Law Practice Management News
Ideas for Lawyers and Managers That Dare To Be Different September 2012

in this issue

Law Firm Branch Office - Key Issues

Using Financial Dashboards to Manage the Law Firm's Pipeline

Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month - Selling Your Law Firm - Readying It For Sale

Download Our Profitability Checklist

Looking to Sell or Merge Your Practice - Let Us Know

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John W. Olmstead


Welcome to Olmstead & Associates Law Practice News, a law practice management resource for practicing attorneys, managing partners, administrators, and others that must keep updated on all aspects of law firm management.

Our Law Practice Management E-Newsletter is distributed on the first Wednesday of each month. Look for it and send us your emails with your ideas for topics that you would like covered. I wish to thank those who take the time to email me with their thoughts and comments. I encourage our readers to do so.

  • Law Firm Branch Office - Key Issues
  • Branching is being incorporated into more firm strategic plans. However, often the results do not meet firm expectations considering the time, effort and investment made. Overhead increases, anticipated opportunities do not materialize, management becomes more complex, resources are spread too thin, and the firm loses sight of its common identity.

    Branching can be risky due to the dollars and managerial time investment. However, there can be significant benefits as well.

    The starting point is to avoid knee jerk reactions such as branching because other firms are doing it, assuming that clients want you to have a presence in another geographical area, etc. Do your homework and build a business case for the branch office. Here are ideas to get you started:

    Read on . . .
  • Using Financial Dashboards to Manage the Law Firm's Pipeline
  • In these economic times effective pipeline management is becoming more and more important in law firms - especially in those firms that do a lot of contingency fee work. This might be a good place to start using some dashboard metrics.

    Pipeline management is a term used in the management consulting profession to refer to the process by which you continually evaluate your active opportunities (prospective clients to booked clients) for their balance of QUALITY and QUANTITY. The goal is to continually stay on top of the overall health which is a full pipeline. Pipeline management allows client relationship managers to more accurately forecast fee revenues, better staff and manage client engagements, and close more client business.

    Read on . . .
  • Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month - Selling Your Law Firm - Readying It For Sale
  • Question I am a sole practitioner in Bloomington, Illinois. My practice is general practice and most of my clients are either individuals or small businesses. I have one legal assistant and one paralegal that works for me. I am 62 and am starting to think about what to do with my practice and what I need to be thinking about concerning selling my practice. I would be interested in your suggestions.

    Answer:I would start by asking yourself when you actually want to retire or quit. Do you really want to stop practicing law or do you want to work forever? Over two thirds of the solo and small firm lawyers that I speak with advise me that they want to practice forever - maybe not full throttle - but on a continued but scaled back schedule.

    Review Rule 1.17 - Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct to insure that you understand the method and the restrictions involved in sale of a law practice.

    If you want to continuing practicing determine whether selling your law practice is your best option given Rule 1.17. Some of our clients are exploring other options including bringing in other attorneys and forming partnerships or merging with other firms. If you determine that selling the practice is the route you want to go here are a few ideas to begin readying it for sale:

    Read on . . .
  • Download Our Profitability Checklist
  • Are you looking for a quick and dirty checklist to use to review the profitability of your practice. Click below for a copy of our Law Practice Profitability Checkup.

    Click here to download ...
  • Looking to Sell or Merge Your Practice - Let Us Know
  • We frequently consult and work with law firm clients working on implementing succession strategies that involve the sale of a law practice, merging with another firm, or hiring lateral talent. If you are looking to join up with another firm keep us in mind. We will be posting confidential listings on our website in the near future.

  • FREE Guide to Law Firm Management Best Practices
  • Download a FREE copy of our Guide to Law Firm Management Best Practices.

    To learn more about Olmstead & Associates visit their web site at www.olmsteadassoc.com

    To View & Print the FREE Guide

    ::Phone 314-241-5665