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MARICOPA LAWYER Best Non-Legal Classes for Law Students

QUESTION I’m a first-year law student. I receive credit for a few classes outside of the college of law and I’m wondering what classes you recommend I take? – Law Student in Litchfield Park

This is a fun question and a nice change of pace for my column. Here’s a short list of some law school classes that would be benefi- cial before you start in the work force. Accounting 101 and 102: A basic knowl- edge of bookkeeping and business records is very helpful in almost any law practice, either personally or professionally. It is much easier to learn this in school, than to learn it on the job.

Business 101: As a lawyer you will likely own a business or work in a business at some point in your career, or you may help someone with some aspect of their business. So understanding business struc- ture, management, marketing and politics is imperative. Economics 101: I put this class in here because many of my law school professors seemed to think this was a great class to take. I am not entirely convinced, but feel free to set me straight. Expository Writing:Writing is important. Take any and all writing classes available. Latin 101:Have you ever noticed how many legal terms are in Latin? I think a basic understanding of this dead language might actually help when you start hearing terms such as res ipsa loquitur, propria persona, and de facto. Psychology: As lawyers we deal with peo- ple every day either directly or indirectly, so understanding them and what makes them “tick” is a must. Spanish:We live in Arizona, and Spanish is the language to know if you want to

increase your business and your profes- sional network. Surfing 101: Apparently this is a real class at some California schools. With all the hustle and bustle associated with being a lawyer, there is little time left to learn a new sport and enjoy the simple things in life. Surfing is one of the activities I wish I had mastered before I became a lawyer. Tax Preparation 101: I realize there are tax classes in law school, but I’m talking about a basic tax preparation course. Knowing how to do your own taxes will save you money and time. In addition, as a lawyer, we often have to deal with tax issues of our clients. Hope this gets you started! Enjoy! 

“Ask an Associate” is a monthly column which allows attorneys to anonymously submit ques- tions to a real-life associate attorney. Questions cover a wide range of issues from marketing to office dynamics. To send your questions, please e-mail Nicole Siqueiros at nsiqueiros@hallier- Siqueiros is an associate family law attorney at Hallier & Lawrence, PLC.

Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace By Jennifer FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C

Most Americans caring for an older family member also work outside the home. Care giving for an elderly loved one is stressful enough, but trying to manage a full or even part-time job simultaneously can be down- right grueling. What can employers do to ensure productivity while supporting employ- ees caught in this predicament? That is a question more employers will likely be grappling with as the number of per- sons age 65 and older is expected to rise in the coming years. Mark Winsor, owner and founding part-

ner of Winsor Law Group in Arizona, said he has a personal policy of being understanding with employees caring for loved ones. “The policy is that I’m a flexible dude because you keep your employees happy,” he said. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report

released in May 2010, the number of people age 65 and older to every 100 people of tradi- tional working ages is projected to climb rap- idly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030. That time period coincides with the time when baby boomers are moving into the 65 and older age category. Plus, the report says that the rapid growth of the older population— 85 and up—may present additional chal- lenges in the next two decades. Most employers know what to expect

when workers have a new baby. There is maternity leave and more recently even pater- nity leave. Typically there is a plan in place because this type of leave is expected. Coworkers have likely made arrangements to cover duties for a period of time until the new parent returns. Once the employee returns to the office, there may be snags: the babysitter cancels, the

employee is exhausted from minimal sleep so work is suffering, the employee is less willing to work overtime, etc. Good bosses are experi- enced in handling these issues and understand that such situations need to be managed in a way that respects the employee’s life changes while protecting the integrity of the work- place. Winsor said he understands that some

employees may take advantage of his flexibili- ty –which has happened to him before – but does not let that change his perspective. “I’m sure there are those that shirk that responsibil- ity with the excuse that they’re at work and I find that inexcusable,” he said. Unfortunately many bosses, even sensitive

ones, are less experienced in handling care- givers of elderly parents. Caregivers in the workplace are facing just as many challenges as new parents but unfortunately, have not usually prepared for them as well as new par- ents have. Frequently people become caregivers of seniors literally overnight. Mom had a stroke yesterday. Dad got lost walking around his neighborhood last week, drawing attention to the fact that his memory is fading. Uncle Jim broke a hip this morning. These are not occa- sions that anyone anticipates or eagerly awaits like the birth of a new baby.

Along with his personal assistant, who has been taking care of her parents through a ter- rible challenge for the past seven to eight months, Winsor said he too has faced chal- lenges in caring for his own parents, especially more recently his mother. “My mom has sac- rificed for me and I don’t hesitate to take care of her,” he said. Winsor said he has witnessed attorneys

who have been inflexible with their employees and doesn’t understand their reasoning. “I saw

firsthand attorneys that have treated their staff so authoritatively, and just mean at times, or have been condescending or inflexible. If you’re stuck at a job from 9 to 5, how do you get your parents to doctors’ appointments?” he said.

Consider these five strategies on how to

make your workplace more caregiver-friendly. 1. Anticipate that care-giving issues will continue to arise in every workplace setting. Thinking ahead about how the organization can respond to these problems will be an investment in valued employees. Most organi- zations are mandated to offer Family & Medical Leave Act (FLMA) time off, but are there other benefits available through the workplace health insurance plan or an employee assistance program? Can your organization develop some accomodating policies, such as more liberal telecommuting or longer penalty-free unpaid leave of absence options? 2. Foster a work environment that encour- ages open communication about personal matters that impact work. It is much better for an employee to tell you what is going on with her mother than you wondering why she has been late six times in the last month. 3. Put it in writing. Supporting valued

workers in their care-giving duties is in the best interest of the organization and the work- er. However, it is always best to put any mod- ifications to an employee’s work responsibili- ties or schedule in writing and to review them regularly. The manager can address any prob- lems that arise in a timely manner. 4. Understand that caregivers are vulner-

able. They are more prone to suffer health consequences themselves. Caregivers are also more apt than others to suffer emo-

See Supporting Caregivers page 14

AUGUST 2011 • 5

The Basics of Using Capital Letters in Quotations

I was looking over my son’s first-grade

schoolwork and was pleased to see that he was learning the most basic capital-letter- usage rule: start each sentence with a capi- tal letter. If only the style rules remained so simple to learn and apply! Legal writers struggle with when to use capital letters consistently in one compli- cated scenario: incorporating quotations within a sentence. Following is a short set of guidelines to make this scenario as clear as first-grade language arts.

1. If the quotation is just a paraphrase of the actual language (indirect quota- tion), then do not capitalize the start of the paraphrased language. The witness said the light was red in the other lane.

2. If the quotation follows the word “that,” then do not capitalize the start of the quotation unless the first word is one that is otherwise capitalized. The witness said that “the light had

been red for several seconds.” The witness said that “I was there, and the light had been red for several seconds.”

3. If the quotation is not a complete sentence, then do not capitalize the start of the quotation. Also, there is no need to set off the quotation with a comma unless a comma is needed due to anoth- er grammar or style rule. The lawyer’s defense depended on the light being “red for several seconds.”

4. If the quotation is a direct quotation and is a complete sentence itself, then the quotation starts with a capital letter. If the direct quotation is split up by an interrupting phrase, do not capitalize the part of the quotation after the split. Note how a direct quotation is set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

When the lawyer questioned her, the witness admitted, “The light had been red for several seconds.” “I was there,” the witness said, “and the light had been red for several seconds.” 

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