Giving Thanks

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					Leadership Exchange
Published Monthly For Members Of The Greater Los Angeles Chapter Of The Association Of Legal Administrators

Giving Thanks
November 2008 • Volume 8 • Issue 8                                        The ResouRce foR LegaL adminisTRaToRs

                                               10      Simplify the human ReSouRceS Document
                                                       DRafting WoRkfloW
                                                       Leverage Task-based Technology to Maximize Efficiency

                                               12      economic tRenDS in
                                                       SoutheRn califoRnia laW fiRmS

                                               14      plaStic iS the neW caRDboaRD
                                                       How using plastic can save you money and the environment

                                               16      Socializing youR SociopathS
                                                       Especially The Ones In IT

                                               20      gla ala RecRuitment infoRmation

                                               23      2008 JuStice Jog 5k Walk/Run
                                                       A Photo Recap

November 2008                                                                                                  1
Simplify the humaN ReSouRceS DocumeNt DRaftiNg WoRkfloW
Leverage Task-based Technology to Maximize Efficiency
                                                                        performance evaluations and warnings. See examples of other role-
                  kathy Valentine — Microsystems Consultant
                                       based Word 2007 ribbons:
                                                                           An HR professional can quickly access and generate documents
                                                                        such as a Microsoft Word skills assessment package, a job offer, an
                                                                        acceptance letter, a new hire package, a performance review and a
                                                                        disciplinary document (see Figure 1).
   Human Resources professionals often have to draft the same
types of documents over and over again–documents such as job            Pre-hire Phase – Microsoft Word skills assessment
offers, NDA agreements, employee manuals and more. They are re-         documents
quired to continuously search for the right information and key in         For strategic reasons, HR and administrative teams implement
the information multiple times in multiple documents. They have         pre-hire Microsoft Word skills assessment programs for document-
to style and format each document time and time again.                  centric positions – secretaries, word processors, help desk analysts
   Improving the document drafting workflow of Human Resourc-           and trainers. With Microsystems software, an HR professional can
es (HR) staff helps maximize efficiencies and frees time for opera-     quickly generate test and instructional documents needed to eval-
tional and strategic projects. The vast array of documents that the     uate the advanced Word skills of pre-hires. Microsystems software
HR department is tasked to manage and produce can be brought            also provides one-click grading and reporting of the assessment.
into a cohesive Word 2007 Ribbon or Word 2003 Task Bar that au-         The time-consuming and subjective task of grading assessments is
tomates the document drafting process. Adding a securely admin-         automated, objective and quick with Microsystems software.
istered rights database, like Active Directory, into an area where a
high-level of discretion is required can also mitigate risk and im-     new hire Phase – Job offer, acceptance letter, new hire
prove workflow.                                                         Packages and more
   One of the ways to boost HR productivity is to simplify the draft-      In the new hire phase, HR can quickly generate a job offer letter
ing of commonly-used HR documents. The document drafting sce-           to a prospective candidate. If the candidate accepts the position,
narios in this article revolve around documents created typically       HR can then generate the acceptance letter, employee manual,
by HR staff during the lifecycle of an employee, beginning with the     forms, or a complete new hire package directly from D3.
pre-hire and the hiring phases, then moving from periodic perfor-          With the click of the “Job Offer” button (Figure 2), D3 drafts the
mance reviews all the way through to the termination or resigna-        firm-approved job offer letter and prompts to answer questions
tion phase.                                                             about the new hire candidate, such as name, address, department,
   The workflow incorporates Microsystems D3 (Dynamic Docu-             position, offer date, deadline date (to respond) and salary.
ment Drafting) software, which provides easy drafting of an HR
professional’s frequently-used documents.

Word 2007 ribbon for an hr Professional –
With Microsystems d3

   Figure 1: This D3 ribbon resides within Word and is designed with
an HR professional in mind; D3 provides easy drafting of common-
ly-used HR documents, including offer letters, employee manuals,

  10                                                                                            Greater Los Angeles Leadership Exchange
   Figure 2: A D3-generated job offer letter. Based on how questions   content properly styled and formatted, make it easy for anyone in
are answered, D3 updates the document with offer-specific informa-     the HR department to use. This type of workflow is not only ben-
tion.                                                                  eficial to the user, but for Trainers as well. Task-based workflows
   Once these questions are answered, they can be saved for use        provide Trainers with a focused and efficient training plan, which
in drafting related documents using D3. This “save” eliminates the     helps ease the transition and learning period of a newly-hired HR
need for the same information to be re-keyed over and over again.      professional.
   Once the candidate accepts the position, HR uses D3 to reuse
the “saved” answers from the job offer letter to create an accep-      Microsystems d3
tance letter, NDA agreement, employee manual, etc. What used to           Microsystems D3 software provides automated document
take HR hours to assemble and produce for a new hire now takes         drafting to many law firm practice areas and departments, includ-
just a few minutes.                                                    ing Human Resources. It empowers document authors to easily
   This process eliminates the risky workflow of using a legacy        and intuitively create any type of law firm document, including
document as a starting point— A.K.A. the File > Save As method.        HR documents (skills assessments, job offers, new hire packages,
When drafting a new document from a legacy document, the risk          performance reviews), corporate, transaction and litigation docu-
of accidentally including incorrect, confidential or proprietary in-   ments (pleadings and captions); a firm’s “everyday” documents
formation is high.                                                     (letters, memos, faxes); new business intake documents (engage-
                                                                       ment letters and waiver letters); marketing proposals, white papers,
Performance & discipline Phases – reviews & Warnings                   case studies, press releases and more.
   D3 provides quick drafting of performance review and disci-
plinary documents. HR simply chooses the employee from the                Find out more about Microsystems software at:
drop-down menu (Figure 3), and then selects the type of document
(Figure 4) to be generated. D3 drafts the new document with previ-
ously-saved employee information and is now ready for the details
of the employee’s performance to be input into the document.              About the Author: Kathy has been a consultant/trainer with
                                                                       Microsystems for over three years and is the author of the Pre-Hire
                                                                       Skills Assessment module. She came to Microsystems from a position
                                                                       of User Support Manager at a major law firm in Washington, DC.
                                                                       While there, she implemented a skills assessment program that was
                                                                       an integral part of a firm wide university style Secretarial training
                                                                       program. She recognizes the benefit of an automated solution be-
                                                                       cause she was responsible for the manual grading of over 200 assess-
    Figure 3: A drop-down menu on the D3 ribbon enables HR to          ments, i.e. she has felt that pain. She has been in the training field
select the employee; D3 then brings information tied to the employee   in legal for over 18 years so recognizes the unique culture and needs
into the document.                                                     that a legal environment requires.

                                                                          About The Company: Microsystems is a leader in providing com-
                                                                       plete, “first draft to final delivery” document lifecycle solutions to the
                                                                       legal and life sciences markets and other document-intensive busi-
                                                                       nesses. The company provides more than 650 client firms and com-
                                                                       panies with an innovative combination of software products, con-
                                                                       sulting services and training designed to improve the total document
                                                                       creation, quality control and delivery processes. Microsystems can be
   Figure 4: A drop-down menu on the D3 ribbon allows HR to select     contacted at 630.598.1100 or on the Web at
the appropriate performance review document.

   A task-based document drafting workflow maximizes the effi-
ciency of an HR professional, freeing up time to work on operation-
al and strategic projects. Task-based workflows that incorporate
automation, such as D3’s ability to store and insert firm-approved

November 2008                                                                                                                               11

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