THE LEGAL COMMUNITY

Introduction to Law Practice Management

This resource is intended to facilitate a discussion between the mentor and new lawyer about the mentor’s law office, how it is managed, and where to locate resources for learning more information about law office management issues.

Required Section 4:

  • Tour the mentor’s office to demonstrate and explain how the following items of law practice management are used and handled in the mentor’s office, if applicable:
    • Time Records
    • Client-Related Expenses
    • Billing System
    • IOLTA and Escrow Accounts
    • Filing System
    • Malpractice Insurance
    • Document Retention Plan
    • Calendar and “Tickler” Reminder Systems
    • Library and Research Systems
    • Practices to Maintain Client Confidentiality
    • Law Office Personnel

General Mentoring Tips:

  • The American Bar Association has a Law Practice Management Section that provides valuable resources and articles, including helpful information for solo and small firm practitioners:

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice_management.html.

  • All members of the Utah State Bar have access to Casemaker, a free, online legal research tool with a powerful search engine providing access to a combination of state and federal materials, including Utah case law, statutes, court rules, administrative codes and more.  Casemaker can be accessed using your bar username and password at the following address:

http://www.utahbar.org/

  • Discuss staff, equipment and other administrative issues in mentor’s office, including the best practices for at least the following matters:
    • Mail distribution procedures;
    • Procedures for handling telephone calls, including when they should be returned;
    • Considerations in purchasing office furniture, equipment and supplies and where these items can be purchased;
    • Other resources (publications, CLE seminars, treatises, etc.) that a new lawyer might find particularly helpful in his or her work.
    • Employment and discrimination laws of which an employer must be aware.

Additional Resources:

  • ABA Young Lawyers Division, including the YLD Bootcamp series which consists six free downloads.  In the series, lawyers and judges share advice on choosing a career path, getting the most out of your first legal position, networking, being a superstar associate, trial skills, and starting your own practice.

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/young_lawyers.html

  • Association of Legal Administrators, Legal Management Resources Center.  The center provides numerous resources, online tools, forms and checklists on a variety of law practice management issues including:  financial management; human resource management; law firm marketing and advertising; and technology systems:

http://www.alanet.org/

  • Regular File Reviews or “Tickler” Systems, Todd C. Scott, GPSolo Law Trends & News, 2009.