crucial to find a good skill and culture fit for every attorney, paralegal, and legal administrator you hire, and networking can significantly expand your talent pool while reducing your risk of a bad hire. 

Effective networking strategies in the legal industry 

When you’re looking into professional legal network recruiting, these industry networking strategies can yield a potential goldmine of great candidates, no matter what position you’re hiring for.  

Leveraging bar associations for legal talent acquisition 

Bar associations are best known for regulating professionals working in the legal industry in their jurisdiction, but they’re also an excellent resource for legal talent acquisition.

For example, the American Bar Association’s website has a job page. Hiring managers can upload job posts for free, but you can also pay to increase their visibility. Each state will have its own bar association, many of which have similar job posting pages. 

The more visibility your job posting has, the better. Bar associations are deeply respected and often used as a central information hub for legal professionals. It may be one of the first places that candidates look when trying to find a new job in your industry. 

Utilizing online platforms to source legal candidates 

While some people go straight to their bar association website to look for new job opportunities, others use a variety of other online platforms. In order to cover your bases and have the best shot of connecting with as many high-quality candidates as possible, make sure you’re leveraging every online platform that potential hires may use. 

There are over a hundred different job posting sites, with a few examples being:

Law firms should post to as many job sites as possible, and fortunately, Wizehire can help. We’ll help you optimize your job posting and distribute it to 100+ job posting sites instantly. Learn more about how Wizehire works

Getting referrals in legal talent acquisition 

Referrals are always a great way to find outstanding talent in any field, and it’s no different in the legal industry. A study from Zippia indicated that referral-based hires:

  • Cost an average of $1,000 less to hire
  • Are 4x more likely to be offered a job
  • Often stick around longer, with 45% retaining for 4 years compared to 25% of other hires 

Ask people in your network if they know anyone who would be a great fit for the role in question. Make sure you:

  • Ask internal employees, and consider offering an employee referral program to incentivize them
  • Ask publicly through social media, sharing the job posting and asking your network to message you if they know a good fit 
  • Reach out to members of your network privately, asking if they know anyone for the position  

Attending legal networking events 

The larger your network is, the more valuable it will be during the hiring process. 

Legal and bar associations offer networking events, and you want someone from your firm to attend as many as possible. You can connect with people who may know a great fit for any role that you have open in the future, but you may also meet outstanding potential candidates, too. 

As a bonus, meeting potential candidates in person can give you a much better read on who they are and how they may fit in with your firm. It’s like pre-screening for the hiring process, and in some cases, it may tell you even more than their resume could. 

Make sure you attend when you’re actively hiring, too. You never know: You may meet someone who wasn’t actively looking for a new job but who can be enticed with the right offer, especially if you have a longstanding relationship with them. 

Software for professional legal recruiting 

While expanding your legal talent pool through networks and professional associates is a great tactic, the right tools can also make a difference in helping you find the right candidates quickly. That includes legal professional hiring software.

Unless you’re offering a job directly to a single candidate that you know personally, you’ll want to consider using professional hiring software like Wizehire. We can not only help you create and optimize your job posting to attract top talent (and distribute it across every major job posting site), but we’ll also help you assess and track applicants through the entire hiring process. It will be easier to attract and identify the right fit for every role in your firm.

Ready to find the right hire for your law firm? Learn more about how Wizehire works


How can networking events benefit our law firm in finding qualified legal candidates?

Networking events expand your law firm’s overall network. When you’re ready to hire for new positions at your firm, you can contact your network for help. You may have met a candidate who would be a strong fit for a specific role, or you may know someone who can refer you to a great candidate.

How can we encourage our legal team to participate in networking events?

You can encourage your legal team to attend networking events by doing the following:

  • Requiring partners to attend a certain number of events during a set time period
  • Incentivizing team members to attend with bonuses or other financial incentives 
  • Paying employees’ member fees to join different associations that offer networking events

How can I get referrals for legal candidates?

The best way to get referrals for open legal positions is to ask for them. Ask trusted professionals in your network, and consider setting up an employee referral program to encourage your own team members to submit referrals for legal candidates.

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