If you’re starting or running a solo or small law practice (or even working in a larger firm), it’s important to remember you are not out there on your own. The ABA Law Practice Division (ABA LP) is loaded with resources to help you succeed and grow your business.
ABA LP Chair Heidi Barcus and Vice Chair Mary Vandenack join host Adriana Linares for a deep dive into the four pillars of success: marketing, management, finance, and tech (not to mention your own well-being). Learn what resources are available for you. Membership in the ABA LP includes access to all the books, mentoring, meetings, fellowship, and support of the ABA LP.
For anything you want to know about the practice of law, the ABA LP is the place to go.
Plus, we have a special upcoming mailbag edition on Office 365 and all things Microsoft. Got a question? Want to share some insights? Contact us at [email protected].
- You don’t have to go it alone when starting or running your solo or small law practice.
- The ABA LP is loaded with resources including committees and publications on running a successful law practice.
- Learn the four pillars of a successful business: Marketing, management, finance, and technology. And don’t forget your own well-being.
New Insights, brought to you by Nota by M&T Bank
- Veteran attorney and mediation professional Liz McCausland answers questions from new solo Stephanie Larenas:
Question 3/4: “As a new lawyer, what are some red flags I should watch for in potential new clients?”
Special thanks to our sponsors, Lawclerk, Alert Communications, Abby Connect, and Clio.
Adriana Linares:°Before we get started with today’s episode I want to make sure and thank our sponsors: Alert Communications, Law Clerk, Clio, and Abby Connect.
As the largest legal only call center in the U.S., Alert Communications helps law firms, and legal marketing agencies with new client intake. Alert captures and responds to all leads, 24/7, 365 as an extension of your firm in both English and Spanish. Alert uses proven intake methods, customizing responses as needed, which earns the trust of clients, and improves client retention. To find out how Alert can help your law office, call (866) 827-5568, or visit alertcommunications.com/ltn.
Intro:°So, if I was starting today as a new solo – entrepreneurial aspect of becoming a lawyer; to help young lawyers; what it needs to be fulfilled, editorial authenticity, new approach, new tools, new mindset, New Solo. And it’s making that leap.
Adriana Linares:°Hi everyone. It’s time for another episode of New Solo on the Legal Talk Network. I am Adriana Linares. I’m your legal technology trainer, consultant, and host of this podcast. You can always learn more about me at LawTechPartners.com.
Today’s topic is going to be the ABA’s Law Practice Division, and why it’s a good organization for you to think about joining, and becoming a part of.
So, my guests today are Heidi Barcus, the current chair of the Law Practice Divison, and Mary°Vandenack, the vice-chair of the Law Practice Divison of the ABA. Hello, ladies.
Heidi Barcus:°Hello, thank you so much for having us.
Mary Vandenack:°It’s always good to talk to you Adriana.
Adriana Linares:°I’m really excited to have you because I had taken a little bit of a hiatus for a couple of years to work on my business. And when I sat through a couple of the meetings a few weeks ago, I was inspired, and reminded how much I love the Law Practice Division, and how helpful it can be for attorneys in every area, and stage of their practice. I always get asked about great resources for starting my law firm. How do I, you know, keep my law firm successful? So, I want to talk about those opportunities that come up his Law Practice Division. And both of you are very successful attorneys in your own right with midsize boutique firms. So, I would also love to hear any success stories or suggestions you have for listeners on how to become so successful. So, let me start with you, Heidi. Chair, tell us a little bit about yourself, and your practice, and also, how you’ve got to the point of being chair of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division.
Heidi Barcus:°Well, I’m a lawyer, a litigator in Knoxville, Tennessee. I defend healthcare providers accused of malpractice in state and federal courts. We are a small boutique firm. The other half of the firm represents physicians, and transactional work, regulation, healthcare audits. So, that’s our focus is health care. How did I get to be chair? I started with the Women Rainmakers, and ran our programs. There was a local programming, so that we took our national program to the local level, and formed little networking groups in the cities. So, Knoxville, Tennessee, where I am, had its own group that put on a program, and then it ended up being a place where we can exchange business back and forth. After I exhausted myself was that, I moved to the magazine under Mary, and Mary trained me on the Magazine Board. And I think the way to work yourself into chair is to participate in one of those delivery boards, like Tech Show. Adriana, you’ve been a little, little, shy about why you took a break, because I think we burned you out putting on Tech Show. But either Tech Show, Magazine Board or Law Practice Today, one of the key delivery boards is the way to make it into the chair chain.
