Section Newsletter Articles on Law Office Management

Virtualization and law office computer systems By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2009 Virtualization is a technology that does present some added variables and complexity, but provides features and tools that change the status quo. It is a technology that the legal industry will surely embrace and use to better our service to our ultimate consumer…the client.
Editor’s column: Current economic downturn requires lawyers to evaluate case acceptance, billing and credit policies By John T. Phipps General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, January 2009 You need to make the choice about your own pro bono. Or as another lawyer told me, if work is slow, invest in yourself and improve your office and your skills rather than donate your time to someone who cannot or will not pay you.
Health Savings Accounts: One option for small firms when a group health plan is unaffordable By Julie A. Neubauer Women and the Law, December 2008 As this election year comes to a close we have repeatedly heard the ideas and plans of politicians for how to improve the current health care crisis that millions of Americans now face.
How to practice part-time from afar By Patrick E. Ward General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, December 2008 For several years before I decided to semi-retire, I had a picture of a beautiful, tranquil beach and the inscription below it which read: “Never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Best kept secrets By Paul Shaheen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2008 No matter the size of your practice, be it solo, big or small, attorneys and law firms often struggle with the taxing issue of how to best protect what is arguably your most invaluable asset: your ability to earn an income.
Use guest articles to promote your practice: Turn research and results into story topics By Geri L. Dreiling Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2008 When a lawyer gets a great result, devises a winning strategy, tackles an old issue with a 21st-century twist or develops an approach that helps avoid a legal minefield, the client benefits.
You’re on your own: Risk management tips for running a small firm or going solo By Paul Shaheen Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2008 Compared to running a large firm, managing a small firm or solo practice can be entirely distinct.
Navigating an unemployment claim By Melissa Schroeder and Lisa Collins Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2008 The purpose of this article is to provide the general practitioner with a primer on procedures pertaining to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, unemployment hearings and the issues that surround them when terminating an employee.
Cutting the pie: Determining partner compensation By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2008 Many law firms are struggling with compensation systems that no longer meet the needs of the firm and the individual partners. Failure to explore alternatives to failing systems often result in partner dissatisfaction leading to partner defections and disintegration of the firm.
Resolutions for 2008 By Mary A. Corrigan Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2008 Although 2008 is already underway, it is not too late to implement some resolutions for improvement of your law practice.
Remote access technology for your law practice By James A. McKenna Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, November 2007 Remote access is the ability to retrieve and utilize electronically-stored information—including Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents, litigation databases, and scanned images—from a location outside the office.
Utilization of paralegals in Illinois: The secret to a more efficient and profitable law practice By Tom Higgins Family Law, November 2007 In growing numbers, Illinois law firms have pursued the opportunity to hire a qualified paralegal in circumstances that may have dictated hiring a new associate in the past.
Use the Web, but don’t let it use you By Matt Arbogast Young Lawyers Division, August 2007 On June 29, 2007, an unbelievably large number of people waited in line for hours, some for days, to get their hands on iPhones.
More on engagement letters By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, May 2007 The focus of this article will be on language to be included in engagement letters to provide for advance waivers of conflicts of interest.
Document process: The competitive edge in the legal profession By Raymond Snyder Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2007 Law firms are beginning to realize the importance and value efficient document processes can provide.
To lead or to manage By Maximilian M. Prusak Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2007 If your office is not acting as a team working for the same goal, try a little less management and a little more leadership.
Utilization of paralegals in Illinois: The secret to a more efficient and profitable law practice By Tom Higgins Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2007 In growing numbers, Illinois law firms have pursued the opportunity to hire a qualified paralegal in circumstances that may have dictated hiring a new associate in the past.
Electronic communications & records: Metadata, security, and more By Robert G. Moss Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, October 2006 It would be fair to say that the field of legal ethics is increasingly concerned with issues raised by new kinds of information and communication technology.
Are you ready for tsunami, a Katrina, fire or terrorists? By Thomas J. Brannan Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2006 Granted, in Illinois, we are unlikely to suffer the rampage of a Tsunami or a Katrina, but tornadoes are common to Illinois, potential for fires is a part of life, and terrorists may strike anywhere—in fact, your own personal terrorist could be a disenchanted client seeking revenge.
Practice Alert: Contingencies By Matt Maloney General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, June 2006 Have you considered "partial disability" as part of your practice's disaster-preparedness plan?
Exceptional client service in law firms: Tips for rewarding and recognizing employees By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2005 By regularly rewarding and recognizing your attorneys and staff when they exhibit positive client service behaviors, rather than only noticing and commenting when they do something wrong, you help motivate them to keep up the good work and internalize the behavior.
Exceptional client service in law firms: Analyzing and reporting your client satisfaction survey results By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2005 You have completed your telephone or mail client survey campaign. Completed questionnaires are everywhere.
Exceptional client service in law firms: Developing your client service improvement plan By John W. Olmstead Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2005 Nothing is more important to your firm's future than exceptional client service. An effective client service improvement program is one of the most important marketing initiatives that a firm can undertake.
Law firm planning & design: Part 3 By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2005 The conference center concept has profoundly changed how many firms greet and accommodate their visitors.
Law firm planning & design: Part 2 By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, March 2005 Part 2 of a three-part article designed to help attorneys in planning and designing their law firms.
Seven tips to help your legal practice run more smoothly By Justin Heather Young Lawyers Division, February 2005 Whether you are a new member of the bar or a seasoned associate, there are several items to keep in mind to make your practice, and life, run more smoothly.
Attracting business 101 By Donald E. Weihl Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2005 In the March, 1995 issue of The Bottom Line (Vol. 16, No. 3), an article appeared entitled "Rainmaking." The article included 10 suggestions in the form of practice tips for improving a lawyer's ability to attract business.
Back to basics: Tips to stay organized and productive throughout your work day By Christopher D. Oakes Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2005 Anything that prevents you from effectively achieving your daily goals makes you not only inefficient but robs you of billable time.
Law firm planning & design: Part 1 By Daniel G. Jay Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2005 During the course of 20 years of planning law offices, patterns are identified and analyzed. These patterns turn into valuable lessons for firms considering a relocation or renovation of their law offices.
The organizational life blood for law firm profitability: Active coordinated communication By Dr. Thomas J. Venardos Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, January 2005 A new generation of law firm lawyers need new tools to maximize profitability.