Who Needs Halloween? Sexual Harassment and Election Season

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rockoffsabrinapresnell-2By Sabrina Presnell Rockoff

I come to you this beautiful October day with three scary topics you should likely avoid at any dinner party.  However, as an employment lawyer and breast cancer survivor, I’m going to tackle all of them:  Politics, sexual harassment and cancer.  I’ll start with the last topic first.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  As a survivor of stage 1 breast cancer, I’m living proof that early detection saves lives.  So if you or your loved one has been putting off a mammogram or checking something that seems worrisome, STOP!  Make an appointment today.  It matters – a lot.

Now, on to the other two … This election is testing many of the fundamental ideas we all believe in as Americans:  democracy, patriotism, equal rights and freedom of speech.  Keeping our opinions to ourselves this election season has become increasingly difficult.  Without offering my own opinion on the candidates, one thing is very clear:  sexual harassment is front and center in this election in a way it has not been since the early 1990s.  And history shows us that when sexual harassment is at the forefront of political discussion, we all had best take note. The EEOC reported that charges filed alleging sexual harassment increased by over 60 percent the year following the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.  While I would argue, based on my own experience, that companies are now in a much better position to address sexual harassment concerns and claims than they were 10 or 20 years ago, based on the current conversations being had on any cable news show, not all companies, even large, seemingly savvy companies, are doing it well.  You can find the most recent data regarding EEOC charges related to sex harassment here:  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/sexual_harassment_new.cfm

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Want To See the Future Of Law Practice? Attend a Tech Conference

92decfde1d6e83f6737cd5c251d83103By Pegeen Turner

I recently returned from the Clio Conference in Chicago. Clio is cloud-based practice management software for law firms. But, don’t stop reading this post just because your firm does not use Clio or the cloud. This post is pertinent to you as long as you continue to practice law in 2016.

The Clio Conference offers more than just information on a product. It is a conference on the future of law. Unlike any other legal technology conferences that I have attended, the Clio Conference exposes attendees to technology used in other law firms today (read – your competitors). From AI (artificial intelligence) to online intake processes, and practice specific technology, firms are moving their data online. Today. Clio brings together a wealth of resources under one roof to show you the direction of where your firm should be moving.

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The Birds and the Bees and the TLC: What I Wish I’d Known When I Was a YLD Member

scruggsmarkBy Mark Scruggs

Bees are fascinating little critters. Their lifespan is only six weeks. In the spring, they gather pollen to store in their hives. As spring blooms into the summer, bees begin gathering nectar to make honey. As the weather becomes cooler in the fall, they gather sap to caulk the cracks in their hives to prepare for winter. The bees of summer were different from the springtime bees who gathered pollen, and the autumn bees know nothing of summertime and have never experienced a winter. How do they know what to do?

We humans are the same way. While we have some insight into our lives looking backward, we have no real understanding of what lies ahead. We can remember childhood when we knew nothing about the birds and the bees. Many of us were grossed out when we first heard about the mechanics of sex from older kids. Surely our parents did not do that. Surely they are not doing it now! We also remember the social awkwardness of adolescence and the angst of our teenage years. Today, as young lawyers, we remember those developmental stages well. Today, struggling with the time and attention demands of balancing our personal and professional lives, starting families and striving to get ahead in our careers, retirement is the last thing on our minds. While we have contemporaries in the financial world urging us to buy insurance products and invest for the future, the eventualities seem remote.

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