Adriana Linares:°That’s awesome. That’s very helpful. And I need to just say this out loud too, while I am not a lawyer, one of the reasons I have loved the Law Practice Division so much is that, as a person who is not a lawyer, it’s such a welcoming group. You don’t have to be a lawyer to not only participate. But hey, I was chair of the ABA Tech Show, and I’m not a lawyer. So, I think it’s a great group for any legal professional, not even just for lawyers. It’s one of my favorite things. I think I cried when I did my welcome to Tech Show, and that was my thing was, thank you everyone for making this possible for someone who’s not a lawyer, and you think, “Well, ABA certainly focuses lawyers,” but there are opportunities where you can get involved as a consultant or a paralegal or even a legal assistant really could make their way at least to chair Tech Show.
Mary, tell us a little bit about yourself. You are an insane, businesswoman, and have so many stories to tell. I want to remind everyone to that you were a guest in 2016. We’ve been friends for a really long time. Mary came on, and you can go back to the New Solo episodes, and did Six Steps to Alternative Fees. It was a two-parter, because it was so good. We did Implementing Alternative Billing In Your Law Practice. And then the second episode was, The Six Steps to making that happen. So, Mary, tell us a little bit about yourself, your practice. Please plug your podcast.
Mary Vandenack:°Okay, so and I just have to share that my favorite moment was getting you to come to a cold Nebraska, and in the middle of January,
Adriana Linares:°I almost died.
Mary Vandenack:°You were here, with no coat and boots. But we did go shopping, and find you some coat and boots. But anyways, so I worked in a national large-sized law firm. I left there, went through a couple firms, but I’ve always been really inclined towards technology, and efficiencies. And actually, as much as there are great lawyers at the firm that I was at, I really wanted to do some different things with technology in terms of the way that I drove my firm. So, my partner, Mark Williams and I originally founded Vandenack Weaver in 2005, was those scary moments. And we targeted certain markets.
So, I’m a tax attorney. And that means, a lot of people thinks, I may not know about individual income taxes, but I don’t call me on the 1040. I don’t know how to do it. But if it’s a trust tax issue or a business tax issue, that’s me, and that’s what I bring to the table. But when I founded the firm, I went to Tech Show. And you mentioned, Adriana how one of the great things about the division is that, there’s all different types of professionals that belong to that. So, we have a lot of groups that go there who are lawyers or other types of professionals. But what was really a value to me was, the different people with different levels of knowledge.
Mary Vandenack:°And at the ABA Tech Show, I have to say, I love the exhibit hall almost as much as anything, because I would walk through the exhibit hall, and talked to every single vendor, and learned so much by talking to those. And I actually had one who called me today, just out of the blue saying, “You know, I ran into you at Tech Show way back when and her product has now evolved to something that I’m going to take a serious look at.
Mary Vandenack:°So, that’s an amazing thing, but I attended the Tech Show, did a lot of networking, went to the dinners. They have ABA Tech Show dinners. Those are great fabulous networking events, and I went to dinner at different nights with different people. I could tell you who they all were, but I won’t bore you with that. But I actually met at one of the dinners, Reid Trautz, and Den Pennington who at that time were co-chairing the Magazine Board. And got to talking with them fairly at length, and they tried to get me involved at that point in time. I had a young kid, I was a single mom, I had just started my firm. I’m like, “This is not a time where I can get involved.” They kept track of me, and they called me a few years later. They said, “We’ve been watching your career, and we think that, you know, we know your kids probably still at home, but we’d like to recruit you.” And they recruited me to the Magazine Board. It’s been a lot of fun doing both law practice. I’m Vice Chair now. You know, Heidi twisted my arm a little bit to get me to put my name in. But I’m really super passionate about passing on to other lawyers, helping people start law firms,
Mary Vandenack:°or build their practices. I just really care about the legal profession, and then passionate about trying to pass that on, because originally, when they asked me to apply, and said, “Oh, no thanks. I already run a law firm. I don’t want to run the Law Practice Division.” But I am at a different place where I have some succession, and some younger leaders lined up here, so it makes it a little bit easier.
The other thing I did this year, which has been just a ton of fun is to start my own podcast called, Legal Visionaries. And it was kind of the evolution of doing some personal branding. As you know, I’ve done a fair amount of speaking, and writing these days.
