August 2019 Chapter News
Chapter President
Melissa Hansen

mhansen@shumaker.com

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At the Chapter's July meeting, we held a round table to discuss the topic of earning the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) designation.           

Paula Lawson, CLM, who has served on ALA's test creation committee and was a participant in a CLM study group before she took the exam herself, spoke with us on what she is able to share, including:

* There are 125 questions on the exam, but only 100 count - the other 25 are pilot questions.
* The passing score changes from year to year based on the results.
* The pass rate is 50%.
* Her study group met every other week for 8 months.
* Studying ALA's study guide alone is not enough.  Use the table of contents from the study guide as a starting point in your study group.

If you are interested in participating in the study group, please email Arleen Davidenko.
Upcoming Events
ALA Suncoast Chapter Luncheon August 14, 2019
Centre Club

Culture of Engagement:
Why/How to Build Passionate, Engaged Teams

On our first day of work every one of us was excited, intrigued, and joyful. However, with such demanding roles, it easy for us to lose sight of our initial enthusiasm. Recent Gallup Poll Studies have estimated that on average, only 30% of an organization's staff are truly engaged in their work. This correlates to 70% of people at any given organization being disengaged. The question becomes: How can we can find a way to reignite our passion and recommit to our roles in the organization? In this session, learn how to create environments that cultivate engagement, reduce turnover, and increase overall workplace satisfaction in ourselves and in our teams .



Judges can award 'reasonable' fees even if you gave your client a discount
Be sure your partners are aware of this important ruling:  Giving a client a discount does not mean losing your "regular" rate when you win an attorney fee petition.  Click here for the Florida Bar's full article.


Ten Ways to Improve Billable Hours
By Suzette Welling

1.  Create a Policy  

  • If your policy and goals are not defined, they will not be met.
  • It is important that you have support from leadership and that leadership leads by example
2.  Concurrent Timekeeping
  • Studies show time not kept concurrently results in a 30% loss of time.
  • One hour lost per day at $350/hour equals $91,000 lost annually, per attorney.
  • Concurrent = Accurate = Client Trust
3.  Use a User Friendly Time & Billing Program
  • iTimekeep, for example, syncs with more than 30 popular time and billing platforms - it allows attorneys to dictate their time through an app on their phone or Apple watch when they are out of the office (or even in the office if they wish).
4.  Shift Annual Reporting to November through October
  • If you start the annual reporting period in November, timekeepers may start their annual billing cycle in the hole v. goal during the holiday months, but that's okay. This will encourage them to focus on catching up early in the year, in January and February, when firms need productivity the most. 
  • This also allows timekeepers to do catch-up in September and October if they are behind their annual goal at year-end, instead of struggling to catch up during heavy holiday months. They will thank you for this!
5.  Give Your Attorneys a Billing Calculator
  • A billing calculator, created in a spreadsheet, helps attorneys track their year-to-date hours v. goal. This helps them to be a participant in tracking their time and having accountability for meeting their annual goal.  (For a sample billing calculator, email Suzette Welling.)
  • This prevents any misunderstandings or confusion - everyone stays on the same page as to where the attorney's YTD balance is.



September 18-20, 2019
Boston, MA


October 21-23, 2019
Seattle, WA

A new benefit -  complimentary for members  - the 
 are conversations with legal management experts sharing some of their latest insights on the industry.
Each one-hour webcast includes two interviews with legal industry authors who will showcase their recently published books.
* Don't forget to support our designated charities *
R.I.C.H. House of Robles Park


Suncoast Animal League


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If you have suggestions for something you would like included in an upcoming newsletter, email Suzette Welling at swelling@taylorattorneys.net.