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PRODUCTIVITY

3 questions to ask in your daily standup meetings

A daily standup meeting can be a highly effective way to keep your staff motivated and moving on important tasks. This 10-minute meeting, used in a variety of workplaces, provides an opportunity for a quick check-in on the day’s priorities. As the name implies, participants stand up—a posture that discourages long discussion. The meeting is so short no one bothers to find a seat. You should schedule the meeting at the same time and place deal. The start of the shift, after staff arrives and gets settled for work but before the office opens to clients, is one common time to schedule the regular standup meeting. You should also start on time rather than wait for latecomers. You can use the time to review ongoing projects such as filing backlog…. . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

Get a grip on costly office gossip

By Dr. Steve M. Cohen No matter how distracting, office gossip is something that no manager will ever completely eradicate. Like other human foibles, it’s too ingrained in our systems. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it or let it dominate your workplace. Office gossip is increasingly dangerous to many workplaces, including medical offices. It’s not that people do it more or are more prone to harmful dialogue. But with email, text, and social media, the potential for surreptitious and harmful communications is easier than ever. Like “mean girls” (or boys) in junior high school, some people don’t seem to be able to keep themselves from spreading dirt on someone else. The psychological reasons for this are many and too complex for this blog, but it’s not unusual for a… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Speaking truth to power

By Lynne Curry What happens when you imagine marshaling your courage and telling the law practice managing partner or someone else in a position of authority that he’s made the wrong judgment call? Do you fear retaliation or making a problem situation worse? If speaking the truth to power feels as risky as jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, you’re not alone. Courageously confronting authority can entail personal and professional danger. The problem, however, isn’t speaking the truth; it’s how you speak it. You can’t march in with verbal guns blazing, making aggressive “got ya” statements. Instead, you need to earn the right, avoid hit-and-run collisions, act as a partner, provide facts, and prepare to be challenged. Earn the right Who do we allow to tell us what… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

12 MORE marketing secrets of superstar lawyers

By Trey Ryder #13: They provide client service beyond compare. They return phone calls quickly. They work day and night to finish projects. They have backup plans for their backup plans. They err on the side of caution. They hire a bright, responsive support staff. And they always go the extra mile. Whatever it takes, they get the job done. And the superstar’s staff is equally committed to bring the client the best result on time, on budget. #14: They make sure everybody knows they welcome new business. One obstacle successful lawyers face is that other lawyers think they don’t want new clients. As a result, they quit referring cases. When prospecting for new clients, superstar lawyers know it is far better to receive too many inquiries than too few. They make… . . . read more

HIRING

Jobs in law top pre-Great Recession numbers

The U.S. legal services sector now has more total jobs than it had when the count hit its previous high point in 2007 shortly before the Great Recession, according to U.S. Labor Department data as reported by Reuters. The legal sector added 3,000 jobs in June, reaching a total of 1,185,600, the preliminary seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed. This exceeds the historic high of 1,179,500 jobs the sector reached in May 2007, according to BLS data. The legal services job count includes lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals. BLS legal sector jobs data is available stretching back to 1990. Newly revised data for May 2022 also shows the sector cracked its previous 2007 record that month, with a total of 1,182,600 legal sector jobs. The May 2022… . . . read more

TOOL

Love contracts: Help for hot messes

They arrive at work separately. They never touch each other in your presence. Then, as you chair a meeting, you see his gray eyes seek hers out across the conference table. She returns his gaze; her eyes linger. Suddenly you know. The senior manager, despite all the sexual harassment seminars he’s attended, appears romantically intertwined with an accounting clerk. If you’re in charge, how do you handle this hot mess?  The reality Some managers and supervisors would never have an affair with an employee they oversee or an employee in their company. Others consider the workplace a dating pond in which they fish. Still others fall into a relationship that makes them disregard risks. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, one in three U.S…. . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

5 ways to help your team members overcome burnout

The last couple of years have been rough on everyone in the workplace, including law offices. Many suffered burnout early in the pandemic; others held it all together until now when they are  quietly falling apart. Chances are someone on your team has had enough of the pressures from work, family, finances, the public health emergency and other turmoil in society. As a manager, you want to help. Here are four ideas to get you started: Help organize and prioritize work into manageable and clear expectations. These changes can help rebuild energy over time and aid in recovery. Develop a practical strategy to support an employee who may be experiencing burnout. As part of any plan, ask the employee how best to recognize their successes and victories. This could include immediate and… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Public service attorney pay grows but still below private sector

According to new research from NALP, salaries for public service attorneys have risen since 2018, particularly for attorneys working in civil legal services and public interest organizations. The results from the NALP/PSJD 2022 Public Service Attorney Salary Survey show that the median entry-level salaries for civil legal services and public interest organizations increased by $9,500 and $12,700, respectively, since the last survey was conducted in 2018. As shown in Table 1 below, that compares to increases of about $1,000 per year over the 2004-2018 period, although that growth was sometimes stagnant in the period from 2008-2014, depending on the kind of organization. Increases in median public defender salaries were more modest, with entry-level salaries only growing by $1,400 since 2018. However, the most experienced public defenders with 11 or more years of experience… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Use all four stages of effective communication

By Doug Thorpe Managers face a constant struggle to improve communication within their work teams. Besides being able to accurately articulate any technical aspects about the work (every industry has its key phrases, terms, and buzz words), business leaders have to be ever-mindful of some very basic principles of effective communication. We usually think about communication as a two part/two person transaction. You speak, I speak, we hear and we act. This is the way most adults perceive the process of communication. When we need to talk to our teams, we usually just think about crafting a message as though it is being addressed to one person. I submit to you that there are really four stages of communication. Being an effective communicator requires a laser focus to ensure the parts… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

7 dining rules every manager should follow

By Cheryl Toth You know this guy. He’s the loudest talker at the table. He waves his fork around when he tells a story or joke. Or occasionally punctuates the air with it to indicate he has shared something very important. Don’t be this guy. Whether you are having lunch with your team, dinner with the partners, or you’re attending the annual gala, good table manners demonstrate decorum. They are an opportunity to show yourself as presentable, professional and polite; the kind of person who gets invited to the next lunch, dinner, or gala. Here are 7 essential table rules every manager should know. Place your napkin in your lap when you sit down. This is manners 101. If you’ve made it this far in life without knowing that, well,… . . . read more


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