Podcast category: Best Legal Practices
March 15, 2016
Going paperless seems to be one of the top new trends among law firms due to cheaper and better hardware and software, refined processes, and effective consulting. And it is especially important for paralegals to know the do’s and don’ts of implementing a paperless office as they may be the ones in charge. So why are so many firms going paperless and how is it done effectively?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews practice management advisor and former paralegal JoAnn Hathaway about why law firms should go paperless, the risks and perils of improper execution, and the important role paralegals play in this process.
- JoAnn’s journey from paralegal to practice management advisor
- Can a law firm or business actually go completely paperless?
- Gaining the competitive edge with efficiency and organization
- What hardware, software, and processes you need
- Mobile lawyering and cloud computing options
- Implementation risks and the ten perils of bad policy
- Assigning specific tasks to law firm staff members
- Why and how to get everyone on board
- The importance of having a paralegal intricately involved
- Synchronization and compatibility of hardware and software
JoAnn L. Hathaway works for the State Bar of Michigan as a practice management advisor. She previously worked as a litigation paralegal, a legal liability claims director and risk manager, and a legal administrator. JoAnn is an Adobe Acrobat Certified Expert, and holds software certifications in LexisNexis Time Matters and Billing Matters software. She is active in the ABA Law Practice Management Division, serving on the Publications Board and the State and Local Bar Outreach Committee. JoAnn is a frequent speaker on law firm technology, insurance, and risk and practice management topics.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston University, NALA, and ServeNow.
March 9, 2016
In this Special Report, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti sits down with The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession Chair Will Gunn to discuss the Spirit of Excellence Awards and the 2016 recipients. The conversation opens with a brief history of The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and an exploration of its goal to eliminate bias and increase opportunities for all members of the profession. Will then gives some insight into the nomination process for the award and the criteria used to determine the finalists. He also takes a moment to introduce us to the four recipients: William Mitchell College of Law Professor of Law Sarah Deer, Illinois Department of Labor Director of Labor Hugo Chaviano, Temple University Beasley School of Law Dean and Professor of Law Joanne A. Epps, and The Marquez Law Group principal Victor M. Marquez. Laurence and Will then wrap up the conversation with a focus on the career-long struggles and achievements that made these candidates the 2016 Spirit of Excellence Award winners.
Will Gunn is the chair for The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He is a consultant and practices law in Washington, D.C. Will is also a retired Air Force Judge Advocate General and formerly served as the general council for the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.
March 7, 2016
Cost savings are particularly important for small firms and solos. What are some easy fixes for making law firm budgets go further, and what are some common mistakes to avoid? In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward gets some tips and tricks for stretching firm’s dollars further.
March 3, 2016
In this Special Report, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti sits down with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association President Jin Hwang, partner at Cooper & Dunham Robert Maldonado, and commercial litigator for Goldman Antonetti & Cordova Carlos Rodriguez-Vidal to discuss improving diversity in the administration of justice and the judicial system. Outside of the ABA there are national bars of color, such as NAPABA and the National Native American Bar Association, that work to promote diversity in all segments of the legal profession. Carlos Rodriguez-Vidal kicks off this episode by explaining why it is so important that bars of color work together to bring about positive change and why this endeavor is not driven by individual self-interest. The conversation shifts to a discussion of the importance of mentoring young lawyers and why all of the guests feel like they have broader responsibilities as lawyers of color who have found success in their careers. Finally, the conversation wraps up with a discussion about steps that all lawyers can take to get involved and how increasing diversity throughout the judicial system benefits society at large.
Carlos Rodriguez-Vidal is a commercial litigator in San Juan Puerto Rico for the law firm Goldman Antonetti & Cordova. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and Spanish from Haverford College and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Jin Hwang is the president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in French Studies and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.
Robert Maldonado is a partner at Cooper & Dunham. He received his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
February 1, 2016
You may have noticed that some lawyers are often quoted in the press. They might have a practice that naturally garners attention, or perhaps they are great at explaining complex issues succinctly and have a good camera presence. Or it could just be that they’re known for returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner.
Reaching out to the media can be helpful–or harmful–to your clients. What are the best ways to approach reporters when you’re looking for a media spotlight? How can you provide reporters with useful information, in a way that also promotes you and your clients in a positive light?
In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward discusses how lawyers can best approach the media when they’d like some press. This month’s guest is Vivia Chen, a senior columnist with the American Lawyer.
Vivia Chen is the creator and chief blogger of the Careerist, an American Lawyer column that focuses on women and diversity in the profession. A former corporate lawyer who is now a senior columnist, Chen’s writing has been honored by the American Bar Association and Business Insider.
January 22, 2016
Ivan Fong, senior vice president for legal affairs and general counsel of 3M Company, started in an unusual place for an attorney: as a chemical engineer with undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT. He attended Stanford Law School and subsequently built a distinguished career from a big law partnership to senior in-house positions in some of America’s finest legal departments. These positions were all punctuated by stints of public service at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. So what advice does he have to offer lawyers looking to build a successful in-house career?
In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Fong about the course of his legal career, how his time in public service set him up to go in-house at General Electric, and how he charted his course internally at such a big company.
