image  by Sheila Blackford   ©2016   Here in Portland, Oregon we’ve been having snow and freezing rain. When warm inside, this freezing weather allows you to appreciate the architecture of trees. The stark relief of branches covered in snow and ice is beautiful, especially some of the more fragile-branched trees. The rest of the year, you might not even notice the branches because when the tree is fully leafed-out or showing off hundreds of blossoms, it’s easy to miss seeing the hidden small branches. Winter lets us know they were always there.

Can you say the same looking at your law practice or career in the legal field during a time when there may been less work to  distract you from really seeing how things are, the architecture of your law practice or career?

Any review of a situation by a trained lawyer is going to reveal areas that could benefit from making changes.  By nature we lawyers have a good eye for details and critical evaluation. Usually. Or do we? This may be a prime time to assess skills and embark upon a program of personal and professional development. Don’t pass up an opportunity to change. A couple of sites I’d propose looking at are Lynda.com and MindTools. Be prepared to be amazed!

Lynda.com, a LinkedIn Company. This site is more than software training and tutorials. But the extensive offering of training on software programs is wonderful. Wondering about switching over to using FreshBooks instead of QuickBooks? Check out “FreshBooks Essential Training.”

Learning topics under each general topic are exhaustive, see the example just for 3D Animation. Yes, those numbers in parentheses are how many tutorials are available. Think how your courtroom presentations and websites might be improved! And if not, maybe there is a whole new career waiting, a talented new you to be unleashed!

3D + Animation.

Topics:

Animation (74)
BIM (1)
Character Animation (60)
Compositing (16)
Creative Spark (2)
Documentaries (13)
Game Design (24)
Game Development (10)
Lighting (27)
Materials (58)
Modeling (82)
Particles + Dynamics (15)
Post Production (2)
Previsualization (6)
Projects (19)
Rendering (70)
Rigging (21)
Textures (61)
Visual Effects (73)

3-D Animation Software:

123D Catch (1)
3ds Max (51)
ActionScript (1)
Adobe (66)
After Effects (20)
Alias (1)
Allegorithmic (4)
Amorphium Pro (1)
Animate (2)
Apple (1)
AutoCAD (2)
Autodesk (137)
Avid (1)
Backburner (1)
Blender (12)
Bongo (1)
Carrara (1)
Chaos Group (7)
CINEMA 4D (43)
Dassault (1)
Digital Anarchy (1)
e-on Software (3)                                                                                                    Edge Animate (4)
eFrontier (1)
EI Technology Group (1)
Eovia (1)
epic (1)
Final Cut Pro (1)
Fireworks (1)
Flash (1)
Flash Professional (13)
Harmony (2)
Houdini (2)
Hype (1)
Illustrator (2)
Imagineer Systems (1)
Insydium (1)
Jawset (1)
jQuery (1)
LightWave (1)
Makerbot (1)
MARI (1)

How about something more useful?

Business Courses and Training.

Topics:

Accounting (34)
Analytics (3)
Business Intelligence (30)
Business Skills (236)
Career Development (72)
Charts + Graphs (20)
Cloud Computing (1)
Collaboration (45)
Communication (105)
Computer Skills (Mac) (38)
Computer Skills (Windows) (46)
Creative Spark (2)
Data Analysis (42)
Databases (47)
Elearning (10)
Email (30)
Email Marketing (3)
Finance (44)
Forms (13)
Freelancing (24)
Home + Small Office (104)
iPhone, iPod, iPad (35)
Leadership (71)
Management (96)
Note Taking (12)
Online Marketing (18)
Operating Systems (55)
PDF (26)
Presentations (75)
Productivity (151)
Project Management (57)
Projects (9)
SEO (5)
Servers (4)
Social Media Marketing (14)
Social Networks (26)
Spreadsheets (70)
Time Management (15)
Web Conferencing (6)
Word Processing (54)
Writing (14)

