Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Law Office Management

New ‘office away from the office’ especially for the small, non-downtown firms By Anna P. Krolikowska General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, July 2016 Have you checked out the ISBA Mutual’s lawyers’ space at 20 S. Clark St., on the eighth floor? There you can find a quiet café where you can help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea, enjoy a great view, and take advantage of free Wi-Fi. Also available are micro-offices where you can make private calls.
Can you find it? By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2016 This article will show you how to create your own data system using a Microsoft Word program.
Demystifying strategic planning: Why do law firms plan? By Alex M. Rechenmacher Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2016 Set aside the necessary time to write a plan for your firm. Involve your stakeholders and prepare something that everybody can get behind, and your firm is then positioned to clearly speak to clients about why they should retain you for their legal needs.
Improving law firm profitability: Top 10 cost-cutting strategies By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2016 You have to spend money to make money. So if cost cutting is the appropriate strategy, cut the right costs. Here are some ideas.
Should you merge with another law firm? By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2016 While mergers can be a valid option, making them work is often another matter. Consider these tips before your firm makes the leap.
Law firm partner relations: The foundation of a successful firm By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2016 Getting the right “partner dynamic”—and a positive partner relations culture—is the key ingredient and the core basic building block of a successful law firm. It is the foundation for the firm.
Outsourcing By Amber L. Mikula Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2015 At some point, most firms consider outsourcing some of the business part of the firm, so they can focus on practicing law. Areas to consider outsourcing include Web site management, marketing, accounting, and employee searches.
Organizing your small firm or solo practice By Amber L. Mikula Young Lawyers Division, August 2015 In order to be prepared to start your own practice, you should start out by establishing an organizational plan, including staff job descriptions, policies and procedures, document control, and file checklists.
Trapped in an insurance defense practice? Two strategic approaches By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2015 Insurance defense firms face challenges that are quite different than those faced by other law firms.
Goal setting By Dan Breen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2014 How to create challenging yet achievable goals for your office.
PDF for trusts and estates attorneys By Patrick Owens and Alan R. Press Trusts and Estates, November 2014 An overview of the different types of PDFs and practical tips and help for using them in your everyday practice.
Organizing your small firm or solo practice By Amber L. Mikula Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2014 In order to be prepared to start your own practice, you should start out by establishi an organizational plan, including staff job descriptions, policies and procedures, document control, and file checklists.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.