Yaeger Law is proud to share that Laura Yaeger has been honored by the American Association for Justice and recognized for her outstanding contribution to the civil justice system. The American Association of Justice (“AAJ”) celebrated Laura’s achievements during the annual convention in Las Vegas. On July 13, 2021, Laura was awarded the Harry Philo Award. Read More
The National Trial Lawyers Announces the Re-Selection of Laura Yaeger as a Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in Florida After One Year
For Immediate Release
The National Trial Lawyers is pleased to announce that Laura Yaeger of Yaeger Law, PLLC in Tierra Verde has been re-selected as a Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in Florida after her first year as an exceptionally respected member. This honor has been given to Ms. Yaeger for her superior skills and qualifications in the legal field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers in either civil plaintiff or criminal defense law. Read More
One way to amplify your practice is to invest in learning from experts and innovators. Filevine is hosting a free, online virtual event, Catalyst Summit, to connect the legal community, to learn, and to absorb best practices together on August 18th, 2020. Catalyst Summit isn’t just about Filevine – it’s about the way legal teams interact with and leverage cutting edge technology to achieve superb results.
All legal professionals, whether you use Filevine or not, are invited to attend Catalyst Summit – so you can see the latest and greatest when it comes to the axiom of technology and legal. There is no cost to register – the only investment is your time and attention during the virtual Summit.
Here’s the registration link, and there is no limit on who can attend so feel free to invite others.
Please contact us if you would like our help on finding the best practices for your firm.
Here our my suggestions for a firm’s “Best Practices & Requirements for Working Remotely”. Feel free to use the this file (download link below) as a template to help your practice have written standards for remote work.
1) STANDARD OFFICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES
i) Remote employees must comply with all firm policies and procedures in the Employee Handbook.
2) HOURLY EMPLOYEES
i) Hourly employees must clock in and clock out using (insert the system your firm uses if accessible via web or insert app like Hours Tracker, Tsheets, Yocoboard, Punch Time Clock).
ii) Hourly employees are not to exceed 40-hour work weeks. Overtime must be preapproved.
3) RESPONSIVENESS & AVAILABILITY
i) Remote workers are to be available and responsive during (insert hours). This includes by phone, e-mail and SLACK (insert communication platforms your firm is using).
4) SECURITY & CONFIDENTIALITY
i) Remote employees are responsible for keeping documents, sensitive client and firm data and other work-related materials confidential and secure in the remote office location.
ii) All work should be done on a private (password protected) internet connection. No work should be done on a public internet connection (i.e. public network at a coffee shop, hotel or other establishment offering free public unsecure wifi).
iii) Do not download or store any document(s) on your computer desktop or hard drive. Do not download or store any document(s) on SanDisk or USB jump drives. Document(s) should only be stored and saved on (insert what your firm uses – your document management platform (i.e. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Office365) or your case management platform (i.e. Filevine, Clio, Practice Panther, Litify, Case Peer, Needles, etc.)
iv) Do not leave your computer unlocked when you are away from your computer. Thus, you must log out/shutdown every time you leave your computer.
v) Password protect any attorney-client privileged information or office related data.
vi) Attorney-Client privileged phone calls should not be made in the presence of non-employees. Hold calls in a secure location to protect privileges and confidences.
5) TECH SUPPORT
i) If you experience technical issues and need tech support, please contact (Insert who they are to contact if they experience technical issues).
If you would like more help customizing standards for your practice, please contact us.
This unprecedented time calls for resolute but simple leadership. As we listen to the news and hear about businesses furloughing employees and shutting their doors, we ask ourselves many questions including ones that come with great anxiety. We must be self-aware and not deny the truth while measuring priorities in order to lead effectively as our practices adjust to the new reality.
As owners of law firms, leaders of practice areas or leaders of legal teams, the time is now to return to the basic tenets of good leadership. Our teams are counting on it. How you lead now will fortify your practice and rally your team.
There is a vast array of leadership philosophies and principles espoused in numerous books, podcasts, conferences, certification courses, etc. The various ideologies range from complex to others that are more sensible. I stress that it is the simple tenets of leadership that are most important to practice during this time of uncertainty.
