After a long, challenging day at work, the evolving legal landscape might leave you pondering your next move. Perhaps you've peeked at opportunities in other firms. Intentionally or not, you might be inching closer to a job switch. If so, you're not alone; many professionals today are exploring a strategy termed "career cushioning." While this approach is gaining popularity in many industries—particularly in tech—the legal profession is no stranger to it.
In the dynamic world of law firms, the pivotal role of legal assistants and paralegals cannot be overstated. These professionals are the backbone of efficient legal operations, providing vital support to lawyers and ensuring the smooth functioning of the firm. However, finding the right candidates for these positions can be a daunting task. In this article, we present five crucial interview questions that will help you identify top-tier legal assistant and paralegal candidates.
Effective communication between law firms and clients is not just about exchanging information; it's about building strong relationships, fostering trust, and delivering exceptional client experiences. Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or a budding law firm, understanding the nuances of client communication is essential for success.
Taking a strategic approach to communication will help you stay competitive, increase your revenue, and protect the invaluable relationships you have with your clients.
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a common struggle for many professionals, and lawyers are no exception. In the legal field, the demands of building a successful practice can often overshadow personal and family commitments.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT and Harvey AI are offering law firms new opportunities to streamline their workflows, improve accuracy, and enhance the level of service they can offer to clients.
However, the use of AI in the legal field also raises important ethical questions around data privacy, accountability, and the potential impact on jobs. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that AI is changing the legal industry, as well as the opportunities and challenges it presents. We will also consider how firms can use AI responsibly and effectively while keeping ethical considerations in mind.
Are you considering leaving your law firm? Moving on from your current employer is a difficult decision that requires careful consideration. But when it's time to move on, it's crucial to do it professionally and with integrity.
This article offers valuable insights into how to resign while protecting your reputation and fulfilling your ethical obligations. From giving sufficient notice to communicating with clients, maintaining confidentiality, and avoiding burning bridges, we've got you covered.
Are you currently in need of paralegal talent for your firm or department? It's crucial to prioritize the essential skills and traits of the candidates you consider in your hiring process.
In this article, we will discuss the top five things to consider when hiring a paralegal, including their multitasking abilities, willingness to learn, attention to detail, writing skills, and organizational expertise. By hiring a paralegal with these skills, you can streamline your operations and provide your clients with
top-notch legal support.
Performance reviews are a crucial part of professional development, offering feedback and goal-setting opportunities that can lead to higher job satisfaction, better communication, and faster career advancement.
This article focuses on the importance of performance reviews and provides insights and strategies to help legal professionals prepare for their next review. By recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, they can develop a plan for the future and take charge of their career development.
Ultimately, by being prepared for performance reviews, legal professionals can ensure that these conversations are productive and efficient, leading to greater opportunities down the road.
Team-building and effective recruitment—these are just two of the reasons law firms may offer pro bono work. The need for pro bono services is evident, and most lawyers who tackle social problems find joy in helping clients in need. This article will describe the benefits of offering pro bono legal services.
In a previous article, we discussed the benefits of working at different-sized law firms. Now let’s explore the advantages of working at Canadian vs. international law firms.
From embracing cultural differences to becoming a fixture in your community, there are many factors to consider.
A well-written job description saves the organization time and money by attracting qualified and suitable candidates. Job descriptions also help set performance expectations as well as providing performance evaluation criteria.
Overall, a job description is an essential tool for effectively managing and operating any organization.
How many of us resist speaking up to share our thoughts and opinions at work? In an increasingly polarized world, it’s sometimes uncomfortable to share what we think and feel for fear of being labelled or misunderstood.
Inflation is affecting us all. Many Canadians are concerned about price increases, rising interest rates and more.
Law firms aren’t immune to these challenges. Yet firms that invest in themselves, work hard to stay profitable, and continue to serve clients will thrive despite the economic downturn.
This article offers a number of recession-proofing strategies for law firms here in Canada.
In the past, work-life balance was considered the best antidote to feeling overwhelmed at work. Before the pandemic, work was usually confined to a particular location during defined working hours. Today, access to technology and virtual work makes it much harder to achieve that sought after work/life balance.
Quiet quitting isn’t a new phenomenon.
The term ‘quiet quitting’ was originally coined in September 2009 at a Texas A&M economics symposium by economist Mark Boldger, but the phrase has experienced a revival thanks to a posting by American TikTokker @zaidlepplin.
It seems ironic that the very attributes of a successful legal professional are the ones that most challenge mental wellness. High levels of empathy, patience and perseverance are required under ever-changing, fast-paced conditions - often subjecting lawyers and legal staff to high levels of stress.
Working under the supervision of a lawyer, these professionals play a key role in preparing for hearings, trials, and meetings. They may also help with research, interviews, client communication, or even data analysis. It’s complex, fulfilling work blending a full suite of skills.
