The Healthy Lawyer: The importance of finding your Zen moment

By Chelsey Lambert

How you start your day will dictate the events thWebat follow. Facing life’s daily challenges isn’t something you master, it’s something you practice. For me, I have found one exercise that’s helped me deal with whatever falls in my path that day.

I found my Zen moment

For years I told people I don’t have a ‘quiet place’ . I tried meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, everything I could. With no luck. What I eventually discovered is that your Zen moment is what works for you. For some its meditation, for others it’s going to a place in their house, looking at a photo, playing with your kids, or the look on your dog’s face when you come home. You have to find what works for you. And once you have that you can use it every time you need to help yourself out of a feeling, situation, or challenge.

My Zen moment has become a ritual in my day

I live in a 50+ story high rise, the view out of my place overlooks the bustling city, and usually reflects the pace of my life – full of energy and traveling non-stop at what seems like 1000mph some days. While beautiful and motivating, it reminds me that I have a million things to do, places to go, and usually how late I’m running as I look at traffic building on Lake Shore Drive below.

My moment occurs every time I leave my place. On the other side of the elevator bank there’s a floor to ceiling window. Out that window lies a view that is so opposite in nature, it calms every space in my mind. There’s no city, no building traffic, just an emerald golf course, quiet harbor, soft sandy beach and lake as far as the eye can see.

So begins my ritual

I leave my place, press the elevator button, and walk to the window. I stare blankly in gratitude and find stillness. I stand there and breathe until my racing heart and thoughts finally stop. Sure, I might miss an elevator… or two. But when I am done, I am at one with myself, calmed from whatever I was worried about, rushing to, and weighted with before I got to that window.

Now I can conquer my day, event, situation, or stress

I never appreciated the power that finding this moment can give you. My other moment I find on my yoga mat. If my day includes both, I swear I have super powers.

Finding my Zen moment has catapulted my professional career

No matter what happens in my day, I try to remind myself of that moment, that gap in time and space where you right yourself. Your thoughts cease and you fall into that silent pause amidst everything circling around you. If I can bring myself back to that place, with a few breaths and the memory of that moment I can look at solutions from the outside. Removing the emotional component that we tend to carry with us throughout the day and make a decision.

Ways you can find and leverage your own Zen moment: 

  • Take a walk and let your mind wander. What memories or thoughts evoke the most happiness?
  • Affirm the things in your life you are thankful for. Health, children, a caring partner, having a job.
  • Forgive yourself. Take a moment, and release any self judgement. Everybody makes mistakes, carrying them with you shouldn’t be one of them.
  • Become a tea drinker. Coffee is synonymous with work, taking 5 minutes to prepare a cup of tea, especially a fragrant one helps calm the nerves.
  • Keep a journal. When you lose your cool, fly off the handle or just need to get something off your chest write it down. Then it’s out of your system, and onto a piece of paper.

 

I hope that sharing my experience will help you find your own Zen moment. I promise you, you will feel unstoppable once you are able to find it, and return there whenever an obstacle lies in your path.

For more information on health, wellness, and leveraging each to benefit your legal career. Attend our new Healthy Lawyer series presented by Dr. Jordan Leasure.

ChicagoBar.org/HealthyLawyer

Legal Marketing Video Library

Immerse yourself in legal marketing tips, strategies and techniques from the experts and your peers.  Each video in our Legal Marketing Bootcamp library, with accompanying materials, will teach you about marketing your practice including how to do it right – and wrong.  Find out how marketing is not just about promoting your practice, but also about providing great customer service to keep your newly gained clients coming back.

You can earn IL MCLE and Professional Responsibility Credit for this day-long course by registering and watching online or CBA members can log in and  watch individual segments for free (no IL MCLE or PR credit).

June Technology Training

learn lead keysFree How To… Sessions (Non-CLE)

CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast online.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 

How To…Master Time Management With Technology 
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register: In-Person   CBA Webcast  
 

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 

How To…Go To Cloud 9 With Clio 
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 

How To…Use LastPass To Protect Yourself and Your Data
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 

How To…Self Examine Your Online Marketing
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 

How To…Navigate SEO
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Hands On Training (Non-CLE) $25.00 for CBA Members 

CBA Hands On Training classes are small group learning sessions open to all skill levels.Chelsey Lambert or Catherine Sanders Reach will lead you through a one hour course designed to equip you with the skills you need to accomplish or improve daily tasks.

Click on the follow dates/times for a full description and registration information.

