Daily Archives: November 21, 2017

Polish Your Pitch with Data-Driven Web Design Strategies from Woodley Marketing and MOZ

Businesses have no excuse not to have a fully functional, mobile-optimized website today. Content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, come equipped with highly customizable “plug-and-play” templates that can be outfitted with a number of drag-and-drop features to suit a business’ needs, including all the functionality needed to get started with eCommerce. As an added […]

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Productivity in Associates: Setting Your Team Up for Success

productivity in associates


Solo attorneys often come to the point in their practice when they ask themselves: Should I hire an associate? If you’ve never hired one, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your firm. However, it’s critical that you ensure you get the most out of the associates you hire. Here’s how:

Determine what you really need.
Before you start interviewing associates, or setting benchmarks for your current associates, you need to set the standard for performance at your company. Ask yourself, “What am I really looking for? And what is the minimum standard of skill I’m going to apply to all of my associate attorneys?” Most entrepreneurial attorneys will look for someone who can not only increase the firm’s billable hours, but will also bring value to your clients and be an overall asset to the firm.

It’s also helpful to think about the skills that you may be lacking, and what a good associate could do to make your firm more well-rounded. For example, if you’re a great litigator but you hate going to mediations or negotiating settlements, then it might be smart to hire someone happy to do those tasks.

Most importantly, make sure that you’re clear on your firm’s purpose and the kind of company culture you’re seeking to build. This will help weed out people who don’t fit in with your vision.

Develop your associates.
First, associates should always know what’s expected of them—whether it’s the hours they should be in the office, whether they’re entitled to remote work or vacation and sick days, their target billable hours, or what the compensation plan is when they bring the firm new business. Making this up on the fly may seem attractive when you really need the help and want to hire someone right away, but having a structure in place serves everyone involved. Document everything!

Also, your associates should have an easy way to track all of their time, so use a good practice management software like Rocket Matter at your firm. Practice management software also cuts down on administrative time, so you and your associates can focus on the practice of law and making the firm more money. Plus, the reports that you can generate will give you a good idea of whether your associate is meeting your expectations in terms of productivity and profitability.

You can also develop your associates by creating opportunities for continued education to ensure that they stay on top of the latest developments in the area of law you’re practicing. Technology classes can be helpful as well as these skills speed up your associate’s effectiveness and productivity.

Have a regular review process.
It’s one thing to just put a review on the books, but what are both parties getting out of the valuable time you spend doing them? Make sure you set your associates up for success by allowing them to review their own work based on the expectations you’ve continued to set for them. Pull up reports that show their utilization and realization rates. Show them these numbers overall, but also on a matter-by-matter basis. If they’re doing a good job, encourage and reward them according to the compensation plan you set. If they’re not performing as they should be, ask them what they think they could be doing better, and offer your opinion of the same. It’s helpful to chart the course forward by giving the associate goals to hit for their next review so they know what they’re working toward. And this is also a time to be open to hear what they may need or what may be lacking structurally at the firm for them to perform.



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The Runways Want You to Wear Anoraks as Shirts This Season

An elevated anorak look at Fenty x Puma Spring 2018.

An elevated anorak look at Fenty x Puma Spring 2018; Image: Imaxtree

A big cultural shift is afoot: Mother Nature has never behaved so erratically; work dominates Americans’ lives more than ever before. By necessity, utilitarianism is in. Thus, it’s no longer tough to find “elevated” rain gear.

Once upon a time, wearing an anorak on a non-rainy day sent a clear message: “I no longer care.” Nowadays, REI-inspired wardrobe accents are as much the mark of an It girl as, say, chunky-soled sneakers. (They’ve even got a name for the rain gear-slanted athleisure trend: gorpcore.)

Initially constructed in the 1940s as a means of keeping our troops dry, anoraks now come in the form of long-sleeve tees, short-sleeve sweatshirts and even figure-skimming mini dresses. (OK, so pseudo-utilitarianism is in.) Slowly but surely, lightweight waterproof material is taking over everything in the fashion industry. (See: the rise of the bungee accents trend.)

anorak trend at Valentino Spring 2018, Calvin Klein Spring 2018, A Détacher Spring 2018

Valentino Spring 2018, Calvin Klein Spring 2018, A Détacher Spring 2018; Images: Imaxtree

Still, most times the anorak takes the form of a top. Like at A Détacher Spring 2018, where a sherbet-hued anorak came tucked in marbled caramel pants. Or Calvin Klein Spring 2018, where Raf Simons teamed a sleeveless red anorak with a French blue poodle skirt and marigold heels. (Two styling takeaways: wear all three primary colors at once; transform your hoodies into cowl necks by pulling their drawstrings tight.) While Raf took his styling cues from the 50s, Isabel Marant looked to the late 80s/early 90s, pairing a graphic, poof-sleeved windbreaker with matching (in pattern and aesthetic, not material) velour sweatpants.

