3 Ways to Retain Your Best Attorneys Without Paying Them More

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Jessica is a rock star at your firm. She does impeccable work, wins cases and is a joy to work with. The only issue with having a rock star on your roster is not only do you know she’s special, but other firms and companies know it too. Competitors can always entice her with more money, but simply giving her a raise isn’t always the answer. Here are three ways you can get Jessica to stick with you without paying her more.

Give Freedom

Since Jessica is already a high achiever, you don’t have to watch her every move like you would someone who isn’t performing that well. Micromanaging your best employees is a surefire way to send them running into the waiting arms of a competitor. Jessica doesn’t want you breathing down her neck, she wants the freedom and the autonomy to work as she pleases.

Examples of how to give Jessica more freedom:

  • Allow Jessica flexibility with how often she physically comes into the office

  • Don’t place a cap on how much vacation time Jessica can take (since she values doing a great job, she won’t abuse the privilege)

  • Minimize your direct involvement in how she completes her assignments, yet measure her effectiveness.

Give Recognition

You told Jessica at her last performance review that she was doing a great job so that’s good enough, right?


Only telling your great employees how great they are once a year isn’t going to cut it. They need to frequently be affirmed that you are pleased with their performance.

If Jessica knows without a shadow of a doubt that you think she’s awesome and you continuously praise her for it, she’ll want to work even harder to make sure she continues to earn your praise.

Examples of how to give Jessica more recognition:

  • Verbally praise Jessica’s specific accomplishments not only to her directly, but in front of others

  • Offer her extra-time off for a job well-done

  • Acknowledge Jessica’s efforts in the firm newsletter, website and social media pages

Invest in Growth

Most attorneys will stick with a firm that invests in their professional development and gives them opportunities to grow as an attorney.

Jessica is no exception.

If you show her that you care about her being a well-rounded attorney, she will reward you with her loyalty.

Examples of how to invest in Jessica’s growth:

  • Register her to attend conferences to network and hone her skills

  • Pair her with a mentor that can give her special one-on-one attention to help her achieve her professional goals

  • If there’s an area that she could improve in (ex. presentation skills), have an expert come in to work with her