News and Information – Rocket Matter https://www.rocketmatter.com Making the Lives of Lawyers a Whole Lot Easier Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:16:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A legal podcast featuring business, tech, and all things to make law firms more profitable. The 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast is informative, entertaining, and if you find it absolutely horrible, it will be mercifully over soon. Your host is Larry Port, CEO of Rocket Matter, who has worked with thousands of firms to improve their efficiency and bottom line. Rocket Matter, LLC clean Rocket Matter, LLC info@rocketmatter.com info@rocketmatter.com (Rocket Matter, LLC) Making the Lives of Lawyers a Whole Lot Easier News and Information – Rocket Matter http://media.blubrry.com/10_minute_law_firm_podcast/content.blubrry.com/10_minute_law_firm_podcast/10_Minute_Law_Firm_Podcast.jpg https://www.rocketmatter.com 77784083 Being a Mom and a Lawyer: How to Stay Sane, Organized, and Efficient https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/being-a-mom-and-a-lawyer-how-to-stay-sane-organized-and-efficient/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/being-a-mom-and-a-lawyer-how-to-stay-sane-organized-and-efficient/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:45:31 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26094   Having four kids and being an attorney presents a whole host of challenges. One of them is the constant sense that there just isn’t enough time in a day, a week, a month, a lifetime to do everything that needs to be done. The list of things to be done gets longer and longer, […]

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lawyer and mom

 

Having four kids and being an attorney presents a whole host of challenges. One of them is the constant sense that there just isn’t enough time in a day, a week, a month, a lifetime to do everything that needs to be done. The list of things to be done gets longer and longer, by the minute, but the days stay the exact same length. Other times, whole days can go by in a blur, and when I turn around to figure out what I did with all that time, I find that it’s still too little and I’m incredibly exhausted.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this. But where is our time going? Where is our energy going? In her book Overwhelmed, Brigid Schule describes the feeling that a day’s worth of time turns into confetti, shredded into small pieces, scattering all around us, resulting in a mess. Motherhood and the law practice have most definitely made me feel exactly that way about my productivity. However, I’ve taken steps to counter all of that. Here is what has helped me bring a little order to my disorderly life:

Turn of all notifications.
Everything demands your attention, all the time. Online social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), email (Outlook, Gmail), text messages and phone calls – everyone wants a piece of you. Shut. Them. Out. Turn off every notification, including silent ones that would interfere with your focus. Give yourself periods of time every day during which you put up a universal “Do Not Disturb” sign. Even doing this only once a day for 90 minutes creates a pocket of incredible efficiency.

Identify the time-sucking activities and group them.
Returning one call, then switching to email, then writing a letter, then doing some research, then going back to phone calls creates unnecessary inefficiencies. Each day, I group the following activities into slots: 1) Billable time; 2) administrative tasks; 3) phone calls; 4) emails; 5) online networking; and 6) blog writing. It is shocking how much this has helped me feel less overwhelmed and has increased my ability to focus on each category at a time.

Write down tasks in real time and then move on.
While I may fight the urge to think about emails while I’m billing and about childcare tasks while I am on a client call, the reality is that I can’t actually stop it. My solution is old school. I have a notebook with a running list of things that pop into my head. When something comes up, such as, “Schedule pediatrician appointment,” I write it down and get back to what I am doing. This way, when it is time to turn to “Admin” tasks, I have a list of things that need to be handled. I don’t run the risk of “losing” the task, I can stop thinking about it because it’s memorialized, and I can turn to it when it is the right time.

When this list of tasks gets long, I jump on Rocket Matter and attribute the case-related ones to various matters. I am then left with my myriad of personal tasks (the mental load tasks) that stay on my handwritten list until I either assign them or strike them out.

Use a personal assistant for personal tasks.
It sounds nuts, I know. People look at me funny when I talk about this. However, it works. My Zirtual personal assistant handles personal as well as professional matters. If I need a birthday party booked or a pediatrician’s appointment scheduled or after-school activities researched, she does this. When it’s time to get to “Admin” tasks, I sift through her emails, approve, disapprove, or ask questions, and then move on. The trick is to really let go once you hand the task to someone else. Let them do their job so you can go back to yours.