Business Software Tutorials:

1Password (2)
2Do (1)
37signals (1)
Access (22)
AccountRight (2)
AccountRight Live (1)
Acrobat (24)
ACT! (1)
Adobe (39)
Adobe Document Cloud (1)
AirBnB (1)
Amazon (4)
Android (10)
Android Wear (1)
Antivirus (1)
Any.do (1)
Apple (83)
Apple Music (1)
Apple Watch (3)
ArcGIS (1)
Articulate (1)
Asana (1)
Barnes & Noble (2)
Basecamp (1)
Bento (3)
Box (2)
Business Catalyst (1)
CareerBuilder (1)
CARROT To-Do (1)
Chrome OS (1)
Chromebook (1)
Chromebox (1)
Cisco (2)
Citrix (1)
Clear (2)
Commerce (1)
Connect (1)
Contribute (1)
Corel (5)
Crystal Reports (2)
CSS (2)
Digg (1)
Dragon Dictation (1)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home (1)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium (1)
Dreamweaver (2)
Dropbox (3)
Drupal (1)
Drupal Commerce (1)
Dynamics GP (1)
eBay (2)
Entourage (3)
Esri (1)
Etsy (1)
Eventbrite (1)
Evernote (4)
Excel (93)
Excel for Mac (9)
Expensify (1)
Facebook (6)
Facebook Messenger (1)
FBA (1)
Feedly (1)
FileMaker (26)
FileMaker Go (2)
FileMaker Pro (23)
Fire Phone (1)
Flash Professional (2)
Flickr (1)
FrameMaker (1)
FreshBooks (1)
FrontPage (1)
Fulfilled by Amazon (1)
G2 (2)
Galaxy (5)
Galaxy Note (4)
Galaxy S5 (2)
Gear (1)
GIS (1)
Glass (2)
Gmail (4)
Google (30)
Google Apps (2)
Google Calendar (3)
Google Docs (4)
Google Drive (5)
Google Forms (1)
Google Photos (1)
Google Sites (1)
Google Voice (1)
Google+ (2)
GoToMeeting (1)
Groups (1)
Handy (1)
Homejoy (1)
HootSuite (1)
HTC (2)
HTC One (2)
HTML (2)
HulloMail (1)
IBM (1)
iBooks Author (1)
iCloud (3)
IFTTT (2)
Illustrator (1)
iMovie (2)
Indeed (1)
InDesign (9)
InfoPath (3)
Instagram (1)
Internet Explorer (2)
Intuit (12)
iOS (13)
iPad (10)
iPhone (9)
iTunes (2)
iWork (5)
JavaScript (1)
jQuery (2)
Keynote (16)
Kickstarter (1)
Kickstarter Inc. (1)
Kindle (2)
Kobo (1)
Kobobooks (1)
LastPass (3)
LG (2)
LinkedIn (10)
LinkedIn Job Seeker (1)
Lotus Notes (1)
Lyft (1)
Lync (1)
Mac OS X (24)
Mac OS X Server (3)
Marketplace (1)
McAfee (1)
Meetup (1)
Microsoft (318)
Monster (1)
MYOB (3)
MySQL (1)
Nexus 5 (2)
NOOK (2)
Norton 360 (2)
Norton AntiVirus (1)
Norton Internet Security (1)
Norton Mobile Security (1)
Norton Studio (1)
Norton Zone (1)
Nuance (1)
Numbers (5)
Office (106)
Office 365 (53)
Office for Mac (22)
Office Mix (1)
Office Online (1)
Office Sway (2)
Omni (3)
OmniFocus (1)
OmniGraffle (2)
OneDrive (3)
OneNote (12)
Open Source (15)
OpenOffice (5)
Outlook (31)
Outlook for Mac (9)
Outlook.com (1)
Pages (7)
PayPal (2)
Photoshop (1)
PHP (1)
Pinterest (3)
PostgreSQL (1)
Power BI for Office 365 (1)
PowerPoint (37)
PowerPoint for Mac (5)
Presenter (1)
Prezi (1)
Project (11)
Publisher (9)
Qlik (1)
QlikView (1)
QuestionPro (1)
QuickBooks (9)
QuickBooks Online (1)
QuickBooks Payroll (1)
QuickBooks Pro (1)
Quicken (2)
Reader (1)
RealMac (1)
Recruiter (1)
Recruiter Lite (1)
reddit (2)
RoboHelp (1)
Samsung (7)
SAP (2)
Seller Central (1)
SharePoint (16)
SharePoint Designer (1)
Sheets (1)
Simply Hired (1)
Skype (2)
Skype for Business (1)
SlideShare (1)
Smashwords (1)
Snapchat (1)
Sony (2)
SQL Server (3)
SQLite (1)
Square (1)
Square Register (1)
Storyline (1)
StumbleUpon (1)
Survey Monkey (1)
SurveyGizmo (1)
Swiftpage (1)
Symantec (2)
Tableau (2)
Tableau Software (2)
TaskRabbit (1)
Technorati (1)
Todoist (1)
TweetDeck (1)
Twitter (5)
Twitteriffic (1)
Uber (1)
Vine (1)
Visio (5)
Visual Basic for Applications (2)
VRBO (1)
WebEx (2)
Week Calendar (1)
Windows (25)
Word (50)
Word for Mac (7)
WordPerfect (5)
WordPress (1)
Xperia (2)
Yahoo! (1)
Yammer (1)
YouTube (2)
Zoomerang (1)

