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Question: What do law firms want in their new hires? Answer: Business 101!

Posted by Library Blog on 11/04/2011 at 02:16 PM

An April 2009 article in the New York Law Journal contained the results of a survey of practice chairs, hiring partners, and recruiters about what new attorneys most need to know to hit the ground running: Business Skills!

Respondents point out that they aren't expecting new attorneys to understand profit and loss statements or to get involved in the billing and collections arm of the business, but to realize that a law firm is a business: that it lives and dies on fees; that expenses have to be monitored; that their time has to be carefully tracked; that the latter is not some torture system devised for them alone, but part of the necessary running of a law firm.

They want new hires to recognize and respect essential business realities, and realize that in addition to serving clients, it is their job to help contribute to the bottom line. As one respondent explained:

"Every law firm is a business, solo practitioners run a business, even government and public interest law have business aspects to them. So it makes sense to teach business skills, including marketing, management, basic accounting and finance, and how to create a business plan."

To enhance your Business 101, the law library offers a range of resources that you might find helpful!

  • Attorney’s Guide to Business and Finance Fundamentals (2d ed. 2007).  Reserve, KF889 .H36 2007
  • Basic Accounting Principles for Lawyers (2d ed. 2008).  Reserve, KF1357 .B73 2008
  • Basics of Accounting for Lawyers: What Every Practicing Lawyer Needs to Know (2009).  KF1357 .B28 2009
  • Business Basics for Law Students: Essential Concepts and Applications (4th ed. 2006).  KF889 .H238 2006
  • Business Organizations: Unincorporated Businesses and Closely Held Corporations: Essential Terms and Concepts (1996).   KF1366 .H36 1996
  • Specialized dictionaries of business, finance and tax terms (Reference area).

 The article is available on LexisNexis!