Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

3 Keys to Successful New Placement Onboarding

When you work with a temporary attorney, onboarding is essential to a strong, focused relationship. Without onboarding, even a highly skilled temporary attorney may struggle to provide the support your team and clients need.

Here are three points to consider when you plan onboarding for a new temporary attorney.

  1. Separate onboarding from orientation.

Orientation is typically a quick process that involves completing paperwork, introducing a temporary attorney to the people they’ll work with, and giving them a quick tour of the office. While orientation can be a way to start the onboarding process, it should never replace onboarding.

Instead, plan for onboarding to take a period of time. Integrate onboarding activities each day with the work the temporary attorney does to help the project and the team. To plan onboarding, ask questions like:

  • What impression do we want the temporary attorney to have at the end of the first day?
  • How can we communicate our culture and work environment to the temporary attorney?
  • What role will HR, direct supervisors, and co-workers play in onboarding?
  • What goals should we set for the temporary attorney, and how will we know we have reached them?

These questions can help direct onboarding plans and provide clear parameters for completion and success.

  1. Pay special attention to the first day.

The first day is essential to all new employees, but it’s particularly crucial for temporary attorneys, whose time spent with your organization may be limited to a few weeks or months.

For instance, it is vital that a temporary attorney leave the office on the first day with a clear understanding of their job duties, responsibilities and role on the team. Align the temporary attorney’s expectations with those of the team and organization, so that time is not wasted on activities or tasks that don’t meet the team’s goals.

Spending time, including your new temporary attorney with the rest of the team can also help clarify and align expectations. When the rest of the team understands the temporary attorney’s job, they can focus on their work without developing a sense of confusion or resentment.

  1. Schedule check-ins and set measurement criteria.

At the end of the first week and month, check-in with the new temporary attorney to make sure they understand their work and that they are engaged with the rest of the team. Check to ensure the temporary attorney has access to the tools and information they need to do the job well.

Before the temporary attorney begins, set clear, objective criteria for measuring their success on the job. When possible, choose quantitative criteria that help you gain a clear picture of their productivity and success. Include a discussion of these criteria as part of the temporary attorney’s first-day onboarding, so that both of you know exactly what is expected.

The recruiters at Assigned Counsel shifted from practicing law to working with law firms because we understood the importance of having the right attorneys available at the right time. To learn more, contact us today.


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