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Labour relations specialists Article

Monday | 20 September | 2021 The long-term consequences of Covid on the legal profession

By Essie Bester The pandemic is having a dramatic impact on work practices in every industry, and the legal profession is no exception. Although legal firms reported a higher than expected income during the times of crisis – legal firms tend to handle downswings better than the general economy – it does not mean that they have escaped the need to be resilient and react fast. Due to the pandemic legal firms and legal departments had to switch to remote working out of necessity – something that accelerated the acceptance of technology across the whole sector. The following are the
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Tuesday | 10 August | 2021 Artificial intelligence: What does it hold for legal firms?

By Essie Bester When a professional sector faces new technology, questions arise as to how it will disrupt the daily activities of those who practise that profession. Attorneys and the legal profession are no exceptions. The arrival of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence is a game changer and it fills many people with apprehension. The World Bank’s world development report (2019), however, came to an interesting conclusion. “Fears that robots will take over human beings’ work are unfounded. In total innovation creates more new industries and jobs than it takes away.” The message from this is that we will have
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Friday | 11 June | 2021 The importance of creditability in the legal profession

By Nico Strydom Legal practitioners are often the subject of numerous jokes and various surveys have found that they are respected but not necessarily trusted. Creditability and trust therefore are of the utmost importance in the legal profession. When someone needs a lawyer or advocate, experience and credentials are usually at the top of the list of qualities looked at. However, creditability isn’t something that is acquired overnight and goes hand in hand with trust and experience. Creditability means to be believed and to be trustworthy. As a lawyer or advocate your actions and conduct will influence the opinions of
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Monday | 07 June | 2021 What South African lawyers should know about advertising on social media

By Anja van den Berg Lawyers used to be prohibited from marketing their services. Times have changed, however, and legislation has changed with it. The implementation of the Legal Practice Act (Act 28 of 2014) allows attorneys to advertise and market their services. As set out in Government Gazette No. 39740 (the “Rules”), the uniform Rules for the Attorneys’ Profession stipulate how attorneys should conduct themselves with regard to promotion and marketing. Lawyers may now utilise most mass media platforms, including television, radio and billboards – provided that the advertisements comply with the Rules. But what about social media? Indeed,
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Monday | 24 May | 2021 Attorneys and difficult clients

By Marli Naidoo Difficult clients are part of this profession. People usually contact an attorney when they are having a difficult time or when they experience problems for which they need legal aid. It is understandable that some clients are emotional and stressed. An attorney does not have to accept as a client everybody who comes into his offices. Question the client about previous attorneys he used, why he does not use their services anymore, what he expects of his legal adviser, how he prefers to communicate, etc. You can then decide whether you want to commit to this person.
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Monday | 10 May | 2021 This is how to market your legal practice

By Nico Strydom A legal practice is still a business, which means new clients have to be canvassed and other business processes also have to take place. It is therefore also important to market your legal firm because this affects your legal practice’s image and could attract more clients to your business. Successful marketing can also help to let your legal practice stand out among the competition so that clients will want to use your services. There are different ways of marketing your legal practice. These may include advertising, a web page as well as social-media marketing. Before you start
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Monday | 19 April | 2021 Human rights and the legal profession: What’s it all about?

By Dr Eugene Brink South Africa has celebrated another Human Rights’ Day on 21 March, but it is an ironic end to a year marked by great deprivation and the local and global curtailment of civil liberties. In light of the violations of various civil liberties by the police and armed forces over the past year, but so too the periodic heavy-handedness of the government, it is apt to wonder what can be done about it. One of the main forms of recourse is to litigate. But what do legal practitioners in this field of expertise actually do? And how
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Monday | 19 April | 2021 Lack of sleep leads to less productivity in the legal profession

By Wilma Bedford Attorneys and other legal professionals are known for their ability to thrive under pressure. As a result, they have to cope with a significant amount of stress and work, which tends to be much more than the standard 40-hour work week. Data from research by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) indicate that 32,9% of lawyers and judges are working on less than seven hours of sleep per night, with 37,5% of legal support workers being sleep deprived. Busy attorneys are consumed by tasks associated with client service, case management, and professional development, meaning
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Monday | 15 March | 2021 Lawyers and mental health

By Dr Eugene Brink The pressure. The grind. The demands. These are all hallmarks of a wide array of jobs and everyone will agree that the legal profession has these in abundance. This could have some serious deleterious effects on lawyers’ mental health and lead them to drug and alcohol abuse. The common image of a lawyer is someone with smooth talking skills, a slick persona, natty suit, and oodles of assertiveness and confidence. This might be true in many instances, but the less common talking point in and perception of the legal profession is falling prey to mental illnesses
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Monday | 28 September | 2020 Covid-19 reveals faults in labour

By Reon Janse van Rensburg According to Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary of Solidarity, Covid-19 led to many negotiating processes about health and safety protocols, as well as the changing of employees’ service conditions at almost all medium and large enterprises. He mentions that these negotiations were followed by negotiations on dealing with vulnerable employees who cannot work due to underlying illnesses and logistical challenges. Another consequence is retrenchment consultations where jobs are lost due to Covid-19 and previous collective bargaining agreements that were reviewed. According to Du Plessis these negotiations are complicated for both employees and employers, and during
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