In recent weeks, the rather morbid subject of wills has been getting decent airtime on mainstream media. For example, Newshub did a feature on it a few weeks ago, and there are weekly articles on Stuff, such as the one titled "The case of the dead man with two wives but no will returns to court". While a lot of my friends and network will be young(ish) and healthy, and in more customary two-person relationships, does that mean there is no need for a will right now?
For many people, January is a time of reflection and new year resolutions to make a change. Having had a decent break, many people recognise that they are not happy in their current situation and resolve to get a new job.
This article contains some suggestions on how to get the best new legal job for your circumstances.
It’s been a year since I joined LawHawk, and it still feels so fresh and exciting. It’s probably a bit naïve / premature to reflect so soon, but heck, I’m on holiday! The Sydney sun, sea and sand has given me a great opportunity to stop, and think.
So what's happened?!
Hinge Marketing recently released the results of its Employer Brand Study. Given some of my previous research, one question in the study was particularly interesting to me: what’s most important to prospective employees of professional services firms?
We talk to a lot of organisations about document automation. Many of them have problems that document automation can help with. Some of them are literally drowning in paperwork, lacking sufficient experienced staff, and know they are exposed to undesirable levels of risk through inadvertent error or lost opportunities through delay. The people on the front-line need a solution now!
Although it is something that they want to start using because they know the benefits it will provide them in terms of greater speed and quality of document creation, with reduced costs and risk of error, many of them already have some type of system that already has, or could have as an extra module, some sort of document generation capability which they are not using. In a corporate context this could be a procurement system or an HR system, and in a law firm, it is often the firm’s practice management system.
Sensibly they want to look into that option further before they make a decision on how they will start to use document automation. The problem is that we see a lot of people go into that process, but few come out the other side. Months or years will pass without getting any of the benefits they know they need. How can this problem be avoided?
If you are considering these types of issues, the following questions and thoughts based on our observations might help you and your team move through evaluation more quickly and effectively and avoid it becoming a black hole that devours your initiative before you get going:
I like learning about new legal technologies, and how they can help me, but like most people I can still struggle to find time to try them all out.
A good example is digital signatures. I’ve known about them for years, and always thought they will eventually be the way that we sign all our documents, but haven’t made the time to look into it and why I should use it now. However a couple of weeks ago Mike Eyal from Secured Signing and I caught up again after first meeting at the LawFest Conference in May. Secured Signing are another New Zealand based legal technology company, established in 2010 with a number of satisfied customers.
Mike showed me how the Secured Signing system works, and I could tell it was a natural fit for our document automation system and something I wanted to start using. We have now built a Secured Signing integration which we can drop into any of our automated document templates so that users can automatically create Secured Signing “Smart Tags”. These are very simple pieces of formatted text that the Secured Signing system can recognise and act on to manage the digital signing process.
If you have read Parts One and Two, you’ll know that: (i) Geordie is the students / young lawyers (NZLSA) representative on the New Zealand Council of Legal Education; and also graduate at Russell McVeagh) and (ii) Milan Gandhi is the founder and director of The Legal Forecast, a “not-for-profit run by early-career professionals who are passionate about disruptive thinking and access to justice”; and also research clerk at McCullough Robertson.
Is it possible to summarise and add my two cents? I’ll give it a go:
Last week, Geordie Johnson (students / young lawyers (NZLSA) representative on the New Zealand Council of Legal Education; and also graduate at Russell McVeagh) shared his views on what matters to students and graduates when choosing where to work. This week, we hear from Milan Gandhi (founder and director of the Legal Forecast, a “not-for-profit run by early-career professionals who are passionate about disruptive thinking and access to justice”; and also research clerk at McCullough Robertson). The Legal Forecast is hosting a Disrupting Law event in August. which looks like a great initiative! I can't recall seeing anything like this in "my day", so things are clearly changing!
Crap – I’ve just realised I’m no longer a young-buck. Gene has asked me to look at something, because I’m “closer to the young people than [he is]”. “Closer to”?! Here I was, assuming I belonged to the youngest generation of lawyers (millennials), when gen Z is now coming through and making their mark on the profession.
What are these young lawyers looking for when deciding where to work?
In my last blog, I discussed how suppliers to in-house lawyers must understand the needs of in-house lawyers, before being able to effectively help them. Over two days and three evenings at ILANZ 2017, I realised that this requirement to understand is ongoing. New Zealand in-house lawyers are an evolving bunch who continue to learn themselves. So what did I take away?