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MORE PROFIT

The art of delegating to increase firm revenues

By Elizabeth Miller Law firms are unique in that unlike most other businesses which sell a product, lawyers sell time. Their time is, for a better description, “their stock in trade”. Based on this concept, to be profitable and generate sufficient revenues to carry the firm, lawyers should be spending their valuable time doing client billable work. The exception to this are contingency cases and hybrid cases which consist of a part contingency/part billable hour retainer agreement. Contingency cases, however, have to be profitable for a law firm also. With this in mind, the key to profitability and work product efficiency in a law firm is to assign legal tasks to the lowest paid but most qualified person to complete a task. When partners spend their time doing work that… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Workplaces slow to get well from COVID-19 damage

By Lynne Curry You’ve heard that “long-haulers,” individuals with long COVID, suffer persistent COVID-19 symptoms that erode their quality of life. Anyone scanning the workplace soon realizes that some employers suffer from “long COVID”. A few refuse employers treatment, expecting to get well on their own. Three symptoms signal an employer suffers “long COVID”. Difficult to fill vacancies and continual turnover Job openings outnumber available workers by 5.46 million. So many potential employees have left the labor market to become self-employed, or gig and contract workers, that employers with vacancies continue to fight talent wars. Desperate to fill their positions, long hauler employers hire hastily, hoping the “best of the worst” will work out. Some new hires don’t last a day. Others leave without notice within their first four months,… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

4 day workweek: Is it in your future?

By Lynne Curry If you’re an employee, you’re immediately interested. If you’re an employer, you’re doubtful—yet you keep hearing about this new strategy that might make a significant difference in your company’s ability to survive and thrive. It’s the four-day workweek, though not the compressed 4/10’s workweek that oil patch and similar companies used. Employers adopting this four-day workweek ask each employee to work 8.5 hours four days a week, providing them full salaries for 34 rather than 40 hours weekly. Forty U.S. and Canadian employers are trying out this strategy in a pilot program run by 4 Day Week Global.1 Another 32 U.S. employers have adopted it.2 The concept asks employees to maintain 100% productivity for 100% of their pay while working only 80% of the time. It requires employees… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

The art of subtle self-promotion

By Julie Perrine As an administrative professional, you’re used to working behind the scenes. Your job is to make your executive look good in the spotlight, not to shine it on yourself. You may even feel more comfortable behind the curtain than on stage. And that’s OK…most of the time. However, to keep your career moving forward, you need to practice some self-promotion, too. There’s a big difference between bragging and subtle self-promotion. Bragging is implying that you’re somehow better than others. You brag to stoke your own ego. For instance, “I was just promoted to team lead and got a big raise because I’m the best admin ever!” Self-promotion is stating a fact. For example, “After five years with my practice, I finally got the promotion I’ve been working… . . . read more

HIRING

Gen Z: Avoid crucial mistakes when managing them

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re hiring a group of young office interns this summer for a special project and are trying to figure out the best team member to supervise them. We’re thinking someone as close in age to them as possible. Your thoughts? Answer: You’re hiring Gen Z workers, individuals born after 1995. The oldest Gen Z workers are 27, and while similar to Gen Y employees are as different from Gen Y workers as Gen Y employees are from Gen Xers. It surprises many that Gen X managers fare worse when managing Gen Y employees than do Baby Boomer managers, those born prior to 1964. Thus, don’t let age be your deciding factor. Gen Zers crave independence and consider themselves self-directed, even if they aren’t. It’s easy to… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Changed jobs: What have I done?

By Lynne Curry You expect to feel angry when fired from a job you enjoy. You expect to feel scared when laid off from a job at which you felt secure. You don’t expect to feel rotten one week after you intentionally make a career move from a job you’ve outgrown to one that promises to be challenging and rewarding. So why are you so rattled during your first week on this new job? Sudden job change takes you from a job and practice in which you know who’s who and what’s what and throws you into situations you need to navigate without a clear road map. Before you have the chance to learn your new employer’s unwritten rules, including whom to trust and who might take things the wrong… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 ways to cut costs with a greener office

By Daryll Esposito The well-being of our planet is a universal concern, but it’s not always front-of-mind when we’re busy at work. The good news is that making greener choices at the office is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your budget too. With Earth Day this week on April 22, it’s time to look at some environmentally friendly improvements. Some common repurposing and recycling advice is not appropriate for a law office, where confidentiality requires paper to be properly shredded for safe disposal.  On the other hand, the move to electronic documents greatly reduces paper use. 7 simple, sustainable and cost-saving steps that any office can take: Turn off electronics at night. You don’t pay your employees while they aren’t working, so why pay for off-duty equipment?… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Own your piece of the action

By Lynne Curry “It wasn’t my fault. I blew up because I had the worst day.” “Anyone would have reacted the way I did.” When you lose your temper, shut down, or behave badly in other ways, you may feel tempted to rationalize your behavior. It can feel right to pin responsibility for your reactions on the other person or to attribute them to the situation. When you do, you hide from the truth. You said what you said. You did what you did. You own responsibility for what you say, how you feel and the actions you take. When you admit how you contribute to problems, you win. Owning = winning Consider the difference: “I did it” versus “you made me do it.” “I don’t like sarcasm” versus “you’re too sarcastic.” “I was… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Keep your firm’s goals current

We traditionally set our firm’s goals for the beginning of the year, but setting targets on a quarterly or on-going basis keeps these goals current and relevant. Goals provide crucial support in guiding year decisions through this year and the years ahead. Goals mean that instead of reacting to whatever happens, you’re proactively driving your firm to where you want to go. So, what should you keep in mind when setting your law firm’s business goals for the rest of 2022 and beyond? Here’s advice from Cosmolex, cloud-based law practice management software that integrates trust & business accounting, time tracking, billing, email & document management, and tasks & calendaring, in a single application: Start with metrics for the big picture To know where you want to go, you first need to… . . . read more

WORKING WITH LAWYERS

4 components of effective succession planning

By Brenda Barnes Woody Allen’s famous quip, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying,” perfectly expresses the kind of wishful thinking that often gets in the way of preparing for the future. A huge wave of baby boomers has been pushing through the workforce and is now at retirement age or within sight of retirement. According to the recent U.S. census, over 65% will work past the age of retirement. Many companies put off succession planning until their owners are nearly into their 60s. In some cases, this is already too late—planning for a smooth transition of both the leadership and ownership of a business ought to begin 10 years or more before the retirement of an owner in order… . . . read more


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