We all dread the word budget. Even more so, we struggle to make any sense out of creating an effective budget that balances both the firm’s growth goals and its cost limitations. In this week’s PST, learn why creating an annual budget is important and the tool that can help you prepare.
It was only 11 months ago when goals were created, aspirations dreamt, and hope invigorated. As the year moved from winter to spring, summer to fall, and now back to winter, those same goals seem long forgotten. Instead of looking to 2017 to start new, build momentum now and finish this year strong.
In times of uncertainty, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. Take stock of what you can do now to prepare for a changing immigration policy climate and be the best possible advocate for your clients.
Ensure compliance with applicable ethics rules by reviewing nine questions you should consider before filing an affirmative asylum application where the applicant may have a stronger claim for cancellation of removal than for asylum.
Home-based law practices have been on the rise since 2012 and proponents argue persuasively that they are the future of law practice for a variety of reasons, including client experience, work-life balance, financial advantage and expanding market share. Is a home office the right choice for you?
When we attend a CLE, it is almost always on a substantive legal topic that will help us solve problems for our clients. We really attend for someone other than ourselves. When was the last time you attended a CLE that solved your problems?
Communication is the cornerstone of a successful practice, whether attorneys work remotely or in an office setting. In this practice success tip, learn how to improve your communication skills and build better relationships with colleagues, employees and clients, no matter where or how you work.
Working from home is fabulous in many ways. But people who have never worked in this way often don’t understand that it has its own set of challenges. In this PST, learn tips and strategies to overcome feelings of isolation that can result from working alone in a home office.
Salary, income, wages, paychecks, whichever way you say it—the money you make is among the few topics not openly discussed in the workplace. Why is that? Is there something to be ashamed of, or worse, something to be proud of? In this week’s PST, learn why pay transparency might be a good thing.
As attorneys, we rely on our employees every day, sometimes forgetting that the support staff requires support from us too. In this PST, we provide five tips that will assist in retaining the staff you have, while also enhancing their work product.
Have you ever spent an inordinate amount of time looking for an important email in your inbox? As lawyers time is something that is very precious to us, and as we all know every minute counts. In this week’s PST, learn how to “clean up” your Outlook and use your time more productively.
It’s hard to imagine that taking a small amount of time to sit quietly and breathe deeply could enhance our health or productivity. But study after study proves us wrong. In this PST, learn how meditation and mindfulness can benefit you and your practice.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but the end of summer should not mark the end of vacations. More than half of our colleagues do not take advantage of their earned time off from work. And, when employees do not take their vacation days, it affects the culture of the firm.
Continuing improvements in search engine technology and the constant expansion of data will soon provide clients the answers they once asked lawyers at initial consultations. With powerful, free information in the hands of consumers the role and manner of the initial client consultation will change.
Attorneys become so busy in their everyday lives that they sometimes forget why they started practicing law. In this PST, learn how you can get back to your roots, sharpen your skills, and reconnect with who you were when you chose to enter our noble profession.
Password-protected files and systems are only as good as the password used to protect them, and most people have poor password habits. In this Practice Success Tip, learn how you can dramatically strengthen your passwords, while, more importantly, being able to remember them.
Renaming documents in Microsoft Word is easy, but when you have more than a dozen or so to rename, right clicking each one to edit the name can become tedious and time consuming, especially when you are in a time-crunch. So what can you do? Find out in this week’s Practice Success Tip.
Did you know that EOIR is fighting fraud, too? This Practice Success Tip features a Q&A with Brea Burgie, Program Director for the Fraud and Abuse Prevention Counsel. Learn about EOIR’s Fraud Prevention Program and how you can help identify bad actors in your area.
A single thought, a striking photograph, or a quick cellphone recording now has the potential to circle around the world and back, picking up millions of views, influencing lives, and causing mayhem all at the same time. In this PST, see the bigger picture that connectivity has on your clients.
You finally decided to take the leap and start your own practice; congratulations! As you will quickly learn, there are many things for you to consider as you set up shop—and everything seems to cost money. This PST includes tips for cutting costs in technology while running an efficient practice.
Lawyers must use reasonable care when selecting and using cloud-based computing services. Many state bars have published ethics opinions stating that cloud computing is ethical provided the lawyer uses reasonable care, including taking the steps outlined in this article.
