Most attorneys have more than their share of situations where they feel anxious. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious from time to time; from the pressure of working extended hours to the feeling of always having to be in the right; anxiety can easily creep in. The problem with anxiety occurs when it becomes a lifestyle versus an occasional emotional or physical setback. Left alone, anxiety can affect your daily functioning and anxiety disorders. Side effects of anxiety disorder range from irritability and obsessive thoughts to difficulty concentrating, a sense of worry or impending doom. Physical side effects include sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, sweating, fatigue, and muscle tension. This is not a situation that will go away on its own or that can be left untreated.
According to the New York Law Journal, there are over 60 legal employers participating in the Pledge Campaign organized by the American Bar Association’s Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession (ABA Working Group) to date. Countless reports and studies have documented the fact that attorneys suffer from high rates of substance abuse and depression.[i] However, the good news is that this issue is getting the long-overdue attention and people in the legal field are starting to go beyond talk and following through with real, positive action.
'Dark data’ is an issue that almost every law firm has to deal with, there is no exact law or specific guidance on how to manage it. However, attorneys still have an explicit obligation to preserve and protect client records. Unmanaged, uncategorized content is widespread at most law firms. The bulk of a firm’s dark data is often old client data, such as scanned files, email attachments and bulk file imports added into a file system.
In the race to adopt new technology and new concepts, it is no secret that the legal industry comes last. The legal industry has always been and continues to be perceived as an old-fashioned sector, and a great number of lawyers like it that way. However, many law firms are realizing the true potential and impact of several technological developments, especially when applied to legal services. Among these new developments, BIG DATA has become a useful tool for legal practitioners everywhere.
Non-billable tasks at your law firm are a part of running your law firm but finding ways to increase efficiencies are also important. It will allow you to find additional time to work on additional tasks such as including billable work or marketing or networking to source new clients. Law firms, whether they are solo practice or part of a global firm, rely on the constant flow of information whether it is related to billing, communications, contact profiles or case documents. The technology available today has made it quite easy to track and access data when it’s in a digital format. With better, more convenient access to information, you can see more of what goes on at your firm.
According to an American Bar Association survey, only 60% of respondents report that their firms have a policy in place to manage the retention of information/data held by the firm.[ii] To avoid consequences from breached data, law firms need to be more proactive about their security. A data leak or breach can lead to an exodus of clients, an IT disaster, financial loss, and even regulatory fines.
To understand the importance of cyber insurance, it is important to have a clear understanding of what they cover. Cyber insurance goes by various names such as cyber liability (CLIC) or cyber risk coverage. The goal of cyber insurance in a law firm is to assist with the financial aspects of data recovery and other activities should a cyber breach occur.  This form of policy is not trending but has become an essential aspect of a law firm’s business plan.
In response to global climate change, economic pressure and eco-conscious clients, legal professionals are establishing eco-consciousness initiatives to cut down on expenses, reduce their carbon footprint and promote social responsibility. Additionally, “green law" is a growing practice area with many firms are establishing niche sub-practices such as fair trade and organics. But your firm cannot just talk but must walk the walk. Here is where becoming a Certified B Corp can help you brand your law firm as eco-consciousness.
When it comes to rainmakers, the discussion of whether rainmakers are born or bred usually comes up. For the sake of this article, we will assume that some people are born with a stronger set of skills that work well when it comes to succeeding as a rainmaker. But there is no reason that others cannot learn from examining these strengths and rise to become rainmakers as well.
Most U.S. law firms have some catch-up to do when it comes to female rainmakers, but the process is improving for women at many law firms, but there’s more work to be done to bring them to the top business development ranks. And women rainmakers say that business development is behind their success that will lead to more clients and higher income potential.