Daily Archives: December 14, 2017

How to Design a PCB Layout

A good PCB is at the heart of many great DIY projects. When you can design and develop your circuit board, it is easy to create a wide range of DIY electronics. There are kits that help you bypass this process, but PCB design is still a skill that you need to master if you are […]

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Setting Your Associates Up for Success: How to Avoid the Pitfalls

setting your associates up for success

 

Picture this: You have a great, seemingly hardworking associate. However, at every review, he or she seems to be falling short on their billable hours target. The person is coming in early, working late, and even putting in time on weekends, but still can’t seem to bill enough to keep on staff.  If this is happening at your firm, you very likely have inefficiencies and roadblocks that are preventing your associate from succeeding. Here are the pitfalls…and what you can do to help:

Delegation Issues
The first step to discovering whether delegation is the culprit for lack of productivity is to have your associate keep track of all her time. Many of our Rocket Matter users will create “Non-Billable” matters for each staff member to track the activities that they do that they can’t bill clients for. From there, you’ll see what kind of tasks should be delegated to support staff that you can pay at a lower rate. If there are tasks that are being delegated to support staff, but are either coming back incorrect, poorly executed, or are taking too long to complete, you may have identified that your associate’s performance suffers because of those ill-equipped or inefficient staff members. In other words, what appears to be your associate’s inefficiencies might actually be your support staff’s.

Bad Billing Habits
Bad billing habits should be a thing of the past, but they’re very much a thing of the present. Firms are still manually billing, but there are a ton of powerful billing tools specifically for law firms, like Rocket Matter, where users can use our Bill-as-You-Work technology to easily track their time. Note that billing entries should not be assigned or delegated to another person! This can create a backlog at billing time. If you’re worried about the time it takes to properly log what you’re doing, you should look into tools like TextExpander to insert those repetitive phrases into your time and billing software to increase efficiency. Going paperless or reducing your use of paper allows your associates to work from anywhere, at any time. Our Rocket Matter users have been enjoying this flexibility for the past 10 years.

Having a Non-Flexible Work Environment
If you’re restricting all work to the four walls of your office during specific times, you may be telling your associate when and where they should be productive. Instead, try letting them tell you when and how they work best. Going paperless will help with this, as a flexible workplace allows your employees to do the work they need to in order to hit their target hours from anywhere, at the times that they’re most sharp and efficient. Plus, sometimes skipping the commute can mean putting in a few extra hours at work.

Overall, taking accountability for where you may be failing your associates will give you the power to make the changes necessary to give them the best chance of succeeding. After all, their success and happiness will only lead to a more profitable firm.

Nefra MacDonald is the Customer Success Product Manager at Rocket Matter. After working in various capacities at law firms, corporations, and non-profits, she decided to use her experience to help address the pain points that practicing lawyers feel every day. She currently co-chairs Rocket Matter’s Product Advisory Committee, which serves as a source of targeted feedback for the company’s product improvement strategy.

The post Setting Your Associates Up for Success: How to Avoid the Pitfalls appeared first on Rocket Matter.

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Banish the Cold-Weather Blues With Winter Florals

There are many things we’re forced to abandon once the snow falls. Think skin-baring crop tops, miniskirts and tank tops (unless you’re willing to layer all of these into oblivion). But floral patterned pieces aren’t on the list. While florals are usually reserved for spring, what better way to brighten up dreary winter days (and nights) than with some flower power?

There are some conditions, though. Spring florals are always vivid and sunny, but winter florals are typically more moody and alluring. You can rock bright shades, but they should be tempered with darker floral patterns or the reverse, vibrant flowers backed by a black or navy background.

The Fall 2017 runways were blooming with winter florals.

Erdem Fall 2017, Prabal Gurung Fall 2017, Simone Rocha Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

The Fall 2017 runways showcased winter florals in new arrangements. Erdem brought out its bouquet printed on silk velvet silhouettes, favoring richer shades like forest green, gold and charcoal gray. Prabal Gurung hit replay on one floral pattern used on a hip-baring dress, a wrap skirt and an edgy pantsuit layered over a complementary turtleneck. Simone Rocha was all about red daisies with the distinctive pattern decorating everything from sheer overlays on dresses to skirt suits to jackets.

Fresh florals spotted outside the Spring 2018 shows.

Winter florals done the street style way; Images: Imaxtree

It was only a matter of time before florals found their way to the streets. The Spring 2018 showgoers showed off a variety of flower-patterned creations. A street stylist sees no conflict in capping off a floral patterned coat dress with Balenciaga’s now infamous floral sock boots (plus working in a flower bag to boot). Florals and stripes are a natural combo, as long as the colors coordinate. And a plum dress stays in a winter state of mind teamed with black accessories.

Street style takes of winter florals.

Flower power hits the streets; Images: Imaxtree

They also were spotted in floral suits that weren’t exactly office-appropriate, blooming co-ords just waiting to be winterized and flowering kimono-style jackets.

Now’s the time to take a look through your closet to see if any of your florals fit the season. If your wardrobe is lacking, here are 15 winter floral pieces that will freshen things up.

[ Next: Fashion’s Obsession With Supersized Sweaters Is Only Growing ]

The post Banish the Cold-Weather Blues With Winter Florals appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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Times Have Changed. Why Hasn’t Your Cybersecurity?

Chances are, if you have a newer vehicle, you start your car with an electronic key fob these days. And you may also unlock your garage or front door with an electronic keypad. You use these updated security systems for your home and auto… yet your computer networks still utilize ancient firewalls. Why? Hackers and cyber thieves learned to breach outdated anti-virus software and web gateways long…

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