Learn to say “Not now.”
Let’s say you are in the middle of brief-writing or legal research and a call comes in. Don’t take it! Have your receptionist take a message and return the call during “Phone Calls.” Allowing other people to intrude on your time whenever they want to is exhausting and inefficient. It is a disservice to yourself, to your sanity, and to the clients whose work gets interrupted. The same is true about emails. When an email comes in (which you should not know about if your notifications are off), you don’t have to answer it immediately. Rather, mark it and get back to it during “Emails.” Very few people need you to respond to everything immediately. Most things can wait…so let them.

Give yourself time to play.
This is by far the hardest. And television is the worst enemy of real play. It is so easy—so, so easy—to just turn on a show and watch it for the hours after the kids go to sleep and before you pass out. But don’t. If you have available time, do something else. I’ve picked up all sorts of activities. It was hard at first; my brain yearned for that easy stimulation. But it’s like working out: I feel so much better if I do it the right away. I’ve started crocheting, learning Portuguese, learning to play the guitar (I suck), and reading books. Non-legal books! If you can give yourself 30 minutes of play time a day, you will create a space with no interruptions. This too can really make you feel less exhausted and save even more of your time from the “shredder.”

Lawyers lives are incredibly busy. Lawyer moms lives even more so. We don’t only manage our workloads, cases, and businesses. We also manage our families, which are genuinely like enterprises of their own. Between childcare scheduling, activities coordination, homework, meals, downtime, uptime, illnesses, drop off and pick up, our days get crushed, and we get crushed with them. The mental load of handling all of these moving parts is huge. One way to decrease it, without actually reducing what has to be done, is to protect your time, and by doing so your energy and your sanity.

Maria-Vittoria “Giugi” Carminati
Carminati is a trial attorney and litigator, women’s advocate, and founder of Carminati Law PLLC, a distributed law firm. Her practice consists of commercial and business litigation, family law, and mediation. She is licensed in NY, TX, DC and CO. Carminati speaks and writes about gender bias, micro-aggressions and advocacy for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.  Her firm leverages technology to maximize productivity and decrease costs while delivering high-quality legal counseling and representation.

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Wednesday Wisdom: How to Run an Invoice and Receive Online Payments https://www.rocketmatter.com/wednesday-wisdom/wednesday-wisdom-how-to-run-an-invoice-and-receive-online-payments/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/wednesday-wisdom/wednesday-wisdom-how-to-run-an-invoice-and-receive-online-payments/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:17:29 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26563 This one goes out to all of our friends who have suffered through papercuts and stamp-glue fatigue when sending out invoices. For this #WednesdayWisdom post, Larry Port demonstrates how Rocket Matter eliminates billing and collection headaches in a quick little video. You’ll see how Rocket Matter emails clients their invoices, and how the clients can then […]

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This one goes out to all of our friends who have suffered through papercuts and stamp-glue fatigue when sending out invoices.

For this #WednesdayWisdom post, Larry Port demonstrates how Rocket Matter eliminates billing and collection headaches in a quick little video.

You’ll see how Rocket Matter emails clients their invoices, and how the clients can then pay online. Also, law firms receive funding the next day, and their ledgers are automatically updated.

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How to Avoid Growing Pains in Your Firm With Proven Technology Processes https://www.rocketmatter.com/technology/how-to-improve-efficiency-by-implementing-proven-processes-in-your-growing-mac-based-law-firm-so-you-can-scale-your-firm-fearlessly/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/technology/how-to-improve-efficiency-by-implementing-proven-processes-in-your-growing-mac-based-law-firm-so-you-can-scale-your-firm-fearlessly/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:05:59 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26514   When you’re a solo or only have a few people in your firm, managing technology is fairly simple and you might need minimal, if any, outside tech support.  However, as you add on associates, paralegals, and support staff, you will face tech issues that did not exist when your firm was smaller. While your firm […]

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mac-based law firm

 

When you’re a solo or only have a few people in your firm, managing technology is fairly simple and you might need minimal, if any, outside tech support.  However, as you add on associates, paralegals, and support staff, you will face tech issues that did not exist when your firm was smaller.

