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Onboarding >Orientation >Onboarding (Probationary period>Review 

Lawyers talk a lot about hiring. But sometimes there’s a disconnect between hiring and what comes next. What comes next is orientation. Let’s take a minute to explore that a little bit.

Orientation is a one-time event that happens in two parts: the first day and the first week. The purpose is to introduce the practical aspects of your firm like where the new employee’s desk is located, their credentials for the firm software and when is lunchtime. 

Onboarding is an ongoing process that helps your employees to understand their job and your law firm. I like to say that onboarding is how you introduce your firm, including its culture and community. 

Imagine this. You meet a new friend who invites you over to their house. She greets you warmly at the door and invites you inside. You ask for a glass of water to which she replies, Mi casa es su casa. The glasses are in the kitchen. 

Well, of course, you know the glasses are in the kitchen, but where? You’re left to rifle through cabinets, feel awkward and wonder if you’re doing the right thing. 

That’s how your new employee feels when you skip onboarding- awkward, confused and a little scared of doing the wrong thing. 

It’s your job to welcome your new hire and show them around your place literally and figuratively. Don’t over-complicate it. Next time, let’s talk about how to get an employee avatar that makes hiring easier, ok?


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

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