- Fong’s decision to switch from engineering to legal
- Clerkships for Judge Abner J. Mikva and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
- Why he started in big law after law school
- Choosing the right company over a specific subject matter
- Appellate work, ecommerce, and patent litigation
- Fong’s position as Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice
- Legal doctrines concerning unlawful conduct and the internet
- Moving in-house at GE and then becoming GC at Cardinal Health
- Doing pro bono work as a general counsel
Ivan Fong is senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel of the 3M Company. In that role, he oversees all legal, compliance, legal policy, and government affairs matters for the company. He was recently named one of America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel by the National Law Journal. Prior to joining 3M in October 2012, Ivan served for over three years as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
January 19, 2016
“The question is not can a machine exhibit empathy or judgement but instead for what problems are empathy, judgement, or creativity the solution?” -Richard Susskind
After years of writing and thinking about the future of the legal profession, Richard Susskind began to run into legal professionals whose careers are being affected by technology. In addition to lawyers, those in the medical, architecture, financial, and other fields have begun to notice a shift in the provision of professional services. Richard got together with his son, Daniel Susskind, at the time working in justice policy, education policy, and health policy for the British Prime Minister, to examine how technology is increasingly playing a fundamental role in how all service-based professions work. They recently published a book on the subject called “The Future of the Professions.”
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Richard and Daniel Susskind about their new book and key topics within that might interest lawyers who wish to prepare for the future. They discuss a “grand bargain” concept of exclusivity, the capability of machines to replace cognitive, physical/manual, and emotional skills currently provided by human professionals, and the right questions to ask about the future of legal services. Are there any tasks that computers won’t be able to do?
- Society’s expectation for affordable, accessible, and reliable professional services
- Computers and artificial intelligence as a threat to the legal profession
- Professionals to be redeployed into new roles
- Embedded knowledge
- Free sharing of information through online avenues
- Incremental changes versus complete changes
- Commercial and social circumstances of the current systems
Professor Richard Susskind is an author, speaker, and independent advisor to international professional firms and national governments. He is president for the Society for Computers and Law, IT advisor to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and chair of the Oxford Internet Institute Advisory Board. His books include the best sellers, “The End of Lawyers?” and “Tomorrow’s Lawyers.”
Daniel Susskind is a lecturer in economics at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he researches and teaches, and from where he has two degrees in economics. He was also a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University. Previously, he worked for the British government as a policy adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and as a senior policy adviser at the Cabinet Office.
Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and CloudMask.
January 18, 2016
As a youngster, when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, how did you respond? Did you tell them that you wanted to be the CFO of a mediocre law firm that does just enough to get by? With so many resources out there, it’s difficult to grasp why so many law firm owners are settling for only doing as much as is necessary to pay the bills. Lawyers should be using their businesses to help as many people as possible, including themselves.
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews small law firm business expert RJon Robins about how to balance seven parts of a law firm business to make it work for you, and not the other way around. While many firms seem to be focused on doing just well enough to get by, RJon Robins is urging legal professionals to take a different approach. He believes that you should set up your law firm as a means to make you happy, and that doing so will create revenue as a byproduct. Christopher and RJon take an in-depth look at the seven parts of every law firm and the ways in which they should be synthesized in order to reach professional and personal goals. These parts consist of marketing, sales, production, people, the physical plant, financial controls, and you, the firm’s owner. Ultimately, RJon says, your business should be a manifestation of who you are. In closing, RJon tells listeners where they can find complimentary resources to help them implement these changes.
RJon Robins is the founder of How to Manage a Small Law Firm whose tagline is “Happy lawyers make more money. And broke lawyers don’t do anyone any good… least of all their clients, their families, or themselves.” He acts as an outside CEO for thousands of small and solo firms across the country, assisting them through all stages of growth and walking clients through his approach to the seven parts of their law firm business.
January 14, 2016
Do you charge for initial consultation in your practice? If not, you might be missing out on higher quality meetings and additional revenue. Despite this claim, most lawyers are worried that changing their fee structure will chase potential clients away from the front door. How can we, as lawyers, offer discernible value and make people actually want to pay for an initial consultation?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia discusses charging for initial consultations with Sarah Poriss, a foreclosure defense lawyer in Connecticut. Sarah explains why she charges initial consultation fees, how to offer the right legal service value in these appointments, and ways lawyers can determine their rates. Let’s face it, she says, are you looking for the type of client who pays or one who doesn’t?
- How fees improve the meeting quality: on-time, attentive, and serious clients
- The risks of charging initial consultation
- Gaining an edge on your competition
- Setting the right expectations for legal services and retainers
- Preparing for a fee discussion
- Onboarding, client intake, and follow-up
- Confidently setting a rate and making changes as needed
Sarah Poriss is a Connecticut lawyer with a practice focused on consumer finance. Her practice is the largest woman-owned foreclosure defense firm in Connecticut. Sarah was a Hartford Bar Association’s 2011 Pro Bono Award recipient. She was an original member of Connecticut’s Bench Bar Foreclosure Committee and Bench Bar Small Claims Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and is a regular speaker for local organizations and institutions including UConn Law School.
Special thanks to our sponsor Amicus Attorney.
January 12, 2016
Using the right strategies during trial preparation can help win a case in court. In this podcast, Ringler Radio host Larry Cohen and co-host, Duke Wolpert join Ross Suter, Esq., Litigation Consultant at Magna Legal Services, as they take a look at what works best to increase the odds for success.
Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.
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