For Canadian lawyers in search of their ideal firm, one size does not fit all.
From salary considerations to caseload and firm culture, lawyers must consider a number of factors when deciding between small, midsize, and large firms.
So, whether you’re an experienced lawyer with decades of practice under your belt, or fresh out of law school, this post will help you determine what size firm to focus on during your employment journey.
In our ever-changing world, law firm-client communication is paramount.
But what, exactly, does it entail? From the nuances of texting clients to the power of automating certain communications, this piece will outline everything firms should know about client communication.
As we make our way back to a ‘near normal’ world, three key trends underpin post-pandemic strategies in Canada’s legal industry: technology, the hybrid workplace, and an increasing war for talent.
Virtual recruitment is now more prevalent than ever—and the legal field is no exception.
The word ‘leader’, especially in traditional organizations, typically refers to a coveted role or position and evokes visions of authority, control and status.
As industries worldwide face the Great Resignation, Canadian law firms must work around the talent shortage—but how?
This post will offer insights into the legal talent drain and provide tips for law firms to work around the shortage. The idea is that with the right strategy and culture, employers can still hire skilled, top-qualified lawyers.
Over the past two years, our spirits have been tested - at home and at work. Most of us have experienced increased fear, confusion, frustration, and maybe even apathy, as a result of feeling powerless in the face of both too much, and not enough, information.
“Why would I want to brand myself? I am not a product.” No, you are not a product. You are so much more. But no one will ever know what you have to offer if you don’t make a concerted effort to show them.
Success has typically been associated with financial wealth and power. People often equate success with busyness because achieving this type of ‘success’ usually requires long hours and relentless commitment. With the arrival of a global pandemic, ‘busy’ has become the new normal. Is it time to rethink success and get your ‘busyness’ under control?
You did everything right. You stayed home, masked, vaccinated, distanced, ‘pivoted’ endlessly with family and work responsibilities, and stayed on top of the data and numbers. You bolstered those around you and did your best to remain positive, but almost two years into COVID-19, many of us are feeling the adverse effects of an unpredictable, ever-changing situation.
It’s almost hard to remember a time when the term ‘hybrid workplace’ didn’t exist. Over the past 20 months, companies have been busy redefining the logistics of where people work and referring to it as the hybrid workplace. Will people be returning to the office? What physical safety protocols will need to continue? Will we need as much office space? Are offices even necessary?
We don’t typically associate kindness with success in the workplace. Ambition, competence, commitment and reliability are highly prized workplace attributes, but when was the last time you heard someone talk about kindness at work?
More and more organizations are recognizing both the human and business potential that gratitude unlocks - greater happiness, improved health, stronger relationships, and increased employee loyalty and productivity. A Glassdoor survey indicated that 81% of employees will work harder when their boss shows appreciation.
In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, celebrating the women and girls from our past and present.
The field of law has been both a driver in, and a reflection of, this journey. Today we want to honour women who through their work and commitment, have contributed to making the practice of law, and Canada, a more diverse and inclusive place. In this article, we will introduce just a few of these strong, trailblazing women.
We have been thinking a lot about the concept of Virtual Distance lately, and how the shift from in-person to digital interaction is far more consequential than we might have imagined.
September signals the end of summer and a time for new beginnings. Kids go back to school, work colleagues are back from vacations and a sense of rhythm returns. This year, in the grip of a worldwide pandemic, that cadence is more important than ever.
If COVID-19 has taught the world anything, it’s the extent of human resilience. Virtually overnight, we all became stars in a Zoom world, master collaborators, technology McGyvers, and expert jugglers.
Remote access technologies and evolving organizational practices were already beginning to change the way we work. But COVID-19 has escalated both the speed and breadth of this change.
So what will the post-pandemic work world look like? Are you ready?
What does a tomato have to do with time management and productivity? The Pomodoro Technique (pomodoro means tomato in Italian) was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s and has since grown to be a tried and true method for managing time and improving focus and productivity.
Employee retention is a top HR challenge for law firms. So why, when firms are spending big dollars recruiting, hiring and training new lawyers, do they often not make the required investment in retaining them?
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“I do by myself” is often one of a toddler’s first phrases. Something about us humans highly values independence. Asking for help can feel like a weakness, a vulnerability. But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always ‘go it alone’. In fact, there are actually benefits to asking for help - not only for the receiver but also for the helper.
‘M'aidez’ is French for help me, and ‘mayday’ is now the universal signal for help.
Over a matter of weeks in early 2020, a global seismic shift occurred, catapulting employees from their workplaces into their homes. Initially, many of us scrambled to set up home work spaces and technologies, make alternate family care arrangements, and attempt to appear comfortable interacting with coworkers and clients in cyberspace.
