Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Law Practice and Office Management

Making the Ask

By Ed Finkel
August
2015
Cover Story
, Page 20
What can female attorneys - and firms that want to hire and keep them - do to ensure that their compensation and opportunities keep pace with their talent and commitment?
2 comments (Most recent July 31, 2015)

Solos’ Shrinking Income, Getting Along with the OC

August
2015
Column
, Page 49
Solos' incomes take a deep dive; it pays to get along with opposing counsel.
1 comment (Most recent August 10, 2015)

Get Encrypted, Get Referrals…and Get a DUI App?

July
2015
Column
, Page 51
Protect clients' digital information; use post-engagement review calls to get client referrals; a new DUI app?

Rule change makes it easier to clear ‘mystery money’ from IOLTA accounts

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
, Page 10
Unidentified funds rattling around in your IOLTA account? Effective next month, amendments to Illinois Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.15 make it easier to dispose of them.

Sleepless in the Corner Office

By Karen Erger
June
2015
Column
, Page 48
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

We’re All in This Together

By Richard D. Felice
June
2015
Column
, Page 8
Oregon and California could join Washington in authorizing LLLTs.

Plan to Grow

By Ed Finkel
March
2015
Cover Story
, Page 24
Lawyers and practice advisers explain the importance of strategic planning to long-term success.

The sting of IOLTA overdraft alerts

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
, Page 14
Since 2011, banks have been required to report IOLTA-account overdrafts to the Illinois ARDC. The resulting investigations often uncover bookkeeping mistakes that get lawyers into trouble.

Feeling Secure in the Cloud

By Ed Finkel
January
2015
Cover Story
, Page 20
You're probably already using the Internet to access remote servers - aka cloud computing - whether you know it or not. And you should be. But make sure you understand the risks.

The Rise of the Freelance Lawyer

By Ed Finkel
December
2014
Cover Story
, Page 576
More solos and small-firm lawyers are hiring stay-at-home moms and others on a project-by-project basis as the need arises. The lawyers they hire are trading full-time employment for freedom.
3 comments (Most recent November 22, 2014)

2014 Compensation & Benefits Survey: 5 Key Findings

By Timothy A. Slating
November
2014
Cover Story
, Page 528
How much do ISBA members earn? How many hours do they work? What are the most popular practice areas? Survey respondents answer these and other questions.

Alternative Billing Comes to Main Street

By Ed Finkel
October
2014
Cover Story
, Page 476
Firms that serve corporate clients are no strangers to non-hourly billing strategies. But other attorneys are finding that consumer-friendly pricing can be lawyer-friendly as well.
1 comment (Most recent September 24, 2014)

Accepting credit-card payments? Mind your trust-account ps and qs

By Mark S. Mathewson
September
2014
LawPulse
, Page 418
Make sure retainer-fee payments by credit card are going into your trust account and not your general office account, an ISBA ethics opinion admonishes.

The Powerful Practice Technology You Already Have

By Ed Finkel
September
2014
Cover Story
, Page 428
The technology that can transform your practice by dramatically saving you time and money may already be in your office - if you'd just learn to use it.

Make Your Personal Style Work for You

By Ed Finkel
August
2014
Cover Story
, Page 380
Afraid you're too shy to get up and do what needs to be done to market your practice? Fear not. Good marketing is more about listening than talking.

A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Tending Client Relationships

By Janan Hanna
May
2014
Cover Story
, Page 224
Choosing the right clients and managing their expectations may be the two most important jobs for any family law practitioner.

Good Is Not So Bad

By Karen Erger
April
2014
Column
, Page 198
Perfectionism won't make you perfect. In fact, it might actually inhibit your performance.

The Business Case for Disability Diversity in Legal Employment

By Cheryl L. Anderson
March
2014
Article
, Page 132
Legal employers increasingly recognize that diversity in their workplace is important to success. Yet many overlook disability diversity. Here's why that's a mistake.

The Ratings Game

By Janan Hanna
March
2014
Cover Story
, Page 124
Sites like Avvo that rate lawyers and encourage consumer reviews are evoking reaction positive and negative in the legal community – and posing interesting ethical challenges.
1 comment (Most recent February 24, 2014)

Practice-Launching Tips for Solos and Small Firms

By Ed Finkel
February
2014
Cover Story
, Page 72
Time to strike out on your own? Veteran practitioners help you get off to a good start - and avoid common missteps - with tips on marketing, billing, retainers, client management, and more.

Low Cost Technology for Highly Productive Lawyers

By Ed Finkel
January
2014
Cover Story
, Page 20
Now more than ever, great technology tools - many especially designed for lawyers - are amazingly affordable if not free. But don't forget the crucial difference between "frugal" and "cheap."
1 comment (Most recent December 31, 2013)

Advance payment retainers in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement

December
2013
Illinois Law Update
, Page 612
On October 3, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that advance payment retainers paid in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement pursuant to the "leveling of the playing field" rules in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the "Act").

Health Care Reform: Lawyers are Employers and Consumers, Too

By Janan Hanna
December
2013
Article
, Page 616
What does the Affordable Care Act mean to law firms as employers and lawyers as consumers? Here's a thumbnail sketch.

The Ethics of Lost Laptops, Cloud Computing

By Mark S. Mathewson
November
2013
Column
, Page 588
What duty do you have to clients if your laptop is stolen?

Limited Scope, Expanded Opportunity

By Ed Finkel
October
2013
Cover Story
, Page 508
Recent Illinois Supreme Court rule changes enable lawyers to represent clients in litigation for only a portion of a case. Proponents say that's good for lawyers, clients, and judges.

How Not to Be a Victim of Law Firm Embezzlement

By Janan Hanna
September
2013
Cover Story
, Page 456
Employee theft is an all-too-common occurrence. Experts advise lawyers how not to be victims.

New supreme court rules a boon to limited-scope representation

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2013
LawPulse
, Page 386
Amended Rules 11, 13, and 137 create business opportunities for lawyers by making it easier to represent clients for part, but not all, of a lawsuit or transaction.
1 comment (Most recent August 1, 2013)

Rainmaking in Dry Times

By Ed Finkel
June
2013
Article
, Page 288
How do you attract new clients and retain existing ones in this economy? Consultants and Illinois lawyers offer battle-tested tips.

Your “Unsinkable” Law Practice: Checking the Lifeboats

By Karen Erger
June
2013
Column
, Page 314
Make sure your professional liability policy is shipshape.

The Lawyer’s iPad: Using Tablets in Your Practice

By Maria Kantzavelos
May
2013
Cover Story
, Page 232
Can you really use your mobile device to practice more effectively? Tech experts say "yes" and tell you how.
1 comment (Most recent April 25, 2013)

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