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Showing posts with the label Careers

Improving Firm Morale

Returning to the office can improve collaboration, productivity, and work/life balance.  However, many lawyers have delayed returning  due to f amily  situations,  health issues, or personal preferences.  Law firms can accelerating the return by allowing flexibility and promoting  health and well-being . Following are additional tips and resources for lure lawyers back to offices. Communication . K eep  lawyers connected  and inform ed  about office planning using conferencing, emails, and memos.      Environment . Improve  working conditions by  reconfiguring workspaces, add ing   touchless options ,  and modernizing  d├ęcor .  Create a welcoming e nvironment that makes people feel comfortable and relaxed.      Flexibility .  Allow  lawyers and staff to work remotely  for  a few days  per  week.  Give lawyers and staff the ability to  select  days in the office  and reserve  workspace .      Fun .  Encourage  camaraderie with weekly lunches, monthly social events,  firm newsletters,  a

Growing Firms Faster

The Pandemic has caused firms to evaluate their clients, offices, and staffing. Take time to review your firm's situation and adopt strategies for the future. See below for a list of strategies for firm building and resources for implementing them. Checklist Analyze  - use data to assure informed decision making   Assess  - determine and address client needs Automate  - optimize the use of technology Create  - adopt a firm credo and put it into action  Collaborate - encourage teamwork  Compensation - keep compensation competitive Expand  - use alliances, retainers, and unbundling Lead - take  leadership positions in bar, civic, and religious organizations Progress  - stay current on trends in the law and the legal profession Retention - keep lawyers and clients happy to avoid departures  Articles Alternative Billing Future Proofing Law Firms  How Lawyers Can Stay Competitive Retainers for Steady Income Subscription-Based Legal Services Unbundling Legal Services Books Being a Bett

Lawyering with Dementia

Mental sharpness can decline with age and sometimes be a sign of dementia. C onsult the following resources if you notice a colleague in mental decline or to prepare for the possibility that you might lose mental acuity before you retire.   Articles Detecting and Preventing Dementia Knowing When to Quit Law Firm Succession Planning: A Guide Lawyering with Dementia Raising Awareness of Alzheimer's Impairment in the Law Preparing for Mental Decline Reducing the Risk of Dementia Wellness Guide for Senior Lawyers and Their Families, Friends, and Colleagues Books Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned Planning Ahead Guide Senior Lawyer Guidebook The Lawyer's Retirement Planning Guide Checklists Actions After an Alzheimer's Diagnosis Closing a Law Practice Law Practice Audit Warning Signs of Dementia Websites Lawyer Assistance Programs Succession Planning Alzheimer's Resources

Motivating Staff

Motivated staff are happier and produce better results. Motivate by recognizing individuals and rewarding them for their achievements. Engender a team spirit by scheduling skills training and team building events. Read the articles and books listed below to learn motivational tips.   Articles Carrot and Stick Motivation Effective Ways to Motivate Getting People Back to the Office Inspiring Employees Post-Pandemic Perks Motivating Lawyers and Legal Assistants Self-Motivating for Solos Showing Employees You Appreciate Them Talent Development Books Showing Gratitude in the Workplace Winning Friends and Influencing People

Benefiting From Community Service

Volunteering helps lawyers to stay connected and make new contacts. Volunteers improve their sense of well-being, enhance their reputation, and attract clients to their firms. Start volunteering by visiting the ABA Directory of Volunteer Activities  and the ABA Pro Bono Website . See the articles listed below for volunteering tips and visit law Firm websites for examples of lawyers serving their communities.  Articles Benefiting from Community Service Branding Yourself with Community Service Building Your Community Presence Giving Back to Your Community Helping Associates Do Pro Bono Marketing Power of Community Service Senior Lawyers Serving Pro Bono Supporting Your Community Young Lawyer Involvement Working on Political Campaigns Law Firm Websites Kean Miller (Baton Rouge) William Berenson (Ft. Worth) Kang Haggerty (Philadelphia) Chris Early  (Boston) Breakstone White & Gluck (Boston) John Day (Nashville) Chepenik Trushin (Miami)