Your team needs your leadership to feel secure and to be engaged and motivated. As you struggle, they struggle too. Keep that in mind as you navigate and lead through this crisis. How you move forward will leave a lasting imprint.
Getting back to the basics of resolute but simple leadership will help you navigate and lead through this crisis.
BE YOURSELF, let your team see you. It is ok. If they see your authentic self at this time it will build trust.
CARE ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE. Make time to invest in your employees. Schedule individual meetings, even if only 10 – 15 minutes, to check in. Ask if they are ok? Ask if they need anything from you? Ask if they have the necessary tools to get their jobs done?
GIVE CLEAR DIRECTION. Be open, honest and consistent. Make sure expectations are clear. Articulate the work and outcomes your team will be held accountable for.
COMMUNICATE. It is vital. Be open and honest. Provide positive and negative feedback quickly. Try the SBI method for providing feedback.
TAKE BREAKS. You will need to reset and recharge. Be sure to take breaks to find clarity. Schedule the breaks on your calendar and take them. Don’t let anything interrupt.
If you have any questions about implementing the SBI method in your practice, please contact us.
Balanced & Productive Remote Work – Get into the Groove
Working remotely has its perks and its challenges. A key to successfully working remotely is to get into a groove. It is tempting to approach working remotely as a freelance opportunity, working here and there and when you feel motivated, however, to be balanced and productive it takes self-discipline and focus.
Working in your new environment brings many distractions – kids, pets, laundry, television, chores, and anything else that may pull your attention away from that work task that seems a bit daunting or has fallen to the bottom of your to do list. How do you manage to stay productive and balanced?
Developing a routine and setting a schedule will allow you to ensure work productivity that does not encroach on your personal/family life. Finding an enjoyable rhythm where work and life are harmonious will take some trial and error. Be flexible, patient and creative.
Here are a few tips to help you find your groove:
Start your workday at the same time each day.
While it is tempting to work in your pajamas all day, every day, resist the urge. After a while it will impact your motivation. Shower and get dressed for the day – make it part of your routine.
Schedule breaks, especially a lunch break.
Schedule an end of the day. It is easy to lose track of time and keep working.
Plan a “commute” – meaning shut the office door (literally or figuratively) and do something to transition back into home life.
Try hard not to let work interrupt personal/family time.
Incorporate family members into your schedule. Invite them to help you plan your workday/workweek.
With the kids, schedule breaks during the day so they know that at certain times you are available for activities (i.e., reading, playing games, getting outside, etc.).
Tell your co-workers your schedule (i.e., calendar the scheduled breaks so everyone knows you are unavailable at that time)
If you have any questions or need help finding your groove please contact us.
As firms adjust to remote operations, leadership within firms need to realize that standards, workflows and procedures matter even more now.
Typically, I urge attorneys to optimize and standardize their practice to scale their firm to the next level. However, today, I urge attorneys to develop and set routines to assist with managing remote employees and ensure productivity.
Whether you practice personal injury, medical malpractice, or mass tort, developing set procedures will facilitate organization and efficient work. Good systems ensure consistency, which will enhance effectiveness.
Standards, workflows and procedures should be developed along with critical staff members to ensure the best practices are being codified. Developing and documenting such may seem tedious but once written every step of your practice or case work will be easier to carry out. The time you invest will pay dividends. If you already have standards, workflows and procedures in place, take the time to review them in light of the new normal – remote operations.
To fully optimize your office, the standards, workflows, and procedures should be written in tandem with your case management platform, identifying tasks and workflows that can be automated. Automating tasks will free up staff and limit error. It will reduce the inefficiencies of manual processes.
Having standards, workflows and procedures enables firms to define and communicate the direction and expectations that remote employees and teams need. Remote employees need to understand their job duties and expectations to be most effective. To empower remote employees, you need to train them on all standards, workflows and procedures. Do not presume that they are equipped. Take time to train on new standards, workflows and procedures and re-train on ones already in place to ensure that remote employees understand their job duties and what you expect. This will guide remote employees; performance and make it easier to monitor remote operations.
