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December 2006
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February 2007

"A To Do List That Works"

Yeah, been there, done that. But this article describes to-do tips that might really help!

"We have all done to do lists. Somehow there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things on your to do list. Here is the system that has worked for me. It can work for you too.

A List Is Not Enough
"Making a 'things to do list' is not enough. You have to rank them. You have to know which tasks are more important so you can focus on them. Then you have to allocate resources to those items, measure your progress, and reward yourself for your successes.

Ranking
"I list all my to do items in a spreadsheet, although you can do them on paper as I used to do. You also can put them in your palmtop computer or PDA, write them on your calendar, or input them to a time management software.

"The first step is to list all you have to do.

"Then assign a rank to them so you can focus on the important items. (See my article, Pareto's Principle - The 80-20 Rule, for a refresher on why this is important.)"

Good thing you already know what tasks await you, huh?  ;-)

Author John Reh is an Internet Management Consultant & a management professional with broad experience.


Pentagon official draws criticism

Ah, think the guy who's slammed law firms' representation of detainees should be fired...or disbarred?

"Charles 'Cully' Stimson, deputy assistant secretary for defense for detainee affairs, has sparked a firestorm of anger, from Capitol Hill to America's law schools to even conservative quarters.

"He told a Washington, D.C., Beltway radio station last week that American corporations should boycott leading U.S. law firms that provide pro-bono service at the prison camps in the remote U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

"On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania condemned Stimson's remarks on the floor of the Senate, where he until recently served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

'''When lawyers undertake the representation of individuals in unpopular causes, they are entitled to praise, not criticism,' said Specter, echoing an earlier condemnation by the new committee chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

[snip]

"As of Tuesday, nearly 140 law school deans had signed an Internet petition declaring themselves 'appalled' by the remarks of a fellow lawyer.


Digitization of Print Materials

We all prefer digital over paper-based information, right? Right!

"Companies from Google to The Thomson Corporation, from Microsoft to LexisNexis, are all undertaking large digitization projects focusing on better access to paper-based resources. Undeniably, many law firms have a need for some of the digitized products on the market today, and there will soon be many more sources available.

"In acquiring access to new digital collections, law firms and other information consumers need to think about issues of cost, technology requirements and ease of use. Beyond that, merely acquiring a new collection will not ensure that all people who need the information will know it exists when the need for that information arises. This article addresses several topics relating to digitized collections, framing the discussion by first discussing two legal-specific digitization projects available for private law firms.

[snip]

  1. Hein Online. This is a collection of scanned law reviews and primary federal materials, such as the Federal Register and the Statutes at Large.
  2. LLMC-Digital [registration req'd]. The Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC) was chartered in 1976 as a nonprofit library cooperative at the University of Hawaii.

The American Lawyer's 'Fab Fifty'

This is a fascinating (alphabetical) list: "The 50 most-promising young litigators ages 45 & under." 

"We talked to hundreds of lawyers to find the rising stars whose careers are described below and in the pages that follow. Beginning with a wide and informal canvass that generated more than 200 suggestions, we identified practice areas that seemed rich in opportunity for young litigators and homed in on those for our reporting. That's why the list contains a concentration of appellate, intellectual property, public interest, and products liability lawyers. Others have made a mark as criminal defenders or labor lawyers or securities specialists. All of them have worked relentlessly to get where they are. What follows are the biographies of 50 litigators we expect to see leading the field for years to come."

Be sure to check out "The Life of a Young Litigator" -- it details stories from some of the 'Fab Fifty.'


Book: "Real Resumes for Legal and Paralegal Jobs"

Got an email with recommendations from Amazon today. I haven't read this book yet, but it sure sounds helpful for landing government jobs:

"Those who seek legal and paralegal jobs will find this book to be a rich resource. No matter what type of legal or paralegal work is sought, the reader will find outstanding samples of resumes and covers used by real people to obtain legal and paralegal jobs. Resumes and covers letters are included which will help newly minted lawyers or paralegals find their first jobs in their field. There are also sample resumes and cover letters which will be useful to the most experienced lawyers and paralegals in the profession. A 'bonus' of this book is that it includes samples of paperwork involved in getting federal government jobs: specialized resumes and the federal 'resumix' as well as the write-ups for the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) which are often required for government positions. This book will show legal-industry professionals how to maximize their career potential, get federal positions, and change fields if they want to."

Book description by the publisher.....


"Man files lawsuit to take wife's name"

Well, all I have to say about this news is "You go, Mike!"

"Mike Buday isn't married to his last name. In fact, he and his fiancee decided before they wed that he would take hers. But Buday was stunned to learn that he couldn't simply become Mike Bijon when they married in 2005.

"As in most other states, that would require some bureaucratic paperwork well beyond what a woman must go through to change her name when marrying.

"Instead of completing the expensive, time-consuming process, Buday and his wife, Diana Bijon, enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a discrimination lawsuit against the state of California. They claim the difficulty faced by a husband seeking to change his name violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

[snip]

"In California, a man who wants to take his wife's name must file a petition, pay more than $300, place a public notice for weeks in a local newspaper and then appear before a judge."

So, what do you think? Is this discrimination?


Invention Created by Paralegal

Gotta like creative people who have inventive skills:

"'The Spinder™ is a patent pending tool that is elegant, simple, needed and an amazing time saving device that every office will embrace,' said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing. 'When we first reviewed the Spinder™ submission, we were shocked that there was nothing available to perform the difficult tactile task the Spinder™ accomplishes. It's simplicity and performance efficiency is amazing".

"Albert V. Guzman, creator of Spinder™ said, 'My work as a paralegal in a large, international law firm resulted in my recognition of the need for a tool to aid in collating and assembling files and documents with ease. There was simply nothing, other than clerical hands, to accomplish the task and expedite the process. I designed the Spinder™, and my associates at work encouraged me to commercialize the prototype."


"Paralegal arrested on sex charges"

Oh. My. Not the kind of headline one likes to see, but I had to read the article:

"A Polk City man was arrested Wednesday after detectives said he impersonated a lawyer and offered a woman free legal service if she performed sex acts on him.

"Leonard W. Yanke Jr., 55, who is a paralegal, faces charges that include unlicensed practice of law, solicitation of legal services and compelling another to become a prostitute, the Sheriff's Office reported."


"Manager Minute": How to Manage a Law Firm

The legal administrator profiled in this article says his "job is to bridge communications between employees":

"...[A]s legal administrator for the Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy law firm of Rice Pugatch Robinson & Schiller PA, Jimmy Allen also 'wears a lot of hats in this job,' he said. He is responsible for overseeing payroll, benefits, scheduling, vendors and other day-to-day duties for the firm, while serving as liaison between staff, associates and lawyers.

"Allen joined Rice Pugatch in 2002 as a paralegal and credits his training in the Air Force for his focus and organizational skills. 'It can be a very high-stress job,' said Allen, 40, who earned a law degree from St. Thomas University in Miami. One effective way to handle all the firm's activities, he said, is to be an active listener and make sure the right person is in the right job.

[snip]

"Management lesson learned: Nothing runs on autopilot. No matter how big or how small the project, follow up without micromanaging."