Law Firm Human Resources for Small Law Firms - Strategist
Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Law Firm Human Resources Category

Wardrobe tips are a funny thing: Often times, when you tell someone how to dress, you tick them off.

But there's no denying that the wardrobe, at least around law offices and the courts, has gotten a bit less formal over the last decade or two. With that in mind, Robert Half Legal, a staffing agency, asked 350 lawyers who work with "the largest law firms and companies in the United States and Canada" whether we should all step our game up.

Or more specifically: "In general, would you prefer legal professionals dress more formally or casually in the office?"

It's only mid-August, and the days are getting shorter already. I'm noticing it's darker out at my usual wake up time, and I'm thankful that I invested in my Philips Wake-Up Light so I can awake not only to bright light, but also the sound of birds chirping (kind of like this gal).

But seriously, anyone who feels the slightest effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder knows the impact of light on sleep. Now, a new study takes it a bit further -- into the workplace.

It's approaching back-to-school time for law school, which means students will be looking for internships and externships (if they don't have them already). With all these students out there, should your small firm get in on the action by hiring a law student intern?

Maybe -- but maybe not. Using unpaid interns in any for-profit business is under increased scrutiny, as a lack of jobs for fresh-out-of-college twentysomethings has given rise to an "internship" economy that may violate labor laws.

If you still want to grab an intern for the semester, tread carefully, and be prepared for some potential disappointment.

Running your own law firm is no easy task -- and then come the growing pains. Inevitably, there will come a time when you need to bring more people onto your team. First, you'll consider whether you should hire a contractor or a full-time employee. Then, you'll consider whether to hold a contest for the position (uh, probably not).

Well, we recently learned of a tip that aims to make your whole interviewing process a lot easier. All you need to do is ask one question...

Among the many stereotypes that lawyers have to deal with, the one that rings true is the high rate of depression among attorneys. Let's face it -- we are not a happy lot. But maybe we can be.

A growing trend among corporations, especially those in Silicon Valley, is the appointment of Chief Happiness Officers. This new member of the C-suite is responsible for making sure employees are happy. Sound silly? It may seem so at first, but when you understand the context, it makes a bit more sense.

Read on to learn more about Chief Happiness Officers, and whether your firm needs one.

The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) exemption for "learned" individuals -- it's a grey line sometimes. But other times, it's really, really not.

FLSA puts us lawyerly folk into the "exempt" category due to our advanced degrees. The same goes for engineers, doctors, and other individuals putting their graduate degrees to work. But what about paralegals -- they're almost lawyers. True, but no matter how valuable your paralegal is, Labor Department regulations clearly state that paralegals and legal assistants are not exempt from overtime rules, except in a few rare cases.

Pasricha & Patel handles FLSA cases. They're also now defending themselves in a FLSA case, against current and former paralegals who were allegedly not paid overtime when they worked at the firm, reports the ABA Journal.

The end of summer is near, and the fall semester of law school is approaching. As your summer associate season comes to a close, there's one big question looming: will you extend the summer associates offers?

These days, having a summer associate job doesn't guarantee an offer, so summer associates may have lower expectations. That said, rather than taking advantage of cheap summer labor, you should really put some thought into whether you should extend offers to any of your summer associates.

Here are some things to consider.

We recently read an interesting article about office oversharing, and were slightly amused by the fact that many of the examples cited in the piece involved attorneys, or people who worked in law offices. In a survey of 514 corporate and professional employees, three in five stated that they work with someone who overshares at least once a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.

So that got us thinking, as someone running, or working at, a small law firm, what should an attorney do to stop office oversharing? Read on to find out.

Ramadan is coming. And for those that fast, this is probably the worst time of year for Ramadan. With daylight hours clocking in at almost 15 hours of the day, Ramadan (always difficult) is especially hard during summer.

So, as an attorney that is working at a fast pace for much of the day, how do you fulfill your religious obligations, while also fulfilling your professional and ethical obligations?

On Monday, the President and First Lady hosted The White House Summit on Working Families to kick start the "conversation on working families for a 21st century workplace." The President's remarks showed his commitment to working families, and focused on four issues: paid maternity leave, workplace flexibility, childcare, and wages.

Earlier this week we provided a recap of President Obama's priorities and initiatives. Now, we'll look at how your law firm can help #FamiliesSucceed.