If you need help developing your own system, please contact us.
Laura V. Yaeger, J.D., LL.M.
It is important to have a policy that guides telecommuting and remote employees. Here are the Top 3 Best Practices to Implement with Remote Employees.
#1 Clock In & Out
Hourly employees must clock in and out either using the system your firm has set up or through the various apps available like Hours Tracker, Tsheets, Yocoboard, Punch Time Clock. Be sure to tell them how, when and to whom the timesheets should be submitted in order to be paid.
#2 Security & Confidentiality
Remind remote employees they are responsible for keeping documents, sensitive client and firm data and other work-related materials confidential and secure while working remotely. Be sure to tell them that all work should be done on private internet connections – no public unsecured free WiFi.
#3 Responsiveness & Availability
Be sure to discuss when your remote employees are expected to be available and responsive. This may be the same for all remote employees or it might be individually specific. Either way discuss it with the remote employee and set the expectations now. Also, let them know when you, the attorney, will be available. Be sure to tell them how you want them to be available, i.e., phone, e-mail, SLACK, etc.
These Top 3 Best Practices for Remote Employees should be a part of any policy that guides remote workers. If you would like to learn more, contact Yaeger Legal Consulting.
My law firm, Yaeger Law, began as a virtual office and is entirely remote. We collaborate, chat, work and manage remotely. I wanted to share some tips and tools for managing and engaging remote teams that make remote work easier, keep everyone engaged and moral up.
Frequent communication is key – work related, and non-work related – for managing and engaging remote teams. Have meetings – weekly – to discuss work related matters. Make sure these meetings are smart and focused. They will help you keep a pulse on your firm while managing and engaging remote teams.
Be sure to schedule times to “just chat” (like around the water cooler). Have a BYOL meeting or a BYOB happy hour. Celebrate birthdays and holidays remotely.
It is vital that you set specific expectations while providing flexibility to remote workers. They need clear direction and leadership. Make time to write down the job duties and expectations and review them with each team member. Place emphasis on what is accomplished and not when it is accomplished.
Slack – This is an instant messaging tool that your whole firm can join. Once you setup your workspace, invite everyone in the firm to join. Then create channels to engage teams and to communicate here instead of e-mail. Channels can be case specific, random, or firm business related. You can message everyone, a particular person, or a group of people. Slack also allows you to share documents and connects with various other applications, like Zoom.
Zoom – This is a video meeting platform. Zoom is free with unlimited time for 2 people. Meetings with more than 2 people are limited to 30 minutes but no need to purchase. Just start a new meeting when the 30 minutes is up. Or subscribe for about $15.00/month. Zoom also lets you share your screen, which makes it easy to review documents in real-time with others.
Google Hangouts – This is another video meeting platform. Connect with your team from anywhere with easy-to-join video calls that link with G-Suite.
Lifesize – This is a video meeting platform. You can quickly start a free video call with up to 25 participants requiring no downloads or installs. Guests can join the live call right from their laptops or mobile browsers by clicking on your personal meeting ID link.
Skype – A video meeting platform. Group video chat makes it easy for up to 50 people to meet and collaborate all at once. You can present PowerPoint slides, video recordings and more to your entire team.
Check out ANYWHEREWORKS that offers various tools to engage remote workers.
*Don’t forget to do some fun things for team building and staying connected. Some examples, change your avatar to your favorite Marvel character, sign up for “Hey Taco”, which allows you to give kudos to team members in Slack, and use VidHug to send group collaborative videos to send messages to team members.
If you want some help in how to use these tools effectively, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura V. Yaeger, J.D., LL.M.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, the team at Yaeger Legal Consulting is committed to doing what is needed to ensure the health and safety of our staff, our clients, our friends and our families. We remain dedicated to providing firms with needed information to help them navigate this unprecedented time. Yaeger Legal Consulting has expertise related to infrastructure, systems, tools, and strategies a firm needs to manage moving to a remote, virtual law practice. We are open and equipped to help support your practice.