Mary Vandenack:°Which you’re the one I give you credit for getting me to speak, because it’s only for you, you got me to speak I think that Tech Show. But in terms of those speaking engagements, we are working on personal brand, and trying to support other people in the firm. So, we did that, and I see your personal brand consists of four things: You know, your great tax trusts, and estates lawyer, you’re into technology, you’re into law firm leadership, and practice overall, and then attorney well-being. So, we created four categories on the podcast. And I got overwhelming responses from people across the country saying, “Thanks so much” that an established attorney would actually speak about these issues. So, we’ve talked about you know, the remote workplaces. Reid Trautz has done one on, The Future of Law firms and different law firm models, things like that. So, that’s been a lot of fun.
Adriana Linares:°I love it. No, it’s a great listen by the way. It’s another good resource for listeners here too. Heidi, breakdown how the Law Practice Division is built. And Mary, you both had mentioned “Women Rainmakers, The Magazine Board.” So, there’s a group called the Law Practice Division, and then what are the components that black box?
Heidi Barcus:°So, there are four pillars in the Law Practice Division: marketing, management, finance, and technology. And, in those areas there are committees, and interest groups. And we’ve mentioned some of some of them. The Women Rainmakers, the Well-being Committee, the Tech Show committee, the Magazine Board. So, underneath, and there’s more. I mean people fall asleep if I listed all 20 or 25 of them. But their law firm finances the committee. Everything that you need to know, or are interested in about the practice of law, we have a committee or subcommittee that addresses those issues.
Adriana Linares:°So, when I first got involved with the Tech Show, which is how I then, that’s where I started, and got into Law Practice Division, that’s how Tech Show was broken down as far as the tracks go. I don’t know if that’s how we still do it. But the reason I’m saying that is, I will never forget that those four pillars pretty much defined. The four cornerstones of running a successful law firm. So, to this day, thanks to Tech Show, and Law Practice Division, when somebody calls me up and says, “I want to start my own law firm, you know, where do I begin?” I go, “Well, look there’s four pillars of running successful law firm: they are technology, marketing management, finance and accounting. So, you create those four buckets, and figure out how to put the right infrastructure in place for those buckets, how to build your tech stack, and how to manage your practice successfully. And if you have success in all four of those pillars, you’re probably going to have as good a successful law firm. So, I’m glad you broke it down the same way we’ve been breaking it down for so long, and there it’s perfect. Like, those are the categories. Marketing is where client development falls into, business development, obviously so, it’s almost like the Law Practice Division has everything covered.
Heidi Barcus:°I think it does. I think that’s fair. If you want to know anything about the practice of law, the Law Practice Division is the place to come.
Adriana Linares:°I agree, and it’s great. This is the other thing I want to say to listeners, regardless of your age, your years in practice, the size of your law firm, the practice area that you’re in, the geography, the geographic location that you are in, it’s a really supportive, and good group. In order to join the Law Practice Division, do I have to be a member of the ABA first?
Heidi Barcus:°Yes, you do. If you are a member of the ABA, your membership in the Law Practice Division is free. It’s a member of benefit. So, just sign up for the ABA, and check the box for the Law Practice Division, and you’re in. And let me or let Mary know where you want to be, what committee you’re interested in, and we’ll get you plugged in.
Adriana Linares:°And most of the meetings are virtual. Their monthly is, well it depends on obviously the Board or the committee that you’re in. They’re held remotely, but there are some in-person meetings. Do you want to talk about those real quick, and the opportunities to attend those, and how they move around the country?
Heidi Barcus:°Yes. So there, there are five meetings. There is the Law Practice Division fall and spring meeting. And those generally alternate between the east coast, and the west coast. We were just in San Antonio in person last month. Then there are two more meetings and those are connected to the larger ABA, and that’s mid-year and annual. We will be in Seattle for mid-year in January this year. And number five, I always throw in is, Tech Show, because that is the event to go to, and that’s in Chicago. So, come on to Tech Show, Mary’s made a reference to the exhibit hall, but there is nothing like, Tech Show exhibit hall.
Mary Vandenack:°Especially the swag in the exhibit hall.
Heidi Barcus:°That’s right. Like I usually have trouble getting everything home in my suitcase.
Mary Vandenack:°I just tip it.
Heidi Barcus:°Good for you.
Adriana Linares:°Of course she does.
Mary Vandenack:°I know right. I try to carry everything. My pockets full.
