The Civility Initiative for the Legal Profession

The legal profession is notorious for lacking civility. Many managing partners are unaware that simple improvements in workplace civility can have a direct impact on retention and employee engagement, while also reducing liability and improving the firm’s bottom line. Here’s why and how civility among attorneys must change.

Civility is defined as the consistent treatment of others with respect. Civility Training brings an awareness to attorneys that everything they say and do (how they say it, where they say it, how they do it, where they do it) impacts everyone they encounter. It also provides positive behaviors that attorneys that can improve the workplace culture. The number one reason employees leave organizations is due to how they are treated by their managers.

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Championing High Achieving Women Professionals in Business Building: Strategies for Building a Prosperous Business AND Still Have a Life!

There is no single roadmap to business prosperity, though there are some solid guiding supporting growth strategies.

Which of the following do you already have in place? Which insights are most relevant for implementation in your practice or business?

What are the keys to growing a prosperous business, from Day One?

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Retention of Talent Through Professional Development

How can law firms best help women attorneys develop their skills and practices, and also retain these lawyers? For more than 30 years, women have represented at least 50% of the graduating class from law schools in the United States. Yet, women currently make up only 38% of lawyers, about 22% of equity partners in Am Law 100 law firms, and 28% of general counsel in Fortune 500 companies, according to a survey by the ABA in 2022. Keeping women in the legal profession was one of the reasons Nukk-Freeman & Cerra (NFC) was founded in 2006. We were determined to find a better way to operate a law firm that allowed women to continue a sophisticated practice in employment law, and also be mothers, caretakers and community leaders.

One of the gaps we saw in big law was the failure to provide meaningful opportunities for professional development of women, especially those attorneys who were, intentionally or unintentionally, placed on the mommy track. Even women without children faced obstacles, often being stereotyped as lacking leadership capabilities or subject to microaggressions. Reliance on informal and unstructured mentors reeks of the old boy’s club and tends to reward those who are naturally assertive. These practices leave a lot of very smart women out of the mix. We recognized that a more structured focus on developing and promoting our attorneys was necessary to ensure that all our attorneys, including women and minorities, receive the same opportunities. It also makes good business sense, given the high cost of hiring and training attorneys. Finally, it responds to the interest of clients who seek diversity among their service providers.


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Tips for Managing Your Trust Accounts

A surprisingly large number of law firms are not in compliance with state bar regulations for IOLTA Accounts. In some cases, firms may have as many as five different accounts that haven’t been reconciled properly for more than 10 years. 

California now requires every attorney to certify that they understand and are following state bar guidelines. Is your state next?

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Build Your Practice as an Asset and Plan Your Exit Strategy 

As a follow-up to the Does Your Law Firm Have a Succession Plan panel at the Symposium, Sharon Christie, founder of Sharon Christie Law, spoke with Janet Falk. Christie explored how she decided to close her disability practice and the steps she took leading to a merger with another firm. This is an edited transcript of that discussion.

I had my own solo firm for 16 years. At first, I was really in need of some help on the business side, which is why I joined a mastermind. The people there talked about building your law firm as an asset. At that point, I just wanted to build a steady stream of clients. But I listened to what they were saying and it really put me on the path to understand, from the beginning, I'm working on building my awareness and client base, but I needed to also build an asset.

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Prepare to Meet Your Peers and Follow-up at the Women Owned Law Symposium

Prepare to Meet Your Peers and Follow-up at the Women Owned Law Symposium

In a few short days, you will gather with your peers for the annual Women Owned Law Symposium.

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Tips to Manage Difficult People in Your Workplace


Over your career as a lawyer, you’ve probably experienced difficult interactions with colleagues, staff, clients, adversaries and court personnel. The exponential increase in texting, posting and communicating on-line means that many of these interactions with difficult counterparts have the potential to become even more toxic. This discussion focuses on utilizing tools to handle those difficult interactions, particularly when modern communication technology is used as a weapon by a difficult person.

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Top Tips from Intellectual Property Attorneys That You Can Apply to Your Practice

This is the third in an occasional series of TOP TIPS from attorneys with specific practice areas. Their pearls of wisdom extend past a single practice and appear relevant to your practice as well. Follow these insightful reminders to strengthen your relationships with clients and manage interactions with opposing counsel and judges.

Let’s hear from 12 attorneys with an intellectual property practice, building on the December article with advice from lawyers with an employment practice. Consider their guidance for a hypothetical new associate who has joined their firm after three years in a different field of law.

