2022 Harrity Holiday Gift Guide

Are you doing some last minute holiday shopping? Stumped on what to get that one person on your list that seems to have everything? Don’t worry, Team Harrity has got you covered!

We have put together our official holiday gift guide for all the tech lovers, remote workers, bookworms, and fitness fanatics in your life. These carefully curated gifts have been hand selected by our team members and include things that we all use in our everyday life!

 

 

TECH

 

Meta Quest 2 – All in One VR Headset

The Quest 2 is a team favorite here at Harrity! This one is perfect for a seasoned techie as well as someone who is new to the VR game.

 

You can buy it here

 

Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Whether it is to listen to music while working on an app, tuning in to a meeting while on a daily walk, or catching up on your show during your lunch break, wireless headphones are a great gift for all!

 

You can buy the 3rd generation AirPods here.

If AirPods aren’t for you, we also love the Beats Fit Pro. You can buy those here.

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 7+

This little polaroid is a fun gift for the person in your life who is always snapping photos! This bundle comes with extra film, so there are plenty of opportunities for fun pics!

 

You can find it on sale here.

 

 

BOOKS

 

These books are all Harrity favorites, and are reads that we recommend again and again!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Find the leadership book we recommended to the Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 firms here.

 

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz

Find this must read book that we send our newly hired attorneys here.

 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Find this practical self help book that our Marketing Director, Samantha Sullivan, recommends here.

 

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor

Find this “life-changing” guide to happiness that our Firm Controller, Sandra Maxey, recommends here.

 

Audible Subscription

Listen to these books we recommend plus so much more with a subscription to Audiobook.

 

 

WORK FROM HOME ESSENTIALS

 

Being a fully remote firm, Team Harrity has definitely come across some must have items for those who work from home.

Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

A good webcam that shows your face clearly is a must for a remote team.

 

You can find the one that we use here.

 

Phone Tripod Stand with Bluetooth Remote

For someone who is creating content (videos, taking photos, etc.), this phone tripod is awesome. We really love it because it has a bluetooth remote so you can start and stop the video without having to do the awkward “press record and step back quickly” move.

 

You can find it here.

 

Desktop Ring Light

Have you seen Elaine Spector‘s Driving Diversity videos? Her secret to looking professional and polished in those videos and in meetings? A ring light!

 

You can find the one that we recommend here.

 

Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

Sitting all day can get tiresome, so we always recommend a standing desk or a more affordable option- a standing desk converter.

 

You can find the one that Partner, Neil Kardos, recommends here.

He also recommends this supportive floor mat to go along with it.

 

Glass Desktop Computer Pad Whiteboard

This desktop whiteboard is a great way to take notes and save space on a smaller desk. We love this one because of they hidden pull-out storage it has!

 

You can find it here.

 

Coffee Mug Warmer

Sometimes when you get focused on work, you can forget about you wonderful caffeinated drink. And nobody likes cold coffee. This is the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life!

 

You can find the one that our Patent Prosecution Specialist, Clarissa Brandt, recommends here.

 

Mini Fridge

Anyone who works from home knows that the worst thing ever is having to interrupt your flow to get a drink or a snack. This mini fridge is perfect to keep in a home office so you can just reach over and get what you need!

 

Find this one on sale here.

 

NovelKeys Deskpad

A deskpad is like a supersized mouse pad that goes under your mouse and keyboard. It protects your desk from scratches and provides a nice aesthetic accent to any work from home (or office) setup.

 

You can find the one that Partner, Ryan Thelen, loves here.

 

Swag from our Harrity 4 Charity Online Shop!

Shameless plug, but our Harrity 4 Charity swag is really pretty awesome! There is never a shortage of Harrity sweatshirts or Patent Pathways™ tees on our firmwide meetings. The best part? 100% of net proceeds go to our partner charities!

 

You can shop our essential & holiday collection here.

 

 

FITNESS FINDS

 

2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

 

This under desk treadmill is the perfect way to get your steps in and close your rings while working. Pair it with the standing desk converter for the perfect office set up!

 

You can find the one we recommend here.

 

On Cloud Cloud 5 Shoes

We think these are worth the hype! Not only are they stylish, but they are really like walking on air. We love the Cloud 5 shoes for their versatility and breathable material.

 

Wear these on your next walking meeting by purchasing them here.

 

Fitbit Charge 5

A crowd favorite for a reason, the Fitbit is a great fitness tool to pair with any device you have. We love this one for it’s stress tracking feature and it’s slim profile, making it perfect to wear with long sleeves.

 

You can find it here.

 

Jump N Rope

This innovative jump rope was designed by jump rope expert and inventor, Molly Metz, to help athletes perform. Molly will be featured on the upcoming season of the Clause 8 Podcast, hosted by Eli Mazour!