Adriana Linares:°So, Tech Show this coming up year is going to be March 2 through the 5 in Chicago. And last year, Tech Show was all virtual. Obviously, we were in the middle of a pandemic. As this year coming up, we’re going to have a virtual component as well, because it’s in-person this this next year in 2022.
Mary Vandenack:°Yeah. It’s going to be in person for 2022. There will be some virtual opportunities, but it’s not going to be like, last year. You’re not going to be able to dial in live to the programs. There will be some pre-recorded programs. So, plan on coming live to Chicago. But yes, there will be some portion of it that’s virtual, but not nothing like– I mean, last year, we were true virtual program, and we’re not using a platform like that this year. We’re back.
Adriana Linares:°I love it. Well, let’s take a quick break, listen to a couple of messages from some sponsors, and we’ll be right back. And I’m going to ask Mary and Heidi a few more questions about things that are happening in the Law Practice Division of the ABA.
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Adriana Linares:°All right, we’re back. I’m on the line with Heidi Barcus and Mary Vandenack,
Two of my favorite ladies. In legal, they are both attorneys who are very active in the Law Practice Division. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of maybe the bigger committees and sections that the Law Practice Division supports, and sponsors, and has actively doing stuff all the time. And Mary, you mentioned earlier, this is a big one, and an important part of mental health for attorneys, which is obviously very important, and that’s the attorney well-being group. Tell me a little bit about who they are, and what their goals are, and what sort of programming they put on for people who are interested in just improving their mental health, and maybe their physical health as well?
Mary Vandenack:°So, what the Attorney Well-Being Committee has done a pretty broad spectrum of things: the programming they’re doing is really focusing on, if you look at well-being be an even broader than say, mental health, right? Mental health is one component. Physical houses another component. Workplace happiness is another piece of that. Finding the workplace that makes sense for you. And the programming has involved a wide range of programming. A little bit sometimes, and Heidi can speak to who the chair is this year currently. But depending on kind of what their passion is, they focus on different programming based on that at any given moment.
Adriana Linares:°And so, that’s just something else that we could have people look up if it’s something that interests them. Heidi, tell us a little bit, who’s the chair? And then, where do they put their publications, their webinars, their information that we can find?
Heidi Barcus:°Michelle Powers is the chair this year. And their webinars are on the ABA website. So, check out that for their programming this year.
Mary Vandenack:°Which is American Bar.org/Groups/Law_Practice
Adriana Linares:°And I think you can actually just Google ABA LPD and it comes up.
Mary Vandenack:°Yes you can.
Adriana Linares:°For Law Practice Division. Heidi, tell me, one of the most popular benefits of the Law Practice Division has always been the printed magazine. There are people who join, and I think we used to pay for the Law Practice Division? I just learned from you that it is now free as a member benefit, which I think, there’s no excuse not to join that if you’re a member of the ABA. But for years way back when, people would join, and pay for the Law Practice Division, specifically and only for the amazing printed magazine. Now, there’s also an online magazine. So, tell us a little bit about those publications.
Heidi Barcus:°So, we’re still, and I’m fighting tooth and nail for this. We still have the printed version of the magazine, and I keep it in my office. And it is actually why I came to my first day ABA meeting is because, of that magazine. I wanted to learn more from the experts that were writing in that magazine. We have also started a digital publication called LPT, Law Practice Today. And that comes out monthly, and again focuses on, in addition to the four pillars, some other topics, but really focuses on the four pillars a lot that we talked about earlier.
Adriana Linares:°And two, I would I would like to let all the listeners know, that both of those publications and beyond are always looking for contributors, and writers. So, if you love writing about attorney well-being, if you love to talking about writing about finance for your law firm. There’s a finance issue that comes out every year, there’s a management issue that comes out, there’s the Tech Show issue or at least the technology issue. So, if you have any interest in contributing to the ABA’s Law Practice Division publications, where do they reach out or go to look, Heidi?
Heidi Barcus:°And you’re absolutely right about those publications. Again, it’s the four pillars: so, marketing, management, finance, technology and add in a futures.
Adriana Linares:°Oh, that’s right.
Heidi Barcus:°The Big Idea is called, the Big Idea Issue.
Heidi Barcus:°The and then a leadership issue comes out every December. So, those are the six issues. And just contact the editor of LP Today, and the magazine. So, that’s Lance Johnson. Again, you can find it on the ABA website. Send something to Lance, and then for LP Today, that’s Micah Buchdahl.
