Think You’re Underpaid? Get Real Before You Leap

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

An in-house lawyer (let’s call her Sara) contacted me about helping her design a business plan for starting up her own law firm. I commended Sara’s wisdom in creating a business plan before leaving her corporate job. Surprisingly few lawyers actually do that. She explained that she needed the business plan in order to get a bank to lend her operating capital. While I silently questioned how realistic her expectations were, I asked how much she intended to borrow. She said, “I only need enough to cover my living expenses for a couple of months. Just until the money starts coming in.” Read more «Think You’re Underpaid? Get Real Before You Leap»

Real Live Lawyer Success Stories: Ethically Using Social Media

Debra will be speaking at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio (June 23 – 24, 2011), on Thursday, June 23, 2011, from 2:15pm – 3:15pm.

“Think social media is hogwash? Hear how a former in-house lawyer used social media to build a solo practice, how a seasoned family lawyer ramped up his practice, and how experienced lawyers are bouncing back from a declining business environment. Learn how these lawyers are finding success with social media while staying within the ethics rules.”

For more information see:

Debra Bruce Presents “The Power of Active Listening” for NALA

Listening is more than 50 percent of communication, and you must know what to listen for. Learn to ethically manage upset people in intimidating circumstances. Have the conversations that help people open up so they don’t blow up. Improve cooperation and understanding in your workplace, simply through improving your own active listening skills, which you will get to practice in this interactive presentation.

The 36th Annual National Association of Legal Assistants Convention and Exhibition will be held in Plano, TX from July 27th-30th, 2011, at the Marriot Dallas/Plano at Legacy Center. Debra Bruce will be presenting “The Power of Active Listening” at the Closing Presentation on Saturday, July 30th, from 10:45am-12:15pm.  

To see accommodations, travel information and to register please go to:

Leveraging Dictation Technology to Save Time and Overhead

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Lawyers used to dictate drafts of correspondence and documents for their assistant to transcribe, in order to improve their efficiency over handwritten drafting. As word processing software became more user-friendly, however, lawyers began doing more and more of their own typing. Most found it easier to draft when they could immediately see and edit their work product. Today both solos and big firms save on overhead by using fewer, and sometimes less skilled, administrative assistants, which increases the need for lawyers to type more.

Some of those cost savings may be illusory, however. Read more «Leveraging Dictation Technology to Save Time and Overhead»