 

Check out the revolutionary jump rope perfect for the CrossFit lover in your life and read Molly’s story here.

 

 

HARRITY FAVES

Here are some of our tried and true gifts that our team loves!

 

Eye Massager Mask

After a long day of looking at the computer screen, this eye massager is a great tension reliever. Just pop it on, turn some music on through the bluetooth speaker function, and relax 💆‍♀️💆‍♂️

 

Find the one that we love here.

 

Soft Slide Sandals

 

These trendy pillow slides are perfect to wear indoors or outdoors. We love them for their soft soles and rubber material, which makes them super easy to clean!

 

Find the highly rated pair we love here.

 

Bionic Wrench

You may recall hearing Eli Mazour’s season 3 episode of Clause 8 where he interviews Professor Dan Brown and Dan Brown Jr., the father and son duo behind Loggerhead Tools. This tool is kind of a big deal in the patent world, and there’s a good reason why!

 

You can listen to the in-depth conversation on with Dan Brown and Dan Brown Jr. here.

You can find the Bionic Wrench, the perfect tool for the DIYers in your life, here.

 

Bluetooth LED Strip Lights

These lights are such a good addition to any room. We love them because they are app and remote operated and can sync up to any song you have on your playlist!

 

Find them here.

 

Meat Chopper

This meat chopper is absolute must-have for our New Apps team (no really… they all have one!). The chef in your life will love how easy this makes meal times!

 

Find the one that New Applications Manager, Sara Dodge, recommends here.

 

A Donation to One of Our Partner Charities!

Now through the end of the year, we will be matching gifts made to our Harrity 4 Charity partners: Inova Children’s Hospital ($100,000 match), No More Stolen Childhoods ($100,000 match) and ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer ($100,000 match), and starting 12/1, the American Heart Association ($50,000 match). Please consider making a donation in your friend’s or family member’s name by the end of the year to have your impact doubled!

 

Donate here.

 

COVID-19 Shifts Law Firms’ Hiring, Onboarding Process Online—To a Limit

Law.com (March 31, 2020) — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more law firms are heavily relying on technology and videoconferencing to hire and onboard attorneys and staff during the COVID-19 crisis. However, many wont be able to achieve 100% remote onboarding.

Recently, law firms said they’ve shifted any in-person interviews to video and phone chats. Likewise, once a lawyer or staffer is hired, their laptops and other equipment are shipped to them, and orientation and other new hire protocols are made on the phone or through video conference platforms.

Some in-person requirements have also been relaxed. On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security gave law firms and other employers some flexibility when it eased its in-person review requirement for I-9 documentation to verify an employee’s identity and employment authorization.

But there are still some barriers to going fully remote. Take, for example, getting a new partner’s book of business.

“Typically that lateral would get releases from their client [for] both physical and electronic files to the firm they’re leaving and joining,” said Fox Rothschild chief talent officer Jean Durling.

She noted that if the lawyer’s former firm doesn’t have remote access capabilities, accessing physical files could be a challenge. “It would be out of our hands; we can’t control what goes on in another firm.”

To be sure, moving to remote onboarding isn’t a huge change for some.

Boutique patent firm Harrity & Harrity, for instance, said it will replace its in-person final meeting before making a hiring decision with a video conference, said partner Paul Harrity. Still, that exception isn’t unique to the COVID-19 pandemic. Harrity noted that the firm previously onboarded a new staffer who was working remotely after the birth of a child.

Remote onboarding also doesn’t just extend to interviews and formal HR and IT communication needs. New hires need to build camaraderie with lawyers they’ve never personally met. To this end, law firms are looking to encourage more phone calls and video conferencing.

“Laterals that are in the [hiring] process with us we’ve already scheduled follow-up calls that would typically take place in an office to keep them engaged,” said Fox Rothschild’s Durling. She said the firm plans to schedule more frequent video and phone conference meetings held by department chairs for their practice members.

Eve Howard, regional managing partner of Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C., office, has seen a similar change. “Meeting people in person that’s always preferred, [but] now those meetings are happening through video technology. We call that internal profile raising, we are now doing that with Skype and other video conferencing.”

While fostering introductions and building networking opportunities between new lawyers must take place via phone conferences and video chats, they can be done in a “fun” way to maintain engagement, noted Crowell & Moring chief human resources officer Marguerite Eastwood.

She described a conference call two weeks ago where lawyers discussed their puppies and kids to foster lighthearted discussions and connections with colleagues who would usually work in an office together.

