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For the most part, new associates are excited about starting jobs at law firms.
After all, they are going to make real lawyer money. And they can't wait to get into the courtroom or the boardroom.
But then reality sets in, and we're not talking about the discovery doldrums. Here's how to make them really feel welcome:
Be a Mentor
New associates need more than a handshake and a pat on the back to start. They need mentors.
If partners keep their doors open, associates will come. If the new hires shy away, welcome them in. It's an opportunity to develop and keep new talent.
Give Them a Voice
Include new hires in team meetings, where they can participate. It helps them to feel more a part of the whole, so long as everybody has a voice.
"Research shows that a key characteristic of high-performing teams is that each team member has an equal chance to participate rather than allowing one or two word-hogs to hijack the meeting," writes Savina Nawaz for the Harvard Business Review.
Start a Training Program
Don't dump a load of boring tasks on new associates. Give them something to look forward to -- like a partnership track.
Start a training program with a focus on developing skills and long-term retention. Nobody feels welcome after working on discovery responses for years.