Rocket Matter https://www.rocketmatter.com Making the Lives of Lawyers a Whole Lot Easier Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:54:41 +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 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 Using Rocket Matter’s Powerful Calendar Features https://www.rocketmatter.com/product/using-rocket-matters-powerful-calendar-features/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/product/using-rocket-matters-powerful-calendar-features/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:52:56 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26858 Get yourself organized with Rocket Matter’s powerful calendaring features. With our customizable views, you can tailor the calendar to suite your workflow needs. You can quickly and easily create, track, update, and assign events to others. In this video, you’ll learn how to: View the schedules of every member of your firm in daily, weekly, […]

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Get yourself organized with Rocket Matter’s powerful calendaring features. With our customizable views, you can tailor the calendar to suite your workflow needs. You can quickly and easily create, track, update, and assign events to others. In this video, you’ll learn how to:

  • View the schedules of every member of your firm in daily, weekly, or monthly views
  • View the events of any specific matter
  • Create new schedule events and tag other attendees
  • Tag events with pertinent keywords
  • Add billable or non-billable time to calendar events
  • Drag and drop to reschedule with ease
  • Sync your calendar with Google Calendar and Outlook

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Ep 44- How to Automate Your Law Firm with Rocket Matter https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-44-how-to-automate-your-law-firm-with-rocket-matter/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-44-how-to-automate-your-law-firm-with-rocket-matter/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:16:28 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26853 Did you know that 69% of attorneys spend too much time on administrative tasks? On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, hosts Lisa Pansini and Nefra MacDonald talk about the specific ways attorneys can automate these day-to-day tasks at their firms. You’ll learn how to determine exactly what you can automate, how to get started, […]

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Did you know that 69% of attorneys spend too much time on administrative tasks? On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, hosts Lisa Pansini and Nefra MacDonald talk about the specific ways attorneys can automate these day-to-day tasks at their firms. You’ll learn how to determine exactly what you can automate, how to get started, and the tools within Rocket Matter  you can use to get the job done.

Make sure to watch the recording of Allison Shields’ webinar: Put Your Firm on Autopilot: Using Systems, Automation, Templates and Checklists.

To see firsthand how Rocket Matter can help you automate different areas of your law firm, register for this week’s webinar: How to Automate Your Law Firm with Rocket Matter. You can register here for FREE! Whether you currently use Rocket Matter or are interested in a new legal practice management solution, you won’t want to miss this!

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Summer Reads: Lawyers Share Their Top Picks https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/summer-reads-lawyers/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/summer-reads-lawyers/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:22:31 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26768   Ah, the summer! It’s time to relax a little (yes, that’s even possible for lawyers). For a lot of people, that might mean actually kicking back and reading a book. We asked lawyers what’s at the top of their reading list this summer. Here’s what they had to say: “I would recommend reading Seven Brief […]

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summer reads for lawyers

 

Ah, the summer! It’s time to relax a little (yes, that’s even possible for lawyers). For a lot of people, that might mean actually kicking back and reading a book. We asked lawyers what’s at the top of their reading list this summer. Here’s what they had to say:

“I would recommend reading Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. This book made me realize that no matter how crazy or stressful I think my cases are, or how much I think that they are the biggest thing in life in that moment, they are not. The book helped put things back into perspective for me and realize that the small stress I get from one of my cases is so minor when looking in comparison to the bigger picture of life.” –Alex Ozols, a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego.

“I’ve been teaching legal teams how to adopt Lean and Agile practices for years, and I now recommend The Lean Law Firm by Larry Port and Dave Maxfield to all of my clients. It is fantastic to have a comprehensive but easy-to-digest resource written for the legal profession. I’ve seen first hand how teams that implement the methods in this book can see dramatic improvements over just a few weeks, all while setting the stage for a pattern of continuous improvement over the long term.”—John E. Grant, founder of  The Agile Attorney

“Here are a few good reads I’d recommend to any fellow lawyer: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, which is a great guide to get to the top and stay there. My favorite tip from the book: Never put too much trust in friends and learn how to use enemies; Getting Things Done—The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen; and The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson, which is a great reminder of the finite nature of life.” –Marc-André Séguin, a New York and Canada-licensed business immigration lawyer.

“As attorneys, we often see things unfiltered, ​not how they appear to the rest of the world. A book that I couldn’t​ put down because it gave me such ​tremendous insight into ​people and eventually ​led to me being less and less surprised by what people do, ​is People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil​ by M. Scott Peck.” –Anthony E. Parent, founding partner of Parent & Parent LLP, the IRSMedic, a law firm dedicated to helping clients with a wide array of tax problems.

