With an eye on human capital, more law firms are putting talent management leaders in the C-suite to drive comprehensive growth strategies.
The chief talent officer has become a more common role at large law firms, industry watchers said, as firms of all sizes focus more attention on training and integrating lawyers, increasing diversity and growing through lateral hiring.
"A law firm's most important asset is its people," said Molly Peckman, a consultant who helps firms with their talent management strategies. "They're recognizing it is such an important driver of firm success."
Amanda Brady, who heads Major, Lindsey & Africa's law firm management practice, predicted that the influence and importance of talent executives will only grow.
"Now, on the talent side, there's a recognition that it is not just about benefit plans and hiring secretaries and paralegals or copy staff, that human resources is and should play a big role in the firm's strategy," Brady said.
"There's just an icky—and in some people's view unethical—place if one firm starts directly calling people at another firm," Brady said. "There has to be an intermediary ... it allows them an arm's-length relationship."