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The Bottom Line
The newsletter of the ISBA's Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics

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Newsletter Articles From 2012

Changes: How an alternative rock song can provide insight to the evolution of the cost for legal services By Joseph B. VanFleet 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 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.
Conducting effective associate reviews By Donald E. Weihl 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.
Diversify your marketing efforts for best results By Laura Reed September 2012 Regardless of what percentage of your revenue you spend on marketing, there are several tactics to help small and growing law firms get the attention they need and deserve in a competitive climate. 
Don’t network like an accountant By Andrew G. Vaughn September 2012 This article will attempt to help us become better networkers by addressing what networking is, why networking is important for lawyers, how to network efficiently, and pitfalls to avoid while networking.
Ensuring client confidentiality with best practices By Vincent Incopero September 2012 As a prudent professional, are you aware of your professional and ethical obligations regarding the way that your practice handles personally identifiable information?
Get paid… Faster than a speeding bullet By Amy Porter February 2012 By using technology as a payment tool, you give clients flexible payment options while allowing yourself to get paid quickly and securely.
The illusion of digital security By Alan Wlasuk May 2012 You’ll never be entirely safe from a breach. But if you’re clever, the breach won’t leave you for dead. System logs will define the magnitude of the breach, cyber insurance will pay for the expert help you will need, and data encryption will save you.  
Law firm partner compensation: Two-attorney firm By John W. Olmstead May 2012 The author addresses a question he recently received concerning partner compensation in a newly minted two- attorney firm.
Law firm retreat: A cornerstone to your strategic and competitive business model planning process By John W. Olmstead 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 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?
Leveraging lease renewal for maximum effect By Daniel G. Jay 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 May 2012 There are hidden opportunities in the lease renewal process that should not be missed.
A line loan or not? By Dan Breen 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 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.
Seiko’s Smart Label Printers bring your firm to the future! By Alan Pearlman June 2012 A review of the Seiko Smart Label Printer 450.
Should you merge with another law firm? By John W. Olmstead 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.
Starting—Building—Managing—a law firm By John W. Olmstead May 2012 A few survival tips for each phase of firm development.
Supply, demand and the future of your law firm By Andrew G. Vaughn December 2012 Each year between 2010 and 2020, using the most generous projections, there will be an average of 23,530 legal jobs created. Each year between 2010 and 2020, there will be an average of 33,827 graduates of law schools who pass the bar exam. That is a surplus of 10,297 lawyers who have passed the bar exam each year or a total surplus of 102,970 by the year 2020.  
Top five new year (IT) resolutions By Kim Brand December 2012 Make this the year you get out of the poor-productivity ditch!
Turning out the lights By Donald E. Weihl September 2012 Selling a practice requires planning that begins long before the actual sale transaction is to take place. Here's a look at some of the usual steps to be taken in the sale process.
Unbundling, or unraveling? By Dan Breen June 2012 What is unbundling? The short, and rough answer is that unbundling is a la carte legal services, where a lawyer might provide a few frames of a client’s legal picture, as needed or requested, but that lawyer will not be directing the whole movie.
Welcome to the party, non-lawyers By Dan Breen 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.
Your firm’s benefits plan and same-sex relationships: Best practices to make all employees feel like valued team members By Daniel Ebner December 2012 Giving employees in same-sex relationships the same benefits as married employees involves a little effort but a big payoff in employee morale and loyalty.