Lawyers as Peacemakers by J. Kim Wright, one of my Integrative Law mentors. Kim helps attorneys use our practices as true self-expression, where appropriate. The Art of Practicing Law by John Allison, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, and The Power of a Positive No by William Ury, which is perfect for those of us who have a hard time taking vacation. Readers will gain confidence in saying “no” and honoring their own needs, without feeling like bad people.” –Nance L. Schick, an attorney, arbitrator, mediator, and author in New York City.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an obvious pick for attorneys, as is The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which deals with absurd legal proceedings based on Puritan values in colonial America. In my opinion, the best legal novel ever is A Time to Kill by John Grisham. And finally, reading materials tied to the practice of law is always a good idea. If you go to court and handle evidentiary hearings, you must read MacCarthy on Cross-Examination by Terrence MacCarthy. It will change your career—it is that good!” –Michael Dye, a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale.

“I would recommend Principles by Ray Dalio. I think it’s a great book for a lawyer, especially if you run your own practice, because it offers incredibly actionable insights that are likely counter-intuitive to how a lot of attorneys think. Reading something like this while away from the office could be a great motivator to re-prioritize both life and work.” –Jared Staver, a personal injury lawyer in Chicago.

“Without a doubt, I recommend the sixth edition of Jay Foonberg’s How to Start and Build a Law Practice. This book is the bible of hanging up your own shingle and starting your own law practice.  It is also a great refresher for those managing attorneys who need a point of reference for growth and expansion.” – Chadwick Kaehne, a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney in Appleton, Wisconsin.

“Anything by John Grisham is a great read, but I’d have to say my favorite is The Last JurorA page-turner through and through, you won’t be able to set it down until you’ve finished it. It’s a prequel to Grisham’s first novel A Time to Kill. Grisham himself is an attorney and depicts the conviction process very well, which is always refreshing to see in a novel.” –Angat Saini, a real estate lawyer in Toronto.

“Here are a few of my summer reading recommendations: The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company—And Won by Gerald M. Stern. This is a story of how a couple of hundred survivors of one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history banded to together to sue the corporate owner of an impoundment dam that failed. Gerald Stern, a young lawyer at the time, weaves in his litigation strategies to bring the class action lawsuit. This book is an entertaining read for any law student or lawyer interested in the thought process behind the strategies lawyers use every day from forum options to motion practice, and client representation. Fish Raincoats: A Woman Lawyer’s Life by Barbara Babcock is a memoir written by the first director of the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, who was also one of the first women to serve as Assistant Attorney General of the United States. This is an inspiring read for any woman considering her options in the law. And Black Fortunes: The Story of the first Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills, which delivers a wide range of interesting characters who overcame racial adversity to acquire wealth. These stories will open your world to the concept of privilege or a lack thereof.” —Jamell Isidor, an agency attorney at NYC Department of Buildings.

 

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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Legal Freedom Fighter: Connie Rice https://www.rocketmatter.com/freedom-fighters/legal-freedom-fighter-connie-rice/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/freedom-fighters/legal-freedom-fighter-connie-rice/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:00:01 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26810   We’ve seen it repeatedly throughout our history: When people’s rights are threatened, it’s the lawyers who step up to the plate. Some are true Freedom Fighters, and they deserve special recognition. That’s why each month, we will feature lawyers who are really making a difference. Today, we are proud to feature Connie Rice. Connie Rice is a […]

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Freedom Fighters

 

We’ve seen it repeatedly throughout our history: When people’s rights are threatened, it’s the lawyers who step up to the plate. Some are true Freedom Fighters, and they deserve special recognition. That’s why each month, we will feature lawyers who are really making a difference.

Legal Freedom Fighter Connie Rice Today, we are proud to feature Connie Rice.
Connie Rice is a civil rights lawyer who engineers systemic fixes to entrenched inequality and injustice.  California Law Business Journal twice designated her one of the top ten most influential attorneys in California.  Through impact litigation, campaigns and inside bureaucratic maneuvering, she has led coalitions and clients to win more than $30 billion in damages, bonds and policy changes. Bus riders, death row inmates, folks abused by police, school kids, whistleblowers, cops and sufferers of every stripe of discrimination, (sex, race, disability, age) have sought her counsel. But so have her opponents, like the Los Angeles Police Department she sued for 15 years but which now reserves a parking space for her at their new headquarters.