Creating a Monthly Email NewsletterJune 5, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. | June 19, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn ProfileMay 28, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. | June 4, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Microsoft Word BasicsJune 25, 2014/3:00-4:00 p.m.

Microsoft Word IntermediateJune 25, 2014/4:00-5:00 p.m.

Intermediate  Adobe Acrobat for LawyersMay 22, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Google Search Like a ProMay 29, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Creating a Facebook Page for Your Law FirmJune 4, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. | June 11, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Google+ for BusinessJune 11, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

MS Outlook Essentials – BasicsJune 12, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Using Mircrosoft OneNote for Project ManagementJune 18, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Evernote for OrganizationJune 18, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Can’t make it to class?

Take advantage of the CBA’s free How To… video library. Every how To… session is recorded and available one to two weeks after the session’s original air date.

Hiring for Lawyers! Your exclusive eBook.

hiring ebook coverGood employees get the job done, great employees drive your business forward. Learn how to recruit candidates with X-Factor qualities, train them to succeed from day one, and incentivize them to stay for the long term through behavioral hiring methods developed by the Chicago Bar Association’s LPMT, Trainer Chelsey Lambert.

Get your copy by logging into our CBA LPMT Members Only section here:

 

Employee Empowerment, Your Ticket to Freedom

employee empowermentIt has been said that a sign of a great manager is one who can leave the office, take a vacation and not worry about what’s happening back at HQ. Letting go of our need to control every piece of paper, phone call or email transmission isn’t as easy as it seems. Many of us micro-manage or doubt the abilities of our employees due to bad experiences or having been burned in the past.

Get over it.

Learning to empower the people in your office to do their jobs, improve your business and utilize technology will pay you back tenfold.

Good news. It’s not that complicated.

Empowering employees comes down to one simple principle. Understanding what is most important to an employee and gives them satisfaction, then leveraging that knowledge to reward the employee when they achieve what is most important to you and your business. You hired the people in your office because they have innate qualities that separated them from the rest of the pack. You put them in their role because they are fulfilling the needs of the business, and obviously doing it well enough to stay there. Now all you need to do is groom them to be the leaders, task-masters, and expect the same from their peers. Here are a few ways to encourage and empower your team:

Promote Open Communication

Bosses often say ‘I have an open door policy’ but how many actually live by it?  Making it a point to invite people into your office to talk, saying hello to them as you pass by. Encouraging walk in conversations shows interest in their position and that they do have a voice.

One on One Time

Everyone feels special when they get to go to lunch with the boss, or get called into the office for a one on one meeting. These 30 minute to 1 hour blocks of time can tell you a tremendous amount about that employee’s motivations and overall job satisfaction. Together you’ll also uncover ways to improve operational areas of your business.

Encourage Learning

Lunch & learns, sharing tech tips, guest speakers. Even You Tube videos get the job done. When a team is trained with the skills they need to succeed, not just survive the whole business benefits. Efficiency is your ally, and there’s no better way to become efficient than by utilizing the technology and people you have to their fullest potential.

Accept Mistakes

I don’t think anyone reading this can honestly say they’ve never made a mistakes. They happen, that’s how we learn. Pigeonholing an employee into a cycle of self-doubt and guilt because they are afraid to make a mistake is unhealthy. Know that new employees are going to need some learning room, and existing employees might not have been trained properly, are only partially informed or just need help.

Define Every Role

There’s a difference between saying ‘that’s not my job’ and not actually knowing what your job is. Uncertainty breeds self-doubt and when employees are not confident in their direction they make hesitant decisions, pretty much paralyzing your business.

Equal Accountability

Everyone’s on the same team, working towards the same goals. Actions that do not drive the business forward, or distract others from their ability to do so should be dealt with accordingly. Regardless of position, family ties, or college friendships. Letting one employee slide while others pay the piper for their actions begets resentment and disdain.

Reward Business Wins

You would love a lower office supply bill, maybe a firm-wide discount at a health club, or lower group cell phone rates right? So encourage and reward employees for finding ways to save the business money. You can bonus them with 10% of the amount they save you, or do something as simple as getting to leave early on a Friday afternoon.

Hold Company Meetings

This is the difference between being a business owner, and being a business leader. Holding a company meeting, that isn’t about problems, clients and deadlines but more about goals, improvements and direction builds commitment, vision and unity. Employees want to feel like they are a part of something, something they can help build, contribute to. Without understanding what’s important to you, and your goals for the future, how are they supposed to help you get there? Share, engage, ask for ideas. You’ll be surprised how much feedback you get.