Anoraks on the Spring 2018 runways. Mary Katrantzou Spring 2018, Isabel Marant Spring 2018, Bottega Veneta Spring 2018

Mary Katrantzou Spring 2018, Isabel Marant Spring 2018, Bottega Veneta Spring 2018; Images: Imaxtree

Bottega Veneta, meanwhile, employed less “conventional” styling methods. In one case, an anorak doubled as a shirtdress, which came belted at the waist and glammed up with a neck scarf. Another model wore naught but an anorak and swimsuit, a play on the ever-popular no-pants look.

And that’s not all. Valentino showed more traditional windbreakers worn with point-toe stilettos and haute silk separates; Mary Katrantzou teamed bubble-sleeved nylon anoraks with bubble-hemmed nylon skirts. Representing the streetwear sect, Public School did an anorak onesie, Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma the aforementioned anorak minidress.

Needless to say, the versatile rain jackets are nothing if not, well, versatile. The overall consensus seems to be that they should be paired with ladylike heels (to add tension) and either structured pants or A-line skirts (to offset their boxiness).

With temperatures dipping daily, what better time to try out a look that’s not only fashion-forward but weatherproof? Shop our favorite anoraks au moment in the gallery below. Bonus points if you team your newly acquired plasticized topper with fun textural outerwear, like a teddy or embroidered wool coat.

The post The Runways Want You to Wear Anoraks as Shirts This Season appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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3 Surefire Strategies to Maximize Exposure for Your Travel Business

It seems that the travel industry is an area that shows continuous signs of progress and growth. In 2014 alone, it was able to contribute a whopping $7.6 trillion in the US economy. Aside from the fact that it’s one of the largest industries in the world, it also includes a ton of business types and caters to a range of customer needs. As such, the travel industry is a field that’s easy to break…


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2 Crew Falls Short in Finale at Homestead

Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team did all they could to battle for their second championship on Sunday afternoon, but without elite speed, they fell short of their title hopes at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Kes earned a spot as one of the Championship 4 alongside Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, giving him a shot at his second title at the Monster Energy Cup Series level. Unfortunately, his White Lite didn’t have the speed to contend with the Toyotas of Truex and Busch as he finished seventh in the Ford EcoBoost 400 to finish fourth—the second-best finish of his Cup career.

“We ran as hard as we could and put it all out there and just basically didn’t have enough speed,” Brad said. “On the mile-and-a-halfs, we weren’t as good as the 78 and 18 and those guys. This last race coming down to a mile-and-a-half didn’t particularly bode well for us, but my team ran as hard as they could run. They made some great calls—Paul Wolfe and everybody and put ourselves in position every chance we could to make the most out of the opportunities that existed without just being lightning fast, but it wasn’t there.”

BK qualified fifth for the final race of the 2017 season, though Kes knew coming in that his Ford couldn’t match the Toyota muscle on mile-and-a-half tracks. Right from the start, BK and Wolfe went off sequence. A caution flag flew just six laps into the day, and Wolfe called his driver to pit road while the leaders stayed out.

Brad restarted 13th at lap 10 and used his fresh tires to carve through the field to second place. He finished the first stage in the second position, first among all remaining championship contenders.

As the sun set, the Miller Lite Ford swung loose, causing Brad to slip to fifth place—a microcosm of the race for the No. 2 team, as they never quite had the speed to make it stick up front.

“We’ve just got to be faster,” BK said. “We can’t show up and be that far behind on the mile-and-a-halves. We know that. That Toyota car is a good ways in front of us and we’ve got to figure that out.”

At lap 122, Brad pitted from fifth, and fourth among championship drivers. On this cycle, Wolfe elected to short-pit, an action that brought the rest of the field on to pit road. Kes was holding strong in the top-five when Danica Patrick hit the wall at lap 142, bringing the field to pit road. Wolfe’s fitted Brad with a short-run setup on with 10 laps to go in Stage 2, helping him charge his way to fourth with a strong restart. However, he couldn’t hold off Busch toward the end of the run and he finished the second stage in fifth.

Kes restarted seventh for the final 100 laps but was bottled up, causing him to fall to 11th on the restart. He worked his way back to ninth before pitting under green at lap 198. The 2 Crew helped vault him to sixth when the field cycled, where he remained when the season’s final caution flag flew at lap 229.

The 2012 Cup Champion restarted seventh for the final 34 laps, but he didn’t have the power to advance over the closing laps, settling for a seventh-place finish while Martin Truex Jr. won his first MENCS title.

“You’re always gonna be disappointed when you don’t win the championship here, but I’m not disappointed in the effort,” Brad said. “There was a lot of great effort from my whole team and that’s something I was proud of.”

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