Section Newsletter Articles on Law Office Management

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.  
Lawyers need emotional intelligence By Steven C. Lindberg Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2012 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?
Law firm partner compensation: Two-attorney firm By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 The author addresses a question he recently received concerning partner compensation in a newly minted two- attorney firm.
Leveraging lease renewal for maximum effect By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 There are hidden opportunities in the lease renewal process that should not be missed.
Leveraging lease renewal for maximum effect By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 There are hidden opportunities in the lease renewal process that should not be missed.
Starting—Building—Managing—a law firm By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2012 A few survival tips for each phase of firm development.
Changes: How an alternative rock song can provide insight to the evolution of the cost for legal services By Joseph B. VanFleet Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2012 Without question, the unique predicament facing us today is our economic environment. In light of this adversity, law firms today face the need to modify their price structure to address the changing demands of corporate clients.
Cloud computing and virtual law practice issues By Kim Brand Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2012 Before committing your firm to a cloud-centric application environment you should make sure you know your ‘backup’ options for alternate Internet access.
Get paid… Faster than a speeding bullet By Amy Porter Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2012 By using technology as a payment tool, you give clients flexible payment options while allowing yourself to get paid quickly and securely.
Welcome to the party, non-lawyers By Dan Breen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2012 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.
Addition by deduction By Paul Shaheen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 If employee benefits are becoming unaffordable, how does a firm maintain them? Or at least remain in the position to offer them? 
The Checkpoint Flyer… The only way to travel! By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 The Checkpoint Flyer laptop bag provides a variety of benefits for frequent travelers.
Does your voicemail irritate clients? By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 Some tips for creating the most effective voice mail messages.
Emerging issues for Illinois employers in wage and hour law By Richard L. Samson and Michael D. Ray Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 A list of issues that Illinois employers commonly face regarding wage and hour laws, and practical advice for minimizing liability and exposure in light of the burgeoning wave of related lawsuits.
How to laugh in the face of a data disaster By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 A true story from the case chronicles of ETS Investigative Services of Wilmette, Illinois, a firm specializing in data security, recovery, forensics and investigation.
Wherever you go…Never forget to take your Pulse! By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 A review of the Livescribe Pulse Digital Smartpen, which creates digital copies of everything you write by hand while recording audio at the same time.  
Law firm succession/Exit strategies: Practice continuation arrangements By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2011 Lawyers must invest time and effort to find suitable successors for their firms and to create useful, equitable, practice continuation agreements.
Managing ourselves By Dan Breen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2011 Because more and more attorneys will begin their legal career without a traditional business structure, it is important that we, as a profession, pay more attention to the business side of law.
Professional liability claim exposures By Stephen G. Wilder Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2011 Every firm has a particular claim exposure profile based on the nature of its practice and its firm management practices and procedures. By understanding this profile, a firm can better identify and address the risks that may lead to claims against the firm.
Professional services and law practice growth patterns By William A. Price Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2011 The U.S. government collects a wide variety of statistics on employment, earnings, and employment dynamics in law practices and on other business advisory professions. These can give you a reasonably good idea of what the growth in numbers and in income has been in recent years.