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DATA SECURITY

Are you following these 8 steps for law office cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a critical issue for your law office, as you handle sensitive and confidential information on a daily basis. This includes client data, legal documents, and financial records. A breach of this information could have serious consequences, including financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal liability. How does your office stack up against these eight basic recommendations for law office cybersecurity? Network security: Law offices should have secure networks that are protected by firewalls and regularly updated with the latest security patches. They should also have a virtual private network (VPN) in place to encrypt internet traffic and protect it from being intercepted by hackers. Device security: All devices connected to the network, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, should have strong passwords and be equipped with up-to-date antivirus software…. . . . read more

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Staff continuing education: Must you or should you pay for it?

By Paul Edwards QUESTION: I’m looking to hire a new employee and they asked me about my policy on paying for employee CE. I normally don’t pay for employee CE but it sounds important to this potential new employee. What is the best way to handle this? ANSWER: Many individuals have annual continuing education (CE) requirements they need to meet in order to maintain certain credentials. Meeting that requirement is an obligation on the individual, not on the practice. Of course, you should keep track of whether your employees have the credentials; otherwise it does become a problem for the practice. While you may not be required to help pay for the cost of license renewals or CEs taken specifically for an employee’s license, offering that type of a benefit… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

5 ways to help your staff cope with inflation

By Paul Edwards CEO, CEDR  Solutions Inflation is on everyone’s minds right now, and understandably so. Most Americans are aware that the purchasing power of a dollar is always decreasing to some degree, but rarely does the rise in the cost of living have such a powerful impact on our daily lives or feature so prominently in the public discourse. As you may already know, financial pressure on American consumers reached an all-time high this year. Based on The Consumer Price Index—the best-known indicator of inflation—inflation rose to 8.6 percent in the 12 months ending in May 2022, marking the most extreme spike in that figure in over 40 years. The Impact of Inflation on You and Your Team Employees are justifiably concerned by this sudden and dramatic hike in the cost… . . . read more

TRAINING

5 ways to conduct law firm training without burnout

By Doug Striker I have written often about the importance of creating a learning culture at your law firm. It’s truly the only way for your firm to embrace new technologies and innovative solutions, thus serving your clients better and more efficiently. At the heart of any genuine learning culture is a training program that helps people advance their skills and knowledge. But how do you conduct law firm training without burnout? How do you foster a culture that rewards learning while people can still get their jobs done? It is a tricky balance. I recently read an article titled “5 Ways to Upskill Your Employees Without Causing Burnout” in HR Daily Advisor by Vance Hilderman, founder of aviation company AFuzion. The aviation industry is obviously one that demands continuous… . . . read more

TRAINING

14 tips for improving your training content

You have to make someone responsible for keeping content current. Use titles and not names in your documentation, so you don’t have to update when people leave your firm. Find a quiet time of the year to do an annual review of training content. Be careful with holding onto out-of-date training content. People will find it! Content needs to be accessible from anywhere. You can have fabulous content, but it’s useless if no one is using it. Advertise! If you have an enterprise search tool, why haven’t you indexed your learning content there? People search in different ways. Some look for a search box. Some never see it and look for a menu. It can seem overwhelming, but just pick a pain point and start developing your content! Consider a… . . . read more

TRAINING

Prove tech competency at your law firm

By Doug Striker Clients are increasingly asking law firms to prove tech competency before signing contracts for work. Why? Because they know that good tech skills translate into more efficient production, which translates into more bang for their buck. Simply put: Clients don’t want to pay high hourly rates if the people producing the work don’t know how to, say, format a Word document. That is a very fair expectation. But how do you prove tech competency at your law firm? So much of law work today is in the production process: producing products around legal arguments  —briefs, trial documents, contracts, etc. Therefore, if you can prove that your team efficiently uses the document production tools at their disposal, then you can prove that your billable hours are jam-packed with value. One… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more

COMMENTS WELCOME

Bar exam proposed for 2026 emphasizes lawyering skills

A new bar exam, slated to debut in 2026, will test more skills and fewer subjects than its current incarnation. The legal community is now invited to comment on preliminary outlines of exam content that, once finalized, will guide future test takers, law schools, and exam drafters as the new exam approaches. The bar exam is the test of legal skills and knowledge that most US attorneys must pass prior to licensure. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), which develops bar exam content for 54 US jurisdictions, has published the preliminary Content Scope Outlines for the next generation of the bar exam on its website. The outlines focus on the breadth of material to be covered on the new exam in eight areas of legal knowledge, known as Foundational Concepts… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Florida’s new “Stop Woke” law impacts workplace training

By Mike O’Brien “Stop Woke” Act passes Florida Senate New legislation in Florida (HB 7) prohibits any teaching that could make students feel they bear “personal responsibility” for historic wrongs because of their race, color, sex, or national origin. But the legislation’s reach doesn’t end in schools. In the workplace, employment practices or training programs that cause an individual to feel similarly guilty could be considered an unlawful employment practice, giving rise to legal liability. The Florida Senate voted 24-15 along party lines to approve a measure labeled “Individual Freedom,” and was seen to be in response to Governor DeSantis’ demand for a “Stop WOKE” Act. You can see more here. New guidance from the DOL on FLSA, FMLA, and Visa programs On March 10 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)… . . . read more

TRAINING

Law firm training: Treat the injury, not the pain

By Doug Striker I have a broken foot. I’m 100% positive that it’s broken but initial X-rays showed nothing. So, I am booting for a couple of weeks until I can get another X-ray, which will surely show a stress fracture that was indiscernible in the early days of the injury. So, now I’m taking pain meds to get me through to the real diagnosis. Why am I telling you this? Because it reminds me of how some law firms approach training. Namely: There’s a pain point! Let’s train it away! But they need to figure out the structural/systems problems first. Otherwise, training is like ibuprofen— it will mask the pain, but it won’t make the real issues disappear. They need systematic training for law firms. The Harvard Business Review… . . . read more


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