How often do you get a prospective client that comes in for a consultation, only to walk right out because she thinks your fees are too high? In this PST, learn how adding value will make a potential client more likely to retain your services.
Distractions are what really consume our days. It takes our brains time to shift back and forth between tasks and to refocus on that task. Each time we are distracted we lose precious time. So what are some things to try? Find out in this week’s PST
How will you make this year’s Annual Conference great? The value gained from attending Annual Conference isn’t just about the information you take in, it’s also about the experiences and opportunities… maximize your return on this year’s Annual Conference with these Top 10 Practice Success Tips.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is here, but many law firms are waiting for others to work out any bugs. Microsoft has made some recent changes to the update process, and the deadline to update for free is fast approaching. This week’s PST gives you a roadmap for making this update.
The waiting room is gone, the file cabinets are digital, and more likely than not, the client will be doing much of the data entry. Get a glimpse of the future of immigration law practice in this week’s practice success tip.
When is the last time you asked your client, “How can we personalize your experience?” In this PST, learn why asking this simple question soon after meeting with a new client is a great way to cultivate trust and build the relationship.
More lawyers than ever before are accepting credit cards. While it’s ok to swipe and process each client’s card, it’s even better to have the client make secure payments any time via your website. So how do you accept secure payments without building your own e-commerce site? Find out in this PST.
When someone is undermining you, it is usually not blatant or overtly obvious. Rather, the undermining finds it place in surreptitious actions that can make one feel defeated and deflated. While there are many ways to deal with the situation, in this PST we offer one approach to address the issue.
Immigration attorneys often find themselves charging flat fees because they believe it as the standard and what their clients expect. Yet, without proper data and metrics, attorneys risk losing opportunities in revenue. This PST offers five questions to help determine the right structure for you.
So, you’re planning to volunteer with the CARA Pro Bono Project? You’ve selected the dates, packed your bags, and read up on CFIs. There’s just one last detail: How can you pay for the trip? In this PST, a CARA volunteer offers a few fundraising ideas—no bake sales or car washes required.
A method for calculating the refund in a flat fee case is to consider the portion of the work not completed. If the lawyer has completed one-third of the work, two-thirds should be refunded. In this PST, learn why setting milestones and tailoring it into the engagement agreement is a good approach.
So often consumers spend countless hours researching and investigating the right technology to purchase but once they have the technology it is rarely utilized to its full potential. In this PST, learn about a website that provides valuable tutorials to enhance better utility of common technologies.
In 2012, AILA published the first-ever study of the economics of immigration law practice, based on a survey of AILA members and their practices. Many have used this information to make decisions about the future of their practices, firms, and careers—information you won’t find anywhere else.
Every attorney wants the ideal client. But let's be honest, those clients are hard to come by. And while you exert your efforts to find the client that perfectly meets your standards, they will not provoke you to innovate. Read this practice success tip to learn more.
No one ever says “I wish I could spend more time in the office.” Being productive is the key to leaving the office on time, having accomplished the work that needed to be done, and keeping your practice under control. Improve your productivity by following these ideas in this practice success tip.
Many of us want to make improvements in our marketing, but find it difficult to truly accomplish. Rather than make renewed attempts at the same old things, use this practice success tip to make productive changes in the way you approach business generation.
Just as we wake up our mind with a shower, the morning news and a strong cup of coffee, we should create a habit of waking up our body with a focused stretch sequence. In this practice success tip, learn to flow through your mornings using a simple 10 minute sequence that helps energize your day.
Whether you are already in the midst of changing firms or are considering the possibility of shifting jobs, there are certain responsibilities that a lawyer needs to adhere to before making the move. This Practice Success Tip offers guidance on a lawyer’s fiduciary duty when jumping ship.
What would you do if you received a somewhat messy list of potential clients in a Word document? There are hundreds of useful email addresses but they are mixed-up within the text. Would you spend hours extracting the addresses manually? Learn to streamline the process with this PST.
If you received an email from a potential overseas client wanting to retain your firm to file H-1B visas for 25 employees, what would be your initial thought? For many, it might be “Great, new business!”…but is it really?
As promised, we’ve taken the best Practice Success Tips and put them in one convenient document. Each Practice Success Tip is short, easy to digest, and straightforward to implement. Pick the best tips for you and incorporate them into your practice or life, to start the year on the right track!