Adriana Linares:°Awesome. That’s great.
Mary Vandenack:°And when you say, one of the best ways would be to consider showing up at one the meetings, and attending, because then, you get to know the people that are the editors you can attend a MAG board meeting. You can attend an LPT meeting, get to know those on the Board is you can contact anybody just showing up is a great way to get to know people.
Adriana Linares:°Yeah. You know, we should clarify that. So, one of the reasons that you’re our in-person meetings moves around the country is to give folks the opportunity to attend those meetings. So, if you are in Nashville, when we are there in –
Adriana Linares:°May. So, when we are in Nashville for the May meeting of the ABA Law Practice Division, look us up, and you can come for free if you’re a member of the ABA. Is that right?
Heidi Barcus:°To the meetings, yes. If you’re a member of the ABA, registration is free for the meeting. If you’re not a member, there’s a small fee.
Adriana Linares:°Right. Plug better to just join, the ABA.
Heidi Barcus:°Yeah, why not.
Adriana Linares:°And then the opportunity there is to get to know everyone that’s part of the organization, and you can sit in on the meetings, and decide whether it’s a group or a committee or a Board that you want to hop on, and become active with. So, I’ve always loved that how the meetings move around, and I know that’s a really nice outreach opportunity for us. So yeah, if you’re national may come meet us. Seattle in December?
Heidi Barcus:°We don’t do anything in December.
Adriana Linares:°Yeah. I guess, nobody needs anymore stuff to do in December. Let’s take a quick break, listen to some messages from some sponsors, and we’ll be right back.
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Stephanie what is your third question for Liz? As a new lawyer, I know I will be inclined to say, yes to new clients that come my way. What are some red flags I should look for in potential new clients? These red flags you’re going to start to learn naturally, but I will tell you some things that I look for. If I have someone who calls me and they already have a case going on, and they’re complaining about their former lawyer, that’s a red flag for me. A client who doesn’t respect my time or my boundaries, who always wants to meet on the weekends when it’s convenient for them, et cetera, those are other red flags, because you’re just not going to be available enough for them. And then lastly, I look for clients who share my goals or my values? So, in other words, if they are looking for a contentious attorney, someone who’s just going to file a lot of motions, and give the other party or hard time, that is not how I like to practice law. So, I know I’m never going to be able to satisfy their expectations. And so, that’s another red flag that I look for. So, those are three to start you off, but I promise those types of flags, and concerns about clients or something that you’re going to pick up on very quickly. That’s Stephanies’ third question for Liz in this series of New Insights. Stay tuned for her fourth, and final questions in the next episode.
Adriana Linares:°All right, we are back with Heidi Barcus and Mary Vandenack. A couple of very active members of the Law Practice Division of the ABA. And I had a couple more sections in groups that I wanted to sort of focus on, because I think they do such good work, and I think they’re also really good resources for our listeners. Let’s start with the Women Rainmakers Group, which has been around forever, and always been actively advocating for women in the profession. And that’s another great group where it’s not just lawyers. There are a lot of consultants, and marketing people, and it’s a very supportive group. And there’s men in that group. I don’t want to make it sound like, “Oh, it’s only women” because there are actually a lot of men that are active in that committee. So, Heidi, tell us a little bit about Women Rainmakers?
Heidi Barcus:°Listen, Women Rainmakers is really my home at Law Practice Division, and that’s where I figured out how to build a practice. If it hadn’t been for the Women Rainmakers, I wouldn’t have my book of business. And I never book a business as large as any other member in this law firm. So, that’s the place to go. If you want to get yourself on solid footing, members of that group I’ve gone to, and asked, “I need help. I’m going to do a flat fee bid on this. How do I do it?” And those people are there to help you. So, I can’t say enough about how vital the Women Rainmakers Committee is to developing your practice.
Adriana Linares:°Well, this is my first year being involved with Women Rainmakers, because I attended the meeting. I couldn’t get to San Antonio, but I attended virtually. And all the things they have going on: the educational webinars, the publications, it’s just so helpful, and impressive. And just like the two of you, everyone that’s part of that group is just there to help other people, and passionate about it.
Heidi Barcus:°But listen, you undersell yourselves, because when I was chair of Women Rainmakers, we reached out to you about doing our monthly webinars. And you said, “I’ll do a webinar on any topic you want.” And they were well attended, and fabulous. So, it’s not the first time you’ve been involved in Women Rainmaker.
