May 23, 2011

Tune up your job search with ProLango Consulting

Are you looking for jobs online with little to no success? Are you wondering why HR isn’t responding to your application? Did you know that 85% of positions are recruited by word-of-mouth?
If any of those questions strike a chord, then ProLango may be a resource for you.  ProLango Consulting, a boutique career management and outplacement firm, is dedicated to helping candidates to find employment in today’s market.  Paul Anderson, the force behind ProLango Consulting, is a career transition consultant who specializes in helping people find employment or change industries.  The approach at ProLango is to facilitate relationships between job seekers and hiring companies, rather than rely on typical or “cookie cutter” job seeker strategies. 

Some of the offerings of ProLango are:

  • Introductory seminars on career search, Linked In, and interviewing
  • Workshops focused on job searching, interviewing mastery and resume writing
  • Career mixers which are held either once or twice a month
  • Individual consultations

Paul has extensive experience in the career management field, writes a career column for The Seattle Times - NWjobs Hire Ground, and in addithas had his work featured additionally in The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, USA Today, Business Week, The News Tribune, and other local media outlets around the Puget Sound area.  If you have questions about career strategies, changes in the marketplace, or specific recruiting practices you'd like more information about, ProLango is the way to go. 

For additional support around your job search, contact the Lawyers Assistance Program, at 206-727-8268. 

April 22, 2011

14th Annual Lawyer Services Department Statewide Conference

Lawyers from all over the state enjoyed a great conference – and a welcome dose of sunshine – over the weekend of April 15th – 17th,  2011 in Chelan Washington.  This year, the 14th Annual Lawyer Services Department focused on ways to make your practice thrive while taking care of yourself in the process.  Friday evening started things off, with Steve Crossland, the WSBA Board of Governors President-elect, speaking about the challenge of planning for the unexpected closing of one’s practice. 

Other presenters who provided both useful and informative sessions were:

  • Lisa Voso, who spoke about effective inter-generational communications with energy and enthusiasm,
  • Doug Reiser, who shared his knowledge of integrating the latest innovations in virtual law office management,
  • Betsy Gutting, who offered attendees the opportunity to explore various aspects of their practices and clarify their sense of purpose, and
  • Hilarie Cash, who provided valuable insights into the growing issue of internet addictions. 

In addition, WSBA staff members David Powell and Rita Swanson presented relevant information in the areas of ethics and trust accounts, respectively.   

For information and support around enhancing your practice, call the Lawyers Assistance Program, at 206-727-8268.

April 8, 2011

Changing the language, changing the conversation

Solving the Part Time Puzzle 
Does the idea of a part-time or flexible work schedule seem like a fantasy?  Does your office organize a going-away party when a colleague announces they’ll be going part-time?  There is reason to hope that this attitude may be starting to shift.   The idea that both clients and firms benefit from flexible attorney work schedules is beginning to get some traction.  More and more, it is becoming clear that flexible work schedules at law firms reduce attrition and therefore improve productivity and reduce costs. In addition, it results in lawyers staying with their firms and getting promoted, thereby maintaining and deepening their ties with clients.  

Unlike traditional part-time programs, “balanced hours” programs can allow attorneys to work individually-tailored schedules. These adaptations are designed to meet the firm’s business needs while maintaining the attorney’s ability to work and to develop professionally without stigma. Balanced hours programs involve active management of workloads in proportion to reduced hours, emphasize client service, and promote the values of the firm.

If you’re interested in this new vision of work scheduling, you’ll want to know about PAR, the Project for Attorney Retention.   PAR was formed over a decade ago, and works to reduce unwanted attrition among lawyers by promoting the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession and by encouraging work/life balance for all attorneys .  Among many of its objectives, PAR’s research has resulted in a set of best practices for law firms and legal departments that want to have non-stigmatized balanced hour programs for more effective retention and recruitment.  PAR’s co-founders, Joan Williams and Cynthia Thomas Calvert wrote Solving the Part-Time Puzzle: The Law Firm’s Guide to Balanced Hours (NALP, 2004), a book that provides a nuts and bolts discussion of how to set up and implement an effective part-time program that is designed to attract and retain top legal talent. A companion book for attorneys who are working or want to work reduced hours will also be published in 2011.

One of the significant efforts of PAR is the promotion of both diversity and flexibility in the legal profession.  On PAR’s website you can learn about its development of best practices in the area of balanced hours and research on this topic, as well as publications, resources and a blog. 

The Project for Attorney Retention is the not-for-profit initiative of the Center for WorkLife Law (WorkLife Law or WLL), a nonprofit research and advocacy group housed at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.  The purpose of WLL is to educate employers, the public and policymakers about the prevalence of family responsibilities discrimination, and to develop effective measures to eliminate it.  WLL is devoted to women's advancement and to improving work/life balance for everyone--men as well as women.

If work/life balance issues are an area of concern for you, call the Lawyers Assistance Program, at 206-727-8268.