Making it easier to grow your law firm

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This section covers succession, specialisation, mergers, selling a law firm, becoming a partner, and business structure

How to set up your firm’s systems to provide the information that enables you to improve profitability and cashflow

How to avoid professional negligence claims, with examples of common problems and suggested solutions. Plus FAQs on PII

This section only covers SRA Accounts Rules and GDPR at the moment. Compliance for start-ups is covered in the Starting up section.

How to protect your law firm from cyber attacks. What steps to take if your systems are hacked

How to recruit and retain a team that is both happy and highly effective, dealing with the HR issues along the way

In marketing, like anything, you need to get the basics right. Otherwise the time and money you invest in marketing will be wasted

How to win new clients, make the most of existing relationships, encourage referrals and generate new leads

How to approach creating a law firm website that works, from agreeing your objectives to making sure you get the results you want

Why lawyers need to know about social media, how to make the most of the opportunities and how to avoid potential pitfalls

How to use PR to build your firm’s reputation; and how to create cost-effective advertising – traditional and online – that delivers results

How to plan and execute the process of starting up a new legal practice that is compliant and financially healthy

Tips for dealing with Blue Monday

Starting a new job post it note on a calendarToday, the third Monday in January, is often touted as the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday. In this blog, the legal sector charity LawCare considers the issues involved and suggests some practical steps for making life happier. (17 January 2022)

The excitement of Christmas is now behind us and there's still a long stretch of winter ahead until spring. The temptation is to hunker down indoors and hibernate, but our top tip for dealing with Blue Monday – and January in general – is to get outside as much as possible.

We may wake up a bit grumpy, feeling the winter blues, but as the day progresses we can begin to feel happier if we spend some time outdoors.

So many of us, in the depths of winter, get most of our light artificially from screens and desk lamps. But humans aren’t meant to spend so much time indoors. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers spending most of their time outdoors among trees and animals, or by water, in all seasons and weather. Could our health and wellbeing be compromised because we now spend so little time outdoors?

The shorter days of light drain us of energy, meaning some of us will experience seasonal lethargy, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and depression.

There is evidence that exercise outside can be more effective than antidepressants for those with mild to moderate depression.

There are several physiological and neurological changes that take place when we go outside which can boost the happiness chemicals in our brain.

Serotonin is a compound that carries signals between nerve cells and there is a link between the levels of serotonin in our brain and our mood.Time spent in the natural world and particularly in sunlight triggers an increase in serotonin.

Bright morning light can advance our circadian rhythms helping us to sleep better at night and also suppresses melatonin – having an antidepressant effect.

Sunlight also helps the body produce the immune-boosting Vitamin D, and being outside helps us breathe more deeply, get more oxygen into our lungs and chase away the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol.

Top tips for letting the light in

  • Open your curtains and window in the morning, even for just a few minutes, to let a blast of cold air in.
  • Try and work near a window if you can.
  • Have appropriate outdoor clothes – if you’re warm and waterproof you’re ready for any weather.
  • Go outside a few times a day for a few deep breaths of fresh air.
  • Take work calls/meetings outside where possible, if there’s no reason you can’t be walking and talking.
  • Take a lunch break and get into the light, whatever the weather. It doesn’t have to be an hour, or even at lunchtime if that doesn’t suit your working pattern, but try to get out in daylight hours wherever possible. Having a break outside can make all the difference to your productivity.
  • Make a plan to get out every weekend – visit parks, gardens, the countryside and beaches.
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement. Experts recommend everyone does in winter.
  • Consider getting a SAD light, which replicates daylight and can boost your mood.

Going outside and being in nature can reduce your anxiety and stress. There is scientific evidence that we feel calmer when we look at trees, for example.

Put fairy lights up, light candles, and practice the Danish tradition of hygge at home to get through the long winter months. When darkness is illuminated by a few little flickering lights it seems more bearable.

 

If you are finding things difficult LawCare is here to listen. We provide emotional support to all legal professionals, support staff and their families. You can call our confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email us at [email protected] or access live chat and other resources at www.lawcare.org.uk.

(This item has also been published with LawCare on the Travelers website.)

 

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