While your firm grows, you’ll have less and less time to dedicate to every single thing that requires your attention. And unless you are ready for it, your firm will enter into a reactive approach to managing and dealing with technology. Switching back to being proactive becomes increasingly difficult at this point because either you or your office manager are juggling multiple positions and roles within the practice. Managing technology is just one of those many roles.

The longer you stay in this reactive state of managing technology—and attempt to continue trying to manage tech yourself or in-house—the more the efficiency in your firm will continue to erode. Technology tends only to be addressed when urgent, leading to technology solutions being haphazardly thrown out and  duct-tape fixes attempted by people not qualified to do so.

Jim Alampi, who founded Alampi & Associates, LLC  to assist CEOs and companies in developing business strategies and improving leadership practices, wrote in Entrepreneur, “As revenue increases, so does the complexity of running the business. An increase in the number of people, locations and technology systems usually results in an exponential increase in the complexity of managing an organization. Too often, activities like adding new employees, opening remote locations and setting up additional databases and technology systems can bring a company to a painful stop as it tries to grapple with the growing pains and find solutions.”

Yes, it can be challenging to manage the increased complexities within your firm as it grows—but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about having the proper processes in place. For instance, if you or your office manager have created and implemented a way to manage all things technical within the office, you are likely to avoid some of the painful growing pains such as reduced efficiency, increased frustration, and higher turnover.

Join us for our webinar to learn how to do just that. You will learn how to break this cycle of reactivity and implement a set of proven technological processes within your firm. You will also learn how to reset the way technology is being managed within your firm so you can free up precious time for yourself of your office manager. That way you can focus on higher ROI-generating activities.

Tom Lambotte is the CEO of GlobalMacIT, the largest and fastest-growing national managed service provider offering complete end-to end legal technology services to Mac-based law firms. To date, lawyers all over the United States have significantly improved their efficiencies through the company’s streamlined, proven processes. Tom is also the author of Macs in Law: the Definitive Guide for the Mac-Curious, Windows-Using Attorney,  Hassle-Free Mac I.T. Support for Law Firms, and Legal Boost: Big Profits Through an I.T. Transformation. He speaks at many high-profile events such as ABA TECHSHOW and MacTrack Legal and he has been published in many national blogs and publications.

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Ep 36: Rocket Matter’s Legal Wellness Retreat https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-36-legal-wellness-retreat/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-36-legal-wellness-retreat/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:17:35 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26532 On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port discusses Rocket Matter’s Legal Wellness Retreat, a two-day conference in the Berkshires from July 18-20. Learn more about the retreat, which will allow attendees to rejuvenate with eight hours of CLE on wellness in the peaceful mountains and charming towns of Western Massachusetts. […]

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On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port discusses Rocket Matter’s Legal Wellness Retreat, a two-day conference in the Berkshires from July 18-20. Learn more about the retreat, which will allow attendees to rejuvenate with eight hours of CLE on wellness in the peaceful mountains and charming towns of Western Massachusetts. Larry will talk about the exceptional and entertaining lineup of speakers, and he’ll offer a sneak peek into some of the fun activities planned.

If you want to learn even more about the retreat, visit legalwellnessretreat.com!

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Sexual Harassment Accusations and Due Process: Does it Exist? https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/sexual-harassment-accusations-due-process/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/sexual-harassment-accusations-due-process/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 13:07:56 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26517   The Harvey Weinstein scandal first broke in October of last year. And in the weeks and months that followed, the list of men accused of sexual misconduct in entertainment, the media, politics, and pretty much every industry grew exponentially. Even the legal industry was not immune. The news, according to Boston College Law School […]

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sexual harassment accusations and due process

 

The Harvey Weinstein scandal first broke in October of last year. And in the weeks and months that followed, the list of men accused of sexual misconduct in entertainment, the media, politics, and pretty much every industry grew exponentially. Even the legal industry was not immune.

