Often, legal ops teams and vendors do not conceptualize their relationship as a partnership. Rather, they often think of their interaction simply as a business transaction between a service provider and a consumer. But there are a number of advantages to treating legal service vendors as partners. Let’s consider how doing so can benefit both sides.
If you’re trying to advance your career within your firm and you’re thinking about management, there’s a lot to consider. Being a people manager is an entirely different set of skills from any other job within a firm even if you’re working on the same projects. Here are a few notions to consider as you think about making the leap to management.
Did you know that hunter-gatherers need to work for only around 20 hours per week to feed themselves? That was the norm throughout most of human history, but when human beings first discovered agriculture and began living in settled communities around 12,000 years ago in the Levant, this figure slowly began to creep up (which has long led archaeologists and ancient historians to speculate as to why humans began farming in the first place). Modern lawyers, of course, regularly face working weeks of 40 hours, sometimes rising to 50 and beyond. Now, there are of course a few perks available to the modern lawyer that were not accessible to ancient hunter-gatherers or the first farming communities. But the point is that it’s not natural to be on call for work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To stay healthy and enjoy our time on Earth, we need to maintain some kind of work-life balance. Here are some tips to help you do exactly that.
Are you in a toxic work environment? Perhaps you enjoy the work itself, you like your clients, and you feel like you’re developing professionally. But something’s not right – your manager is overly demanding, meetings keep descending into arguments, and no one seems to be speaking to each other at the times when they should be. In this case, you might be better off doing a similar job in a different building. But it might not be so easy to leave any time soon, or there may be other reasons for you to stay. In the meantime, then, how can you survive a toxic workplace? Let’s look at some tips.
There are few more important people in your job than your manager. A manager often has the capacity to make or break your move to the next stage in your career – not to mention to be the difference between an easy day and a hard slog. So how can you develop and improve your relationship with your manager? Let’s take a look at some top tips.
Career profiles on online platforms such as LinkedIn can play a role in helping you find a new job – whether you’re currently without one, or you’re in work but are looking to move to the next stage. But there are a number of mistakes that people make when creating such profiles that can actually make them appear negative to employers. Here’s a rundown of some ways to avoid these mistakes and ensure your online career profile is a help, not a hindrance.
It’s well-known that the average salary for women lags behind the average salary for men in almost every industrialized country, despite the practically universal presence of laws requiring equal pay for equal work. One of the most prevalent explanations for this disparity is the idea that men and women have different attitudes towards negotiation and self-promotion.
So, you’ve decided to move on to a new job. Hopefully, this is an exciting time in which you’re looking forward to a fresh start and planning what to do with all your new opportunities. But your old job isn’t quite done. Don’t forget that you need to leave your role in the right way, too. While you might not be seeing your old colleagues every day anymore, departing from them on good terms is still important for your career. Here are some tips for leaving your job with professionalism, tact, and goodwill.
The coronavirus pandemic has led many of us to work remotely, meaning we no longer have our colleagues’ familiar presence next to us as we get through the working day. For some, it feels like a blessing to have the freedom and comfort of working from home, while others are struggling with issues like the separation of work from the rest of life. Either way, though, you might be thinking about a longer-term question. How do you build and maintain a network of relationships, when everyone is staying at home? Given that remote working may be heading towards becoming a ‘new normal’ for office workers like lawyers and associated legal professionals, this is likely to become an important issue for all of us. It’s especially pressing for those currently out of work, but as a network of contacts is important for career success, it's something to think about for those still employed as well. Let’s think about how to go about networking in the time of coronavirus.
A job interview is a time when you are eager to impress the employer where you hope to be on the books. But it also needs to be a time when you assess the company that you’d like to work for, too. If you’re going to commit the next stage of your career to a certain firm, then you need to make sure it’s the right move for you – and the interview is a great opportunity for you to gain the information you need. Indeed, there are a few red flags to look out for at your interview which might warn you this isn’t an organization you really want to join. Let’s have a look at some of the main warning signs.
It’s inevitable that at some stage in your career, you’ll end up in some form of conflict with a colleague or manager. People disagree and clash – that’s a part of life. But there are positive and negative ways to deal with this conflict. Read on for a guide on making sure the conflict in your work life is positive.
Discussing your salary with either a current or future employer is a tricky thing to do. But without doing so, you won’t be bringing in the money that your efforts deserve. Here are some tips for negotiating your salary, whether you’re at the job offer stage or you’ve been with your employer for a while.