Connie graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe colleges in 1978 and entered New York University School of Law on a Root Tilden Scholarship.  In law school she worked extensively on capital punishment cases at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and after graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith at the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for two years before joining the law firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco.  She rejoined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1989 as Western Regional Counsel, won several landmark cases and in the words of one magazine, established herself as “the voice of Los Angeles’ oppressed.”  In 1998, Connie helped launch The Advancement Project, a policy action and technology organization in 1998, and in the words of Los Angeles  Magazine, “picked up where Clarence Darrow left off.”

Here’s the interview:

What inspired you to become a lawyer in the first place?
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s commanding performance at the Watergate hearings.

What was your most memorable case?
My most memorable case was a clemency bid for a Georgia death row inmate named Billy Neal Moore.  His trial lawyer had assured Moore that because he golfed with the judge, Moore could safely plead guilty to murder. Immediately after Moore pled guilty, however, the judge sentenced him to death. In 1984, after 16 years on death row, Moore’s last habeas appeal had failed and a last-minute stay of his execution had left the clemency petition that Julia Boaz and I, two interns with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund at the time, had prepared as his last hope.  We knew that seeking legal redress from a court is a matter of law but seeking clemency for murder from a governor is a matter of mercy—and a “Hail Mary.” It had been over 100 years since Georgia’s last grant of clemency, and only an extraordinary petition backed by a public campaign stood a chance.

So, Julia and I flew down to the victim’s rural east Georgia town to beg the matriarch of his family, Mrs. Stapleton, to spare our client. After several visits to her farm, praying, and agonizing over Moore’s case, she announced that God had moved her to seek mercy. Julia and I returned to New York and prepared a 1,000-page tome that included Moore’s baby pictures but began and ended with Mrs. Stapleton’s letter asking the governor to spare his life. Six years later, while driving to my job at the LA office of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NPR announced Georgia’s release of a death row inmate based on testimony from the victim’s family. And I knew then that our bid for mercy had worked.  All of this says my best work was done as a law student and had nothing to do with law!

Why did you co-found the Urban Peace Institute?
We created the Urban Peace Institute to carry the police reform and gang violence reduction work.  UPI does the Community Safety Partnership police training and runs LA’s LaVita Gang Intervention Academy that trains the city’s professional gang interventionists.  Gang interventionists are former gang members trained to reduce gang homicide retaliation shootings, secure hospitals and schools against gang violence, and safely carry out violence reduction strategies in gang dominated neighborhoods. UPI also removes former gang members from the state gang database, helps former prisoners rehabilitate and creates public health violence and trauma reduction strategies for gang dominated areas. An academic evaluation of UPI trained interventionists conservatively documented that interventionists averted enough retaliation shootings to save LA $110 million over two years.  And Chief Beck credited professional gang intervention as a major factor in our sustained reductions in gang crime and violence over the last 15 years.

From an equal rights and racial justice perspective, where do we stand today compared to previous years and decades?
We stand where we’ve always stood: in the breach, fighting to deliver America’s promise, and in deadly denial of our racial and other existential problems.  Our zig zagged emergence from patriarchal slavery and native genocide continues its tortured and paradoxical steeplechase. Slavery didn’t end in 1865; it devolved.  The fight to keep slaves is now a fight to keep the monuments. White supremacy didn’t end with Jim Crow; it morphed. Instead of white hoods and lynching, it dons polo shirts in Charlottesville, does mass incarceration and uses the Southern Strategy.  We are currently fighting the last skirmishes of the U. S. Civil War and resisting the latest retrenchment away from equality and “our better angels.”  In sum, amidst the stunning progress ushered in with the civil rights laws and the election of the first non-white president, we are still undecided in the choice between community and chaos.  Right now, we are veering toward chaos and destruction of the constitutional framework that permits sporadic progress and perfectibility of the union.  The critical path right now is to end the current wrecking of the rule of law, the truth and of our greatest credo:  E Pluribus Unum.  And then start a serious Truth & Reconciliation process that ends our deadly denial and leads to what King said must happen to realize equality:  full political, economic, social and cultural integration.  Or we can end the American experiment and continue today’s chaotic disintegration.