Say Thank You

Last, but never least be grateful for your employees. Honestly and truly grateful. What would happen if Tom, Sarah or Sally walked out on you tomorrow? What kind of situation would you be in? How many times has an employee taken heat from a client outside your door while you got to focus and work? Cookies, a thank you eCard, late starts, early departure. Whatever you can do to show you are paying attention will be the difference between that employee going the extra mile, or looking the other way.

One Closing Anecdotal Tale

A young man, and incredibly hard worker on one of my very first teams started to loose energy and decline performance in his second year with the firm. His attitude was slipping, and I was running from meeting to meeting paying little attention to what was happening. He was my right hand, my fallback, my second brain always making sure I had what I needed, until one morning when he called in sick. That morning, scrambling to collect my thoughts I realized how valuable he was, and how little I had done to find out what was important to him.

That’s the center of every employee puzzle. What is happening and valuable to them in their life. He had called in because he wanted to spend time with his grandfather who didn’t have much time left. Instead of requesting the time off, he took it on his own. Because he wasn’t comfortable approaching me, or was afraid to ask. It was my fault, I wasn’t paying attention to one of the most critical people in my business.

When he returned to the office, we sat down to chat. I asked him what would make the week better for him? Was there anything bothering him about his job, that made him take time without notice? He explained that if he could just have a late arrival two times per week, that would make a world of difference. We talked through timing and hours, informed his teammates, and went back to work. Not only did his performance improve but so did his personal happiness. Translating into a better client experience and quality work product. All because of one simple change.

Technology Education at the Chicago Bar – May 2014

Computer learningFree How To… Sessions (Non-CLE)

CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast online.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 

How To…Optimize Your Website for Mobile Phones
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:    CBA Webcast

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

How To…Evaluate Cloud Case Management Systems
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person   CBA Webcast

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

How To…Billing and Accounting Reports
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person   CBA Webcast

 

Hands On Training (Non-CLE) $25.00 for CBA Members 

CBA Hands On Training classes are small group learning sessions open to all skill levels. Chelsey Lambert or Catherine Sanders Reach will lead you through a one hour course designed to equip you with the skills you need to accomplish or improve daily tasks.

05/13/2014 Optimizing Your Linkedln Profile (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/14/2014 Google Search Like a Pro (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/15/2014 Creating a Monthly Email Newsletter (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/21/2014 Basic Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/22/2014 Intermediate Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/28/2014 Optimizing Your Linkedln Profile (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/29/2014 Google Search Like a Pro (Hands’ OnTraining)Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person

 

Can’t make it to class?

Take advantage of the CBA’s free How To… video library. Every how To… session is recorded and available one to two weeks after the session’s original air date.

 

 

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR LAW FIRM FROM HEARTBLEED

blue-red-cables-heartAs an attorney you work with sensitive client documents. Whether you entrust those documents to a file cabinet in your office or a cloud service, like Dropbox or Box, the onus is on you to safeguard your client’s information. Using cloud services provides a huge benefit to large and small businesses alike and have been embraced by many attorneys and firms. But when there is a serious security breach like Heartbleed, it’s imperative that you have a basic understanding of what happened, what it means to you, and what it could mean for your clients.

How it works

Heartbleed is the result of a bug in the “OpenSSL” encryption mechanism, which is widely used across the Internet by websites both large and small. This bug has been present on web servers across the Internet for several years. Hackers could have taken advantage of this vulnerability in the past, if they had found it themselves before it was publically announced on April 7th 2014. The bug allows malicious hackers to submit a specific request to a web server that triggers the server to respond with much more information than it should. This additional information could be meaningless letter and numbers or it could be sensitive information from website visitors including usernames and passwords, credit card information, or other sensitive and private data.

What this means to you

It is possible that hackers could have retrieved any information that you have exchanged with a website affected by Heartbleed. The data retrieved would have been in relatively small chunks so it is not likely that complete documents would have been compromised. Hackers would primarily be looking for usernames, passwords, and other personal or financial credentials.

How to protect yourself

  1. Check to see if the websites you use were affected by Heartbleed
    LastPass, a company that offers a secure password service, has a webpage you can use to see if the websites you frequent were, or are, affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability at https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/. Many companies have already sent emails to their customers and/or released public statements. If you have any questions about the security of the websites you use you may also want to reach out to them for comment.

