Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Law Practice and Office Management

Your (Mostly Free) Private Investigator

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2010
Cover Story
, 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
Cover Story
, 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

From Sheepskin to Shingle

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2009
Cover Story
, 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
Cover Story
, 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 & John A. Lupton
February
2009
Cover Story
, 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?

Taking Down Your Shingle

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2009
Cover Story
, Page 20
Selling or otherwise closing your private practice? Don't forget to take care of important business before you do.

Bacon-Saving Support Staff

By Karen Erger
October
2008
Column
, Page 536
Don't think your support staff can make or break you? Think again.

In the Wake of the Flood: A Reminder about Disaster Readiness

By Karen Erger
August
2008
Column
, Page 422
Plan for disasters natural and manmade now, while the river is in its banks.

Law-Firm Compensation Systems Explained

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2008
Cover Story
, Page 288
Wondering whether your firm's compensation scheme needs an overhaul? Here's a look at what others are doing.

A solo’s advice on going solo

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
, Page 118
 A young sole practitioner's take on the perils and pleasures of hanging out your shingle.

Are e-mail disclaimers really necessary?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
, Page 66
They really are, some lawyers say. In fact, you should put them at the beginning, not the end, of your messages, other lawyers say.

Law Firm Marketing 101

By G. M. Filisko
January
2008
Cover Story
, Page 20
You didn’t go to law school to be a salesperson, but you still have to sell yourself to prospective clients. Here’s how.

Disciplining Attorneys and Other FLSA-Exempt Employees for Attendance Problems

By Jon D. McLaughlin
November
2007
Article
, Page 600
Suppose your associate or paralegal shows up late for work. Can you dock her pay without transforming her fram an exempt to a nonexempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Asked and Answered

August
2007
Column
, Page 435
What kind of client file system is best for your firm?

Asked and Answered

July
2007
Column
, Page 375
Can small p.i. firms compete with bigger ones?

Asked and Answered

June
2007
Column
, Page 320
Opening an IOLTA account.

Asked and Answered

May
2007
Column
, Page 266
Can a disbarred lawyer be a paralegal?

Ethical Challenges When Lawyers Sell Non-Legal Services

By Jennifer E. Smiley & Michael L. Shakman
May
2007
Article
, Page 258
A review of the ethical rules that apply when lawyers seek to broaden their practices by offering non-legal services.

Choosing the Right Retirement Plan for Your Law Firm

By Michael R. Maryn
April
2007
Article
, Page 198
A summary of leading tax-favored retirement plans, along with advice for selecting the best one for you and your firm.

IOLTA change allows trust accounts to earn highest rate

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2007
LawPulse
, Page 118
Amended RPC 1.15, effective June 1, requires lawyers to place nominal or short-term client funds with banks that pay the same return on IOLTA as on non-IOLTA accounts.

Accepting Payment by Credit Card: Priceless?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2007
Cover Story
, Page 18
Setting yourself up to accept credit card payments has its advantages - and its risks. 

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