Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
view counter
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
view counter
Fastcase
view counter

Best Practice tips

Best Practice Tips: Business Development for New Associate Attorneys

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a partner in a 14-attorney firm in Denver. We have six equity partners and eight associate attorneys in the firm. Our practice is limited to health care law. We represent many local hospitals. Our associates range from those who have been with the firm less than one year to those who have been with the firm for over 15. None of our associates have developed business development skills and none of them have ever brought in a single client. Most would be unable to retain existing clients if the partners left the firm. This is in part our fault. When we hired them, we told them that we had plenty of client work and their mission was to bill hours and service our clients. However, as we the partners age and consider the future of the firm, we are beginning to realize that this was a mistake. How can we turn this around?

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Growth – Partnership/Merger

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the sole owner of a six-attorney energy law practice in Houston. I have had my practice for twenty years and have enjoyed the independence of being the boss, but I am tired of being solely accountable for the success of the practice, having to do all the management, and having all the worry and stress. I believe I have reached the point where I am ready for a partner or partners and I believe that the practice can be positioned for growth if I bring in a lateral partner, make a couple of my associates partners, or merge with another firm. I welcome any suggestions that you may have.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Marketing – Paid Seminars

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a partner in a six-attorney estate planning firm in Dallas, Texas. For many years, our primary marketing activity has been seminars that we put on for clients, prospective clients, and referral sources. These seminars have been put on solely by our firm, or in partnership with other organizations such as nursing homes, hospitals, etc. These seminars have been free of charge. We provide a lot of value at these seminars and have been wondering whether we should charge a fee. We would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: Should Spouses Be Invited to Law Firm Retreats?

Posted on November 8, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. Our firm is a 25-attorney firm located in Austin, Texas. I am the firm administrator. We are planning on having a firm retreat in February and are wondering whether we should include the spouses. Some of our partners think we should include spouses while others think that we should not. We have had retreats in the past and have not included spouses. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: What Is a Strategy for a Law Firm?

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. We are an Oklahoma City law firm of 17 attorneys, 10 of whom are partners. Our firm does a little of everything. We have a three-member management committee of which I am a member. The firm was founded by four of the present partners 22 years ago. For many years, the firm was very successful; however, for the last five years, we have been financially hard-pressed and stagnant. We have been discussing what to do about the situation. One of our partners suggested marketing and another suggested that we needed a new strategy. We do not have a marketing plan and I didn’t know we have a strategy in place. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Equity Partner Succession

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am an equity partner in a 36-attorney firm in Miami. We have seven equity partners, eight non-equity partners, and 21 associates. Our practice is limited to civil litigation defense and our clients are institutional clients consisting of business firms, governmental agencies, and insurance companies. The ages of our equity-partners are: 64 62, 60, 58, 54, 48, and 44. The firm does not have a succession plan for the senior partners and has not discussed the matter. I am not sure what the partnership agreement provides. I am concerned about our future if we don’t start addressing this. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Merger Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a partner in a 12-attorney firm in Rockville, Maryland. We are a first-generation corporate transactional and litigation firm. The firm was founded by the four equity partners twelve years ago. We have been very successful over the years and this is borne out by our excellent financial performance. While we have done well in our core practice areas, we are considering diversifying our practice into government sector work due to our proximity to Washington, D.C. We are considering merging with a six-attorney (three partner) firm in D.C. that is totally focused on such work. Can you share with us any pitfalls that we should look out for?

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Capitalization – Should There Be a Buy-In?

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a partner in a firm in Los Angeles. We have nine attorneys: four partners and five associates. We are a young firm in that we have only been in business for four years. The four partners started the firm together, and we are equal partners who split the profits equally. When we started the firm, we each made equal capital contributions. We do not have a partnership agreement. We are thinking about bringing in two associates as equity partners and are trying to think through the mechanics. One of our questions is whether there should be a buy-in and, if so, how should we determine it. We would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: Personal Injury Law Firm Strategic Planning

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a partner in a four-attorney plaintiff-side personal injury firm in Illinois. Three of us are partners and we have one associate attorney. We handle run of the mill slip and fall, vehicle, and premises accidents; products liability cases; and workers’ compensation cases. We have a very aggressive advertising and marketing program. We are having issues with reduced case flow and dwindling and diminishing profits and earnings. For the past year the partners have been living off our credit line. We believe that we need to be thinking about doing something different and are not sure as to what that should be. However, we have agreed to start doing some long-term planning. We would appreciate your thoughts.

Best Practice Tips: Becoming a Rainmaker as an Associate

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am an associate attorney in a 10-attorney firm in Atlanta. The firm represents mid-size to small businesses. There are six partners and four associates in the firm. I joined the firm after graduating from law school two years ago. All of my work is given to me by the partners and since joining the firm, I have not brought in any clients. When I joined the firm, I was told not to worry about bringing in clients – the firm has plenty of work. I am paid a salary and a bonus if my billable hours are at a certain level. There appears to be no desire by the partners for me to spend time developing clients. I have talked with my peers in other law firms who tell me that this is short-sighted, and that developing clients is a major factor in their firms for associates to be considered for partnership. I would appreciate your thoughts on what I should be doing and what direction I should take.

Pages