"How to Avoid a Bad Reputation at Work"

Very good career advice from LawCrossing, in a series of questions & answers: "Little things that you do every day without thinking could be driving your coworkers crazy. Your bad business habits can give you a bad reputation and make you the topic of water-cooler gossip. Take a deep breath—and a good hard look at yourself—and then ask yourself if you are guilty of committing any of the following reputation killers. "Are you nosy? People eventually get irritated with the person who has to know every little thing that goes on. If staying abreast of workplace happenings is part of... Read more →

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"Delegation Day in the Law Firm"

Found this interesting post at the morepartnerincome blog which is sponsored by Juris,Inc.: "Hildebrandt’s Rees Morrison passes along a simple but clever technique for encouraging attorneys to improve efficiency by finding delegable tasks for non-lawyer members of the team. The idea comes from the corporate world but should work to everyone’s benefit in a law firm as well. The law department asked its attorneys collectively to identify 20 activities that the lawyers were doing but that could be handed off to paralegals, administrative assistants or other support persons. "The panelist sharing the law department’s experience noted that staff members were... Read more →

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"Orrick's Staffing Moves Pay Off -- Will Other Firms Follow?"

So, would you want to work in Wheeling, West Virginia? Read all about the separation of staff from lawyers in this article from The Recorder: "When Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced it would move scores of support staff to a small industrial town in West Virginia, lawyers inside and out were skeptical of the quality of work and the return on investment. "Five years later, the 980-lawyer firm says it's saved more than $20 million thanks to the Global Operations Center in Wheeling, W.Va. -- all without diminishing its services. "But even with the purported success, most other large law... Read more →

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"She knows there's more to diversity than lip service"

Don't you just love it when someone puts her money where it counts? This Houston Chronicle story tells about that & more: "Cathy Lamboley's epiphany changed both her wardrobe and the way some Houston law firms do business. "Lamboley, who last week announced her upcoming retirement as general counsel of Shell Oil Co., used to wear corporate-issue business suits with those ubiquitous pouffy bow ties. "Now she leans toward expressive buttery-soft leather jackets adorned with carefully chosen Mexican and Southwestern jewelry. "Law firms in Houston that wanted lucrative legal work from Shell used to have to agree with the goal... Read more →

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"The Problem with Time Management"

Ah, the "trying to do my job, but people keep interrupting" problem. Do you have time management on the job under control? "If you've been living in the corporate world for some time, you've probably attended a training session where one of the exercises was to conduct a 'time spent' analysis in order to increase your efficiency. You cracked open your calendar, reviewed how you spent your time for the past week, and identified black holes that were wasting your energy. Maybe you even went so far as to break your activities into categories, separating the 'urgent' things from the... Read more →

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"Help, I’m Surrounded by Jerks"

If you're this unlucky, so sorry!, but help might be found in the books described below: "CERTAIN mortals have the power to sink hearts and sour moods with lightning speed. The hysterical colleague. The meddlesome neighbor. The crazy in-law. The explosive boss. A mélange of cantankerous individuals, they are united by a single achievement: They make life miserable. "You call them jerks, dolts and nitwits. Psychologists call them 'difficult people.' In fact they are difficult in so many ways that they have been classified into species like the Complainer, the Whiner and the Sniper, to name but three. [snip] "Two... Read more →

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"LAWYERS ARE FROM MARS, PARALEGALS ARE FROM VENUS"

Hmm, pretty right-on discussion from law firm coach Cheryl J. Leone: "Having learned one thing during my 42 years of law office management simply is this: Lawyers and paralegals don't talk the same language and they don't think the same way. They live on different planets, breath different air, and they even have different customs. Yet, if there is ever a time and a place and a need for both people to be on the same page, it is with the relationship and communication skills that exist between lawyers and paralegals. [snip] "Lawyers tend to under-estimate the project, tend to... Read more →

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"Legal secretaries in short supply"

Has our firm or company experienced this staffing problem? Are you doing more secretarial work as a result? "They might not have the fancy degrees, academic honors or journal publications that usually impress law firms, but there's nobody more sought after right now than legal secretaries. "'There really is a true supply problem,' said Steve Ferber, director of human resources at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. 'We've had trouble even filling an internship program.' [snip] "To compensate for the shortages, salaries of legal secretaries have increased in recent years. In Pittsburgh, a new legal secretary might start in the upper-$20,000-a-year range,... Read more →

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"For Some Firms, Law Is All in the Family"

I'm sure "family law firms deal with unique challenges" & unique experiences too. Has this been your experience? "Like mother, not so much like daughter. "At the Milwaukee law firm Pitts & Pitts, clients know whether to ask for the mother or the daughter, depending on what sort of representation they are looking for. "If they want a pit bull, they ask for the daughter, Trinette. If they want compassion and someone to hold their hand, they ask for the mother, Cristina. It's this dynamic that has kept the mother-daughter personal injury and family law firm in business for the... Read more →

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Temp Staff Demand Greatest for Paralegals, Legal Support Staff, Attorneys

Isn't it just great to be in demand? "Temporary legal staffing is the most consistently fast growing segment of the contingent workforce in the United States and is largely driven by merger and acquisition activity and litigation-related work, according to a new report by Staffing Industry Analysts, the premier provider of market intelligence about the contingent workforce. [snip] -- Over the next decade, volume demand is expected to grow annually by 6% for paralegals and legal assistants [emphasis added], 5% for lawyers, and 4.6% for legal secretaries. Lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries make up roughly 85% of the temporary legal... Read more →

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