How Can Your Law Firm Attract Millennial Clients and Colleagues?
Did you know that there are 92 million Millennials in the US, with an anticipated spending power by the year 2020 of $1.4 trillion? We recently had the chance to pick up these stats, and to learn more about the opportunities with this generation, at the Clio Cloud Conference during Nicole Abboud’s insightful presentation, “Millennials: Understanding Your New Clients and Colleagues for Law Firm Growth.”
Abboud shared that Millennials have different expectations for attorneys than previous generations. To understand what Millennials want, we first need to know a bit more about them.
Who Are Millennials?
The Millennial generation includes people born between 1980 and 2000. According to Abboud, they are diverse, digital natives who see personal and online interactions as interchangeable. In fact, over 85% of Millennials own smartphones, and 39% interact more with their smartphones than with actual people, as reported in “Legal their way: Turning Millennial consumers into new clients,” by Dr. Nika Kabiri.
According to that same report from Dr. Kabiri, more than half of Millennials want to start their own business, and one in five say they eventually plan to quit their day job to do so. Millennials are launching their own businesses at younger ages than previous generations (average age of 27, compared to 35 for Baby Boomers), and Millennial entrepreneurs have launched about twice as many businesses as Boomers.
Millennial Clients: What Do Millennials Want from Their Attorneys?
Abboud shared that because Millennials are digital natives, they expect 24/7 access to their legal matters. Specifically, this means that Millennial clients expect law firms to offer a client portal where they can access their documents and other relevant details or messages.
For Millennials, the billable hour will become the exception, not the rule. As Abboud stated, “They’re willing to hire you, if the fixed fee is right.” Millennials also want to collaborate with their attorneys, and put a high value on customer experience.
How Do Millennials Find Attorneys?
We learned from Abboud’s presentation that 41 percent of Millennials research lawyers online when dealing with legal issues. So what happens when a Millennial Googles you? Ideally, they will find your website and your social media profiles. Keep in mind that they may also find any online reviews about you, so be sure to Google your name and your firm’s name periodically to monitor what’s out there.
Because Millennials live in the digital space, your law firm website needs to be dynamic. You need timely, relevant content to help educate buyers on your expertise and showcase who you are and what it’s like to work with your team.
To stay engaged with Millennial clients, Abboud recommends that your entire firm be tech-enabled. Remember that law is a buyer’s market, and that Millennials will not tolerate being billed for inefficiencies – especially those that could be easily remedied through technology.
Millennial Colleagues: What Do Millennial Attorneys Want in the Workplace?
How can your firm attract the next generation of legal colleagues? According to Abboud, the following areas are the keys to attracting and retaining Millennial talent.
- Offer flexible schedules and opportunities to work from home.
- Consistent and continuous feedback is preferred, rather than annual or bi-annual reviews. Show your team that their voices are being heard.
- Opportunities for growth and development. Offer strong training and ample development programs and opportunities. Verbalize and promote your law firm’s mission and culture.
Remember that Millennials are more than comfortable with technology. They can help your firm identify ways to use technology to reduce time spent on administrative tasks, and move your billable focus to higher-value, higher-margin activities.
As you look at ways to make your practice more attractive to Millennials, consider adopting technology solutions like Doxly that allow team members to collaborate and have a real-time view of a matter’s status. This type of technology supports the Millennial client’s desire to be connected, and allows the Millennial attorney to respond to client inquires any time and anywhere.