You’ve had so many successes.  Which one stands out the most?
Co-creating the Community Safety Partnership policing unit with LAPD Chief of Police Charlie Beck. While the settlement value of our Bus Riders Union v. MTAcase still stands as the largest settlement in the history of civil rights cases (over $2 billion), the best service I’ve done has been in police culture reform and violence reduction.  Chief Beck and I created a policing unit for the gang dominated public housing projects that has a different vision:  when cops see a dark-skinned boy in Jordan Downs housing project, they will no longer automatically think “I get to arrest or shoot him,” but will instead think, “He’s mine to help.”  CSP forges compassionate, culturally fluent cops who patrol on foot with residents, have a mindset of respect, do not fear black men, and serve long enough (5 years) to know residents’ names, and enough of their languages to forge partnerships.  CSP officers have to show how they’ve joined with residents to remove crimogenic and dangerous conditions to fight crime and improve the neighborhood.  CSP officers only arrest for violent crimes, only get credit for demonstrating how they averted arresting kids and how they generated trust with residents. Indeed, CSP officers do not get promoted without resident confirmation of trust. After ten years of CSP policing, not one CSP officer has shot a resident, and Jordan Downs and Nickerson Gardens housing projects reported zero murders in 2017. That’s like saying a Nevada brothel had zero sex acts last year.  What do you do after Ferguson and Rodney King?  CSP, the Community Safety Partnership.

How can an attorney get involved in high impact social justice?
Strategically.  Make sure your legal education is financed; I could not have done this work without the Root Tilden Scholarship paying for my law degree. Go for the highest credentials you can achieve (i.e. top grades, clerkships, tough internships at the best public interest firms). Intern at the best non-profit impact litigation firms like the NAACP LDF, MALDEF, Lambda Legal Defense) or with the few for profit law firms that do aggressive class actions.  Above all, make sure you have the fearless passion, political skill and drive required to force systems change over long timelines. The barriers to reaching transformational systems change are a mile high, and the audacious, politically fraught and sometimes dangerous steps required are not for the meek.  Also, understand that sustained culture and mindset change will not come solely from what you do as a lawyer but through unlikely alliances with problem-solving opponents. The rewards to the marginalized people you serve and to yourself can be tremendous, but the social costs of doing high impact social change are high, and the resources close to non-existent. If you relish combat and can live cheaply, then go for it.

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The Ultimate Law Firm Automation Checklist (Infographic) https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/law-firm-automation-checklist-infographic/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/law-firm-automation-checklist-infographic/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 12:10:00 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26788 Automation and productivity go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to running a law firm. It’s all a matter of deciding what kind of resources you’re willing to allocate. We’ve broken down areas within your firm that can be easily automated, including how to prep for automation and the tools you can use to be more […]

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Automation and productivity go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to running a law firm. It’s all a matter of deciding what kind of resources you’re willing to allocate. We’ve broken down areas within your firm that can be easily automated, including how to prep for automation and the tools you can use to be more productive!

Click to enlarge and share if you love!

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Automation and productivity go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to running a law firm. It’s all a matter of deciding what kind of resources you’re willing to allocate. We’ve broken down areas within your firm that can be easily automated, including how to prep for automation and the tools you can use to be more productive!

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Ep 43: Add Value to Your Practice with LinkedIn and Automation https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-43-linkedin-and-automation/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/podcast/ep-43-linkedin-and-automation/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 13:16:40 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26822 On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port chats with Allison Shields, founder and president of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. and co-author of the ABA-published book LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.  Hear some awesome tips about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, as well as what Allison believes to be one of the biggest […]

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On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port chats with Allison Shields, founder and president of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. and co-author of the ABA-published book LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.  Hear some awesome tips about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, as well as what Allison believes to be one of the biggest challenges facing today’s small to mid-sized firms (Hint: Automation plays a BIG role in the solution!)

Want to learn more? Allison will be hosting a free webinar this week. Join us Thursday at 2PM ET to learn how to put your law firm on autopilot and leverage technology in your practice. Register here for free!

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How to Identify Bottlenecks in Your Law Firm…and Alleviate Them https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/identify-bottlenecks-law-firm/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/practice-management/identify-bottlenecks-law-firm/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 12:51:41 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26669   Are there areas of your firm where work always seems to pile up? Yeah, that’s what we thought—most firms certainly experience such bottlenecks. Bottlenecks occur when a firm has a lot of work to do at a particular stage but limited resources to do it. They can also happen because there is a bad […]

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bottlenecks in your firm

 

Are there areas of your firm where work always seems to pile up? Yeah, that’s what we thought—most firms certainly experience such bottlenecks. Bottlenecks occur when a firm has a lot of work to do at a particular stage but limited resources to do it. They can also happen because there is a bad process (or lack of one altogether!) that’s causing employees to perform work at a slower rate which, in turn,  impacts the entire firm’s workflow and profits.

