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- (a) Identify four (4) specific policies that should be included in the Manual and outline three (3) key points or reasons for choosing EACH policy.
Each organization needs to have specific policies that aide in execution of its duties. These policies should be legally binding to both the staff and the clients. There are several administrative policies involved in law practice. The four specific policies that should be included in the manual to guide the assistant include employment policies, employment benefits policies, employee conduct policies and workplace guideline policies (Canon, 2008). The choice of the most suitable policies to employ depends on the nature of the work that someone is going to do as well as the kind of organizational structure (National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010). However, employment policies are universal and must feature in any office manual. Employment policies are of critical importance in this case for three main reasons. First, these policies guide hiring practices (Canon, 2008). Therefore, any person hiring or being hired must become acquainted with these policies.
Employment policies also serve to orient the new employees. In this regard, the new employees get familiar with the organization in which their services are required. Employment policies also act to maintain confidentiality within the organization, thus is critical for inclusion in any office manual. Employment benefits policies are critical because they familiarize employees with the benefits like insurance. In addition, they make the employee become familiar with important dates for vacations and holidays. Moreover, they help employees understand the terms of employee reimbursements. Employment conduct policies are crucial in controlling employee’s and employer behaviors in the work place (Canon, 2008). As such, they cannot easily exploit their employees who are also expected to observe certain codes of conduct. These policies set the codes of conduct to all the staff in the workplace. These policies also act to guide drug abuse and harassment in the workplace.
- b) Outline three (3) procedures that your assistant must follow after a new client comes in. For each procedure, provide two (2) reasons as to why the procedure must be followed, with reference to applicable authority for your answer.
Whenever a new client enters, the assistant will be expected to follow certain procedures in handling the client. There are three basic procedures that can be followed. The assistant will first identify who the client is. Secondly, the assistant will be expected to establish what the mater of the client is (Canon, 2008). Lastly, the assistant will be expected to determine the most appropriate person to provide instructions with regards to the client’s identity and matter at hand. This is important for two main reasons. First, it helps in avoiding problems that may arise due to encounter with phantom clients (National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010). Some of the phantom clients are so problematic. The second reason for following the procedures is that it helps dispel the possibilities of misrepresentation.
- (a)What steps must you take in order to ensure compliance with client identification and client verification requirements?
Several steps can guide a person to ensure compliance with the client identification as well as verification requirements. First, when someone is engaged in provision of legal services, he is bound to identify the client and any third party represented by the client (National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010). This may include individual employer or an organization. However, in this scenario, it is critical to keep certain information regarding the client. The information should detail the name of the client, business contacts including address and phone numbers as well as home address (Canon, 2008). In addition, the occupation of the client should also be captured. In case the client is an organization, there is need to record the type of business and the government body in which the business operates. The contacts as well as names of the personnel responsible for feeding the client with information in that organization should also be recorded (National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010).
2.(b) Provide examples of documentation which would meet the verification requirements in this matter.
The identification of clients, whether employed by individuals of organizations is important in several perspectives. However, verification of such identity is of critical significance. The following are the key examples of documentations which would meet the verification of the client’s identity. Government issued identification documents like birth certificate, driver’s license and passports can help in case of clients employed by individuals in their firms (Canon, 2008). However, in case of clients within organizations, documents such as government issued copy of certificate of corporate status can be used (National Association of Legal Assistants, 2010). Other documents include reviewed trust and partnership agreements of the organization.
- (a) I.............
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