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

in this issue

Admitting New Law Firm Partners

Law Firms Confront Issues of Underutilized Partners; 15% Plan Cuts In Early 2013

Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Management Roles - What Do I need to Be Good At?

Download Our Profitability Checklist

Looking to Sell or Merge Your Practice - Let Us Know

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John W. Olmstead


We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. We hope you will find 2013 a prosperous and happy year for you and your families.

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.

  • Admitting New Law Firm Partners
  • Start by asking whether you want employees or partners. What is the criteria for becoming an equity partner? Is client development part of that criteria? Should they contribute capital? If they are not adding value to the firm - growth - you are diluting the earnings pool and reducing the size of the pie for yourselves. Personally, I think that in most firms criteria for becoming an equity partner should, among other things, include client development and a capital contribution. They should have some skin in the game, contribute capital, and signup for their share of the liabilities. I also believe they should then be included in the inner circle.

    Develop equity, non-equity, and associate career progression plans - associate to non-equity partner and non-equity partner to equity partner - outlining timeline for consideration, the consideration process, the criteria, and the respective and expectations for each. (What it means)

    Make the criteria tough and resist the temptation to make everyone a partner.

  • Law Firms Confront Issues of Underutilized Partners; 15% Plan Cuts In Early 2013
  • A survey of 115 mostly large law firms has found partner billable hours are on the decline, and some lawyers will find themselves without employment as a result.

    Fifteen percent of the firms surveyed by Wells Fargo Private Bank plan to cut partners in the first quarter of 2013, Reuters reports. The number is higher than the usual 5 percent typically reflected in the survey, but lower than recession highs of about 25 percent.

    Click here for the rest of the story . . .
  • Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Management Roles - What Do I need to Be Good At?
  • Question I am the owner of a 12 attorney firm in Dallas. We have 26 people including attorneys and staff. I founded the firm 20 years ago. While we have an Accounting Manager - I am responsible for the management and direction of the firm. While we have done okay over the years - I often feel deficient as a manager and am not always sure that I am covering all of the bases. Is there such thing as management 101 for guys like me?

    Answer:You are not alone. Mention management 101 and I think of the five functions of management. Each of these roles must be performed by someone in every law firm and business if it is to be successful. In a small firm such as yours you must perform each of these functions and be reasonably good at all of them. Here are the five functions:

    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

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