The news, according to Boston College Law School student Caroline Reilly, “sparked a long-overdue public reckoning about sexual violence, rape culture, and the ways in which survivors are silenced.” And there certainly was quite a reckoning: First, there was the #MeToo movement which quickly went viral on social media and exposed the ubiquity of sexual harassment and abuse. Then came Time’s Up, which aims to combat systemic sexual harassment in all industries through lobbying and providing funding for legal support if victims are unable to afford it.

However, at the same time, there is another response that is becoming just as vocal: Many people have starting asking whether those accused of sexual harassment deserve some sort of due process? In other words, can steps be taken to prove any accusations before those accused lose their jobs and reputations?

First, some clarification is definitely needed: Due process is a legal concept. Period. As a directive of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, due process is required prior to any denial or deprivation of rights by the government. The critical distinction however, as Matt Pinsker, constitutional law scholar and adjunct professor at the Wilder School at Virginia Commonwealth University, points out, “As a constitutional right, ‘due process’ only applies to government action, and has nothing to do with the private sector.”

In other words, “corporations aren’t courts of law, and the Today show isn’t a government entity,” wrote Christine Emba, a Washington Post opinions writer and editor. “Human resources officers aren’t dispassionate federal judges; they’re risk managers for the organizations they serve.”

In essence, there is no requirement that a news organization, law firm, or any private employer provide due process. According to Washington D.C. attorney Tom Simeone, “The press is free to write about allegations, even if not proved and they end up being false. Likewise, if someone is an at will employee, they can be fired for any reason, including an allegation, even without any process to verify the allegation.”

So what defense do those accused have at all? Defamation laws are in place to protect the accused and as Simeone explains, “can be used to sue someone who makes or repeats false allegations.” And there has appeared to be an uptick in such lawsuits. For instance, actor Geoffrey Rush recently sued an Australian newspaper for defamation while across college campuses, accused students are filing defamation suits against the women who say they were assaulted.

Also, in the case of many men in the private sector who have faced allegations of sexual harassment and/or misconduct, there have been many instances when they were legitimately investigated. They weren’t just fired right away. There was a process of sorts.

For instance, longtime WNYC radio hosts Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz were first suspended by New York Public Radio as an investigation overseen by outside counsel was underway. When placed on leave, Schwartz told WNYC news that this episode was “the most hurtful, outrageous and saddest” he had ever experienced. After it was announced he was being let go because of the counsel’s findings, he subsequently declined to comment.

On the other hand, TV and radio host Ryan Seacrest was cleared after accusations against him were investigated by an independent third party over the course of two months. Once E! revealed it found insufficient evidence, Seacrest first reiterated his support of the “effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist” and “the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories.”

Seacrest then hinted at the uphill battle he expected to face as a result of a “salacious story” published in Variety, after his name was cleared. “I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest,” he said.

Similarly Fox decided to stand by actor Fred Savage, who starred on one of the network’s shows, after he was accused of sexual misconduct. According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, Fox “conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Savage.”  They said they will “vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”

Savage himself released a statement, saying, “These accusations are completely without merit and absolutely untrue. Fox conducted an extensive internal investigation into her claims, a process in which I fully participated. After concluding a thorough investigation, Fox determined that there was absolutely no evidence to support these accusations. None of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen.” And to the point that people will fight back against unfounded claims of sexual harassment, he added, “I wholeheartedly support all people who feel they are being mistreated come forward and speak to human resources and those in charge. We have witnessed so much bravery from those speaking out recently, but I will just as boldly protect myself and my family from those seeking to tarnish my good name. I cannot let these people, in particular, to denigrate me while harming the message of thousands of women and others who have suffered and continue to suffer.”

Of course, the influence of public perception is still certainly a force to be reckoned with. As we saw in the case of U.S. Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, accusations made during a campaign can certainly have an significant impact. About 41% of voters confirmed that allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore were either “the single most important factor” or “one of several important factors,” while 52% believed they were “definitely or probably true.” Price Foley writes that “not surprisingly, Moore lost, at least in part, because he lost in the court of public opinion.”

Bottom line: This conversation is far from over.

 

Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.