Improving Speaking Skills

Speaking can attract clients, build reputations, and win cases. Remember to speak with enthusiasm, project your voice, and vary your pace, pitch and volume, and use the power of the pause. For more tips, read articles about public speaking ,  speaking style , speeches that attract clients ,  talking tips , and using your voice effectively . For in-depth study, read books for lawyers about  Being Articulate ,  Presentation Skills ,   Storytelling Techniques ,  and  Speaking Outside the Courtroom . Visit article archives maintained by the  National Speakers Association , the Public Speaking Project , and Toastmasters . .   

Dressing for Success

Remote working has changed fashion from   casual to leisure .  This trend may reverse with the return to courthouses, conference rooms, and offices. To dress for success, update  firm dress codes, keep backup clothing at the office, use a distinctive style, and check for fit. For more tips, read the articles below about dressing professionally , updating dress codes, and fashion trends.  Clothing Business Casual Rules (with Photos) , GQ, Mar 15, 2019 Dressing for the Courtroom , ABA Journal, Jan 16, 2020 Female Fashion Trends for the Office , Town & Country, Jan 4, 2022 Going Back to the Office , Rolling Stone, Apr. 12, 2022 How Women Lawyers Should Dress , ISBA, Apr. 12, 2015 Looking Good on Zoom , Attorney at Work, Sept 23, 2020 Men's Look for Business Casual , WSJ, Feb 8, 2022 Tips for Lawyers , Law Firm Suites, Feb, 23, 2016 What to Wear as a Lawyer , Gentlemen's Gazette, Nov 23, 2017 Codes Abandoning Dress Codes,  Atlantic Magazine, May 2020 History of Dress Codes , Fo

Moonlighting for Lawyers

Moonlighting helps lawyers advance careers, supplement income, and expand networks. It makes lawyers empowered, energetic, and productive at their jobs. Their firms benefit because moonlighters develop skills and meet prospects. Popular options include lecturing at CLE events, mediating disputes, writing books, teaching at colleges, and temporary judicial appointments. Learn more about professional activities  by reading articles about ethical considerations , law firm policies ,  moonlighting alternatives , non-legal jobs , part-time practice ,  pros and cons , and side projects . For in-depth study, read career books like the ABA's Guide to Building a Successful Law Career , NALP's Guide to Legal Specialties , and Thompson's Career Management Handbook .  

Improving Reviews

Build your reputation with client reviews at Google, Facebook, Yelp and other review sites. And improve your image with peer reviews from Justia, Martindale, and other rating organizations.  Request reviews after a positive in-person consultation or a favorable settlement. Respond to negative reviews and request removal of fake and unjustified reviews. Include links to reviews and ratings on business cards, stationery and firm websites. Respond to comments whether positive or negative. Periodically check your ratings, reviews, and online reputation.  See below for links to articles about ratings, reviews, and examples at law firm websites.   Articles Clients - keeping clients happy , better client experience , giving clients what they want Managing Reviews - action plan ,  improving reputations ,  optimizing reviews , reputation management ,   responding to reviews Review Sites  -   Facebook ,   Google ,  Yelp , and  other lawyer review sites Rating Organizations  - Justia ,  Martind

Strategies for Successful Law Firms

Listed below are success strategies from the ABA's 75-page  Report on Practicing Law in the Pandemic and Moving Forward . The Report contains results and recommendations from a nationwide survey of the legal profession.  Strategies for Law Firm Success Communication  - use frequent, transparent, and empathetic communication. Compensation  - assess the effectiveness and fairness of compensation systems. Diversity - promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Families  - provide support for lawyers and staff with families. Hours - set reasonable expectations for billable hours. Policies - adopt policies to promote uniformity and implement change. Remote Work - provide administrative and technical support for remote workers. Well-Being  - adopt programs that promote work-life balance and physical and mental well-being. Work Schedules  - allow part-time and flex-time.