Now, more than a year into the pandemic, and settled comfortably in our home offices (or at our kitchen tables), how many of us are prepared to return to the way things were? According to most accounts, not many, because this seismic shift is so much more than just about where we work, it is also about when and how we work.
Universally admired, courage is the ability to act despite fear or anxiety, and is considered by philosophers and many modern day researchers to be the greatest of all virtues. But is courage a virtue we’re born with, or can courage be cultivated?
“Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it, you cannot consistently perform the others.”― Aristotle
“We need to talk.” Dreaded words that often mean something isn't right.
Whether you are initiating a difficult conversation, or on the receiving end of one, these heart-to-hearts have the potential to be life-changing. And depending on how they’re handled, these interactions can be soul destroying or growth-inducing. It’s really all in the delivery and follow up.
“A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
- Timothy Ferriss
I’m too old/young. I’ve invested too much time in my education/career/the company. I have bills to pay. There are many reasons we choose to stay in a less-than-ideal job. If you’re feeling stuck, you’re certainly not alone.
Initially, teleworking was something of a relief amidst all the pandemic uncertainty. For those of us lucky enough to work from home, mornings took on a more relaxed pace without worrying about the commute or how we’re dressed (from the waist down anyway!). For many of us, however, the novelty of teleworking has definitely worn off.
Access to computing and analytic data is changing the world exponentially and enabling decision-making at an unprecedented rate. But there is another type of data; a deep, universal wisdom that often gets ignored. While many of the world’s greatest minds have embraced this inner knowing, sometimes referred to as gut instinct or intuition, the rest of us haven’t quite figured out how to fully access it.
Throughout your career, have you ever experienced an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt? A nagging thought in the back of your mind that no matter your level of expertise, you genuinely feel like you don’t belong and that “now they’re going to find out I’m a complete fraud and don’t know what I am talking about”?
Over the past several months, despite the unrelenting pandemic, sluggish economy, and the general slowdown that typically occurs this time of year, Urban Legal Recruitment has experienced a definite uptick in activity.
Life is a series of lessons - some good, some bad, some easy, others hard. The 15 things below that I now know for sure have come from the many lessons I’ve been graced with, in a life I am perpetually grateful for, surrounded by people I love.
Whether you ascribe to its religious meaning or not, Christmas has traditionally been about giving, and giving is universal – something we can all do. It is not about how much you spend, it’s about making the recipient feel seen, known, and cared about.
Here are 12 things that have definitely brightened our year at ULR. We hope there is something on this list that can bring comfort and joy to you or someone you care about.
We’ve all heard the saying “those who can’t do, teach”. Well, sometimes, those who can’t practice, support. Legal support professionals, paralegals and legal assistants, are typically as passionate about the law as the lawyers they support, and just as committed to its execution.
Each generation is typically characterized by a set of workplace stereotypes. Millennials in particular have had a bad rap in recent years. Stereotypes, however, abound for every age group.
The ‘Silent’ generation is considered to be collaborative, dedicated and loyal. As traditionalists, they work hard and respect authority, but are also believed to be rigid, mired in the past and unwilling to embrace change.
Regardless of where you live, what you do for a living or your living situation, almost every single human being is currently learning to manage work, families, friends, finances, and themselves, under the shadow of COVID. In some ways, COVID could be considered the great equalizer.
So why do some people seem to be riding the waves rather smoothly, while others are sinking into the depths of despair? For most of us, it’s resilience. Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back following a major disappointment, trauma or loss.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of those terms that either confuses you, excites you, or makes your eyes glaze over. In this brief video, Elon Musk, who has invested heavily in the technology, explains why he thinks AI should terrify you.
Daniel Goleman, author of the book Emotional Intelligence, defines it as “the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you.” In this 5-minute video, Daniel describes EQ, whether we are becoming more emotionally intelligent and if gender and culture are factors.
Recruiters sometimes get a bad rap, and recruitment horror stories abound (check it out, there are over 4,000,000 results when you Google ‘recruitment horror stories’).
Thanksgiving 2020 will be an interesting one. COVID-19, an omnipresent reality through most of this year, has resulted in a sense of loss for many - loss of work, social connection, freedom, and the loss of how we typically communicate emotion. ‘Smiling eyes’ takes on a whole new meaning as we attempt to convey happiness from behind our masks. Or convey friendliness in the grocery aisle, or forgiveness if we are walking against the directional arrows (and who hasn’t done that?).
Is this the right time to make a career move? Let’s start with some general considerations.
About the only constant during Covid-19 is uncertainty. Life is always fraught with some level of uncertainty, but for many of us, it’s now heightened in almost every aspect of our lives - financial, employment, social, health, and family.
So, is this the right time for a career move? Well, that depends (yes, more uncertainty!).
Though our usual level of activity has decreased somewhat over the past few months, the work continues as we learn to navigate the 'new normal' and observe the transformation of the traditional workplace. In this article, we share some of those observations.