Others well covered areas are Audio & Music; CAD, Design, Developer, Education & eLearning, IT, Marketing, Photography, Video, and Web. And maybe just looking at all these courses and trainings brings on a double chocolate chip cookie slump. How could you afford this? Easy! Basic Membership is $24.99 charged monthly or Annual billing rate $239.88 drops the monthly rate down to $19.99. There are also plans for you to sign up a group so that you can share the professional development in your firm. Rates and plans here.

MindTools. 

I really like MindTool. Be prepared to spend a lot of time here especially if you have expanded to the role of boss. You need to become the very best boss because staff turn-over is costly.

How costly? What is your billable rate? How long does it take to run an employment ad, review job applications, schedule interviews, conduct interviews, bring back a smaller pool of candidates for additional interviews, and thoroughly check references. And then all the time invested in training staff.  This adds up quickly!

You cannot afford to do hiring and staff development poorly or be a pitifully unskilled boss who can’t hang onto good people. Ouch! Not wanting to be harsh, but I want you to take the right attitude toward this neglected area of law firm success.

There is always room for improvement  and MindTools is a website where you can begin.  And let me say there are excellent self-assessment tests throughout the site so that you can hone in on what skills you need to develop further the fastest. Take a look at the skill areas. Yes, 330 ways to become a better team  builder and manager.

Skill Areas:

Leadership Skills (129)
Team Management (330)
Strategy Tools (207)
Problem Solving (54)
Decision Making (71)
Project Management (82)
Time Management (99)
Stress Management (72)
Communication Skills (194)
Creativity Tools (46)
Learning Skills (53)
Career Skills (262)

Membership is for you alone – Standard Membership$19/month or Premium Membership $27/month. Check out Join on the MindTools Home Page.  If you are in a bigger firm likely you’ll want to contact MindTools to learn about Corporate or Group Membership. You will definitely want to explore all the resources available to you, for example the MindTools store and there usually are membership specials so that you only have to pay $1 for the first month. A really good deal. What are you waiting for? 2016 just may become your very best year!

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by SBlackford

Sheila Blackford is an Oregon attorney who has been a practice management advisor for the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund since 2005. She loves writing, riding her horse, and taking long walks with her husband and their dog.

One Comment

  1. Write great, where can I get more information about it? Thanks

    Reply

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