Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

The Florida Bar Podcast

How to Use Time Management and Mindfulness to Improve Your Law Practice

Many solo and small firm lawyers have a hard time managing their practices in addition to being a lawyer full time. Most lawyers in any field are interested in efficient time management. On this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares and Renee Thompson speak with law firm coach Nora Bergman about how lawyers can organize time and use mindfulness to get more work done in less time. Tune in to hear about creating focus time, planning your week, training your brain for effectiveness, and actually implementing tips!

Nora Riva Bergman is a certified practice advisor at Atticus, a company that helps law firms with time management, marketing, human resources, and finances. A licensed attorney since 1992, Nora brings a deep understanding of the practice and business of law to her work with lawyers, law firms, and bar associations.

Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law

Kit-Kats, X-Files, And Starting Your Own Firm

Joe talks to Jared Correia, Assistant Director and Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP and host of Legal Talk Network’s Legal Toolkit and Lunch Hour Legal Marketing about what lawyers, especially small firm and solo lawyers, need to know about running their own firm. As one might expect, the discussion takes some twists and turns before ending up on the burning question: should you draft Tom Brady in your fantasy draft?

Special Reports

Changes to the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct in 2015

The Massachusetts Rules for Professional Conduct were officially and extensively revised for the first time since 1998 on July 1st, 2015. Many of these changes were heavily influenced by the 2013 revision to the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, due to a value recognized by lawyers and courts in having nationwide uniformity. Massachusetts lawyers, pay attention for the changes, what they mean, and practical applications to take in order to stay in compliance with the revised rules.

Jared Correia and Heidi Alexander, advisors at Mass. LOMAP and hosts of The Legal Toolkit, interview Connie Vecchione and James Bolan, experts on legal ethics in Massachusetts, about specific rules Massachusetts lawyers should review to ensure they don’t face malpractice and disciplinary issues. Tune in for specific advice that is easy to implement with regard to technological competence, online advertising, trust accounting, and more.

Constance Vecchione is chief bar counsel for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, an agency responsible for investigating, evaluating, and prosecuting complaints of ethical violations brought against Massachusetts attorneys.

James Bolan is a partner at Brecher Wyner Simons Fox & Bolan LLP, where he represents lawyers and law firms in Massachusetts Board Bar Overseers in malpractice matters, as well as providing counsel related to professional responsibility, practice and ethics, malpractice defense, and prevention and risk management. He was previously an assistant bar counsel at the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.

Paralegal Voice

Tips and Tricks for Your Annual Performance Review

Most paralegals have an annual review with their employer, and many dread the day it arrives. But this meeting can be useful and informative. During your annual review, you can receive praise for hard work, learn about expectations, reevaluate your goals, and determine what about your workflow needs improvement. Furthermore, this is the time to ask your employer to sponsor education, additional training, and a conference, or even to negotiate salary adjustments. In order to have a successful review, you must come prepared. What should we as paralegals do to prepare ourselves for this usually dreaded event?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Ruth Conley and Linda Carrette, presenters at the National Association of Legal Assistants’ 40th Annual Convention, about why an annual review is important for paralegals, how we can prepare for the meeting, and mistakes to avoid.

Topics include:

  • Employer reaffirmation about work quality
  • Asking for evaluations when they are not offered
  • Effective communication with your employer
  • The history of performance reviews
  • Tracking your accomplishments and billing statistics
  • How to act when confronted with constructive criticism
  • Setting personal performance goals
  • Acting in a professional manner

Ruth Conley has been a paralegal for over 25 years, primarily working for defense law firms. She has been regional director for District 1, was a founder of the Houston Paralegal Association (HPA), and served as the first president of HPA. She works at Andrews Kurth, a law firm based in Houston, Texas.

Linda Carrette began her paralegal career in 1983. She has worked for small firms, legal consulting groups, mid-sized firms, nationwide firms, and international firms and currently works at Strasburger & Price, where she specializes in litigation.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston UniversityNALA, and ServeNow.

Legal Toolkit

The Future of Law Firm Communication: Is Email on the Way Out?

While convenient, email seems to be increasingly a distraction in law firms and most other businesses. Furthermore, email chains about important cases sit in our inboxes next to spam, family interactions, personal information, and more spam. Due to the sheer volume of emails received, lawyers and firm staff often waste time navigating them to find case information. Despite all this, is email really on the way out? If so, what will replace it?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews Ryan Anderson, trial attorney and founder and CEO of Filevine, a project management and collaboration tool for lawyers, about email inefficiency and the future of communication in law offices. Together they discuss how the lack of restriction to email access has become a problem for lawyers, businesses, and individuals. If you are working from your inbox, anyone with your email address can disrupt your workflow. Ryan suggests email as a virtual “front office,” collaboration tools for projects and cases, instant messaging for urgent matters, and overall effective communication processes for law firm efficiency. In the future, he says, lawyers will form teams outside of a firm structure, and many more will work remote. Tune in and let us know whether you believe in the death of email.

