If You're Not Getting Paid Overtime, Are You Owed a Ton of Money?

"While there are some paralegals who argue that they prefer to have a professional status, I do not know of any paralegal who, once they were getting an additional $300 a week or $1200 a month in salary beyond their base compensation, said, "You know, Forget all this. I want to be called a professional. Take the money away, keep me working 60 hours a week, give me a professional status and reduce my income by 20%." Read more →

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"Beware the Hidden Costs of Bad Formatting"

Pretty poor reaction to need for increased training given that documents produced by law firms are so important! "When talking to law firms about training, I often hear the following statements: 'It's so easy, you don't need training'; 'If you can't learn it in an hour, it's not worth knowing'; and my favorite, 'We're getting documents out the door.' "Law firms often use arguments like those mentioned above to skimp on training. However, there can be real bottom-line consequences to this kind of thinking. Training your users on proper document formatting can mean the difference between a document that will... Read more →

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"Is Software the Key to Streamlining HR?"

This Legal Technology article describes the HR challenges in law firms & how various software options makes them manageable. [2nd paragraph links from original text]: "Managing human resources is one of the most labor-intensive processes at a law firm. Keeping track of payroll, benefits, leave time and lots of other information is time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, there is plenty of software -- both commercial and homegrown --that can help firms automate many HR functions. Firms that are using these tools are seeing benefits, such as cost savings and increased efficiency. BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN "Bingham McCutchen, with nine U.S. offices and three... Read more →

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"Make the right hire: use an employment agency"

Helpful, if somewhat obvious, restatement of advice to law firms from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: "We’ve emphasized before that even the smallest practices benefit from hiring the right administrative help to free up attorney time for practicing law and winning new clients. "However, the hiring process in itself is complex and time consuming. That’s why it makes sense for most small and mid-sized law firms to use employment agencies in filling staff positions. "Lawyers consider themselves great judges of character, but the hiring process requires far more specialized resources to be done effectively. Employment agencies have the knowledge and skills at... Read more →

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"MoFo IT Gets Its Green On"

Kudos to Morrison & Foerster for adopting a strong 'green' culture! Find four good ideas in this Legal Technology article: "With 1,070 lawyers in 18 offices throughout the world, Morrison & Foerster has a culture that promotes excellence, diversity, teamwork and social responsibility. Last year, we were selected as one of Fortune magazine's '2006 Best Companies to Work For,' and the firm has won numerous other accolades that reflect our commitment to these goals. "Among these priorities is our commitment to create a work environment that is healthy and environmentally responsible. Our IT department has initiated a number of programs... Read more →

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"Document Imaging: Keeping It Simple"

Author Tony DeLoera, the chief technology officer at Ice Miller, describes how to manage document imaging the right way: "Simplicity. This was the guiding principle in our selection of a document-imaging system. In early 2005, Indianapolis-based Ice Miller was overrun with paper. With 225 attorneys, and three branch offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Naperville, Ill., we decided to leverage the decision to change our office copiers as an opportunity to gain more control over our workflow. "We needed a document-imaging system that our attorneys and other professionals could use with little or no training. We wanted our users to... Read more →

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"Do You Have an Office Supply Fetish?"

Isn't it fun to shop for office supplies? Well, here's what Web Worker Daily found [links from original post]: "Stella Commute does: Now, I can go to Staples any time I want and because I have a reasonable amount of disposable income, I can select the office supplies that make my heart sing. Color coded folders and matching labels? Done! Post-Its in various configurations? Check! Sharpies, Sharpies, Sharpies! And my latest addition: plastic-coated paper clips that make every grouping of papers hum with vibrant togetherness. Yes! "I stopped at OfficeMax today to have new business cards printed and found myself... Read more →

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"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... Read more →

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"Surviving the Holiday Office Party"

Office parties can be fun, but watch yourself, it's still work! "Yes, it's that time of year again; 'tis the season for the holiday office party. Holiday parties are typically held to thank employees for all their hard work and to try to motivate them to continue their efforts. Parties are also viewed as great opportunities for coworkers to mingle without pressure and develop camaraderie. If you dislike your company and the people you work with so much that you don't want to spend a few social hours with them, you are probably at the wrong job! "You can take... Read more →

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Six Rules on Gift-Giving at Work

Just how often does either party to gift exchanges like the outcome? Not to mention the dicey office politics: "As the holidays approach, the season of potential gift-giving at the office can range from pleasantly surprising to painfully awkward. "Navigating the social and professional landscape can be difficult, but there are ways to avoid alienating colleagues with embarrassment or hurt feelings, career experts say. Co-workers who are also friends can exchange gifts off site, for example, and those who want to get the boss a present can go in as a group to be as inclusive as possible. "The first... Read more →

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