 

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Lawyers Weigh in: The Best Legal Blogs in the Industry https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/lawyers-weigh-in-the-best-legal-blogs-in-the-industry/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/lawyers-weigh-in-the-best-legal-blogs-in-the-industry/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 12:02:29 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26466   Content today is being consumed online more widely, more quickly, and more voraciously than ever before. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of blogs alone.  So how do you sort through all of them to find the best legal ones around? A good place to start is the ABA Journal Web 100, which features the […]

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best legal blogs

 

Content today is being consumed online more widely, more quickly, and more voraciously than ever before. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of blogs alone.  So how do you sort through all of them to find the best legal ones around? A good place to start is the ABA Journal Web 100, which features the best blogs in the industry and which Legal Productivity is proud to be a part of.  You can also ask other lawyers…but we’ve already done the work for you.

Here, lawyers weigh in on their favorite legal blogs (other than Legal Productivity, of course!):

The TTABlog is one of my favorites, as it provides timely information and commentary on decisions issued by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).  The information has proven very helpful in connection with my own clients’ trademark filings with the Trademark Office. It’s like daily news for trademark practitioners and trademark owners. And it’s free.” – Panagiota Betty Tufariello, founder and CEO of Intellectulaw, a New York firm that handles intellectual property litigation.

“I enjoy reading Credit Slips because it contains in-depth articles  on areas where finance, bankruptcy, and debtor-creditor law often intersect sometimes in unexpected ways.  As a consumer rights attorney, I usually agree with the author’s perspectives.” —Donald E. Petersen, a consumer protection attorney in Florida.

“Content is king. It’s no secret that good content is always in demand, especially in the legal niche. There are thousands of legal blogs across the web and I find the most rewarding content come from blogs with a unique and specific focus. The MS-JD Blog is a brand focused on young women in law. They provide engaging content that is helpful to young women who want to practice law.  In terms of bigger blogs with more of an umbrella focus, my favorite is Legal Reader.  They do a great job of creating serious content with a casual feel.” –Jared Staver, founder of Staver Law Group, a personal injury law firm in Chicago.

My favorite legal blog has to be Robert Ambrogi’s Law Sites. Having spent several years working at the intersection of law and technology, Robert’s site is an unbeatable resource for all things legal technology.” –Marcus Harjani, a lawyer and legal tech expert in California.
“There are several legal blogs I visit regularly. My number one is actually a newsfeed newsletter–the Association of Corporate Counsel newsletter provides a compilation blogs from leading firms in U.S. and internationally, with ability to edit practice areas. It looks at articles by topics rather than particular firms. I also read the Scotus Blog, Lawyernomics, and Above the Law.” –Bob Schrader, an attorney in New Hampshire, who has focused his practice on providing strategic legal advice to internet-based businesses, startups, and privately-owned businesses.

“A great resource that I use for information on Texas law is the Texas Bar Today blog. Most state bar programs have blogs on their site that would be related to your state laws. Also, finding legal blogs that are focused on your practice area will help you stay up to date on information that is relevant to your specialty.” –Matthew Sharp, founder of a criminal defense firm in Houston, Texas.

“A blog I’d highly recommend is BigLaw Investor, which is the top personal finance blog for attorneys.” – Kevin Han, an attorney, sharing economy expert, and blogger behind FinancialPanther.com, a blog about his journey through the law, personal finance, and financial independence.

“Since my firm handles only injury and death cases, I regularly follow a few different blogs that keep me updated on the latest injury and accident law news.  To get that type of information, my three favorite blogs would be Business Insurance, the #IAMFJA Blog and the American Association of Justice blog.” —Tina Willis, a wrongful death attorney in Orlando.

“My favorite blog is Exit Promise, which is woman-owned and answers questions asked by small business owners, who may be reluctant to consult with a corporate lawyer.” —Kwame Dougan, Managing Partner of Scotch & Palm, the only Law and Strategy practice in the United States focused exclusively on transactions with a nexus to Africa.

“My favorite legal blog is Employment & Labor Insider for several reasons: it is highly related to what I do (employment law); the contributors have a sense of humor and sometimes you can read it both for informational purposes and for entertainment; there is little legalese used, so every average Joe can read it and understand; it discusses some of the most interesting cases and themes that come up in employment law; and it is current and regularly updated.” –Jesse Harrison, CEO of Employee Justice Legal Team, a labor law and employment law firm with offices throughout California.

