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Practice Success Tips

Six Tips on Common Courtesy: Instead of This … Try This …

At times we get so caught up in the nitty gritty that we forget common courtesies and politeness that should be extended to others. Here are six ways a polite rephrasing or rewording can demonstrate respect and good workplace etiquette.
AILA Doc. No. 15041607

Learning to Delegate to Increase Your Contentment and Productivity

A busy practice is a good thing until it gets so busy that frenzy and anxiety replace confidence and composure. If this sounds all too familiar, stop a minute to consider whether you are using your time wisely. Ask yourself these questions in this Practice Success Tip.
AILA Doc. No. 15040967

E-mail Alert: Think Before You Click!

Despite anti-virus e-mail protection (you do have it, right?), malware distributors and phishers are now creeping their way into our business e-mails. Use this simple trick in this week’s PST to decide whether or not you should click that hyperlink in your e-mail.
AILA Doc. No. 15040206

Every Time You Interact With Someone Is a Marketing Event

Did you know that the number one source of referrals is other lawyers? The second highest source is current or former clients. Keep this in mind the next time you “touch” someone.
AILA Doc. No. 15032666

Issues Confronted By Women in the Workplace

March is Women’s History Month. In this week’s practice success tip, learn the issues confronted by women in the workplace and how we can continue to advance the progress of women in immigration law.
AILA Doc. No. 15031961

Social Media is to Marketing as E-mail is to Business Communication

If you want faster, more convenient communication, an e-mail, as opposed to a hand written letter, is obviously the preferred method, right? And, if you want to reach a wider, more diverse network in a timely and efficient way, shouldn’t social media be the preferred marketing vehicle?
AILA Doc. No. 15031260

A Trio of No-Nonsense Client Intake Tips

There is a plethora of golden practice success tips going back several years that are still innovative and may be new to you, including this smart way to improve your client intake process.
AILA Doc. No. 06111362

Is the 24-Hour Rule Dead?

Good client communication is one of the keys to a successful attorney-client relationship, and one of the most important aspects of that has changed.
AILA Doc. No. 15022665

Five Smart Shortcuts for Your Smart Device

No matter where you go your smart phone is within arm’s reach—to keep you connected and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. That’s why we’ve put together this list for you. We know you are in a hurry, and these five smart shortcuts can make all the difference in your busy life.
AILA Doc. No. 15021966

Showcasing Your Professionalism

Communicate with your clients and members of your community. By sharing the right information, we will protect the immigrant population in our communities and display the breadth of knowledge and expertise in this complex area. Learn how you can help with this PST.
AILA Doc. No. 15021241

Five Ways to Reboot Yourself

It’s easy to stick to the same routine year after year. Instead of committing to big changes, this year reach your goals for success by adopting these practical yet underutilized personal habits.
AILA Doc. No. 15020561

Just Get to the Point

Most people have the tendency to talk around the point instead of getting to the bottom line. We use more words than necessary to either fluff the story or enhance the meaning of the subject.. Learn why this way of communicating can affect clients and how to be more productive in your next meeting.
AILA Doc. No. 15012941

Three Questions to Consider When Advising and Representing Clients Who May Benefit from Executive Action

What responsibilities do you have when communicating information? What should be considered when setting a fee? What ethical considerations can stem from employing non-lawyer staff? Learn your ethical obligations in this week’s PST.

The Best of 2014: AILA’s Top 25 Practice Success Tips

AILA’s weekly PSTs can solve problems big and small, or confirm that your firm or office is already on the right track. These small nuggets of information are quick to read, easy to digest, and often simple to implement in your firm, office, or practice. So what are you waiting for?
AILA Doc. No. 14121841

Take a Stand: Improving Your Health and Productivity

Did you know that sitting all day has been directly linked with a significant range of health problems? This problem is intensified in professionals such as attorneys who spend on average more than six hours a day sitting. Have better health and a more productive workday with this PST.
AILA Doc. No. 14121140

Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Year-End Reviews

No matter who you are in the process—employee or boss—this is that one begrudging task that no one wants to do. But they’re not so bad, really. Use this week’s PST to implement a review procedure that advances employees and enhances the firm’s goals.
AILA Doc. No. 14120441

How Do You Negotiate On An Hourly Fees Case?

What do you do when a client wants to negotiate your fees? Should you be willing to address their financial concerns? This week’s PST offers suggestions to help negotiate without abandoning your financial goals.
AILA Doc. No. 14112044

Bring Back the “Smoke Break” in Your Firm

Are we really advocating more smoking in law firms? Read this week’s practice success tip to find out!
AILA Doc. No. 14111345

Two Quick Computer Keyboard Tricks

Don’t touch that mouse. Here are two simple but powerful keyboard shortcuts that are quicker than using your mouse.
AILA Doc. No. 14110641

Using Mobile Devices to Take Digital Notes

Have you ever handwritten a note and handed it to someone, only to have them tell you they cannot make out what you wrote? In this day and age there is no excuse for that. We have an arsenal of mobile devices that are equipped to make that pile of notes and scribbles a thing of the past.
AILA Doc. No. 14103043

To Blog or Not to Blog...

