How to effectively onboard your new graduate lawyers

How to effectively onboard your new graduate lawyers

The end of the academic year can be an exciting time. Fresh graduates are making their way out of university and are ready to dive into the world of work. Graduate lawyers have faced and overcome many challenges during their law studies, and now they’re ready for all the new challenges working as a trainee lawyer has to throw at them.

Among these graduates, you’ve found a fresh batch of talent to take under your wing and mould into future lawyers. And you don’t want to mess this up. Effectively onboarding and training your new graduate hires could shape the future of your law firm, so how can you do it right?

Make it personalised

Sure, you’ve got certain boxes that need to be ticked when onboarding a new employee, but having HR take them through a regimented onboarding process will make them feel like they’re just another brick in the wall. Make the process personalised for your new hires so as to make them feel comfortable and valued within the organisation. This could be done by tailoring their first day or week on the job to their particular strengths and weaknesses, for example.

Offering the right balance

Graduate lawyers will be excited to get on board and start taking on responsibilities and completing new tasks. But, at the same time, they don’t want to be thrown in at the deep end without any help. While they’ve learned all about legal practices from their studies, that doesn’t mean they’re fully prepared for a full-time, fast-paced working environment. Give new graduates plenty of on-the-job training and support in their early days so it’s not just a case of sink or swim.

Provide them with a mentor

New graduate employees will likely have a lot of questions about how the firm works and daily tasks, and they don’t necessarily want to approach their senior leaders with these questions for fear of looking stupid. Assigning new lawyers with a peer mentor is a good way for them to air any concerns or questions they may have with someone they feel more comfortable approaching.

You could use last year’s graduate lawyers as peer mentors. These will likely be a similar age to your new hires and have recently been in the same position as them, so they know what kinds of problems the new hires are likely to face and how to overcome them.

Make them feel welcome

Graduates have come from a very social setting, and this should continue in the workplace. It can be intimidating coming into a new workplace and being surrounded by superiors, so make an effort to make your new hires feel comfortable. You want them to be able to speak up if they have an idea or a problem. Forming relationships in the workplace is vital for reducing turnover, so be sure to encourage your new hires to socialise with current employees.

You’re investing a lot into recruiting and training these new graduate lawyers, so you want them to stick around for years to come rather than taking their newly acquired skills and experience elsewhere. Following these tips for successfully graduate lawyers will help you to reap the rewards from your newly qualified lawyers.