Lawyers need help to run a law practice, but nobody loves hiring. It’s a vomit-inducing horror ride that puts your stomach in knots. Did you pick the right person?

Is the person you just hired a drunk, sexually provocative, lazy, ask for raise the first week or worse? Will they stay a day, a week, 3 months or never show up for work?

These may sound like exaggerations, but I assure you, I am quoting from real-life situations that lawyers I know have had to deal with while hiring. It can get ugly.

Most lawyers are so overjoyed to find someone in this tight market that they forget about the next step, the really important step, onboarding.

Don’t skip the onboarding

What is onboarding? Onboarding is the process by which you introduce your new hire to your law firm culture and integrate her/him into your community. And, yes, you do have a culture, even if you never thought much about it. That means you have a default culture.

Orientation and onboarding are used synonymously but there have different purposes. Orientation is a one-time event that informs your new hire of the practical and administrative information he or she needs to function in your office. Like, where to park their car; where the bathroom is; the what passcode to use for client printing.

The first day is still a big deal

Do you remember the summer before going to middle school. You wondered what it would be like to make the big leap from elementary to JUNIOR high school.

You worried about what to wear the first day. Casual or a little dressy to make a good impression on teachers?

You didn’t know how to get lunch in the cafeteria. Where is everything? What are the rules? Where should I sit?

No doubt, you had some sleepless nights before the big day, right? And when it finally arrived you felt a tremendous rush of excitement and nervousness tinged by a tiny bit of panic. What if you got it wrong?

That, my friend, is what the first day of work is like for your new hire.

We crave to be acknowledged, seen and to belong, no matter how old we get. Goes right back to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.

5 Good Reasons to have a Great Orientation and Onboarding Program

Onboarding helps you keep that amazing new hire you worked so hard to get. 33% of new hires quit within the first six months, which is known as a quick quit in human resources speak.

Quick quits are very expensive. You lose all the time, money and energy you invested in the hiring process, then you have to start again. I’ve known people who had 3 or 4 bad experiences and just decided not to hire anyone else ever. Maybe, you’ve feel that way, too.

People leave people, not jobs. Fifty percent of employees say they will quit over a bad manager. Quick quits are preventable, however. Your new hire left because he or she didn’t feel:

  • appreciated
  • well- compensated
  • fairly treated
  • cared for
  • safe

By creating a strong orientation plan and onboarding program you will eliminate most if not all of those issues. You also protect your investment. (It costs about $4000 to hire a new employee.)

  1. Your new hire stays longer! Did you know that 69% of new hires stay up to 3 years when they have a great onboarding experience?
  2. Your new hire gets up to speed 25% faster! They can get right to work instead of deferring to your current staff.
  3. Your new hire performs better! A good onboarding program leads to 50% more productivity.
  4. Your new hire might cost you less! 54% of new hires said that they would take a lower salary to work with a great boss. (Time to work on those emotional intelligence skills, right?)
  5. Your new hire fits the way you work!

Onboarding properly, and by that I mean in a meaningful, fun way, positively impacts productivity, engagement, communication and your bottom line. It’s worth investing the time to develop a thoughtful orientation plan and onboarding program.

If you’re ready to get started, then join us and get it done in a few hours instead of a few weeks.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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