Hands have been shaken on your job offer (most likely by email) and arrangements have been set. Now it’s time for the job to begin. Perhaps you feel yourself transported back to the first day of elementary school as you put on your smartest work clothes and head off into the unknown. But whatever you’re feeling, there are a number of things you can do to set yourself up for success during your first few weeks at your new firm. Let’s consider this key initial period.
Asking for a promotion is no easy task. You might be struggling to find the right moment, and you might be worried that you’ll come across as arrogant or self-serving. But if you’re looking to get ahead in your career, then you’re going to need to be able to ask for what you want. After all, not everybody wants to get to the top of their organization. You may well be eager to advance; but many people are happy remaining at the level they’re at, perhaps being unwilling to take on extra responsibility leading to more time in the office making difficult decisions. And that’s absolutely fine - everybody is different. The point is that it’s not necessarily going to be obvious to your company’s senior staff that you are looking for that promotion. So if you don’t communicate your ambitions, the powers that be won’t necessarily assume they exist. Okay – so you know that you need to ask. But how to do it? Let’s consider some ideas.
If you were let go from your last job, you may be struggling with how you’re going to explain this to future employers. But staff being let go is a fairly ordinary event – it’s not going to disqualify you from ever getting a job again. What you need is the right way to frame your situation. Let’s look at some ideas for doing just that.
Searching for a job is one of the most stressful tasks in which we have to engage. Particularly if you are currently out of work, facing interminable application forms and probably even repeated rejections can be deeply disheartening. But eventually, you will reach your goal – and in the meantime, here are some tips for keeping yourself going on your quest for employment.
A human being is not a houseplant. Yes, both entities need water, nutrition, sunlight, and continuous gaseous exchange, but a human being has a number of additional requirements in order to flourish. One of those is finding a sense of meaning and purpose. For many of us, our job enables us to fulfill our ‘houseplant’ needs, however it fails to meet our human needs. Let’s think about how you can ensure your work brings you more than some potting mix and a mist spray.
‘Burnout’ has become an increasingly widely used term to describe a state of extreme exhaustion due to work – whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. Significant research has gone into understanding the causes, effects, and treatments for burnout. How can you tell if you are on the brink of suffering from burnout? Let’s take a deeper look at the condition, including some of the tell-tale signs.
When life is getting us down, often the last thing we feel like doing is logging on to our computer and finishing that report that’s due for today. If we are dealing with difficult emotions from our personal life, concentration and motivation at work can be badly affected. So how can we go about our work when these issues feel too much? There’s no simple remedy, but let’s consider a few things that might help.
Imposter Syndrome (also called Imposter Phenomenon and Fraud Syndrome) is a pattern of thinking whereby a person persistently discounts their own accomplishments, feels that they are not good enough to be in their current position, and worries that they will be exposed as a “fraud”. It’s a common experience and is prevalent in all people. But it can hold you back from going for that promotion or asking for the raise you deserve. If you find yourself feeling this way, what should you do? Here are some practical steps to help you cast off that negative thinking!
The idea of negotiating our salary sounds nerve-wracking to many of us. But if you never try, you may never receive the rewards your hard work deserves. If you’re struggling to work out how to obtain that raise (or to get the right salary if you’re starting a new job), read on for some ideas on how to approach the situation.
We choose our friends, but we don't often choose our colleagues. In offices, we spend a large proportion of our waking lives with people with whom we may not have much in common, and it’s natural for disagreements to arise. When they do, managing the resulting conflict is not easy: there is serious potential for hurt feelings and awkward working environments. But grievances and annoyances tend not to disappear when buried – instead, they fester under the surface and prevent colleagues from working together successfully. So how can you ensure conflict takes place in a healthy manner? Let’s look at some ideas for turning ill will into good!
Since the start of the pandemic, more people than ever before are working remotely. Some find the move away from the office a wonderful change when it comes to boosting their productivity. Others rely on being in a social space to keep them motivated – not to mention being away from the various distractions of the home. If you’re in the latter category, have a look through a list of five apps that will help you focus on the work you need to do, even in the most distracting of environments!
Full-time workers spend around 2,000 hours per year on their job – not including commuting and late evenings in the office. If your current position is not doing it for you, it’s natural to start daydreaming about more inspiring things. But how can you get yourself from struggling to get out of bed in the morning to raring to go? Read on for a few ideas!