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Re-Configuring Your Partnership

You are a partner in a law firm. Lately, somehow, things are not going the same as in the past.

You and your partner(s) decide to separate.

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Top Tips from Employment Attorneys that You Can Apply to Your Practice

This is the second in an occasional series of TOP TIPS from attorneys with specific practice areas. Their wisdom reaches beyond a specific sector and probably bears relevance to your practice as well. Follow these insightful reminders to strengthen your relationships with clients and manage interactions with opposing counsel.

We turn to attorneys with an employment practice, building on the October article with advice from lawyers with a family law, matrimonial law, mediation or divorce practice. Consider this guidance for a hypothetical new associate who has joined their firm after three years in a different field of law.

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Two Tips from a Matrimonial Practice that You Can Apply to Your Practice

This is the first in an occasional series of TWO TIPS from attorneys with specific practice areas. Their sage advice applies to that particular arena, and is very likely relevant to your practice as well. It’s always helpful to be reminded to follow the basics.

Let’s begin with attorneys who have a family law, matrimonial law, mediation or divorce practice. Each was asked to impart wisdom to a new associate who has joined their firm after practicing in a different field of law.

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The Future of the Remote Law Firm

The pandemic is a modern tragedy that has permanently changed many aspects of our lives, and our businesses are no exception to this change. Resiliently, businesses pivoted to the online work environment to continue operations while maintaining vigilance of the health and safety of their team members and clients. Today, remote working or a hybrid environment largely prevails.

The online work environment comes with a unique set of challenges. To leverage its full value, we must stay focused on developing tools and best practices that enable our teams to maximize output; optimize efficiencies; respect and nourish human capital; and protect against burnout. A guide that has created immeasurable value for our firm is ACT, an acronym that highlights focus areas for leaders and employees alike. Consulting this guide, while managing, supporting and encouraging your team’s endeavors, ensures that everyone will always have opportunity to develop as a community, while maintaining a focus on growth and advancement.

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Plan Ahead: WOL Members Offer Tips for a Relaxing Vacation

It’s summer and either you’ve taken vacation or plan to take time off.

Review how your colleagues of Women Owned Law manage their time, their practice and their personal lives to have a truly relaxing vacation. Which tips will you follow the next time you leave the office?

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Focus on the Reader in Your Out of Office Email Reply

By: Janet L Falk, Ph.D

Your long-awaited summer vacation is around the corner. Time to compose your Out of Office (OOO) automated email reply.

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How Are You Investing in Business-Building Relationships?

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn, international business management expert

Some things appear to be so simple that we assume (dangerously) that everyone gets it.

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Five Tips to Surmount a Language Barrier

Let’s say you’re involved in cross-border litigation with an entity in Denmark and the case will be tried in U.S. federal court;  all the trial exhibits and discovery documents must be translated from Danish into English. Perhaps you represent a U.S. manufacturer whose workforce is primarily Spanish-speaking; you advise your client a best practice is to translate their handbook, NDA and onboarding forms into Spanish. Maybe you file a lawsuit on behalf of your client; when the defendant speaks Korean and is not English-proficient, the summons and related paperwork must be translated for them. You may need to depose a witness who doesn’t feel comfortable being questioned in English. Are you handling the estate of someone who owned properties in the United States and Venezuela? You’d better learn about the Venezuelan proceedings. Whatever the circumstance, you face a language barrier between you and whatever you need to accomplish for your case.

Here are three considerations when you require translation or interpretation services:

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Be a Video Rock Star and Attract Great Clients

When I started my solo disability law practice, I got bogged down answering the same basic questions from potential clients over and over again. 

I needed to screen potential clients without myself or my staff speaking with every caller, only to find that they did not meet the basic requirements for a case that we would accept. 

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Women Owned Law Remembers Charlotte E. Ray

by Mandy Rosenblum | Law Office of Mandy C Rosenblum, LLC

Female entrepreneurship in the law is the lifeblood of Women Owned Law. We would not exist but for the efforts of the many brave women who fought their way into the profession. For Women’s History Month, we encourage you to recognize the courageousness and drive of Charlotte E. Ray.

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WOL Names New President and Officers



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How Five Daily Minutes on LinkedIn May Lead to New Business, Referrals and Stronger Relationships

by Beth Granger | Granger Granger Consulting

LinkedIn provides all sorts of information, but rarely tells users what to do with what they learn from it. Some people limit their time on LinkedIn, when they could engage more strategically.

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