Norton Rose Fulbright transform associate career development and lawyer training benefitting retention and DEI strategies

The current economic circumstances have heralded a cultural change for law firms. Lateral hires are a new norm and carry a heavy cost for firms. Legal clients are demanding more transparency and a greater focus on staffing matters with the right skilled, right cost resource – with an additional demand for better Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across their matters.  

Norton Rose Fulbright are leading the charge in transforming their matter staffing and associate development opportunities through a co-developed initiative underpinned by BigHand’s Legal Resource Management platform.  

They are using the platform to quantify and monitor current & future capacity and predicted activity levels by team and location supporting effective resourcing on its clients’ matters. Additionally, it has also taken an innovative approach with the tool utilizing a feature to create an ‘Opportunities Board’.  

 The board supports NRF’s lawyers’ and trainees’ career development and aspirations with a particular focus on ‘Enrichment activities’ including Pro-bono, DEI and CSR work and cycles of experience such as secondment opportunities. 

Sam Larkins, Head of Resource Management (EMEA), Norton Rose Fulbright, explains: “Investment in career development directly correlates with positive business outcomes, including enhanced employee experience and engagement, increased retention, attracting top talent and driving high performance. Feedback gathered in June 2022, from internal and external sources, indicated that this was a specific area of interest, particularly around providing transparency of opportunities and providing purposeful work. We wanted to be at the forefront within the legal, and indeed the broader professional services industry, in offering this to our employees.” 

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is proving hugely valuable for staff morale and retention because our fee earners feel that their voices and their values are being heard. “Adds Stephanie Coffer, Resource Advisor (EMEA), Norton Rose Fulbright, who co-managed the initiative.  

 Sam concludes, “Through this innovative project, lawyers and trainees now have the transparency and visibility of opportunities relating to enrichment and cycles of experience and can access these opportunities to develop their career at Norton Rose Fulbright.” 

For a more detailed look on how Norton Rose Fulbright are providing exceptional people development, as well as driving a digital transformation, read the full case study here