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Stress management tips for your next H-1B season

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Apr 27, 2015 Compliance, Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips comments: Comments Off on Stress management tips for your next H-1B season
Use technology and start early to reduce the stress of your next H-1B season.

Was the stress of the most recent H-1B season too much to handle? If you came into work early, stayed late, felt like you had too much on your plate – or worse – if you didn't get some of your applications in on April 1, you need to better prepare to manage your stress next year. 

"Case management software is the biggest favor you can do for yourself."

Follow these tips to look forward to a more manageable H-1B season:

  • Start as early as possible. The end of any year is a great time to get organized and connect with your clients and potential hires. December may be too early to know who will need an H-1B application, but it's not too soon to start figuring it out. By the end of the January, you should have your H-1B application needs solidified.
  • Touch base with other stakeholders. You may be responsible for completing H-1B applications, but others in the company may know eligible candidates or have other information. Check in with human resources, recruiters and employees to ensure you know whose applications to move forward with.
  • Invest in necessary technology. Manually tracking numerous H-1B applications is tedious and stress-inducing. Investing in immigration case management software is the biggest favor you can do for yourself, as it allows you to set up new case files, easily gather client information, establish the most efficient workflow and track deadlines.
  • Set a clear schedule for your clients. Initial hold up can come from your clients not providing the documents you need right away. Use your CMS to set due dates and send reminders to your clients.
  • Prepare for delays. Start early and expect something to hold you back. If you submit your Labor Condition Applications and other pre-H-1B forms as early as possible, your entire schedule isn't delayed if something unexpected comes up.
  • Take stock of your work at the end of each day. Starting in January, you should check in with your H-1B applications regularly. It's best to spare 10 minutes at the end of each day to check your calendar, see what you're waiting on and what you need get going on the next day.
  • Leave work behind. It can be tempting to check your work email during the evening or bring files home, but it's best to give yourself a work-free zone. It's easiest to do this after work each day. Make yourself a nice dinner, catch up on your favorite show and get a good night's sleep.
date:  Apr 27, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Stress management tips for your next H-1B season
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Compliance, Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips Read More

Better time management with INSZoom [Video]

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Apr 27, 2015 Money and time saving tips comments: Comments Off on Better time management with INSZoom [Video]

Do employees at your firm struggle to manage their productivity levels? Do tasks fall off the radar? Are deadlines ever missed?

Hello, and welcome to another INSZoom video blog.

Great time management skills are key to profitability and maintaining excellent client relationships. 

Ninety percent of workers admit to wasting at least half an hour per day, not including scheduled breaks and lunches. In particular, email can be a huge time waster for many workers.

When tasks don’t have defined limits, lawyers may end up delaying certain items on their to-do lists until the next day. 

INSZoom helps attorneys proactively manage their workdays, integrate with Outlook to keep track of court dates and case deadlines and track the amount of time spent on each task. This helps lawyers find ways to optimize their workloads and better manage their time.

Thanks for watching and follow up with INSZoom for more immigration news. 

date:  Apr 27, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Better time management with INSZoom [Video]
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Money and time saving tips Read More

Making payments more convenient with online billing [Video]

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Apr 27, 2015 News comments: Comments Off on Making payments more convenient with online billing [Video]

How easy is it for your firms’ clients to make payments? Hello, and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog.

Clients often have busy schedules of their own, and it may be difficult for them to remember to sign on to pay bills. Recurring payments boost convenience for both lawyers and clients because they can occur automatically at designated times. 

Online recurring payments ensure clients always pay bills on time. With INSZoom, law firms can easily set up online billing so busy clients can use a credit or debit card or enroll for recurring payments.

In addition, immigration lawyers can use INSZoom to establish payment plans, track and maintain plans over time and help clients manage their invoices for specific periods of time. 

Thanks for watching and check back with INSZoom for more immigration news. 

date:  Apr 27, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Making payments more convenient with online billing [Video]
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  News Read More

USCIS H-1B cap filled in a week [Video]

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Apr 27, 2015 News comments: Comments Off on USCIS H-1B cap filled in a week [Video]

Hello, and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog.

