Specializing in Virtual Legal Assistance

Do They Teach This in Law School? July 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 10:39 am
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I’m sure many of these skills – collaboration skills, emotional intelligence, financial literacy, project management, technological affinity and time management – aren’t required courses in typical law school curriculum, but I totally agree with Jordan Furlong’s post on Law 21 detailing the 6 skills lawyers should have today.

I personally think the most interesting skill noted is the need for emotional intelligence. Winning clients in the modern time is DEFINITELY going to require an ability to truly empathize with and respect clients’ positions. As a businesswoman I always prefer my service providers to understand where I’m coming from.

As for time management I’ll just repeat my favorite advice to delegate, delegate, delegate!!! (Hint, hint – consider a virtual legal assistant – we love to help!!!)


Canada 9-5 Blog Carnival June 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 9:29 pm
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It’s almost Canada Day so why not check out this edition of the Canada 9-5 Blog Carnival from Alphablogs – my post on Law Practice and Life Balance is mentioned!!

One of the posts I particularly enjoyed was Sarah Welstead’s post called For the Price of a Cup of Coffee.

Hope you enjoy the carnival!!!


Law Practice and Life Balance June 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 7:11 am
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Yesterday I read this article by Melanie Jester from Oklahoma Bar Journal Articles. It discusses work-life balance for lawyers. And then later yesterday I took my boys to the park and ran into a very nice lady, who it turns out is a lawyer on maternity leave and we discussed the topic of lawfirms and trying to have a career and a family.

I think balance is an elusive but achievable goal – it just takes having an open mind to doing things a different way. This is the part lawfirms struggle with I think – there is often a tendency to do things as they have always been done, since it has worked for so long. But there is a long list of ways to give your employees some flexibility while still achieving the firm’s goals and providing results for the client:

  1. Telecommuting -easily a top choice for workers – it allows work from home or really anywhere. For example a parent home with a sick child can try and get some work done if allowed the opportunity to access work files from home.
  2. Part-time work – another great option for some people. Some staff want more time for hobbies, travel, family etc., but they don’t want to give up their career either. I think that as the population ages we’ll really see a demand for this, as people who’ve worked so hard on their careers are ready to loosen up a bit without letting go altogether.
  3. Alternative hours – people have different “peak” hours in the day. My husband is a total morning person, I am best midday and I have a friend who works best late at night. If we all work 9-5 the reality is that we won’t all be performing optimally. Workers who can adjust their hours even somewhat to work around their natural inclinations will work harder and will appreciate the trust placed in them to show up and do the job regardless of if the boss is in and working the same exact hours.
  4. Flex time – put in extra hours and get time off later, it’s a simple and easy solution and I’m surprised more lawfirms haven’t taken advantage of it. It saves money on overtime costs and allows staff an occasional extra day or even half-day off.

I think the most important thing to note about all the above options is not only that they will be a wonderful benefit to workers but that they all offer rewards for the employer. Win-win in my books!


Women in the Law – Women in Business June 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 7:42 am
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I recently read this wonderful article from Canadian Lawyer magazine about women in the law. The article featured roundtable discussion from several prominent women lawyers.

It’s interesting to me to note that the concerns facing women lawyers are indeed the concerns facing many women in business. We all have to find ways to advance our careers, we all need to find ways to maintain balance and a personal life and we all have to overcome some obstacles along the way.

I think it was particularly interesting to me as just yesterday I was really thinking about what it means, even in this wonderful modern age, to have children and a career. My husband is a wonderful man who does A LOT around the house and with our kids. Still many things have always fallen to me as the mom – making the childcare decisions and the medical appointments, attending school functions (he comes when he can get away from work, but that is not always), etc. When both parents have careers it gets so hard to juggle all the things that need to be taken care of. And like the women lawyers in the article, you realize some things are going to have to give. Usually it’s your personal time – the time you might have spent with friends or on hobbies.

I don’t know if seeing the problems can help change them – but it is a start isn’t it?