In this episode of Thomson Reuters Down the Hall with Practical Law, host Renee Karibi-Whyte speaks with Kate Bally, Director of the Practical Law Labor and Employment Service, about the importance of establishing workplace policies and documenting those policies in an employee handbook. Kate discusses the risks associated with not providing an employee handbook and failing to follow handbooks consistently. Kate then breaks down how several burgeoning social issues – accommodation, wage and hour, confidentiality, LGBT issues, and state nuances – impact today’s corporate world. She closes the interview with an explanation of why employee handbook acknowledgement agreements are vital and shares the best professional advice she’s ever received.
Many attorneys are reluctant to try alternative billing methods because they fear that moving away from the billable hour will be complicated and less profitable. Furthermore, lawyers who are interested in billing alternatives often don’t know where to find resources to help them implement such changes in their own law firms. In this episode of New Solo, host Adriana Linares talks with Vandenack Weaver LLC founder Mary Vandenack about her six simple steps for any lawyer looking to successfully implement alternative billing methods in their law practice.
In this episode of New Solo, host Adriana Linares talks with Vandenack Weaver LLC founder Mary Vandenack about lawyers using alternative billing models. Mary defines alternative billing as any way of charging for a law firm’s services that isn’t the billable hour and talks about her experiences breaking away from a large firm and starting her own. She shares an interaction with a client that led her to consider alternative fees and explains that a common fear among lawyers when discussing alternative billing is under charging for your services. Mary advises attorneys to analyze their process, break those methods down into pieces, and to then price those pieces accordingly. She provides examples of different styles of alternative billing and closes the interview with an analysis of their pros and cons.
Many law firms work hard to increase their client base and grow their practice without having a clear understanding of what kind of law firm they would like to become. In this report from On The Road, hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent talk with State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting keynote speaker and legal industry analyst Ari Kaplan about helping attorneys develop their companies and what lawyers can learn from successful organizations in other industries.
Ari Kaplan, a leading legal industry analyst, is an inaugural Fastcase 50 honoree and a finalist for ILTA’s 2015 Thought Leader of the Year award. His most recent book, “Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace,” was released in Japanese, and Thomson Reuters is publishing the second edition of “The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development” in 2016. He is the principal researcher for a variety of widely distributed benchmarking reports and has also been the keynote speaker for events in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout the U.S. Kaplan is also the founder of the Lawcountability® business development platform, a finalist for ILTA’s 2015 Innovative Solution Provider of the Year award.
Lawyers are in the suffering business, says bankruptcy lawyer and meditation instructor Jeena Cho. “Rarely do clients come to us with happy news.” Taking on clients’ tough problems can be source of a lot of stress for practitioners. Cho speaks with the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward about how practicing mindfulness–which at is heart, is about living in the present moment–can help lawyers quickly move on from daily stressors and setbacks.
Some large law firms are hesitant to attend conferences because they don’t see the direct benefit for their law practices and are unwilling to spend that time. Small firms and solo practitioners might be reluctant to attend, because they don’t feel like they have the budget or resources to implement changes a conference might suggest. In this report from On The Road, host Adriana Linares speaks with Sedgwick LLP partner Ramón Abadin and Frost Brown Todd LLC attorney Stephen Embry about their experiences at the 2016 Clio Cloud Conference and why attending events like this is valuable for both large and small firms.
Ramón A. Abadin is an active trial lawyer who has tried more than 30 cases to verdict. He focuses on complex commercial and tort matters that frequently involve significant insurance components. Mr. Abadin has tried cases in both state and federal courts in Florida, where he has represented some of the world’s largest multinational corporations and insurance companies. Ray Abadin is currently President of the Florida Bar.
Stephen Embry is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC and is a member of the firm’s class action, privacy and mass tort groups. He frequently defends participants in consumer class actions and mass tort litigation. Stephen is a national litigator and advisor who is experienced in developing solutions to complex litigation and corporate problems. He is the former chair of Frost Brown Todd’s mass tort practice group.
Collaboratively working on documents can get messy and it can also be a challenge following the trail of changes to figure out who adjusted what. In this report from On The Road, host Laurence Colletti talks with Adams Contracts Consulting LLC founder and president Ken Adams about improving the contract drafting process, why boilerplate language persists, and what attorneys can do to fix it.
Ken Adams isn’t a leading authority on the building blocks of contract language, he’s the leading authority. Besides being a deal lawyer, Ken is a writerly sort with a serious aversion to inefficiency in public affairs. He has spent the past twenty years wrestling with the nuances of indemnify and hold harmless and the like, a task evidently of limited appeal to others. Ken is author of the groundbreaking book “A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting” (3d ed. 2013). He gives seminars worldwide and helps companies improve their contracts.
Within the legal industry, the thought of competing with a large law firm can seem daunting to a small firm or solo practitioner. What if those perceptions were no longer true and the climate of the legal market actually gave small firms an advantage? In this report from On The Road, host Joe Patrice speaks with Bloomberg Law Vice President and General Manager Melanie Heller about employing smart technology, what tech does for the legal environment, and the potential for small law and solos to step up in the marketplace.
Melanie Heller was named vice president and general manager of Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg BNA’s flagship legal and business intelligence product, in April 2015. In her current position she is responsible for the commercial strategy, growth and development of Bloomberg Law. Previously, Heller was head of market strategy, a team focused on sales enablement, product development and brand awareness and manager of Bloomberg Law’s transactional/regulatory editorial group. Prior to joining the organization, Heller was a legal director at Proskauer LLP, where she assisted the corporate department leadership in managing the business operations of the department. Before that, she was a corporate lawyer at the law firms Clifford Chance LLP and Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP. Heller has a B.A. in English & Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, an MPhil in Oriental Studies from Oxford University and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.
For a long time data had shown that law firms generally generated more revenue than accounting firms overall. However, that trend has shifted within the last eight years with accounting firms enjoying greater fiscal success. What changes did the accounting world make that allowed them to surpass legal market revenue? In this report from On The Road, host Victor Li talks with Intuit small business ecosystem evangelist David Leary about the impact that embracing technology, adopting the cloud, and business innovations can have on legal industry earnings.
David Leary is a small business ecosystem evangelist at Intuit and an innovative force in the small business accounting world. His business sense, vast technical knowledge, and domain expertise has helped bridge the gap between developers, small business owners, and accountants. In his current role, David focuses on bringing third party SaaS solutions that work with QuickBooks Online to Apps.com. In 2015, David was named by Accounting Today as a “One to Watch” in their Top 100 Most Influential People issue.
“I look at a cellphone as my convenience for communication. I don’t look at it as a tool where everybody gets to interface with me whenever they want to.”—Kristin LaMont
This week, Sam talks with Kristin LaMont, lawyer and adjunct professor, about how to maintain your work-life balance when your firm goes mobile.
Kristin LaMont is an attorney in Salem, Oregon, who has practiced family law for the past 23 years. She has a passion for supporting work/life balance for herself and members of her firm by offering flexible work options for attorneys and staff through the use of technology and actively incorporating mindfulness practices into the culture of her firm.