Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Useful links

March 25, 2008

Rather than give you a list of links, I highly recommend Blawg Review #152 at Technolawyer.

The theme is “Practice Management and Technology” and covers some excellent posts on the topic from A-Z, many very appropriate for small firms and solos with a bit of humour thrown in.

Does working from home work for you?

November 18, 2007

Home Office Warrior has written an excellent post on why working from home works for him.

He considers issues such as  keeping office stuff in the office and staying motivated. Worth reading!

Are big law firms facing extinction?

May 30, 2007

According to the GC for Sun, the days of the one-stop shop are over:

“This structure previously made sense. If you were an individual or business with a legal problem, it wasn’t efficient nor effective to try to identify an individual attorney with the technical skills that you required. So, you would turn to a law firm and rely on them to direct you to the appropriate attorney within their firm to solve your issue. The problem is that this model relies on growth (the need to add additional attorneys) to maintain profitability rather than focusing on efficiency gains. ..

“the epoch of the current law firm model – which derives its profitability from growing scale and raising hourly rates – will soon be over. The firms that will survive and thrive are those that recognize this change and focus on how to maintain margins by focusing on efficiency. .. we recently selected a small number of law firms to support us as “preferred partners” during the next fiscal year. We believe that these firms “get it” and are receptive to looking at new ways to drive down their (and our) cost structure. “

Winding up a practice

April 15, 2007

It has to be said: sooner or later (preferably at regular periods when you are in control) you will think about your future. Do you shut down your practice or merge it, expand or keep going as you are?

Sunsetting a law practice has some stories about solos making the transition to a different firm or different area of practice.

Going solo

February 16, 2007

The Jan/Feb 2007 Law Practice Magazine’s theme is “Solos: Rising to the Challenge“.  Worth reading.

Becoming a managing partner

August 16, 2006

Regardless of the size of your firm, every firm needs a managing partner.

If you’re a solo, there will be things that you do that are managing partner functions.

As a firm grows. it struggles to decide whether it can afford to have a partner work full-time (or even part-time) as a managing partner or whether to employ a non-lawyer CEO.

The managing partner role is one that is not taught at university. And where do you go with your career if you become a full-time managing partner for more than 2 years?

Patrick McKenna has produced an on-line book (a short 23 pages) on the first 100 days of a managing partner. It is worth reading even if you are a small firm.

Missing BigLaw Firm?

June 2, 2006

You don't have to miss biglaw firm life…read all about it at Anonymous Law Firm's website and a partner's weblog.

Technology for small firms

May 5, 2006

Small firms can now afford technology that was only previously available to mega-firms.

But you need to have a strategy. And don't forget that the cost of installing and maintaining new software can be up to 4 times what it cost you to buy it.

So the ABA Law Practice Magazine feature on Pointers and predictions for solos and small firms is worth looking at.

Some key points:

  • A good rule of thumb is to budget an annual dollar value for new purchases that is one-third of the total technology cost. This includes such items as hardware, software (upgrades if needed), maintenance and support, subscription renewals, communications expenses and any third-party-provided service such as e-mail or anti-spam filtration.
  • have a hardheaded approach to how technology can reduce costs
  • Continuously analyze work flow to see where the bottlenecks lie.
  • tech knowledge and tech investment are mandatory and an intrinsic part of substantive and procedural law practice today.

Small but nimble

May 2, 2006

Can a small but focussed firm compete effectively against a mega-firm? Of course.

In "The Innovator's Dilemma" Strikes Again? Bruce McEwen discusses Clayton Christensen's book in the context of law firms: how a small firm with excellent customer service and good use of technology and non-traditional approaches can excel.

What sort of things are firms doing? Well, virtuality seems to be popular, ranging from the virtual law firm to virtual paralegals.And then there's the issue of billing (that's a topic for another time).