 

Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.

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Ep 35: Lean Marketing Strategies https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-35-lean-marketing-strategies/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-35-lean-marketing-strategies/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:12:11 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26501 The 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast gets Lean this week, when Larry Port talks about the concept of Lean marketing for lawyers.  A lot of time and budget that goes into marketing can be wasted unless you measure how successful your efforts are. Learn some metrics that you can start tracking today and discover how to […]

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The 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast gets Lean this week, when Larry Port talks about the concept of Lean marketing for lawyers.  A lot of time and budget that goes into marketing can be wasted unless you measure how successful your efforts are. Learn some metrics that you can start tracking today and discover how to up your marketing game with Lean principles! Long story short: If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.

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Four Trends Shaping the Legal Profession https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/four-trends-driving-the-ongoing-evolution-of-the-legal-profession/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/four-trends-driving-the-ongoing-evolution-of-the-legal-profession/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:08:52 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26096   We are living in a time of major transformation. While technology and access to data are influencing many aspects of our lives, such as how we do business, how we shop, and how our children learn, a shift in priorities and mindset are also at play in 2018 and driving significant change. This holds […]

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evolution of the legal profession

 

We are living in a time of major transformation. While technology and access to data are influencing many aspects of our lives, such as how we do business, how we shop, and how our children learn, a shift in priorities and mindset are also at play in 2018 and driving significant change. This holds true for the legal industry as well.  Let’s take a look at the following four trends are reshaping the profession:

Alternative billing models
The traditional billable hours model has been an increasingly sore spot for clients. Critics complain that it rewards inefficiency. That’s part of the reason why many firms today provide alternative, lower-cost, and more efficient billing models such as flat fees, contingency fees, payment plans, and recurring billing. And, in fairness, this reflects the ongoing evolution of the industry. With the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the industry, what once took many hours of detailed research might now only take a few minutes. According to Pittsburgh attorney and writer Sally Kane, in order to cultivate long-term relationships and maximize value, “more law firms are embracing alternative billing as a way to meet the needs of cost-conscious clients.” For more detailed information, download this free eBook: Beyond The Billable Hour: A Practical Guide to Alternative Fee Arrangements.

Online communities
Community has always been key for lawyers—it’s how lawyers find clients and experts, share insights, and support one another. Of course, a proliferation of lawyer communities can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Now there’s also LawyerSmack, formerly known as LawyerSlack, one of the newer kids on the block. It offers members—who span the entire spectrum of the legal industry— an active discussion forum with over 100 channels dedicated to legal topics such as Criminal, Domestic, FRCP, In-House, Intellectual Property, Finance, Solo/Small Firm, and many more. According to founder Keith Lee, there is a significant amount of mentoring taking place with discussions around how to approach a certain type of case, how to handle depos and interviews, and more. He adds, “Lawyers share documents, motions, and pleadings and referrals between lawyers happen almost on a weekly basis.”

The rise of virtual and augmented-reality technology
As virtual and augmented-reality devices continue to develop toward widespread adoption (hello, Winter Olympics!), it should be no surprise that these technologies are infiltrating the legal profession, too. According to Mitch Jackson, a trial lawyer in California, it’s perfectly reasonable for judges, jurors, lawyers, and witnesses to participate in a trial through virtual reality (VR). A witness could testify from hundreds or thousands of miles away, but VR makes the jurors feel like they’re right there in the courtroom. Likewise, jurors could deliberate with each other as if they’re in the same room, even if they, too, are in various locations.

Prioritization of well-being
The health and well-being of lawyers has been subject to scrutiny in recent years, and deservedly so, according to data from groundbreaking studies and reports. As we just covered in our five-part depression series,  a 2016 American Bar Association (ABA) and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study found that 28 percent of licensed, employed lawyers suffer depression; 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety; and 21 percent qualify as problem drinkers. This is such a prevalent issue, that the ABA Law Student Division declared March 28th to be the official National Mental Health Day for law schools across the country.

