Law Practice Management News
Ideas for Lawyers and Manago Be Different June 2014

in this issue

Law Firm Websites - Videos on Site

Law Firm Partners That Won't Embrace Technology

Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Policies and Procedures

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 Practices For Sale and Law Practices Looking to Acquire Practices. As a service to our clients looking to sell, acquire, merge, or otherwise join another firm we now have an area of our website dedicated to helping our clients connect and explore mutual opportunities. Click here to access the listing. Interested parties should contact John Olmstead via e-mail at jolmstead@olmsteadassoc.com.

  • Law Firm Websites - Videos on Site
  • I believe that videos can add to the quality of the site if done properly. A quality video can help you showcase your personality and bedside manner and help a potential client "get to know you." What you say may not be as important as how you say it. However, unless the video is a quality video and well done - it can do more harm than good. Here are a few thoughts:

    Read on . . .
  • Law Firm Partners That Won't Embrace Technology
  • Recently the managing partner of an eight attorney firm asked us the following question.

    "I am the managing partner of an 8 attorney general practice firm located in Charleston, South Carolina. We have done a pretty good job of investing in technology. I am having problems getting our older partners to personally use the technology and this has resulted is our attorney staff ratios and resulting overhead to be higher than it should be. They seem to think that doing their own work is beneath them and want to have their own personal assistants. I would appreciate any thoughts that you have on the matter."

    I advised him that few firms can afford the luxury of each attorney having their own secretary/assistant. The economics no longer support such staffing. Many firms today are operating with much leaner attorney/staff ratios - typically two to three attorneys for each secretary/assistant - some firms have four attorneys to each secretary/assistant. I suggested that he build the economic case, encourage, train, and motivate his partners to learn how to use and to actually use the technology and if all else fails offset the economic impact as a direct charge against their compensation.

  • Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Policies and Procedures
  • Question I am a solo practitioner in Central Illinois. As my staff seems to expand, I feel a need to become more formal. I have a question about nondisclosure agreements with staff? Also office procedures or rules? Also in hiring I am finding less and less candidates that lack any experience in a legal setting. The Illinois State Bar Association Law Practice Management Section may want to consider a half day program that is internet based to acquaint staff who have office experience but no legal experience with some of the basic issues including nomenclature, confidentiality, basic legal drafting, etc.

    Answer: Our committee has not addressed this of late - we may have years ago and if we did there might be an article in the dark past in the Bottom Newsletter which is the newsletter of the Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics.

    Most of my law firm clients are addressing the topic usually in their office policy handbook as opposed to a separate document. You might want to begin to put together both an office policy (employee handbook) as well as a "how to procedural manual" as well.

    Suggest that the office policy (employee handbook), in addition to other topics, cover policies on:

    • Confidentiality & Proprietary Rights - firm and clients
    • Privacy Policies
    • Computer and Electronic Communications

    Have a sign-off page in the Policy (Employee Handbook) and have each employee acknowledge that they have read said policies and file a copy in each employee's personnel file. ABA has a book on Office Policies and Procedures that can be purchased that you might find helpful:

  • 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 post confidential listings on our website.

    Click here for a link to view listings
  • 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