  2. Change your passwords
    As a precaution, even websites known to be unaffected by Heartbleed are recommending that users change their password. When was the last time you changed your passwords? You may want to take this opportunity to change them now and set a reminder on your calendar to change them on a set schedule.

  3. Use a password manager like LastPass
    Since you’re changing your passwords, now is a perfect time to evaluate secure password managers like LastPass, https://lastpass.com/. Services like LastPass help you to:

      • Keep track of all of your passwords across all of the websites you use
      • Make it easy to change and not have to remember all of your passwords
      • Use a different password for every website you use without having to remember each one
      • Encourage you to easily make use of very long and complex passwords

 

  1. Consider notifying your own clients
    In some cases, you might consider putting your own client’s minds at ease by notifying them that you are aware of Heartbleed and that you’ve checked with your partners and service providers to ensure that their systems are now protected against this vulnerability, especially if you use a secure client portal.

  2. Be vigilant
    Monitor any web service accounts that you have for suspicious activity, such as Dropbox, Box, your bank and credit card accounts. Keep a close eye on them as a precaution and if you notice suspicious activity change your password immediately and notify the company.

ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Run Down

ABA TECHSHOW RUN DOWN 2014

Once you’ve been to ABA TECHSHOW you know that there is no other conference quite like it. It is a 2.5 day blitz of CLE presentations, dinners, and technology products all documented in real time through every conceivable social media channel. The goal for most of us is just to keep up, and absorb as much as we can, chatting until we are hoarse and tired enough to sleep for a week. So without further ado, let’s recap!

TECHSHOW Kick-Off

Lexthink.1, kicked off ABA TECHSHOW 2014 with a lighting round of 10 speakers delivering their message in 6 minutes through 20 image centric slides. This year we saw a delightful mix of new speakers including three women: Leila Kanani of Intermix Legal Group presented “MomLaw and the 50% Solution,”; Yael Citro of LawPal delivered “Stop Working Like It’s 1983.” ; and Gwynne Monahan of the ABA LTRC had us asking “what does a strawberry pop tart and your law firm have in common?” from her session “The Data Life Raft: From Walmart to your Law Firm.”

The evening closed with a word from Matt Homann declaring that this would be the last year of Lexthink.1. We’ll all be waiting to see how Mr. Homman re-creates this fun event.

Dominating Digital Documents

Advanced manipulation of the digital word is here. Document assembly, OCR, dictation and editing tools made their presence known on the ABA TECHSHOW Expo floor this year. New and existing tools you may not have heard of are changing the way attorneys prepare and perfect their work.

Document assembly allows you to automate a form or template by taking pieces of variable information and turning them into form fields. Filling in these fields then generates a new and unique document, without tedious copying and pasting. Examples of this could be an establishing an LLC, or creating a living will, contract, or an agreement. What makes this year so exciting is that we are not only seeing integrations with case management solutions like Clio, Rocket Matter, My Case & Smokeball, but we are also seeing stand alone solutions that any attorney can use to save time, increase efficiency and reduce error. A newcomer to the document assembly party is a tool called Doxserá (from the makers of The Form Tool) which uses previously written clauses to complete forms and agreements for the attorney by answering a series of questions.

On the editing front, Wordrake, can edit and proofread your documents with intelligence from leading legal writing coach Gary Kinder. Beyond correcting spelling and punctuation, this tool suggests word choice and reduction of superflous language. Dictation tools continue to engrain themselves into software and automation platforms, the most notable this year being Big Hand’s acquisition of Esquire Innovations. The dictation giant aims to combine the power of dictation with automated legal documents and forms offered by Esquire.

Finally pen to digital paper is now more refined than ever. The Sony Digital Paper device was a big hit at the Worldox booth, with tablet form and elegant function translating your handwriting into ready to review documents.

The Cloud Also Rises

Cloud vendors have often debuted at ABA TECHSHOW. In 2008 we saw the entrance of Rocket Matter and Clio. Next came My Case.  Now enter round 3 of cloud apps and services. Newcomers to the SaaS practice management space include Lexis Nexis – Firm Manager and Thomson Reuters – Firm Central.  Others include CaseTrek, JuraLaw ,CosmoLex and Time59.   Hybrid cloud services, which  marry the offline capability of desktop tools with the backup and data sync features of SaaS products such as Smokeball, Viivo, Tabs 3 (Tabs 3 Connect) and Amicus (Amicus Cloud) also had a big presence.

Off the Floor… App of the Week.