Ryan Anderson is the founder and CEO of Filevine, a project management and collaboration tool for lawyers and consumer professionals. Ryan is also a founding partner and trial attorney at Bighorn Law. In five years, Bighorn has grown from two attorneys in Nevada to seventy employees across four states.

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How to conquer anxiety and break the ice during professional events

Do you get social anxiety thinking about networking at big events? Is it hard to make connections with other lawyers? Focus on what you can learn about others, rather than telling people about yourself, business development coach Larry Kohn tells the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward.

Larry Kohn, an executive coach, is president of Los Angeles-based Kohn Communications. He’s co-author of Selling In Your Comfort Zone, which was published by the American Bar Association. Kohn Communications’ blog about business development for lawyers can be found at http://www.kohncommunications.com.

The Digital Edge

How Lawyers Can Do More in Less Time

Many lawyers work far more than 40 hours a week and still lack the time to work on firm marketing, practice management, and spending time with friends and family. Furthermore, with increases in technology, it seems as though lawyers should be more efficient, but this isn’t always the case. What are we doing wrong and what strategies can lawyers and other professionals use to increase productivity and free up more time?

In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Allison Shields, co-author of “How to Do More in Less Time: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Productivity and Increasing Your Bottom Line.” Allison discusses why she wrote the book, productivity mistakes lawyers often make, and specific suggestions she has for increasing time efficiency.

Topics include:

  • Pressure among other lawyers to overwork
  • How technology has affected client expectations
  • Setting goals for overall firm success
  • The mistake of trying to multi-task
  • Clear steps to overcome the fear of delegation
  • Effective calendar use
  • Using technology properly
  • How lawyers and professionals should approach Allison’s book

Allison Shields is the president of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc., which provides marketing, practice management, and productivity coaching and consulting services for lawyers and law firms nationwide. She is also the executive director of the Suffolk Academy of Law, the educational arm of the Suffolk County Bar Association. She is a frequent lecturer and writes for numerous legal publications including the regular Simple Steps column for Law Practice Magazine.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Special Reports

Counseling the Provocative Client: Freedom of Speech vs Public Prejudice

Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews panelists Professor Donald Jones and Emily Patricia Graham about their seminar “Counseling the Provocative Client” at The Florida Bar 2015 Annual Convention. A provocative client produces art or content that may be offensive to members of the public and needs legal advice or legal representation in court to defend his or her First Amendment rights. Professor Jones shares his view on how hip hop music artists are often set up to fail in a society of structural racism. Emily Patricia Graham talks about being a transactional attorney who advises clients in film, fashion, and music about the practical issues of marketplace value.

Professor Donald Jones teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, and Employment Discrimination at the University of Miami School of Law and is a social theory author.

Emily Patricia Graham practices entertainment law in Florida, Louisiana, and California with offices in Miami Beach and Clearwater.

Special Reports

Differences Among the DCAs: What Does Your Florida Judge Want?

Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews appellate attorney Ceci Berman and appellate judges Stephanie Ray, Morris Silberman, and Richard Suarez about their seminar “Differences Among the DCAs” at The Florida Bar 2015 Annual Convention. The appellate judges distinguish differences in motion practice, use of law clerks, staff attorneys, decision making, and what lawyers should and shouldn’t do to be successful in court. They agree that knowledge of individual court rules and concise legal arguments are the most important factors. As a lawyer, Ceci discusses her takeaways from the seminar.

Ceci Berman is an appellate attorney with Brannock & Humphries in Tampa, Florida and is the current chair of the Appellate Practice Section of The Florida Bar.

Judge Stephanie Ray presides over the First District Court of Appeal and is the former chair for the State of Florida Public Employees Relations Commission.

Judge Morris Silberman presides on the Florida Second District Court of Appeal and has been active in a variety of professional and civic organizations.

Judge Richard Suarez presides over the Florida Third District Court of Appeal and is a member of The Florida Bar Association, the Dade County Defense Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and Cuban American Bar Association.

Special Reports

Lawyering Advice from Brian Tannebaum

Adriana Linares interviews attorney Brian Tannebaum about his practice and his new book at The Florida Bar 2015 Annual Convention. With over 20 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer and now representing lawyers in disciplinary matters, he has useful advice regarding technology, ethics, and client communication. Within The Florida Bar, Brian is also a former member of the Criminal Rules Committee, former chair of the Traffic Court Rules Committee, former member of the Grievance Committee, and currently serves on the executive council of the Criminal Law Section.

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