Written by Victoria Hudgins

 

Agile But Vulnerable, Smaller Firms Fight To Weather Virus

Law360 (March 27, 2020) — This summer, John Harrity, a name partner of patent boutique Harrity & Harrity LLP, planned to send an emergency drill text message to all his staffers requesting that they work remotely. It was supposed to be a simulation for what to do if a disaster struck. He planned not to give partners a heads-up that the text message was coming.

With many attorneys forced to work remotely because of the coronavirus outbreak, experts say small and midsize firms may be able to adapt to changes more readily than BigLaw. Above, a lone commuter crosses the street outside New York City’s Grand Central Terminal during the normally busy morning rush hour. (AP)

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing him to recommend that most of his attorneys and staff start working remotely in mid-March.

When Harrity first spoke with Law360 on March 10, he felt the Virginia-based firm, which had already been liberally using video conferencing for internal communication, was relatively well prepared for the potential scenario of going fully remote. Five years ago, the firm had started offering more flexibility to attorneys, largely to appeal to potential recruits. The firm went cloud-based and paperless.

“The bigger firms are going to struggle during this time period way more because we’re already ready for this,” Harrity said.

Many midsize and smaller firms like Harrity & Harrity have had an edge over BigLaw when it comes to transitioning to remote work, whether because they had already started doing it or because their smaller size allowed them to be more nimble in putting together new response plans, according to experts. For many, however, the longer-term potential impact on business development is weighing heavily on smaller firms.

Harrity is steeling for the hit to the firm’s work if the larger economic dip results in fewer patent applications. Other firms focused on such hard-hit practice areas, including litigation and deals, are already feeling significant pressures, and some small firms have begun to slash staff in response, according to John Remsen of The Remsen Group, a law firm management consultancy that often works with smaller and midsize firms.

“It’s a very uncertain period,” said Remsen, who has been holding regular calls with midsize and small firm managing partners.

In these early stages of the pandemic, the focus for many midsize and small law firm leaders has been simply working to stay connected to clients and either testing or adding technology to prepare for their offices to go remote.

“From a business continuity standpoint, you can never take a wait-and-see approach,” Alan Tarter of midsize New York firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP said in early March.

Before New York City’s lockdown measures went into effect, Tarter’s firm had done a “full business continuity program” that included testing how phones, operations and administrative processes might work in the event the entire office had to work remotely.

“This way, if there are any gaps in our business continuity program, we can seal them now before we find ourselves in a crisis,”  Tarter said. “As a midsized firm, our clients rely on us to be their solution, not add to their problems. Likewise, our employees look to us to provide reassurances and support.”

Mike Arias of California litigation boutique Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos LLP, which also has offices in Las Vegas and Montreal, started limiting client face-to-face meetings several weeks ago and moving toward more virtual or phone connections to protect attorneys and staff from the coronavirus.

“There is an understanding that you’re dealing with a finite group of people, but not just the people in your office. You’re dealing with them and their families,” Arias said.

For many midsize and smaller firms, their size has meant fewer decision-makers in the mix and the ability to make policy changes and decisions quickly, according to Remsen. Smaller firms have often had the advantage of not needing to keep track of a patchwork of lockdown measures for offices across the country.

“If you’re a large firm with offices scattered in different cities, states, you have different scenarios in each one of those offices,” said James Cotterman, a principal at professional services consulting firm Altman Weil Inc.

A number of midsize and smaller firms — especially those that had already invested in connecting their workforce through technology — have been able to communicate well with lawyers and staff in these uncertain times. At many firms, managing partners and executive committee members are dividing up staff lists to check in one-on-one with people who are working remotely, according to Remsen.

The economic pressures and uncertainty that have come with the COVID-19 outbreak, however, are also putting many midsize and small-law leaders in a tough spot when it comes to staffing and financial decisions.

Many law firm leaders expect the pandemic to have a four-to-six-month immediate effect on their operations, which edges to where many could see significant bottom line issues, according to experts.

“There will be a lot of firms who don’t get through this,” Remsen said.

Part of the problem for many midsize and smaller firms is that they don’t have the cash stash that BigLaw does. Some firm partners are already passing on their draws as cash flow tightens, while others are using their credit lines to cover partner draws, Remsen said. Still others are starting to — or thinking about — making staffing cuts.

“Most firms seem to be taking a blended approach,” Remsen said.

So far, many firms are trying to hold onto staffers who have been loyal, according to Remsen. But he has also heard from one firm that cut its support staff by 75% in response to the pressures.

Remsen said he expects that more midsize and small firms will be forced to make cuts as well and that firms should use the situation as an opportunity to deal with chronic underperformers.

For many leaders of such firms, how they handle this crisis could mold their legacies, according to Remsen.