Concern and interest around lawyers’ well-being began to build due to these startling revelations and particularly after the publication of The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, a 72-page report by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being that outlines recommendations around what needs to be done in order to address and improve lawyers’ well-being. The topic has gained traction in law firms and on February 5th, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates adopted a resolution “urging bar associations, law schools, lawyer licensing agencies, and legal employers to step up efforts to help attorneys with mental health and substance abuse issues.” Patrick Krill, co-author of the ABA-Hazelden study calls the resolution a step “in the right direction” towards driving long-term culture change.

More attention around work-life balance also reflects a change in mindset towards lawyer’s well-being. Firms are starting to offer telecommuting, flex-time, phased retirement, part-time work, and other schedule options to help lawyers achieve better balance.

 

Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.

 

 

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National Mental Health Day for Law Schools- March 28, 2018 https://www.rocketmatter.com/attorney-wellness/national-mental-health-day-law-schools/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/attorney-wellness/national-mental-health-day-law-schools/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 13:26:55 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26451 It’s no secret that law students face a number of stressors while in school. These issues only seem to skyrocket after graduation. As we noted in our recent investigative report on mental health and substance abuse in the legal profession, 28% of licensed, employed lawyers suffer depression, 19% demonstrate symptoms of anxiety, and 21% qualify as problem […]

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National Mental Health Day for Law Schools

It’s no secret that law students face a number of stressors while in school. These issues only seem to skyrocket after graduation. As we noted in our recent investigative report on mental health and substance abuse in the legal profession, 28% of licensed, employed lawyers suffer depression, 19% demonstrate symptoms of anxiety, and 21% qualify as problem drinkers. It is a problem that can no longer be ignored, and the ABA Law Student Division is trying its best to do something about it.

The ABA Law Student Division has declared March 28th to be the official National Mental Health Day for law schools across the countryThe American Bar Association’s website says that “law schools are encouraged to sponsor educational programs and events that teach and foster breaking the stigma associated with severe depression and anxiety among law students and lawyers.”

In recognition of Mental Health Day, the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the Law Student Division is hosting a live, nationwide Twitter chat from 1-2PM ET on student wellness. Brian Cuban, the author of The Addicted Lawyer, is listed as one of the event’s special guests. This event hopes to encourage students to seek help when they need it, and to also answer any questions concerning mental health. If you’re interested in following, simply search tweets with the hashtag #LawStudentWellness (make sure to filter by “latest” tweets to track the conversation.) If you’d like to participate in the discussion by adding your own questions or comments, add the hashtag #LawStudentWellness to your tweets.

Law Student Wellness Twitter Chat

 

The ABA CoLAP and the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar have also created a podcast series entitled “The Path to Law Student Well-Being.” The podcast aims to help law schools and the legal community as a whole to shift the culture of the legal profession to one that is focused on well-being. You can listen to the inaugural two-part episode here.

Among other resources, law students will also have access to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit.  This document is a collaborative effort of the ABA CoLAP, the ABA Law Student Division, and the Dave Nee Foundation. The kit offers information for students experiencing signs of depression, substance abuse, stress, and anxiety, as well as resources for law schools on intervention and how to promote wellness.

We at Rocket Matter encourage law school students and faculty alike to participate in today’s activities, and applaud the ABA’s efforts to help attorneys with mental health and substance abuse issues.

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Ep 34: Increase Profits and Efficiency with Project Management for Law Firms https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-34-increase-profits-and-efficiency-with-project-management-for-law-firms/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-34-increase-profits-and-efficiency-with-project-management-for-law-firms/#respond Tue, 27 Mar 2018 12:09:13 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26434 On this week's episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port returns to talk about project management for law firms. Hear how this "lean" concept can help reduce errors and increase your firm's profitability....

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On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port returns to talk about project management for law firms. Hear how this “lean” concept can help reduce errors and increase your firm’s profitability. You’ll also discover how project management in your legal practice management software can help automate your processes and allow you to better understand your firm financially. If you’re looking to streamline your firm’s workflows and greatly reduce your stress levels, you’ll definitely want to listen to this!

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