Adriana Linares:°°Well, that’s true.
Heidi Barcus:°I know that for a fact.
Adriana Linares:°I’m on the committee now though, so that’s the really fun part.
Mary Vandenack:°And I would say that, you know, Adriana, I mean, I was going to footnote what Heidi said, because you represent to me the epitome of what the Women Rainmakers is about. And that you’ve been very supportive of those in your network, and you reach out to people in our profession in so many different ways. And that’s what the work you find in Women Rainmakers. Is you find some people just reaching out, you have a great cross the country network, resources, especially if you’re a smaller solo or just a female alone in a firm full of men, which is the most in my career as a tax attorney, right? And you want to actually chat with another woman who’s been involved. And if you do the “google thing”, and do ABA Women Rainmakers, which is how I just found the website, even though I have it bookmarked, it shows some of the topics, which would include like, expert leadership, and development tips focused on women, networking how women lawyers do it better, women in technology, communications across the generation, talks about coaching, marketing, asking for business advice from in-house counsel. We talk about LinkedIn, and how to make your use of that more powerful, and creating signature events to enhance your own business development. So, it’s a broad array of topics as well as being a great network.
Adriana Linares:°And everyone in there. It’s amazing how much time everyone including me, including the two of you will give to anyone that reaches out looking for help through that organization. So, that committee has been really great. Okay, so good. We got Women, rainmakers. So, I want to make a quick back reference, which is, right in between Women Rainmakers, and Tech Show which you just reminded me of Mary, which is, Tech Show is who also puts together, and awards the with women in legal tech list every year. So, they recognize women who have been particularly effective, and supportive in legal tech. So, women in legal tech, is also part of the ABA Law Practice Division. And so, let’s talk next, I think this will also be very helpful to my listeners, and that’s the Career Resources Committee. What do they do?
Heidi Barcus:°Hey, before you go on, breaking news; women of legal tech has become such a large program. It is now standalone, and that be in Nashville in May.
Mary Vandenack:°Awesome. And I’m going to add a footnote to the networking at tech Show and women of legal tech. So, I was at Women of Legal Tech, and I think it was the year that I was inducted and giving a presentation; a young woman came up to talk to me outside the room. So, that was three or four years ago. It must be four years ago. She started and graduated from law school, and started here as an associate. So, she’s from Chicago. So, all kinds of networking. And I can’t believe my recollection is that she attended that on a scholarship. Now, I don’t know with the new breakout program if there are still scholarships to attend that? But I do know that’s one of the things I thought “Well, she was really resourceful. She figured that out.” So, this young woman will make a great lawyer which, you know,
Mary Vandenack:°She’s in her first year. So, we’ll see, but hopefully that will be, she’s been a great clerk.
Adriana Linares:°That’s amazing. Okay, tell me about the Career Resources Committee or group or section?
Mary Vandenack:°Yes. So, the career resources I think is a great group. And Heidi can speak to the technical history, but that’s going to be housed now in the Law Practice Division. It wasn’t historically, and they focus on different aspects of career development. One of the programs that I’m passionate about is, they do a lot of different types of mentoring. And each of the sections. and divisions of the ABA including ours, and again, Heidi will know more details on this one than me, but we have fellows that actively encourage participation at different levels. But the focus historically has been just helping if somebody wants to change careers. Somebody like me who wants to lead a large law firm, found my own firm. There’s actually a job board that helps you find legal careers, and talks about different issues in terms of practice. And just tries to say, “I know some of the conversations I’ve been part of so, this career development is not just about finding a job. It’s finding the right, —
Adriana Linares:°The right job.
Mary Vandenack:°The right career outfit for you. The right job, the right area of the profession, and having resources. And then, once you’re a part of that, what is the path? How do you, you know, make Rain? How do you find your way through a firm? How do you navigate? How do you find a mentor? How do you develop the skills that you need to make it in whatever career you have chosen legal?
Adriana Linares:°So, we’ve covered a lot of really good useful groups, and I want to make sure to talk about sort of the leadership training and opportunities.
Heidi Barcus:°So, leadership is its own subcommittee of the Law Practice Division, and they have started, this will be its second year a series for managing partners. More people who are in line to be managing partners have an interest in being managing partners. Again, around the same pillars, but breakout sessions where they’ll be guided discussion. For instance, law, firm finance, and then they’ll break into smaller groups, and you will have other managing partners to talk to about those topics, and this is just a fabulous series. There is also going to be a page of resources for managing partners, and those interested in managing law firms, and lots of exciting developments in that area.