Although the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services H-1B season opened April 1, the cap has already been reached. The agency also exceeded the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions for the U.S. advanced degree exemption. 

USCIS will use a computer-generated lottery to randomly choose the H-1B petitions to review for the 65,000 available visas and the 20,000 advanced degree exemptions. While USCIS has not announced the number of petitions received, the cap for fiscal year 2015 was exceeded by approximately 87,500 petitions.

Although USCIS will not accept new H-1B applications, firms can still file extensions and H-1B change of employer petitions.

INSZoom helps firms process these applications. Thanks for watching and check back for more immigration news. 

date:  Apr 27, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on USCIS H-1B cap filled in a week [Video]
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  News Read More

Are you delegating properly?

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Apr 21, 2015 Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips comments: Comments Off on Are you delegating properly?
Delegating allows attorneys to focus their energy on their clients.

There are few tricks to becoming a great attorney and one of them is learning to delegate. To advance in your jurisdiction and garner a stellar reputation, you must immerse yourself into your practice area – knowing not only the rule of law, but the nuances of relevant agencies and courts. Additionally, you must show your clients they come first by listening to them, advising them honestly and comforting them during difficult times.

"Without properly delegating, you may be holding yourself and your firm back."

Becoming an expert in your field and maintaining a client-focused practice isn't enough to grow your reputation and firm. These crucial activities can be harmed by spending too much time on tasks that could be performed quickly and efficiently by your staff. Without properly delegating, you may be holding yourself and your firm back.

Whether you're new to the delegating process or want to check in that you're using the practice to its most beneficial end, follow these steps:

1. Evaluate your daily workload
Before you can decide which tasks to delegate and to whom, you need to know where you're spending – and wasting – your time. If you use billable hours you may already be doing this, but track your time closely for at least week so you can measure how long you spend on various types of tasks such as researching, completing forms, drafting routine pleadings, scheduling, communicating with clients, copying and scanning paperwork and more.

Once you know how you spend your time, determine which of these tasks require a licensed attorney and which can be performed by an assistant, paralegal or clerk.

2. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your staff
Once you've determined common tasks you perform that would be better suited for another staff member, it's time to start thinking about who is best for each job. Consider the education, training, years of experience, strengths and weaknesses of each of your staff members.

In many cases, assistants can take on administrative tasks like scheduling and scanning, experienced paralegals can draft routine pleadings and associates can perform research and draft more nuanced pleadings.

Delegating frees up time and empowers workers to do more.Delegating frees up time and empowers workers to do more.

3. Observe the workload of your staff
Take a moment to evaluate their current tasks before assigning additional work to certain people. If the best person for a job has a full plate, you may want to consider reassigning some of his or her tasks to another staff member or providing a different person additional training to take on the new assignment.

Delegating with the best of intentions can fall apart if the people assigned the tasks don't have time. Adding to an already busy schedule can decrease both productivity and employee satisfaction.

4. Establish formal office procedures
Up until now, the delegating process has relied solely on you determining which tasks can be transferred to various other people in your office. It's time to formally communicate these changes.

Meet one on one with the necessary employees or hold a staff meeting to discuss the upcoming changes. Make sure each person affected understands how his or her role will change and which new duties you've assigned.

Additionally, this is where your case management software becomes important. Use this comprehensive resource to formally assign cases and tasks to the correct person. By focusing on collaborating through the platform, you can avoid confusion or the need for meetings that waste everyone's time.

5. Check in with the process
Use your CMS to evaluate how your delegation is working. Run reports based on employees, tasks or cases to see how people are performing and cases are progressing. By doing this once per month you'll be able to make adjustments to people's workloads as you go.

By delegating, you ensure you have the time to focus on your clients and substantive legal issues. It's a continual process that you need to watch over and evaluate to ensure it benefits you, your practice and your clients.

date:  Apr 21, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Are you delegating properly?
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips Read More
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