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Why One-on-One Motivation Is Important for Your Firm

When a colleague goes down, it can be painful for everybody close enough to experience it.

Gordon Haywood, the professional basketball star, is a good example. He suffered a horrific injury on the opening night of the season, and both teams, the crowd, and television viewers felt it.

It's an unavoidable fact of life and a lesson for team motivation: you have to take care of individuals first.

What to Save When Your Office Is on Fire

As the California fires raged, confusion reigned.

An army of fire fighters attacked the flames from all directions. More than 100,000 people fled. Innumerable buildings and victims disappeared in the ash.

Lawyers, too, lost their homes and offices in the rush to safety. So what would you save from your office if you only had five minutes?

When Do 'Summer Hours' End?

For many lawyers, 'summer hours' are nothing more than wishful thinking, or simply a frustrating way for the firm to cut costs. The very thought of closing the office an hour or two early, or scaling back support staff hours, even a couple days a week, over the summer, is fraught with complications (particularly when support staff babysit summer interns).

However, for those firms that pride themselves on having a good work-life balance for employees, having summer hours can often be as much of a perennial crowd pleaser for some as it is frustrating for others. Sadly, after the summer solstice, summer draws to a close (though the heat may still be around for a few more weeks, months, or forever depending on where you practice), it's time for summer hours to end as well.

Legal Support Staff Is on the Move

Remember calling tech support, and the help was speaking to you from another country? Well, get used to it for law office help, too.

Law firms are realizing that it is cheaper to move some operations to less expensive venues. Hogan Lovells, for example, is moving 78 business service jobs and 12 legal support jobs from its London offices to Johannesburg and Birmingham.

It is trending to move legal services and administrative work, such as accounts payable, payroll, time and billing systems, to fairer climates. That's right, Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore.

Women Can Lead Trials With High Emotional Intelligence

People still talk about the legacy of Ellen Pao's high-profile sex discrimination case in the Silicon Valley -- even though she lost several years ago.

Lynne Hermle, who led a team of mostly women defense lawyers, won the case. But the value of the "Pao Effect" -- which exposed a male-dominated culture in tech companies -- gives Hermle and other women lawyers reasons to talk about it still.

"Not many women lead high-profile jury trials and all-female teams are very rare," she says. "Regrettably, this is still news."

Tips to Make Your Law Firm Stand Out

Marvin Mitchelson, the famed Hollywood divorce lawyer, had an office that stood out.

From his office-length window across from the Los Angeles Country Club, he could see the hustle headed toward Rodeo Drive. He adorned his space with antique furniture and ornaments that rivaled Hearst Castle -- a reproduction of Botticelli's Venus hung over his desk.

But that's not really what we're talking about when it comes to having a law office that stands out. We're talking more about attracting new lawyers to join your firm.

There are at least a dozen ways to make your firm stand out to prospective associates: offer flexible work; have progressive leave policies; provide more benefits. But we're going to go with some less oblivious attractions:

Lawyers, take a moment to be proud of your profession. For the past several years, law firms have ranked highest on the Human Rights Campaign's "Corporate Equality Index."

This year's report shows that law firms are, again, ahead of the curve when it comes to providing transgender employees with equal rights. While the Human Rights Campaign's numbers show an increase in the number of law firms that have transgender friendly policies, the National Association for Law Placement's 2016 report found that the number of openly LGBT attorneys rose from 2.3 percent in 2015, to 2.5 percent in 2016. Large firms, with over 700 attorneys, reported the highest percentage of openly LGBT associate attorneys at 3.8 percent, as well as LGBT partners at 2.2 percent.

Below, you'll find three important policies your firm should implement to protect the rights of transgender employees in order to attract and retain top talent, and not just from the LGBT community.

The Rooney Rule: Are Law Firms Punting on Diversity?

You don't have to be a football fanatic to know what it means to punt.

If you know what the Rooney Rule is in football, however, you might know more about hiring in football than in the law. In a nutshell, the rule is the practice of considering minorities for coaching positions in the National Football League.

Now put that rule to work at BigLaw and you're in the game. That's the idea anyway at thirty law firms that say they will consider at least two women or attorneys of color when hiring or promoting.

Do Law Firms Need On-Site Therapists for Lawyers' Mental Health?

'When did you first start fantasizing about becoming a wealthy BigLaw partner?' the therapist asks.

Alright, it's a fantasy but is it a malady? According to reports, it is at least part of a serious problem at large law firms today.

Some of those law firms are offering on-site psychologists and training staff to deal with mental-health issues, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper says it reflects a trend in the profession that it's OK to see a therapist.

Sleep-Deprived Lawyers Get Ready: Law Firm Adds Napping Pods

Lawyers, please don't confuse napping with nodding off.

Nodding off happens when you've been working long hours and you just can't keep your eyes open -- like weary associates grinding through discovery. Napping happens when you take a break to revive yourself in a napping pod -- like the progressive attorneys at White & Case.

They are not the first attorneys to take naps on the job, but they are leading the way in a profession that burned the midnight oil long before the light bulb came along. Now in the latest age of innovation, sleep-deprived lawyers are discovering that napping is way better than nodding off.