News From the Desk: August 2014

By October 6, 2014 March 31st, 2021 No Comments

I am pleased to announce that Of Counsel attorney Sherry Bosse Lueders has been elected as Vice Chair of the King County Bar Association’s Solo and Small Practice Section! In this position, Sherry will provide leadership for our local community of solo and small firm lawyers and will specifically be involved in providing continuing legal education (“CLE”) content and networking opportunities for section members. I’m proud and appreciative of Sherry for taking on this responsibility to serve!

 

On August 15th, I will be presenting on the ethics of social media for the Washington State Bar Association’s Readmission CLE. This program is mandatory for Washington attorneys whose licenses have lapsed for various reasons, and now seek to be re-admitted to practice. It’s a privilege to speak on ethics, and I’m always pleased to be asked to present on this topic.

On September 17th from 3-4 pm, I will be joining Realtors  David and Patricia Wangsness again on their weekly radio show NW Real Estate Connections to discuss property rights and estate issues.  Sherry will also be on the show. Please tune in to Freedom AM1590 to hear us!

Also, on September 18th, I will be speaking on business law to the Seattle-Bellevue chapter of eWomenNetwork. I look forward to the opportunity of engaging with fellow women business owners. If you are interested in attending, please let me know. Guests are welcome!

As I’ve mentioned previously, we’ve added six new videos to our firm’s website! The video below introduces our business law practice. Please take a look – I would appreciate any feedback you may have!

My third published column of the “Virtual Truth” series I am writing for the American Bar Association’s GP Solo eReport describes how to develop a virtual team. I shared the first half of this column last month, and the second half is set forth below:

The Virtual Truth:
Four Tips for Creating and Maintaining an Efficient and Productive Virtual Law Firm Team

  • What unique issues should a virtual law firm expect to address in meeting its staffing needs?
  • How can remote staff most effectively communicate as a team?

Tip #3: Create Communication Structures

Once your virtual team is in place, how does it become a “team”? Since by definition you will not personally meet with them on a daily basis to discuss work, you will need to establish communication structures that will enable your team to collaborate effectively within a virtual environment. My office has established the following channels of communication:
  • Each day, when either of my Of Counsel attorneys begins her work, we briefly communicate via Time Matters Messenger, an instant chat tool, about the day’s work priorities.
  • Each Monday afternoon, the three attorneys in my office participate in a half-hour teleconference to discuss the client files.
  • Each Wednesday morning, I personally meet with the office administrator for a 15-minute “exchange.” We briefly discuss the upcoming needs of the office, and then she brings documents for my signature, picks up various items that need to be mailed, scanned in, sorted out, etc.
  • Each Friday, I send out a team e-mail outlining the week’s successes and opportunities for improvement. The e-mail also informs the team of various deadlines for the following week. This weekly e-mail keeps my team informed, in a holistic sense, about firm activities.
  • Each quarter, I speak with each team member individually, either in person or by telephone, to provide feedback on work performance and to listen to their perspectives regarding workload, schedules, and ideas for enhancing the firm as well as their own sense of professional fulfillment.

Tip #4:  Promote In-Person Team Building

Since my team members all reside in the Seattle area, we meet as a group several times a year to personally connect and share a meal. In addition, I truly appreciate having my team members and their spouses attend the annual auction for the nonprofit Tennis Outreach Programs in support of my work on its board of directors. These in-person activities create a sense of camaraderie and trust, and help us to work together positively and collaboratively.In creating and maintaining a virtual office team, you should expect to work a little harder and apply much more creativity than you would in setting up an office staff for a brick-and-mortar law firm, but you can also expect to reap the rewards of cherry-picking highly talented workers and seeing those individuals thrive within the flexibility and independence offered by your firm.I would love to hear your questions and comments.

News and Updates from Sherry’s Blog

Throughout the month Sherry Bosse Lueders, who is Of Counsel with my firm, blogs on timely and interesting topics from a legal perspective. Here is a recent post:

5 Things Every Small Business Should Know about Noncompete Agreements
A noncompete agreement is an agreement an employer may ask an employee to sign as a condition of employment that limits the employee’s options upon termination of employment, such as prohibiting an employee from working for a competing business within a specified geographic area and time period. What happens when the employee fails to abide by the noncompete? Earlier this summer, Amazon sued a former employee to enforce a noncompete agreement. The former employee, Zoltan Szabadi, responded by arguing the Amazon agreement is excessive, too broad, and unenforceable.
Continue Reading…

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