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PRODUCTIVITY

Increase your efficiency with these workday PC tips

By Ron Slyker Due to the limited number of hours in a workday, it is critical to maximize your time. If you’re having trouble getting work done due to distracting websites, disorganized files, or cluttered inboxes, use these methods to improve your time management and stay productive at work. Keep an eye on productivity levels. Begin by keeping note of the amount of work you accomplish on an ordinary day. There are numerous useful applications for this. For instance, Google Chrome includes a feature called RescueTime that logs your most frequently visited websites and the amount of time you spend away from your computer. This program will offer you with a productivity score and a complete account of your workday. If you realize that you are squandering a significant chunk of your… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

How to move to a paperless law office

By Willie Peacock  Here’s my story about switching to a paperless law office: The year was 2015. I was riding shotgun on a divorce case, a lengthy and pricey dispute that had been going on for five years and was about to hit trial. We were in a meet-and-confer, trying to settle as much of the ancillary crud as possible so that this wouldn’t evolve into a 10-day trial. We had everything left to settle: from the pricey tools that he took from the garage, to the family business that had been shuttered overnight (with accounts mysteriously transferred to businesses ran by friends of the family). We had brought along boxes of records, just in case we needed to reference financials, and the other side had their own boxes of… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

16 online safety tips for your telecommuters

Some of your staff may have opted to continue to work from home. Here are 16 reminders about online safety practices. While it’s a convenient—and often, necessary—setup, it’s not without its challenges. Working efficiently when you have children, dealing with distractions, and fightung off feelings of isolation when you work remotely are all common issues when you clock in and out of a home office. But there’s another less-talked-about threat a lot of employees don’t consider: cybersecurity. Online safety has become an increasingly important topic in our ever-changing digital world, but people who work from home need to be especially vigilant in taking digital security seriously. Not taking necessary precautions could not only slow down your productivity, it could also have major business ramifications. Our guide explains everything you need… . . . read more

ONBOARDING

9 tips for virtual onboarding of new remote employees

Designate someone who will communicate with the new employee in terms of the expectations of their first day, first month, and beyond. Consider assigning the new employee a mentor or ‘buddy’ in their department who will check in regularly and answer any questions. Consider having a representative from upper management meet the new hire. Showing they are valued in the organization will help new employees feel welcomed and motivated. Ensure consistent communication and updates from company leaders. Digitize your onboarding process. Utilize the tools available to you by amalgamating onboarding documents and welcome packages into organized PDF documents that can be easily shared digitally. Arrange to have a laptop configured and shipped to their home in a timely manner, and coordinate secure sharing of any profile logins or passwords. Avoid setting… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

5 tips to keep your cloud data secure

By Ron Slyker bio The trick to avoiding a cloud data security breach is to pay close attention to your cloud applications and user behavior. While analyzing the software and looking at user behaviors takes time, the benefits of reducing cloud and data security breaches make it worthwhile. Examine user activities It is vital to know not only which apps you use, but also how they use your data. Determine which apps the employees use to share content and whether they have a sharing feature. Knowing who is sharing what and with whom will assist you in deciding the right policies to use. 2. Users should be moved to high-quality apps Cloud-switching is fairly inexpensive, if you find an application that would work better for you, you can always migrate… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

8 ways to cut the chaos on Zoom

By Lynne Curry bio Question: Our department’s weekly Zoom meetings are a train wreck. One coworker’s kids pop their heads in front of the screen and wave “hello.” Another guy’s kids are on the other side of the table from where he sits, and they interrupt him when he’s talking to argue with him. I’m obligated to attend these meetings. Any advice would be appreciated. Answer: Every train needs a conductor; yours appears to be asleep at the wheel. Zoom meetings go off the rails when those who attend forget that while they’re at home, they’re also at work. If you ask every attendee to observe eight guidelines, it might get your meetings back on track. Professionalism: Please demonstrate professionalism as well as comfort in your attire. Use your video… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Post-pandemic period a chance to try flexible staffing strategies

By Lynne Curry bio Question: COVID-19 hit our northern U.S. law practice hard. We cut employees, then salaries, and then we cut again. We lost half of our clients as their fortunes failed; other clients cut their work to the bone. Our revenue is down 70%. Some office staffers left our state when their spouses’ high-paying jobs evaporated. Others took off when COVID-19 combined with our cold, dark winter proved too much. Because these employees had talents we needed, we kept them as “snowbirds”. At first, it didn’t cause trouble. Everyone was working from home, so it didn’t matter where “home” was. Now that we’ve moved back into the office building, our local employees complain about the snowbirds. They feel the fair weather staff get an unfairly sweet deal, as… . . . read more

SURVEY SAYS

Tech, talent search and space reduction drive law firm changes

Change is a fact of life for law firms today, and leadership is fully aware—three in four survey respondents noted their firm’s partners are receptive to change. This need for change centers around two central premises: the need to improve real estate efficiency to stay lean and cost-competitive, and the need to evolve to attract talent and accommodate new ways of working. Despite these initiatives, the majority of respondents to a recent survey by Gensler Research Institute reported that their firm continues to lease more space than is necessary. Larger firms are more likely to have excess space on their books. Recently designed firms are less likely to have excess space, confirming the focus on space reduction in recent years—though even among those whose offices have been redesigned recently, one in… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Zoom court appearance prep: Check for cat filters

Now that a lawyer has appeared as a kitten in a Zoom court hearing, we can add another item to the list of Zoom hearing best practices: Check the webcam for filters before joining the meeting. Last week an attorney accidentally joined a video conference of a civil forfeiture court hearing while using a webcam filter that made him look like a confused white kitten. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton told Judge Roy Ferguson. “I can see that,” replied Ferguson, whose district covers five counties in West Texas, including the town of Marfa from which Ponton was calling. The short video clip, which was shared online by Ferguson, ends with others coaching the attorney on how to remove the cat filter. The judge… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

What problems does AI bring to the legal sector?

By Brittainy Boessel Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is steadily gaining traction in the legal sector, and some practitioners worry about the changes it’s bringing. Many legal professionals fear AI may infringe on their job security by significantly cutting the available jobs. A number of legal professionals raise ethical and legal concerns underlying the use of AI in their work. Still others wonder whether future attorneys will possess the skills needed to take advantage of this technology. This article will discuss a few of the valid concerns regarding the use of legal AI technology and explain why the benefits of AI outweigh the risks. Will AI make lawyers obsolete? When technology performs better than humans at certain tasks, job losses seem inevitable. But the effect may not be as dire as… . . . read more


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