The first law firms to venture into social media were run by immigration lawyers, they started with blogs in the 1990s. It’s 2014 now and time to launch and publish your own blog. Get started with this practice success tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14102343

Can a Little Daydreaming Actually Be Good For Productivity?

We have all been guilty of being bored at work and have all experienced the random thoughts that our boredom often conjures up. But did you know that these thoughts, our daydreams, can actually heighten our sense of creativity? Learn to channel these daydreams into something more productive.
AILA Doc. No. 14100950

Building a Referral Network from Other Immigration Attorneys

It may seem odd to think of ‘the competition’ as a referral source for potential clients, but in many ways, other immigration lawyers are excellent referral sources. In this week’s practice success tip, learn how your professional connections can help you build a strong network of clients.
AILA Doc. No. 14100243

Are You Undercharging for Your Services? Part II

Last week we discussed how many lawyers limit the value of their own services when discussing fees with clients. So how do you build that confidence to resist the urge to lower your fee? Here are five solutions to help you from deviating from your goal of quoting the fee you know you are worth.
AILA Doc. No. 14092542

Are You Undercharging for Your Services?

Do you believe that many of your clients would not use your services if you charged them more? Push through the guilt and end the internal wrestling matches with this fresh outlook in this week’s Practice Success Tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14091840

How to Incorporate Your John Hancock in Your E-mail Signature

Here are a (little more than) few steps to help you incorporate your natural handwritten signature into your email signature block.
AILA Doc. No. 14091145

Who Really Owns Your Web Address?

Most law firms have a website today, and most of those hire a web developer to build it. So do you know who owns yours? This week’s Practice Success Tip provides a way to find out!
AILA Doc. No. 14090404

Six Questions to Ask Yourself at the End of Every Week

Before running out the office door this Friday, take a deep breath, relax and give yourself six minutes to answer these six simple questions.
AILA Doc. No. 14082842

A Simple Way to Organize Outlook Folders

Is the left-hand list of your Outlook folders and subfolders getting too long and unwieldy, making it hard to locate those important filed-away e-mails? Try this quick fix in this week’s PST that helps move those important folders to the top of your alphabetized Outlook folders.
AILA Doc. No. 14082143

A Terrific Trio of Outlook Calendar Tips

Microsoft Office is still the most common program used by law firms for calendaring appointments and tasks. Show-off your Outlook Calendar skills with these three easy tips!
AILA Doc. No. 14081470

Giving Feels Good

This week’s PST offers ideas to do pro bono work in ways that redeem and reward. It’s not just a professional obligation, but a personal fulfillment.
AILA Doc. No. 14080743

A Twist to the Ordinary ‘About Me’ Page

We like people who are approachable and welcoming, your clients included, right? So why not play up your About Me page with a lighthearted glance into your personal life. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
AILA Doc. No. 14073140

What’s In a Headshot? Five Tips for a Great Headshot

Take a look at your picture from your LinkedIn profile, your website’s About Me page, or a recent article you submitted to the news editor—is this the picture you want the whole world to see? It’s probably a decent picture, but is it a great picture? Here are five tips for a great headshot.
AILA Doc. No. 14072448

How to Write Documents So Others Will Understand

How can we know if our writing is at our intended audience’s level? Microsoft Word has the ability to check not only spelling and grammar, but also writing complexity. Implement this hard-to-find but easy-to-use function in this practice success tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14071742

The 411 on Metadata and Lawyering

What are a lawyer’s obligations to prevent disclosure of confidential information in metadata? Better yet…what is metadata anyway? And, how and why does it affect me and my practice? Find out in this week’s Practice Success Tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14071040

The Summer of Incremental Innovation

Use the power of Incremental Innovation this summer to make improvements in your practice.
AILA Doc. No. 14070340

What to Do If You Think You Screwed Up a Client Matter

Have you ever experienced that awful feeling when you realize that you may have made a huge mistake in a client’s case? Here are 5 steps you can take to resolve that situation.
AILA Doc. No. 14062641

Be Sure You Take a Vacation

Vacations are important to overall mental health. Make time this summer for a vacation using the ideas in this Practice Success Tip!
AILA Doc. No. 14061940

Be Prepared for an IRS Audit

The IRS specially trains agents in how to audit lawyers. This tip provides the inside scoop.
AILA Doc. No. 14061246

Are You Ready for AILA’s Annual Conference?

Ten handy ideas to help you have a great experience at the AILA Annual Conference and to make sure that your practice still thrives while you are gone.
AILA Doc. No. 14060546

Four Resources to Help You Go Paper-Less

Technology has now matured so law firms can affordably move from paper to digital documents, yet most firms aren’t sure where to begin. Here are four free and low-cost resources to help get you started.
AILA Doc. No. 14052943

Nine Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning for Retirement

As more Baby Boomer lawyers approach retirement age, many are still trying to organize an exit strategy from the practice of law and plan what they want to do when they retire. Contemplate these nine questions as you begin your retirement journey—whether you’re fifty, seventy or even younger.
AILA Doc. No. 14052202

Top 10 Practice Success Tips For A Great Annual Conference

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 2014 Annual Conference experience with these Top 10 Practice Success Tips!
AILA Doc. No. 14052103

Five Must-Have Apps for AILA’s Annual Conference 2014

With hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store and Google Play, how can busy lawyers know which ones are the best without sorting through them all? Here are five apps you’ll want to download and install now to be prepared for a great 2014 Annual Conference experience.
AILA Doc. No. 14051543

The Break Even Number

Maybe the hardest number to feel confident in is the fee you charge for your services. Your break even number can help resolve that dilemma. Learn various ways to find your break even number in this week’s Practice Success Tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14050840

Office Disasters: It’s Not a Question of If, But When?