Helping Remote Workers

Working remotely can isolate, harm mental health, and reduce productivity. You can help remote workers by keeping them in the loop with weekly team meetings and monthly firm events.  Encourage remote workers to come into the office for several days each week and make them feel welcome with lockers and systems for reserving workspace. For more remote working tips, see a Checklist for Helping Remote Employees and read articles about adjusting to the new normal ,  avoiding loneliness , building a remote culture ,  engaging remote workers , making hybrid work better ,  managing remote staff , preventing burnout , social isolation , soothing burnout , summer remotes , and  tips remoting tips . For further study, read FM's guide to  permanently switching to a remote workforce  and the ABA's book about Lawyer Well-Being . Also visit well-being websites created by the ABA  and the Institute for Lawyer Well-Being . 

Mentoring Lawyers

Mentoring enables experienced lawyers to give back to the legal profession by helping new lawyers build their confidence and skills. Mentoring is usually voluntary, but it is mandatory in a few states like Georgia and Oregon. Mentoring provides a large benefit with a small amount of effort. Mentors can create a formal program at their firm or go outside their organization to seek or become a mentor. New lawyers can find mentors by asking bar associates  or partners at their firm or using social networks to contact professors or bar leaders.  Learn more by using the resources listed below.   Articles Associating with Associates Bar Sponsored Mentoring Programs   Being Proactive ,  Benefits of Mentoring Building Relationships Creating Programs Finding a Mentor Giving Feedback ,  Mandatory Mentorships   Mentoring Tips   Reverse Mentoring Senior Lawyers As Mentors Talent Management Why Mentoring Some Programs Fail Books 60 Minute Mentoring Business Etiquette Crumudgeon's Guide to Pract

Embracing Change

Law, technology, and the legal profession are in a constant state of change. Master change by adopting new technologies, distinguishing yourself from other lawyers, and keeping informed on developments in the news and the law. Read articles  about adapting to a changing world ,  being a change agent , change in the legal profession ,  digitally transforming yourself , embracing change , future proofing firms ,  providing value to society ,  re-engineering the legal profession , staying informed , and  trends in law practice .

Lessons from Mark Twain

Mark Twain learned about law from his father who was a Justice of the Peace. Twain's writings have several lessons for lawyers, including learning from mistakes, listening to your opponent, and pausing during presentations. Get inspired by reading Twain's  biography , his  tips for lawyers , and his  lessons for life . For deeper learning, read his  books and an anthology of his  humorous observations about life and lawyers . Get inspired by watching Hal Holbrook perform in Mark Twain Tonight.

Advancing Careers

Legal careers are a journey that starts with law school and ends at retirement. Stops along the way include new jobs and firms, practice specializations, career pivots, and partnerships. To assure career success, read articles about career strategies ,  creating a checklist , doing a makeover , getting a mentor , specializing ,  and professional development.  For in-depth study,  read career books  like the ABA's Guide to Building a Successful Law Career , NALP's Guides to Legal Specialties and  Managing Careers , and Thomson's Career Management Handbook . F or more information,  visit  career blogs  and  websites  like the ABA Career Center . 

Managing Reputations

Clients, lawyers, and jurists use the Internet to evaluate your reputation for ethics, knowledge, and trustworthiness. In January 2021 the ABA released ethical guidance about responding to online criticism. Manage your reputation by monitoring references to your name on the Internet to correct errors and supplement information.  Use AAW's Checklist for Reputation Management  and DBI's Digital Branding Checklist .  Read articles about building your reputation ,  editing your Google profile , ethical concerns ,  handling fallout from bad reviews , improving your reputation ,  managing directory listings ,  protecting your firm's reputation , and  responding to negative reviews .