Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Law Office Management

Update on the 50 best law firms for women (and the 10 best in Chicago) By Cindy G. Buys Women and the Law, August 2014 The 2014 results are in. Click here to see which Chicago firms made the list!
Start-up tech for any budget By Bryan M. Sims and Nerino J. Petro Jr. Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, July 2014 Some thoughts on how to equip a law office for $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000.
Darwinism for your legal business By Steven Fretzin Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2014 In light of our current economic and business conditions, what would Darwin say about an attorney’s ability to survive in business today? Which species of lawyer will evolve and which will become extinct?
Virtual assistance By Dan Breen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2014 The author has compiled a handy list of a few options to consider when looking for out-of-office help.
Insurance defense law firms: Strategies and best practices By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, March 2014 As law firms look for additional sources of revenue some have given thought to taking on insurance defense work. This article examines the issues to consider.
Timesheets and billing tips By Kevin J. Stine Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, March 2014 The author provides some thoughtful tips to help you draft successful timesheets, and a sample engagement letter to use as a guide.
Your second office: Choosing and marketing your next location By William S. Wilson Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, March 2014 A look at the issues involved in opening either a fully-staffed or appointment-only second office.
Finding, hiring and retaining top law firm associate attorneys: Are you getting the right associates on the bus for the long term? By John W. Olmstead Jr. Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, November 2013 Have you really discussed with your associates their interests in equity ownership?
Survival strategies and best practices for a personal injury plaintiff law firm By John W. Olmstead Jr. Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, November 2013 Many personal injury plaintiff firms are facing challenging times. In the last few years many firms have had to deal with the impact of tort reform, increase competition from other law firms doing extensive advertising, and weathering the last recession.
WordRake—How does your document garden grow? By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, November 2013 WordRake is an editing program that identifies extra language to be removed allowing for brevity and clarity.
Can you find it? By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2013 This article will show you how to create your own data system using a Microsoft Word program.
How effective law firm leadership practices can help you acquire and keep your clients By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2013 Law firms that fail to address leadership issues may find themselves unprepared for the future and unable to acquire new clients and retain existing clients.
How to reinvent your law practice in order to prosper in the 21st century By John W. Olmstead Jr. Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2013 In order to prosper in the 21st century law firms are going to have to drastically change their models for conducting business.
Law firm partner compensation: Metrics—What is important, what matters By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2013 An effective compensation system serves as a strong messaging and reinforcement agent that helps you obtain and retain top partner talent and helps align their goals and activities with the strategies and goals of the firm.
What are we doing here? By Dan Breen and Thomas Schick Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2013 How does the business of law appear through the eyes of a Marquette undergrad and would-be law student? And how does that compare to a more seasoned attorney?
Bringing in new law firm partners: Strategies for minimizing your risk By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2013 Just because the associate has been a good associate does not mean that the associate will be a good partner—the relationship will be different.
The shoe-string law firm By Charles G. Wentworth Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2013 Opening an office takes at least as much—if not more—business experience as it does legal knowledge, and lawyers have to be both smart and creative about how they spend their money and time when building a practice on a shoe-string budget.
Legal shield to the rescue? By Paul A. Meints and Darrell Dies Trusts and Estates, March 2013 An overview of Legal Shield, which is essentially a form of prepaid legal plan or legal insurance.
A line loan or not? By Dan Breen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Generally, a line of credit is preferable for people who will be borrowing irregular or uncertain amounts. A loan, on the other hand is a fixed borrowed amount. You have, and pay regular interest on a set amount of money, whether you actually use it or not. A loan might be a better option for someone looking to make one significant financial outlay rather than address occasional cash flow irregularities. You are likely to get better interest terms on a loan than with a line of credit.
Protecting your office from theft By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Only through effective internal accounting and financial controls can law firms protect their offices from theft. The goal is not to catch offenders, but to have a system in place that discourages and prevents the theft from occurring in the first place.
Should you merge with another law firm? By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Successful mergers are based upon a sound integrated business strategy that creates synergy and a combined firm that produces greater client value than either firm can produced alone.
Supply, demand and the future of your law firm By Andrew G. Vaughn Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Each year between 2010 and 2020, using the most generous projections, there will be an average of 23,530 legal jobs created. Each year between 2010 and 2020, there will be an average of 33,827 graduates of law schools who pass the bar exam. That is a surplus of 10,297 lawyers who have passed the bar exam each year or a total surplus of 102,970 by the year 2020.
Top five new year (IT) resolutions By Kim Brand Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Make this the year you get out of the poor-productivity ditch!
Conducting effective associate reviews By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2012 Increasingly, law firms recognize the importance of conducting regular associate performance reviews. While different firms have different concerns, these tips are broadly applicable. And, while the guidelines in this article address associate evaluation, they can be adapted to other law-office personnel.
An update on Google Analytics By Peter LaSorsa Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, September 2012 A look at two important features of Google Analytics and why you should pay particular attention to them.
Farming more business—Learn something from a video gamer By Jeff Krause Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, June 2012 There is business out there, much of it just waiting for whoever simply makes the effort to pick it up.
Law firm retreat: A cornerstone to your strategic and competitive business model planning process By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2012 The Firm Retreat is becoming the most widely used forum being used by law firms to facilitate longer-range strategic planning.
Lawyers need emotional intelligence By Steven C. Lindberg Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2012 One leading researcher in the field of psychology has argued that emotional intelligence is twice as important as compared to technical skills and IQ as ingredients of excellent performance. But do we, as lawyers, have what it takes?
Law firm partner compensation: Two-attorney firm By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 The author addresses a question he recently received concerning partner compensation in a newly minted two- attorney firm.
Leveraging lease renewal for maximum effect By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 There are hidden opportunities in the lease renewal process that should not be missed.