Risk Update

Risk Resourcing — Recruiting Retaining and Developing Law Firm Risk Staff in the Age of Covid-19

Today’s post is a bit of a self-referencing inception loop, but hopefully will be of interest. I wrote and posted an article on LinkedIn. A brief excerpt below, with the full report accessible via the link. I’d welcome readers (good), the click of the magic “like” button (better) and any comments (best) in the response to: “On Recruiting, Retaining and Developing Law Firm Risk Staff in the Age of Covid-19” —

  • “Last week, I attended another engaging virtual risk round table event hosted by my friends at InOutsource. The session focused on recruiting, retaining and developing risk staff — with an emphasis on navigating the challenges of today’s remote workplace. Participants included risk leaders and managers from large- and mid-sized firms, responsible for conflicts, intake and related compliance responsibilities. Discussion was quite open and illuminating — some highlights and points of interest:”
  • The Retention & Growth Challenge
    • A small conflicts department reported that present circumstances have bolstered their arguments for additional resources to grow the department. Given the strategic importance of client intake and risk management, and lawyer expectations for service, making the business case for increased investment has become easier in some respects.
  • The Recruitment Challenge Meets Remote Opportunities & Challenges
    • At the same time, several participants pointed out that today’s default remote working model is opening up new opportunities and a broader talent pool, as their firms are no longer strictly limited by geography of their home or satellite offices.
    • But others share concerns about opposite side of that equation — that as more firms become more open to broader geographic hiring, competition for talent will increase as well.
  • The Advancement Challenge
    • Another prominent firm raised the question of “advancement,” sharing that conflicts staff would like to stay in place, but also want to see a path for their own careers to develop. Discussion explored how positions, roles and responsibilities can be structured to provide new opportunities for individuals to progress in their careers without having to make lateral moves.
  • Training Tribulations
    • The community commiserated on the true breadth and scope of risk training. It’s not just policy and process, but also technology and other general skills. Those include effective communication — most critically the ability to interact with lawyers in both written and verbal forms — and critical thinking.
    • Others shared Yoda-like challenges trying to teach new resources to “unlearn that which they have learned” — as experienced resources new to their firms struggle to adopt the different policies and practices of their new employers, reverting to legacy approaches instead. In those instances, managers suggested that hiring “fresh” resources with a general law firm background and teaching them conflicts may be more effective.
    • Finally, discussion turned to third-party training resources and learning management. There was active interest in the availability of third-party resources to help firms develop team skills.

Please do see the full article for more detail, including results of an event survey. And do offer up any comments. If this is a hit, perhaps will invite more active dialogue…