“As we know, knowledge is in people’s heads, so how do you manage that?” -Connie Crosby
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti sits down with knowledge management consultant Connie Crosby, who presented at the 2015 Clio Cloud conference in Chicago. Her presentation, titled ‘How to Manage Your Knowledge and Experience,’ focused on information “trapped” in law firm employees’ heads and how to initiate your firm’s management process before you even think about including technology.
In this Special Report, Connie suggests several ways lawyers can begin the process of knowledge and experience management, even for those who haven’t previously considered it. She talks about recording and manifesting precedent documents, emails and letters, research memoranda, and other information with potential future use. For those who are just starting, she recommends getting organized, making checklists, and discussing what information is valuable. Tune in to hear about implementing systems before you buy technology.
Connie Crosby is a knowledge management consultant based in Toronto, Canada. She also specializes in information management, records management, and library management. Previously a law firm manager, she now works with smaller firms and other organizations to help them get organized.
Many lawyers see legal malpractice insurance as a necessary cost incurred being a member of bar associations. But insurance is very important in the business of solos and small firms as it can greatly affect what happens after a catastrophic event. Every business owner can benefit from knowing how to custom create insurance plans for themselves, rather than accepting a cookie-cutter solution. Like with anything you buy, there are tips and tricks to getting a better overall deal.
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews Michael Carroll, a professional liability insurance expert. Carroll describes specific insurance products that lawyers should examine, policies that may or may not benefit a small or medium firm practice, and how making relatively inexpensive changes now can affect your potential malpractice lawsuit later.
Claims Expenses Inside/Outside the Limit (CEIL versus CEOL)
First Dollar Defense
Who needs office business insurance
Data breach liability
Insurance for business continuity in places like Florida
Michael Carroll spent the last 27 years insuring and protecting lawyers and law firms. He is considered a specialist in his field and authored The Naked Lawyer, a book about lawyers professional liability, workers comp, umbrella, and office business insurance. The Carroll Insurance Group was selected in 2014 as a best practices agency.
This week’s episode is a replay of one of our favorite conversations about lawyering and law practice, with Brian Tannebaum.
Brian Tannebaum’s book, The Practice: Brutal Truths About Lawyers and Lawyering, is a collection of tough-love letters to the new generation of lawyers. During our conversation with Brian about his book, we also talked about his criminal defense practice, the importance of a code of ethics, why some lawyers seem to leave ethics behind when they go online, and much more.
Due to the changing landscape of legal services, small to medium sized law firms need to consistently update their financial management processes. Essentially, these firms need to provide affordable services to their clients while ensuring the owners get the compensation they believe they deserve. But without necessarily having an in-house financial manager, how do they maintain the right balance?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview John Iezzi, author of “Results-Oriented Financial Management: A Step-by-Step Guide to Law Firm Profitability,” which is a book about compensation issues in small and mid-sized firms, what successful financial management looks like, and changes small firm lawyers need to make.
3 editions of Iezzi’s book
How lawyers and non-attorney law firm managers can benefit
Client-based practice versus case-based practice
Compensation as a relationship issue, not a dollars issue
Finders, minders, and grinders in a firm
Why owners need to understand financial management
Implement the changes or waste time and money
Charging fixed fees to increase profitability
John Iezzi spent 16 years as the administrator of McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, a 300 lawyer firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. In addition, he served as a senior manager in the law firm consulting group at Price Waterhouse and director of consulting services with Information Technologies Corporation. Mr. Iezzi is considered a national expert on law office management, specifically in the financial management area and is author of the third edition of “Results-Oriented Financial Management: A Step-by-Step Guide to Law Firm Profitability.”
What does a law firm look like without the traditional hierarchy? Sonia Miller Van Oort’s firm has a flat governance structure, transparent compensation, and offers alternative-fee arrangements to every client. Plus, why it’s silly to let your hardware dictate your law-firm policy.