So how to you identify bottlenecks and fix them? The Theory of Constraints is a very popular methodology introduced by Eliyahu Goldratt that allows you to find a solution to your firm’s bottlenecks as they come up. The best-selling ABA book The Lean Law Firm, co-authored by Rocket Matter’s CEO Larry Port, also addresses this concept in great depth, along with other Lean principles. 

Here, we’ll explain how to use that methodology to start identifying and avoiding the bottlenecks that are holding your firm back in any way:  

Step 1: Identify the area of work that is bottlenecked.
Ask yourself what is the area in your firm where work is slow—the one which delays or prevents people from completing their tasks? For example, it could be that a successful marketing campaign has led to an influx of new cases, but they haven’t yet been entered into your practice management software. If those cases are not in the system, nobody can begin work. Or it could be a recurring bottleneck, like your monthly billing. If your billing takes days (or weeks!), invoices will not be sent in a timely fashion to clients, and that will impact how quickly payments come in and are processed. Both of these examples impact long-term and short-term profitability and point to areas where your firm can improve to alleviate the problem. It’s important to first pinpoint such bottlenecks.

Step 2: Identify ways you can optimize the area of work where the bottleneck exists.
According to The Lean Law Firm, two things that make employees and processes more efficient are standardization and technology. Standardizing processes avoids missteps and wasted time. Technology (like Rocket Matter) can help reduce the time it takes to complete administrative tasks, and it can automate many of the processes that are burdensome to law firms like opening new case files and drafting documents. Technology  can also reduce the time it takes to run your firm’s invoices.

Step 3: Send help!
While you’re making process improvements in a particular area, it’s also time to hit the “pause” button and dedicate your resources (staff, time, and effort) to reducing the backlog of work, wherever it’s occurring. For example, if you have an additional staff member who has no cases to open, have him or her help with getting your settled cases processed so the firm and the clients can receive their disbursement.

Step 4: Increase bottleneck efficiency and capacity.
How can you loosen the constraint so work can flow easily through a new process? If you completed step 2, now is the time you put that plan into action. Rocket Matter users can reach for technology solutions like Document Templates, Matter Templates (automated workflows), Rocket Project Management, and Batch Billing that can help to enhance efficiency, increase speed, standardize processes, and spot bottlenecks earlier through advanced reporting. Other tools like Kanban Boards (Trello, Asana) can help with visualizing how work is flowing through the firm and can help you avoid one department having too much work for the resources you’ve allocated.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat.
Once the bottleneck is alleviated, others will likely pop up elsewhere. This is a methodology that firms can use many times over to address new bottlenecks and to continue to improve processes over time.

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Wednesday Wisdom: How to Get the Most Out of Tasks https://www.rocketmatter.com/wednesday-wisdom/wednesday-wisdom-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-tasks/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/wednesday-wisdom/wednesday-wisdom-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-tasks/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 20:06:32 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26786 On today’s episode of Wednesday Wisdom, you’ll see just how powerful Rocket Matter’s task functionality can be. See how to assign tasks, bill for them, and also how to search and filter. You’ll discover just how easy it can be to use tasks to keep your firm structured and profitable.

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On today’s episode of Wednesday Wisdom, you’ll see just how powerful Rocket Matter’s task functionality can be.

See how to assign tasks, bill for them, and also how to search and filter. You’ll discover just how easy it can be to use tasks to keep your firm structured and profitable.

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Ep 42- The State of Mental Health in the Legal Profession https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/ep-42-the-state-of-mental-health-in-the-legal-profession/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/general/ep-42-the-state-of-mental-health-in-the-legal-profession/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 13:16:03 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26749 On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, host Nefra MacDonald returns to speak with not one, but two very special guests: Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. and Dr. Shawn Healy. Heidi and Shawn are both published authors and thought leaders in the area of mental well-being for lawyers. Heidi is the Deputy Director […]

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On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, host Nefra MacDonald returns to speak with not one, but two very special guests: Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. and Dr. Shawn Healy. Heidi and Shawn are both published authors and thought leaders in the area of mental well-being for lawyers. Heidi is the Deputy Director for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) in Boston. Dr. Healy is a clinical psychologist on staff with LCL and regularly presents and publishes on all manners of health topics relevant to the legal community.

Hear as Nefra, Heidi and Dr. Healy discuss the current movement for attorney well-being, why attorneys are so stressed, and what is being done to combat the stigma of dealing with mental health in the legal industry. You won’t want to miss this timely episode!

Want to hear more from Heidi and Dr. Healy? They’ll be co-presenting at this summer’s Legal Wellness Retreat! Learn more here.