With vicious storms pounding the Gulf Coast to deadly tornadoes sweeping through the Midwest, the question we all avoid is back on the table: Is your law office prepared for a disaster? An easy way to get started is by organizing vital information into “kits.” Find out how in this week’s PST.
AILA Doc. No. 14050140

Twelve Open-Ended Questions to Ask in an Employment Interview

Questions that reveal behavior, personality and character are more productive than questions that just reveal technical skills. Kick-start your next batch of employment interviews with these core questions found in this week’s practice success tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14042441

Imagine Your Perfect Client…

Go ahead, sit back, take a deep breath and think about your perfect client—from start to finish. In this Practice Success Tip, use your imagination of the perfect client as the foundation to develop a plan that attracts and retains good clients.
AILA Doc. No. 14041703

You Won’t Learn This in Law School

Ask yourself “How would I like that?”—would you buy from you, work for you? This week’s Practice Success Tip highlights six great business concepts that every immigration lawyer should know.
AILA Doc. No. 14041042

A Constructive Way to Dealing with Underperforming Employees

The Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is more than a written notice of underperformance, it is a road map for the employee out of a performance problem. Learn how to implement a PIP in this practice success tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14040343

Can Flex-Work Strike the Balance Within Your Firm?

So much has changed in the way we do business and communicate with one another that the notion of the 9-5, Monday through Friday workweek should be modified to fit your firm’s workplace culture. In this PST, consider these pointers when determining if flex-work is right for your practice.
AILA Doc. No. 14032741

Two Resources to Help You through H-1B Season

While many around the country are gearing up for March Madness, there’s another type of “madness” happening in the immigration field—the rush to get H-1B cap cases out the door. With less than two weeks to go, be sure to review these two AILA resources in this week’s Practice Success Tip.
AILA Doc. No. 14032044

Free Software Reduces Frustration Scheduling Meetings and Calls!

We’ve all tried to schedule a group meeting by sending around an email with a few dates only to have all the dates nixed by one or more people, and then we start all over again…Feel frustrated no more! This PST offers (free!) services that take the headache out of scheduling a meeting.
AILA Doc. No. 14031341

Top Five Tools and Resources to Help Supercharge Your Practice

Don’t go at it alone—this week’s practice success tip brings you the best tools and resources (all free for AILA members!) to help you improve your practice, resolve ethical dilemmas and meet your professional obligations. Be the best possible lawyer this year and beyond!
AILA Doc. No. 14022741

Parting Ways - Discharge of Employees

When hiring new employees, firms should plan ahead for the possibility the individual may not work out. In this week’s practice success tip learn why a probationary period works and how to discharge an employee when their performance doesn’t improve.
AILA Doc. No. 14022040

Share the Love This Valentine's

50 hours. That’s the recommended amount of hours that a lawyer should dedicate to providing pro bono services. What does 50 hours really boil down to? It's about one week’s worth of work, or only 2.5% of your time in a year. What can 50 hours do for you and others? Find out in this week's PST.
AILA Doc. No. 14021343

Keeping that Resolution?

The anticipation for the New Year brought about renewed purpose and inspiration for new goals and resolutions. But as the decorations and lights came down and the cold started to sink in, the drive we had just a few weeks ago has undoubtedly started to fade. Get back to your 2014 goal with this PST!
AILA Doc. No. 14020650

Keep Your Computer Alert Even When You're Not!

We all know how important it is to keep on top of both your professional and personal life. Even the most organized lawyers have trouble keeping things straight. In this week’s PST we’ve compiled a list of applications that will "alert" you and keep you abreast on some of life’s mind-numbing tasks.
AILA Doc. No. 14013042

The Mutual Benefit of a Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Many think that mentoring another is only beneficial to the person on the receiving end. However, this is simply not the case. A true mentee-mentor relationship or sponsorship is one that benefits both parties. This week’s PST outlines the value of having a trusted protégé by your side.
AILA Doc. No. 14012347

Converting Media Coverage of Immigration Into Increased Visibility of Your Practice

The fact that the press is frequently covering the topic of immigration reform means that it is important to our nation and people are interested in reading and hearing more about you. In this week’s PST, learn to add your voice to the discussion while also increasing your firm’s visibility.
AILA Doc. No. 14011640

The Amazing Power of Checklists

Immigration lawyers are always looking for ways to improve their practice, so as a new year begins, we look to a simple idea from surgeon Atul Gawande to make complex tasks easier with fewer risks. In this week’s PST, learn the power of checklists and ways to incorporate them into your life.
AILA Doc. No. 14010943