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HIRING

Black lawyers and students drive diversity for associates but partnerships lag

Diversity continues to rise at US law firms, with greater gains at the associate level than the partnership level. NALP has released its annual Report on Diversity at U.S. Law Firms. The report, based on information from the 2022-2023 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE), shows that overall gains continued to be made in the representation of women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals in the associate and summer associate ranks at major U.S. law firms in 2022 as compared to 2021. Of particular note, the percentage of Black associates grew by nearly 0.6 percentage points to 5.77%, and the percentage of Black summer associates increased by 0.7 percentage points to 11.85%. While improvements were also made at the partnership level in 2022, progress continues to lag far behind that of associates and summer… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

What does FMLA require of a law office employer?

One of the employment laws that affect how you manage your staff is the The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain qualifying reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, the care of a family member with a serious health condition, and the employee’s own serious health condition. In terms of what this means for a law office employer, you are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for the reasons outlined above, without fear of retaliation or job loss. The employer would also be required to maintain the employee’s health benefits during… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Are you considering a pet-friendly office?

The working world is accustomed to seeing everyone’s pets on video meetings. And some physical offices also allow pets on the premises. Pets in the office workplace can be a controversial topic, as they may be seen as either a positive or negative influence on productivity and the work environment. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to pets in the office: Benefits of pets in the office: Increased morale: Pets in the office can help to improve morale and create a more positive and enjoyable work environment. Research has shown that interacting with pets can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Improved productivity: Some studies have suggested that pets in the office can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. For example, having a… . . . read more

SOCIAL MEDIA

‘It was just a joke’: Jokes and social media posts gone wrong

By Lynne Curry Question: During the Christmas holidays, I attended a social event where my wife and I told a series of jokes to and about each other. Several others at our table were equally rowdy, and everyone enjoyed our jokes. While I knew individuals at other tables were watching the fun we were having, I didn’t realize one of them was recording us. The recording made it back to my employer. Even though I attended the event on my own time and the person who recorded my jokes wasn’t employed by our company, my employer fired me, despite my four-year track as a manager. I’ve searched for an attorney but not found one interested in my case. I’ve also looked for work, and found a potential new job. I’ve… . . . read more

HIRING

Prepare and practice for conducting an online job interview

By Robert Half By now, you’ve likely discovered the advantages of conducting a remote interview. It’s convenient for you and the candidate, it’s easier to schedule separate interviews with the hiring committee, it saves you the cost of a candidate’s lunch or travel expenses, and you can conduct more assessments more quickly. Most importantly, and especially in this very challenging labor market,  the remote interview allows you to meet your top candidates and make a hiring decision before many old-school competitors can even finalize arrangements for an on-site meet-and-greet. Still, the remote interview presents a few complications. Details you never had to consider when interviewing at the office—your background, screen presence and technology, for example—must now be part of any well-planned meeting. Otherwise, you risk mishaps that can distract and… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 basic steps for a successful law office move

Law offices are upsizing, downsizing and merging in response to economic ups and downs and other changes in the legal landscape. If your office is going to change its location or shuffle around in its current location this year, you’re wise to start panning now. Moving a law office can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with careful planning and organization, it can be done smoothly and efficiently. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a successful move: Create a moving plan: The first step in moving a law office is to create a detailed moving plan that outlines all of the tasks and responsibilities involved in the move. This should include a timeline for each step of the process, as well as a list of who… . . . read more

HIRING

Dig deeper with these 4 types of interview questions

By Robert Half If you want to identify the best candidate for a job, you have to ask the right questions during the interview. And that takes preparation. You need to evaluate not only the job candidate’s skill sets and experience but also how the interviewee thinks. That requires you to ask the right types of interview questions, with both closed-ended questions and open-ended questions. Other kinds of queries can produce even more nuanced information to help you with your hiring decision. Here are four types of interview questions employers ask, including when to use them— and pitfalls to avoid. 1. Closed-ended interview questions This category of job interview questions calls for simple, informational answers. Often, they can be just a “yes” or “no,” but you should give candidates an opportunity to… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

What does the Americans with Disabilities Act require of your office?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires law offices to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would create an undue burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the services provided. This includes ensuring that the facility is physically accessible to individuals with disabilities, as well as providing appropriate communication accommodations and assistive technology. Specifically, law offices must take the following steps to comply with the ADA: Physical accessibility: Law offices must ensure that their facilities are physically accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes installing ramps or chair lifts for individuals who use wheelchairs or mobility devices, providing designated parking spaces for individuals with disabilities, and ensuring that doorways and hallways are wide enough for individuals… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

7 tips for a safe winter commute

In the best of winters, driving to and from the office can be challenging. This winter continues to be downright dreadful in many parts of the country. Snow, ice, and cold weather can all create hazardous conditions on the road, and it is important to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Here are tips for winter driving safety for you and your staff. Plan ahead: Before you set out on your commute, be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions. If there is a storm or bad weather expected, consider leaving early or finding an alternative mode of transportation. Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before embarking on a winter commute. Check your brakes, tires, and fluid… . . . read more

Characteristics of a modern compensation plan for lawyers

By Brenda A. Barnes and Camille Stell A successful compensation plan should reflect shared goals and values. A successful plan also requires trust among the members of the firm. A winning compensation plan aligns the values of the law firm with relevant, up-to-date market data. Here are additional components of a modern compensation plan. Evergreen Compensation plans must be constantly evolving. What worked 10 years ago is likely not working well today and what works today may not work five years from now. The legal system has faced as much change in the past 10 years as in prior decades. Everything about the system has changed, from the amount of law school debt that the majority of young lawyers have, to the changing face of legal competition. Continually reviewing and… . . . read more


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