The team that wins the championship isn’t always the one with the best individual players – it’s the one that successfully blends those players into a cohesive unit. And the same applies to law firms – your firm’s lawyers might individually possess razor-sharp legal skills, but is its culture making the most of them? Let’s take a look at some tell-tale signs of toxic work culture.
You open your inbox to see an unread message. It’s good news: the subject line reads ‘Offer of Employment’! But alas, the sender is not quite who you were most hoping to hear from. Your first choice - Dream Firm - are apparently still pondering their next move, while these guys (at the risk of sounding harsh, let’s call them “Backup Firm”) have enthusiastically advanced. So what do you do in this enviable position? Think about how you’re going to communicate with these companies so that you keep everyone happy. Read on for some tips on how to do just that!
Many people think they need their resumé to be peppered with illustrious, big-name firms in order to stand out. The irony, though, is that simply having worked for a company with an office in every global financial center doesn’t actually make you a better lawyer. Of course, when it comes to moving upwards in your career, it’s not always about how good you are but about how good you can show yourself to be. And a well-known name on your resumé is one way to establish some credibility – after all, a firm that takes you onboard might think 'you can’t be too bad!' But if your career to date hasn’t been a parade of plush offices adorned by paintings of the firm’s 19th-century founders, don’t worry – it’s by no means the only way to stand out. Here’s how to shine regardless of where you’ve worked.
Nobody likes working under a manager who’s overbearing, bad at listening, or just plain not very good at their job. Hiring the right managers will help keep your employees inspired, productive – and working for you, rather than heading elsewhere. But how to do it? Let’s have a look at some top tips for making sure things are tip-top at the head of the line in your organization.
As a hiring manager, you know finding the right person for each position is an arduous task that involves a considerable amount of work even before you post the role. After pinning down the particulars of the role you and your company are looking to fill, the next step is finding the perfect match! Here are a few tasks/mindsets to understand and account for before posting the role.
Legal technology companies are expanding rapidly, as law firms and legal departments deck themselves out with enough computing power to manage a minor space mission. But how can you know if the software you’ve installed is really helping your business? Let’s have a look at some key traits to look out for when evaluating legal technology.
A company’s mission statement is its declaration of where it wants to go – that means that all its activities should be geared towards helping it get there. As a Tuareg clansman in the Sahara reads the stars and the sand dunes to help him reach a certain oasis, a company’s spreadsheets and flowcharts should only be tools to enable it to arrive at its destination.
Ah, the team meeting – it’s one of those sacred office rituals, its contours familiar to workers across the country. We gather up our notepads, head to the breakout room, listen to people making a series of loosely connected points with only a vague relevance to our job, before everyone leaves wondering ‘What was the point in that?’ Yes, it’s fair to say that many meetings do not inspire employees, aid workflow, or get much done. Still, there are always going to be times when colleagues need to get together to talk to each other. How can you transform meetings from pointless and dull to productive and exciting? Let’s find out!
Remote working was already steadily on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic, but working from home is now more prevalent than ever. Many managers might think that the increase in home working makes it more difficult to stay engaged with their workforce – but that needn’t be the case. Here are some ideas for getting around the problems that a distributed workforce presents – and even taking advantage of its benefits.
Great news – your dream firm wants to speak to you on the phone! But once the initial buzz has passed, you might break out in a nervous sweat as your thoughts turn to the interview itself. Have no fear, however – we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out what you need to do to succeed in your phone interview!
Every May since 1949 has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. But for people with mental health problems, their condition isn’t limited to one-twelfth of the calendar. Unfortunately, many employers have little or no strategy when it comes to addressing mental health problems in the workplace. Here are some of the top things employers need to know to help their employees – and their business – stay healthy.
A large portion of today’s workforce consists of millennials (those born between 1980-2000). This generation has defined a modified set of employer standards as they are differently-motivated in the workplace. So how do you keep your millennial legal team engaged? Start with understanding what they are looking for in a firm:
As a legal team lead, you’re probably used to the idea of motivating your team members. This can take many forms; team get-togethers, quarterly bonuses, and even simple self-motivation. No matter your efforts, you can still run into team members who can’t seem to get out of their negativity. The following tactics can help them get back to a healthy mindset:
Whether it’s professional or personal growth, finding a mentor can be a great idea! Mentors are great for creating a map for your long-term success. They are likely more senior in theirs and can share their experiences and knowledge. So, how do you find a mentor? This process can be challenging, because mentors can differ greatly and come from many areas of your life. Since you’ll want to put a lot of time and energy into this relationship, there are a few traits you’ll want to look for:
In today’s legal world, data is king. With high-profile privacy lawsuits in the daily legal news spotlight, an ever-increasing number of countries and US states are adopting privacy integrity laws. The repercussions of companies not complying with privacy laws are becoming more and more clear. California’s Consumer Protect Act (CCPA) currently affects 500,000+ companies. And, the EU has seen nearly half of a billion dollars worth of fines issued for those in violation of the GDPR.
