New tool to help small firms grow

The Law Council of Australia has launched a checklist designed to help small legal workplaces and sole practitioners recruit and retain new staff.

“This checklist is designed to help legal firms understand the steps involved in recruiting and, more importantly, where to seek assistance and information if needed,” Law Council of Australia President Tass Liveris said.

“We know employing new staff can be particularly difficult for small businesses because they may not have a dedicated human resources expert. The prospect of hiring and onboarding a new staff member can seem overwhelming.

“The objective of this checklist is to demystify the process and encourage firms to expand their practices.

“It covers the range of matters firms should consider when hiring a new solicitor, including clarifying the role to be filled, pay rates, employment arrangements, induction, workplace health and safety, and ongoing professional development.

“While the checklist is designed to support all small firms and sole practitioners, we believe it will be particularly welcomed by rural, regional and remote (RRR) practices.”


In 2021, the Law Council and its RRR Committee conducted a gap analysis of available tools and resources to identify key priority areas for the development of guidance materials, and the checklist was developed in response to its findings.

“With the guidance of our RRR Committee, the Law Council identified a significant gap that is impacting RRR firms and limiting their capacity to get out and look for more staff,” Mr Liveris said.

“Increasing RRR recruitment and retention is a very serious issue as our rural, regional and remote communities are currently underserviced and this can critically limit their access to justice. About 29% of the population live outside major cities. Yet data suggests just 10.5% of solicitors are practising in a country or rural area.”

Access the Small Business Employer’s Checklist.

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