Archive for the ‘Student Recruitment’ Category
It seems that law firm practice management advisor David Bilinsky has scooped the New York Times on this story. Recently David posted on his blog about an initiative of some law students in the United States that had set up a blog with a diversity scorecard for law firms. The project, dubbed “Building a Better Legal Profession” uses data provided by the firms themselves. As David so aptly summarized it – “These students are hitting law firms in the numbers.”
Lo and behold, yesterday there was a New York Times article on the project, which, needless to say, is the kind of PR that makes an impact.
Jumping to the Canadian context, there is no question in my mind that law students in this country are – as a cohort – equally supportive of workplace diversity, and that the associate recruiting wars here are scaling up to a level where it is going to be incumbent upon leading Canadian firms to examine their own diversity initiatives in the context of both student and client demand.
A year ago I wrote an article in the Lawyer’s Weekly on diversity issues, and pointed to pressure from the junior ranks as well as from larger corporate clients that are ahead of the firms themselves as being the drivers of change in this arena. At that time, I suggested five actions law firms concerned about this issue might consider for the year ahead. A year later, they still seem relevant and so I will repeat them here:
1. implement commitments to specific diversity goals and create tracking systems to measure progress;
2. prepare an up-to-date diversity statement for inclusion in RFP responses;
3. make diversity an element of your firm’s student and associate recruitment platform;
4. add a diversity profile to your firm’s Martindale listing; and
5. create a diversity section on your firm website.
Earlier this month Skunkworks Creative Group launched a new law student recruiting micro-site for Vancouver law firm Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP that prominently features a multimedia section called BHTV. BHTV features video interviews of several of the firm’s young associates speaking on topics such as the firm culture, their expectations and the reality of work at the firm, as well as a guided office tour.
My personal view is that you can expect to see a great deal more use of both video and audio content on law firm websites in the year(s) ahead. 5 key reasons why:
1. Video makes a law firm’s core offering – it’s people – the centerpiece of the marketing;
2. Video is an excellent tool to help law firms differentiate from their competitors;
3. Video is sticky, meaning that people will stay on your website longer;
4. Video is becoming more prominent both in other professional services and on the Internet generally; and
5. Video is becoming less expensive and easier to produce over time.
Will video replace the written word? (I am reminded at this juncture of the late 70′s new wave song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles) The short answer is no. But will most major law firms have at least some video content on their website within the next five years? My bet is yes, for the reasons already noted.
It’s been a simultaneously hectic and energizing few months at Skunkworks as we have completed a number of major projects, launched ourselves into several more, and most recently, moved from our old Yaletown office into larger premises on Water Street in the nearby Gastown district of Vancouver.
For those not familiar with it, Gastown is one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, and sits at an interesting cross-roads on the edge of the downtown business district. On one side sits the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, disgorging a seemingly endless stream of American tourists on their stop-over before heading up the Inside Pasage to Alaska. On the other side is Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. In the middle, sits Gastown, which at the moment seems to be infused with an almost palpable energy as it re-invents itself for probably the tenth or eleventh time. High tech entrepreneurs, Vancouver Film School students, folks down on their luck, small business owners and artisans seem to all be in the mix. It’s not typical fare for many lawyers, but it sure feels like the right spot for an agency like Skunkworks that straddles both the legal industry and the advertising agency worlds. All of us at the agency are feeling the sense of renewal that a change of environment often brings, and looking forward to settling in for a longer stretch this time in our newly expanded HQ.