No matter the size of your law firm, maintaining a positive cash flow is essential. The most successful law firms use a variety of best practices to manage their finances effectively, many of which can be implemented relatively quickly. We’ll lay out three different ways you can make small changes to your practice that result in a significant positive impact on your bottom line.
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In order to grow, solos will need to delegate legal work to paralegals, administrative staff, free lance lawyers and associates and any vendor you hire on your behalf. Even hiring a marketing firm! But do you really know the ethics surrounding delegation of work you are ultimately ethically responsible for as the the owner of your law firm? This is a critically important topic. Listen and learn.
Your agent told you that you don’t want to have a clause in your policy called “The Hammer Clause.” No, it’s not a Pro-Wrestling move and no, you won’t find the term anywhere in your policy. The Hammer Clause is a term of art for forcing a settlement in the Defense, Indemnification, and Cooperation section of your policy. And you need to understand it. It could mean your career.
Lawyers occasionally reach out to me wanting clarification on what needs to be covered in a letter notifying active clients, whose matters the lawyer will be unable to complete in time, that their lawyer is closing his or her practice. Find out what you need to do.
Solo lawyers continue to occasionally call in wanting to discuss a business opportunity that has come to be known as the “license rental” model. In short, these lawyers are being offered an opportunity to affiliate with an out-of-state firm or occasionally a non-lawyer owed company and it’s often presented as an attractive way to develop a stable flow of recurring business. The out-of-state firm or non-lawyer owned company is wanting to direct cases to the lawyers they are contacting as a way to offer legal services in the jurisdictions in which these lawyers practice. The actual work may occur under an of counsel or contract attorney relationship and participating lawyers will receive some portion of the fee coupled with an understanding that the required amount of work will be minimal. Targeted practice areas include but are not limited to debt settlement, mortgage foreclosures, estate planning, traffic violations, and criminal expungements.
Those who take the time to call me are usually wanting to make sure that, if they sign on to something like this, their malpractice coverage will be in play should a misstep ever occur. Before I answer that question, however, I always start by asking if they have given any thought to whether signing on is ethically permissible because many times the opportunity under consideration often won’t ethically pass muster for a number of reasons. Read on….
Is the billable hour in its final death throes? If so, how do we deal with this while we build our practices? Of course, people have been saying this since last century. Listen and learn Jared’s unique take on this perennially hot button issue.
The Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to set fees that are not excessive. (Rule 1.5 (a)). Lawyers must also communicate the basis for their fees and expenses to their clients, according to the scope of representation. Yet how does an individual attorney calculate the amount of the fee? Should this fee be hourly or […]
Fear steps in and your future seizes. The only way to be more than you are now is to hire; but, how can you make that happen? Your mind says, “What if I can’t meet payroll? What if I fail?” If you’ve experienced these fears, you are not alone.
If one were to collect everything I and many others like me have written on risk management for lawyers, I suspect the collection would fill a tome or two; but sometimes less is more. It is with this sentiment in mind that I offer the following short malpractice avoidance checklist that covers the basics.
Jarred and I have recorded five free guest lectures covering the vast topic of What Clients Want: Managing Legal Consumer Expectations in 2019-2020. It is nearly five hours of us discussing in depth how to be successful. Here is Part 5. Listen and learn.