Successfully integrating a new lateral attorney into your law firm requires the creation and implementation of a streamlined and comprehensive onboarding process. This checklist will help guide law firms through the steps of effectively onboarding a new attorney, ensuring they’re fully prepared and empowered to excel in their new role from day one. This structured approach can help firms facilitate a seamless transition for the new attorney, positioning them to swiftly become an integral part of the team, provide value and forge meaningful client relationships.

  • Obtain their previous firm bio: Immediately download a copy of the attorney’s bio from their previous firm. This document will serve as a critical reference point for crafting their new bio and understanding their professional background. Make sure you also obtain their resume from HR.
  • Draft a new website bio: Develop a new website bio that aligns with your firm’s style and effectively showcases the attorney’s expertise and accomplishments. Ensure the attorney reviews and approves the draft before submitting it for final approval within your firm.
  • Schedule a website photo session: Organize a professional photo session for the attorney’s web bio, social media promotion and media inquiries. Make sure to send the new hire their headshot so they can upload it to their LinkedIn profile.
  • Prepare a personal introduction: Compile information for a detailed introduction to be circulated within the firm. This introduction should include both personal details, such as hobbies and interests, and key professional details like practice area, highlights of their expertise, education, phone extension and office location.
  • Order business cards: Promptly order business cards for the new hire. Bonus points if you can do this prior to their actual arrival to your firm so they are ready for them on their first day.
  • Export their contact list: Encourage the attorney to export their contact list to Excel before leaving their previous job. This list is vital for the firm’s mailing initiatives and the attorney’s personal business development efforts.
  • Schedule business development (BD) orientation: Enroll the attorney in the orientation schedule for a business development session tailored to their experience level. This step is crucial for integrating them into the firm’s marketing and client development strategies.
  • Plan a social media announcement: Create a compelling social media announcement to introduce the new attorney to your clients and others, utilizing their new professional photo. Disseminate this announcement across the firm’s social media channels to maximize exposure.
  • Website announcement: Ensure the new attorney’s bio and announcement are promptly published on the firm’s website.
  • Press release distribution: Issue a press release about the new attorney to legal, local, bar association and law school publications to broaden your reach.
  • Email announcement: Craft an email announcement about the new attorney to be distributed to select contacts or the firmwide mailing list, ensuring it is sent out in a timely manner.
  • Schedule key client meetings: Coordinate meetings between the new attorney and key clients of the firm to foster introductions to crucial stakeholders and kickstart relationship-building efforts.
  • Organize a welcome event: Plan a welcome event or gathering for the new attorney. This event provides a great opportunity for colleagues to meet and welcome the new lawyer in an informal and friendly setting.

Other Marketing and Business Development To-Do’s For Your New Lateral Hire

  • Introduce to the marketing and business development team for an overview of firm branding, marketing strategies and available resources.
  • Assess the attorney’s existing client relationships and discuss potential cross-selling opportunities within the firm.
  • Collaborate on a personalized marketing plan that aligns with both the attorney’s and the firm’s goals, including specific tactics for client retention and growth.
  • Schedule participation in upcoming firm-sponsored events, seminars and networking opportunities to increase visibility and integrate into the firm’s business development efforts.
  • Provide training on the use of CRM tools and other technologies used for tracking business development activities.
  • Encourage contribution to the firm’s content marketing efforts, such as writing articles for the firm’s blog, participating in webinars or speaking at industry events.
  • Facilitate introductions to key industry groups, professional associations and other networks relevant to the attorney’s practice area.
  • Set up regular check-ins with the marketing and business development team to review progress, adjust strategies, and ensure ongoing support for the attorney’s marketing efforts.

This checklist and tips are designed to ensure a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to onboarding new lateral attorneys. By following and implementing these steps, law firms can not only streamline the transition process of their new lateral hire, but also reinforce their commitment to supporting their new attorney’s professional success from day one at their new firm.