The newsletter of the ISBA's Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics
Browse articles by year: 2014 (16)
Newsletter articles from 2012
Conducting effective associate reviews
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.
Diversify your marketing efforts for best results
Regardless of what percentage of your revenue you spend on marketing, there are several tactics to help small and growing law firms get the attention they need and deserve in a competitive climate.
Don’t network like an accountant
This article will attempt to help us become better networkers by addressing what networking is, why networking is important for lawyers, how to network efficiently, and pitfalls to avoid while networking.
The illusion of digital security
You’ll never be entirely safe from a breach. But if you’re clever, the breach won’t leave you for dead. System logs will define the magnitude of the breach, cyber insurance will pay for the expert help you will need, and data encryption will save you.
Lawyers need emotional intelligence
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?
A line loan or not?
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
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?
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
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.
Turning out the lights
Selling a practice requires planning that begins long before the actual sale transaction is to take place. Here's a look at some of the usual steps to be taken in the sale process.
Unbundling, or unraveling?
What is unbundling? The short, and rough answer is that unbundling is a la carte legal services, where a lawyer might provide a few frames of a client’s legal picture, as needed or requested, but that lawyer will not be directing the whole movie.
Welcome to the party, non-lawyers
While any change that might allow nonlawyers an ownership interest will be slow and methodical, if it happens at all, perhaps the addition of nonlawyers will enable the legal profession to add significant value on multiple levels in an ever more complex and competitive world.