If you didn’t attend a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner you missed out! Reid Trautz wowed us all by letting his iPhone do the talking… and walking. At dinner Reid set his iPhone down in the middle of our circular dinner table and let the dance begin. We watched as iPhone app Cycloramic kicked into gear! The iPhone started buzzing away, sequentially turning to face every person, cycling a full 360 degrees to compile a single group photo of everyone at our table. In one word: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Hipsters, photo-bombers and selfie lovers unite!

Take Aways

Lessons from ABA TECHSHOW sessions and the Keynote Speech by Rick Klau.

The customer is not always right. If you went to get your car repaired, would you tell the mechanic how to change the parts, which ones to order, and how long it should take? No, because if you could, you would do it yourself. The same is true for your clients. While it is important to hear them out and listen to what they think they should pay don’t let that deter you from pricing by what you know to be fair and reasonable.

Your services and time are valuable. Everyone knows that. What the average client often doesn’t factor in is the residual effect that hiring a knowledgeable attorney has. Will working with you help them avoid tearing their family apart during the custody process? Can you help them avoid penalties or taxes by using certain estate planning strategies? Are you able to advocate for an employee’s labor issue without it ruining their daily life at work? It’s about preservation and peace of mind.

It’s about selling value. The commoditization of the legal industry isn’t happening, it’s already here. And in the words of Mark Britton, Founder of Avvo you need to ask yourself: “What is your cheeseburger?”.  Think of an entry level product that your clients know they need and want at a fixed price. Then when selling it to them explain why a Happy Meal might be a better option. The Happy Meal is your full service offering, or combination of services that delivers a higher level of certainty or peace of mind. A client may know she needs filings for an LLC, but had no idea that a strong business foundation also includes an operating agreement, maybe an employee contract, and various other documents. The same can be said for estate planning. A simple power of attorney is the doorway into a larger conversation about living wills and asset protection.

“Just Say No” Nancy Reagan may have coined the famous phrase in relation to drug use but it rings true in business today. As business owners you may feel pressure to take on work outside of what you are comfortable with in order to pay the bills. However, taking on a difficult client or questionalbe case means that you neglec twork that leads to growth and success.  Spending an hour on the phone with a troublesome client you knew you shouldn’t have taken on now means you can’t get to your marketing to do list. Neglecting marketing and networking may  mean you might have a lull in new business while churning your wheels with a client you don’t even like. Still skeptical? Read this.

Irrelevance applies to those who are not willing to change. So lastly… Think Big.

In many ways what used to work in the business of law isn’t working any more, so lawyers need to imagine what tomorrow will look like and how to get there. Use data to drive decisions, fuel new business models and leverage the combined power of your peers to show the world how things have changed.

Hope to see you next year. Until then I look forward to pushing forward into the future inch by inch, and hope you are too.

The Healthy Lawyer: The importance of finding your Zen moment

By Chelsey Lambert How you start your day will dictate the events that follow. Facing life’s daily challenges isn’t something you master, it’s something you practice. For me, I have found one exercise that’s helped me deal with whatever falls in … [Read more]

Legal Marketing Video Library

Immerse yourself in legal marketing tips, strategies and techniques from the experts and your peers.  Each video in our Legal Marketing Bootcamp library, with accompanying materials, will teach you about marketing your practice including how to do it … [Read more]

June Technology Training

Free How To… Sessions (Non-CLE) CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast … [Read more]

Hiring for Lawyers! Your exclusive eBook.

Good employees get the job done, great employees drive your business forward. Learn how to recruit candidates with X-Factor qualities, train them to succeed from day one, and incentivize them to stay for the long term through behavioral hiring … [Read more]

Employee Empowerment, Your Ticket to Freedom

It has been said that a sign of a great manager is one who can leave the office, take a vacation and not worry about what’s happening back at HQ. Letting go of our need to control every piece of paper, phone call or email transmission isn't as easy … [Read more]

Technology Education at the Chicago Bar – May 2014

Free How To… Sessions (Non-CLE) CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast … [Read more]

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR LAW FIRM FROM HEARTBLEED

As an attorney you work with sensitive client documents. Whether you entrust those documents to a file cabinet in your office or a cloud service, like Dropbox or Box, the onus is on you to safeguard your client’s information. Using cloud services … [Read more]

ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Run Down

Once you’ve been to ABA TECHSHOW you know that there is no other conference quite like it. It is a 2.5 day blitz of CLE presentations, dinners, and technology products all documented in real time through every conceivable social media channel. The … [Read more]

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