“It’s time for you as a managing partner to step up,” he said. “Your tenure will be largely dependent on how you handle this.”

Written by Natalie Rodriguez

Editing by Jill Coffey and Michael Watanabe

 

5 Tips for Attorneys Working from Home During the COVID-19 Crisis

Attorney at Law Magazine (March 18, 2020)– In a matter of days, COVID-19 has completely changed how we operate our day to day lives. For lawyers who have worked full-time in the office, the change to being fully remote may be challenging. I especially empathize with lawyers with small children, who are trying to adapt to a work from home arrangement, as well as care for their young children. I can imagine that it is not easy. I can say for the first time that I am thankful that my kids are teenagers. (Did I just say I was happy to have teenagers?!?) These are desperate times. With that being said, here are a few pointers that I hope will help you transition to a fully remote position, albeit, temporarily!

No. 1: Designate your space for working only.

Whether you have kids, are married, are single, whatever it may be, I recommend finding a place in your house/apartment/condo, if you have the space, that is designated as your office. When I first started working from home, I isolated myself in the basement. In fact, on my first day working remotely in my home, my husband saw me packing a bag of food, and he asked me incredulously “Where are you going?” “To my office, thank you.” It is important that you have a separate space as your office, so that you are not distracted by the domestic duties of the home. If a designated space is not possible, designate set work hours and stick to a schedule. If you have a family, designate a set work schedule and childcare schedule between you and your significant other. If you have kids and no significant other, you will have to be more creative. Remember, this arrangement is only temporary, and we will soon get back to normal.

No. 2: Set boundaries.

When I started working from home, my kids were 10, 12, and 14. It was in the summer, and my 12-year-old kept peeking in and wanting to tell me the latest, greatest thing. After the fifth interruption, I reminded him that I was at work and really to treat it like I was not at home when my door was shut. It was a beautiful summer day, and I had my window open for fresh air. My son went outside and dragged a chair by the window to talk to me. Failure! But a few days later, my son was used to the fact that I was home, and it was no longer novel. Eventually, with consistent reinforcement, my boundaries were respected and I was able to work uninterrupted.

No. 3: Get dressed.

By sticking to your normal morning routine, it will feel more like a regular workday. Shower, get dressed, have your coffee, and sit at a desk or table rather than the couch. This will help you maintain the mindset that you are at work, even though you are at home, and will aid your ability to focus on work-related tasks.

No. 4: Connect with your colleagues via video conference.

I can’t reiterate how important connecting with your colleagues via video is, especially during this time. At our firm, more than half of our employees work from home. When we need to speak to someone, we video call rather than calling on the phone. What a difference video makes. You will still feel connected with your colleagues despite the distance. If you are accustomed to an office setting, scheduling a daily or weekly call with your team or having a video lunch meeting will help things run smoothly, keep everyone on the same page, and make you feel less remote. I would encourage every company and law firm to have a video conferencing capability either through Teams, Zoom, Skype, whatever platform works for you.

No. 5: Read and implement “Fair Play,” by Eve Rodsky.

I can’t say enough about this book. Essentially, this book lays out some 100 household and childrearing tasks we do. The author, who is a lawyer and mediator, lays out a foundation on how to divide up tasks between partners. Typically, women will bear the brunt of the domestic tasks, and often, will ask their partners to execute a task without proper context.

Rodsky lays out a simple strategy. First, eliminate the tasks that don’t apply to you and your family. Second, divide up tasks, so the person who is responsible for the task is in charge of conception, planning, and execution of the task, or as Rodsky coins “CPEing” a task. Every week, you and your partner can meet to redistribute the cards if one person feels overwhelmed or is not suited for that particular task. My husband and I implemented this book a few weeks ago. He is still responsible for the morning routine (including breakfast), and he also took the laundry and dishes. He is very grateful to be absolved of cooking dinner, handling the finances, and grocery shopping. Please do read the entire book. There are a few important steps that need to be considered before you divide up the tasks; once you do, balancing family and home life with working remotely will become much less daunting.

These tips have been vital in acclimating to my work from home lifestyle. I hope they help you adjust to remote work and I wish everyone the best as they set up their new offices. I pray that you and your families stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time. This too shall pass.


 

Elaine Spector
AUTHOR

Elaine Spector

Elaine Spector is a Partner at Harrity & Harrity, LLP, a boutique firm specializing in intellectual property law. Her practice focuses primarily on the prosecution of patent applications, specifically within electromechanical technologies. Elaine is a driving force in the firm’s diversity and charity initiatives and serves on several committees and boards in relation, including AIPLA’s Women in IP Law’s Global Networking Event & Outreach Subcommittee, IPO’S Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and the non-profit No More Stolen Childhoods.