Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Practice and Office Management

The Five Biggest Business Mistakes Lawyers Make By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Article, Page 444 Too many lawyers - especially new ones - undervalue their services. It's a short-sighted approach that can lead to big trouble, this lawyer argues.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet? By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Article, Page 396 Don't get Twitter? You're not alone. But lawyers are using it to reach out to fellow practitioners and communicate with the public.
Tweeting the law By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 Lawyers, bar associations, courts, and others use Twitter to push out news, cases, job openings, and more.
Experience by Appointment By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Article, Page 238 Though there isn't much money in it, serving as appointed counsel is a way to gain invaluable courtroom experience and remind yourself why you went to law school in the first place.
Finding Your Way to in the Courthouse By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Article, Page 184 How to learn those all-important unwritten rules of courthouse and courtroom practice that vary from circuit to circuit.
Hiring How-Tos, Firing Fundamentals By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Article, Page 130 Recruiting employees and letting them go are both fraught with legal pitfalls. Here's how you can help your clients and your own firm avoid HR missteps.
Selling Out By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 Article, Page 20 The 2010 update of Illinois' ethics rules make it easier to sell a law practice. But what about practical issues like valuation and transition planning? Seasoned solos offer advice.
Succession Planning and the Duty of Diligence By John Cesario January 2011 Column, Page 46 Succession planning might just be part of your ethical duty of diligence.
Notes from a Legal Assistant By Mark D. Hassakis November 2010 Column, Page 556 Not every law office VIP has a law license.
Unbundling Explained By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 Article, Page 512 Limited scope or discrete task legal representation - aka "unbundling"- is a client- and lawyer-friendly idea whose time has come, proponents say.
Family law software: not exempt from the rules of evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2010 Lawpulse, Page 394 Make sure you understand how support calculators work before relying on their results, and don't forget to lay a foundation for the report if you seek to enter it into evidence.
Market yourself to existing clients By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2010 Lawpulse, Page 394 Don't hide your lamp under a bushel, experts warn, or your clients may head for lawyers with better self-promotional skills.
Virtual law firms: the new reality of lawyer collaboration By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2010 Lawpulse, Page 394 The keynote speaker at October's ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference will tell participants how to thrive in a tough economy and changing practice landscape.
Bankruptcy lawyers are “debt relief agencies,” high court rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2010 Lawpulse, Page 342 As such, they may not advise clients to incur additional debt and must label themselves "debt relief agencies" in ads.
DIY practice management software: a point-counterpoint By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2010 Lawpulse, Page 342 ISBA lawyers offer differing views on the wisdom of using free or low-cost practice-management applications.
Controlling Case Expenses: Lawyers’ Duty to Clients By Robert L. Fogel, Michael S. Young, and Katie M. King May 2010 Article, Page 244 A look at the trial lawyer's fiduciary and ethical responsibility to disclose, monitor, and control reimbursable case expenses incurred on behalf of clients.
Your (Mostly Free) Private Investigator By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2010 Article, Page 184 An amazing amount of information about parties, witnesses, clients, businesses and more resides on the Internet. Here's how to find it.
You’re the Boss - Now What? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2010 Article, Page 132 Supervising employees, meeting a payroll - more things they didn't teach you in law school. Find out some of what you need to know.
Your Responsibility for an Impaired Partner By Karen Erger December 2009 Column, Page 638 Ethics rules oblige you to protect your clients and the profession.
Correspondence from Our Readers October 2009 Column, Page 486 Dressing for distress - nylons and sandals;  Settlement agreements: do the release first.
How-to advice for rookie associates By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2009 Lawpulse, Page 490 Make sure you’re taking the steps that will help you thrive as a new member of the firm.
Telling a prospective client “I’m just not that into you” By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2009 Lawpulse, Page 490 ISBA lawyers offer various ways to deliver the message, but all agree that you can’t be afraid to tell would-be clients “no” if representing them doesn’t feel right.
From Sheepskin to Shingle By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2009 Article, Page 448 Can you really go straight from law school into solo practice? What are the surest ways to succeed — or stumble?
Tech tools for solos By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2009 Lawpulse, Page 438 Every sole practitioner needs a smart phone, a laptop, a scanner, and a good backup system. Here's why.
Dress for Courtroom Success, Not Distress By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2009 Article, Page 402 Q. Whats the best way to dress for court? A. The way the judge says you should.
Social networking 1.0 By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 Despite the newfangled options, blogs and e-mail discussion groups are still excellent ways to connect with other lawyers.
Should You Use Fastcase and How? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 Article, Page 178 Whether you make it your primary online research tool or use it to supplement Westlaw or Lexis, Fastcase can save you money. Lots of it. Here’s how.
Lawyer Lincoln By Daniel W. Stowell and John A. Lupton February 2009 Article, Page 74 A look at Abraham Lincoln's legal practice in antebellum Illinois.
Weathering the Storm By Karen Erger February 2009 Column, Page 98 Don't make bad economic times worse with bad management decisions.
1099s for deadbeat clients? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 Lawpulse, Page 10  A law-office management expert puts forth the option of sending a nonpaying client a 1099 for the value of your services. Is it really OK to do so?