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Vacation Time! Lawyers Share How They Actually Get Away From the Office https://www.rocketmatter.com/attorney-wellness/vacation-time-lawyers-share-how-they-actually-get-away-from-the-office/ https://www.rocketmatter.com/attorney-wellness/vacation-time-lawyers-share-how-they-actually-get-away-from-the-office/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 12:34:55 +0000 https://www.rocketmatter.com/?p=26693   Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and this year, according to the American Automobile Association, more than 41.5 million Americans will kick off the season by traveling this long weekend. However, getting away is easier said than done. So we asked lawyers how they carve out vacation time while keeping their practices running. […]

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and this year, according to the American Automobile Association, more than 41.5 million Americans will kick off the season by traveling this long weekend.

However, getting away is easier said than done. So we asked lawyers how they carve out vacation time while keeping their practices running. Here’s what they had to say:

“I think it starts with hiring good people.  Bringing dependable people on board really helps when you are away from the office (and trying to relax) for an extended period of time.  No one wants to worry when on vacation, and dependable, reliable employees can certainly put a business owner at ease during vacation.” —Chris Earley, a personal injury lawyer in Boston

Planning ahead is vital. With my own family, we take the same few weeks every year, so we can plan years in advance. This lets me manage my calendar and my team much more easily than if it were only planned a couple months in advance. A second key component of a successful vacation is really feeling that work is going fine without you. Good software helps because you can check in once a day or so just to quickly assess work, assign any tasks, then get back to enjoying the vacation.”  —Jared Richards, a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas

“Working in a firm with colleagues who can help cover for me while I am out of the office is a significant benefit.  As a group, we support each other and recognize the importance of time out of the office.  Additionally, I am careful to clearly communicate with my clients before I will be out of the office, which helps to set expectations and enables a clearing of the decks to some degree. The other step I take, which I have taken through observation, is to write a good out of office message (both email and voicemail) that informs anyone emailing or calling me that I am away with my family and will not be able to respond unless it is an emergency.” —Matt Fisher, a Massachusetts lawyer focused on health law and all areas of corporate transactions

“The key is to call or email every single client that you are assigned to before you leave. You make the phone call, and give them a quick update on their case, and tell them that you are going to be out of town during the specific dates and that you are calling them in advance to make sure that they have all their questions answered. It can take 1-2 full days to complete all of these calls, texts and emails but trust me it is worth it. I have done a 14-day vacation with no new emails from clients the entire time I was gone. The clients appreciate it because they know I am personally reaching out to them to make sure that they are OK before I leave.”   —Alex Ozols, a personal injury lawyer in San Diego

“Essentially, keeping my firm running smoothly in my absence is about good communication and using all the technological tools that are available to me to assist in maintaining contact, if necessary. It’s definitely do-able and, with our online society, it’s more possible now than it ever has been.” —Lisa M. Hirschman, who does estate planning and focuses on various other areas of law in Wisconsin

It’​s important to leave someone in charge, such as ​a managing-​attorney, and to also check-in periodically to make sure everything is running smoothly. Prior to leaving on vacation, it’​s a good idea to go over your court calendar, assign attorneys to various appearances like conferences, depositions, mediations, and trials. With a little planning, every lawyer should be able to enjoy some downtime in the summer months.” —Arkady Frekhtman, founder of a law firm in New York City that specializes in serious and catastrophic accidents

“As far as keeping the firm running, this takes a partnership of not only a good paralegal staff, but also the office management staff.  Relying on a good staff is the only way to keep the wheels turning, but allow for a quick break from the hectic life of practicing law.” —Lee Hoffoss, a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana

I am fortunate to be able to take vacations during summer without having worry about the status of my law firm. For one, I am certain that my partners and employees are well trained and capable of handling everything while I’m away. Eliminating worry is a key aspect of scheduling and achieving a successful vacation. For entrepreneurs like myself who are still concerned with business, vacation does not have to be a complete disconnect. I put aside a small amount of time each day to go over crucial emails and answer important questions.” —Jesse Harrison, who practices in the areas of employment law and labor law in California

“Any great law firm needs a great support staff. Customer service is critical as is making sure there is always someone available to answer client questions.  During non-office hours, someone at our firm is always assigned to receive phone calls that are forwarded from the office and ensure calls are returned. We also make sure there is always an attorney in the office able to handle anything that needs immediate attention, so attorneys at our firm do not overlap vacation schedules.” —Edith A. Pearce, a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia

 

 

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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