Sonia Miller Van Oort’s firm, Sapientia Law Group, is different for a lot of reasons. It is owned by women and minorities. The governance structure is flat, so all members of the firm have a say in how it is run. The compensation structure rewards collaboration over hoarding. And everyone knows how everyone else is compensated.
Listen to the show to learn how it all fits together.
Joe talks to Jared Correia, Assistant Director and Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP and host of Legal Talk Network’s Legal Toolkit and Lunch Hour Legal Marketing about what lawyers, especially small firm and solo lawyers, need to know about running their own firm. As one might expect, the discussion takes some twists and turns before ending up on the burning question: should you draft Tom Brady in your fantasy draft?
Shantelle Argyle has a non-profit law firm, something many people talk about but few attempt. Well, the non-profit firm Argyle co-founded doesn’t just work, it’s flourishing. Find out more on today’s podcast after we talk about the ridiculous disconnect between law and science — and by the way, should trials be held virtually?
Shantelle Argyle is one of the founders of Open Legal Services, a non-profit law firm in Utah that represents clients who fall into the access to justice gap — those with incomes starting at 125% of the federal poverty line. All clients are represented on a sliding scale, from $60–145 per hour — numbers that allow the non-profit to fund itself through legal fees.
In this episode, Argyle talks about what it takes to start a non-profit law firm, how OLS has become profitable and grown from two lawyers to six in less than two years. She breaks down the fee schedule works, and explains how to go about starting a non-profit law firm of your own.
Nicole Bradick explains what a virtual practice is and how to build one. But first, we talk about a baby who is crazy about a local personal injury lawyer, and the difficulty in combating link rot.
Nicole Bradick of Curo Legal explains what a virtual law practice is, what kind of clients want to work with a “virtual” lawyer, how to take advantage of virtual law practice tools, and how to get clients.
Today Todd Hendrickson talks about how he uses technology to give him an edge against better-funded opponents in his solo med-mal and personal injury practice.
But first, Sam and Aaron explain why a shredding service is better than throwing your clients’ files in the trash.
Sam has been collecting examples of technological incompetence, but this firm managed to screw up without technology of any kind. It just tossed its client files in a dumpster for anyone to find.
Hendrickson explains that there are no small medical malpractice cases, and managing 12–20 of them in active litigation at a time is no small task. A paperless office is essential to his ability to do so, and so is a ScanSnap iX500.
When it comes to managing everything he has to do, Hendrickson relies on OmniFocus. And when it comes to litigation tools, he is a huge fan of TrialPad and TranscriptPad for iPad. Seriously, read his TrialPad review.
Although Lawyers are under increasing pressure to be mobile, transparent, and organized, many are not billing sufficiently to live the lifestyle they want. Solo lawyers and law firms regularly lose money tracking time and expenses, billing, and organizing documents and calendars. Cloud-based practice management solutions are often suggested as a way for lawyers to increase efficiency, track costs, and get paid properly while keeping your clients happy. But do the benefits of using technology outweigh the costs in time and money?
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews Susan Harman from LexisNexis Firm Manager and attorney and analyst David Houlihan about how practice management technologies can benefit the performance of lawyers and law firms. Susan discusses how problems like disorganization, slow response to clients, late billing invoices, and not tracking time can result in greatly lowered efficiency and less overall revenue. With practice management solutions, lawyers can spend much less time on menial tasks and track how much time spent on each case – very useful information if they have fixed fee billing systems. David talks about his research on how law firms can address problems of underperformance. His research showed that lawyers save 4-8 hours a month with practice management systems and spend an average of $540 per year, resulting in a large return on investment. Although these technologies clearly increase efficiency and are beneficial to law firms, many attorneys are hesitant to change their processes or take time for training.
Susan Harman is the vice-president and product champion for LexisNexis Firm Manager. She believes in building products that have been designed by the user and that work with the user’s current processes.
David Houlihan is a Massachusetts attorney and analyst with Blue Hill Research. He is an experienced advisor in legal technology with a unique understanding of complex information environments and legal business needs.