More and more industries are moving towards allowing for remote work. Professionals feel more productive and comfortable working in their chosen environments, which conventional offices cannot provide. Being steeped in tradition, the legal industry hasn’t adopted this “work from anywhere” mentality quickly. Generally, law firms continue to believe collective company spaces are necessary. Nevertheless, the growing movement of remote legal talent has been a pleasant surprise. And it seems a though remote work is destined to become the status quo.
Recruiting the right employees is of high value to any company. An effective strategy to upscale in the legal industry invariably includes recruitment efforts and every company needs to take steps to ensure their recruiting and onboarding top professionals. Among your recruitment goals should be engaging the right stakeholders, controlling the budget, and giving preference to talent and skill. Here are a few practices to help improve the company culture by recruiting the right candidates:
When interviewing for your dream job, it can feel counterintuitive to not answer every question asked of you. However, some seemingly innocuous questions are actually quite inappropriate (and sometimes illegal) when asked during a job interview. Regardless of intent, here is a guide on how to handle these types of questions.
All lawyers have experienced some type of setback in their careers. Clients pay us for a desired outcome, but that outcome isn’t entirely up to us. So, although you cannot 100% control your success rate, you can control how you deal with the outcome. Here are 10 ways in which successful lawyers deal with career setbacks.
Health is a hot topic in the legal industry. More and more Biglaw firms are paying attention (and company resources) to help inspire their attorneys to live healthier lifestyles. Although health is a broad concept in the modern workplace, in this article we will go over some ideas of how to be a healthy legal professional. (This article does not include medical advice. It’s always best to consult your doctor for any recommendations.)
Remote work is becoming more common among progressive legal technology companies. Although generally conservative, the legal industry has seen an increase in remote positions in general. Although this is not yet the norm in the legal industry, events such as COVID-19 have led many to wonder; how can my company implement an effective work from home policy? And, as a legal professional, how can I negotiate a remote work policy?
No matter where you are in your career path, your professional habits could always use an overhaul. Your habits in the workplace can influence your success both now and in your future roles. Positive habits can help you build and maintain credibility, while less constructive habits can hinder relationships and influence. In this article, we’ll go over 3 particularly problematic habits.
Legal Operations is a fairly recent addition to the legal industry, and, as a department tasked with managing and streamlining the efforts of in-house counsel, they have their work cut out for them. Although there are many options for Legal Operations, in this article we will focus on the 4 most effective tools to help in-house legal departments. Keep in mind, these solutions may vary from business to business, but this list generally addresses all in-house legal department needs.
In the past decade, job seekers have changed their standards for what makes a company and a position desirable. It’s no longer just about the salary, healthcare and career growth alone; culture and wellbeing benefits are becoming a fixture in their criteria. If your legal career is developing towards a managerial role, here are 3 policies and attitudes great managers use to lead their team.
Soft skill sets aren’t the main topic of conversation in a job interview, but they make up a large part of any position in the legal industry (and account for a large part of a hiring decision). If you are looking to shift your career or advance within your organization, focus on the following soft skills major companies have noted are crucial for current and considered employees.
Remote employees and contractors have long been touted as the future of work, and this trend is only accelerating under current circumstances. Many legal departments now have experience with, or are at least exploring, the benefits of hiring remote attorneys and paraprofessionals. Here's how to make it work well.
A publication by DLA Piper - Many of the ICOs and SAFTs in 2017 were for the first amount of capital for the companies involved, and most of these companies did not have any traditional venture capital investors in their capital structure. We are seeing a new parallel trend, however, that is now emerging for startups with traditional venture capital funding: these companies are exploring how to “tokenize” their business to use blockchain technology and raise non-dilutive capital through a token generation event. These hybrid token offerings raise numerous questions for traditional investors.
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Violation of intellectual property rights, "infringement" with regard to patents, copyright, and trademarks, and "misappropriation" with respect to trade secrets, can be a breach of civil law or criminal law, which depends on the type of intellectual property involved, the jurisdiction, and the nature of the action.