Mary Vandenack:°I would just mention so some of the particular program is for managing partners or people who want to be managing partners; but I think that division as a whole has also done a great job ,and the leadership group has done a great job on the concept of leadership at all levels. So that, when I was a brand-new lawyer, and I’d be one of those who joined the ABA, by the way, for the Law Practice magazine. But I remember magazine articles talking about, even though you’re the brand-new lawyer, you’re a leader in some capacity even if you don’t have your eyes on the managing attorney’s office. And I know that some of our topics have focused on basically leadership at all levels, and I just think, that’s a really important topic. So, that it’s not just “Hey, I want to be a managing partner so, the leadership only applies to me.” It applies I think to everybody connected to law; whether it’s a practicing lawyer or leading a practice group, or overseeing a paralegal, or whatever the case might be, or even dealing with clients requires leadership skills. And I just think that division has done a fabulous job of addressing that with its different forms of programming.
Adriana Linares:°Yeah. It’s really a great resource. That’s why, I’m dedicating a whole freaking show to it. There are many other groups that you can become involved with, and I just encourage everyone. The fastest way to get to the website where you can read about membership, and events, and all the different groups is, Google “ABA LPD” for the Law Practice Division. You don’t have to spell it out. Maybe a space LPD, gets you right to the homepage, which I’m looking at. From here, you can jump off for events and resources, the Legal Technology Resource Center is right off the homepage. All the books, and of course, the ABA writes tons of books. The Law Practice Division has got to be one of the most prolific sources of books for the ABA. So, there are great books on here. Internet legal research marketing your law firm. OneNote, which everyone asks me about OneNote. There’s a whole book dedicated to OneNote on here. Automating Legal Services is a book. So again, it’s just another really good resource for our listeners. The Finance Issue just came out in September, and October and if I click on it, how much of it do I get to read?
Heidi Barcus:°It should be all of it.
Adriana Linares:°All right, so great. These are really good resources. So, I want to make sure and thank you both so much for taking the time to come on and talk about Law Practice Division. I know that it’s in our hearts, and it’s a really special place. So, before I let you go, tell everyone where they can find a friend or follow you, Heidi. And also, like your favorite reason for being a member of the Law Practice Division, and the chair.
Heidi Barcus:°Wow. Well, you can find me at Heidi Barcus. My law firm is London & Amburn. You can find me on Twitter, and my favorite thing about the division is my friends. The friends and confidants that I have across the country. So, if I’ve got an issue at my law firm, and my town at Knoxville, Tennessee is too small to talk to people around here, I can talk to people across the country, and get feedback and ideas. So, that’s my favorite part, is the friendships that I’ve made to the Law Practice Division.
Adriana Linares:°Definitely mine, too. What about you Mary? Where can people find, friend follow you, and what is your favorite thing about the Law Practice Division?
Mary Vandenack:°So, I have my own website these days. So, you can find me at Mary Vandenack.com. You can also find me at vwattys.com. I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. As well as now, thanks to a lovely publicist who thinks I should be on Instagram. I’m on Instagram. So, just about anywhere, and you can just Google me to find me. My favorite part of the Law Practice Division is also the relationships. You know one thing about the pandemic happening is really made you realize how much you miss human beings. Virtual stuff is great, this is phenomenal. But getting to see Heidi, and friends again in San Antonio. I told her I’ve been only attending events where there are certain requirements and rules. I would have gone anywhere for Heidi this year to support her. And so, I’m looking forward to the next couple of times that we’ll see each other.
But the relationships I’ve built over the years to the Law Practice Division are short of none. You know, it’s like, when I was out in California, and you went out of your way to come spend time with me.
Adriana Linares:°Of course.
Mary Vandenack:°And we figured out, we were a couple miles from each other. And all the times, there’s another gal who I went through some tough times earlier this year, and she sent me a text, and called me every single day and said, “You’re going to book a plane, and you’re going to come out here, and see me so I can give you some care and love.” And I’m like, you know, that type of person your life is just an amazing gift that’s come through the participation in this division. And both of you again, are just two amazing human beings. Anybody that would travel to Omaha Nebraska in January.
Adriana Linares:°In January.
Mary Vandenack:°Gets the gold star.
Adriana Linares:°Yeah. Everyone knows how much I hate cold weather. So, that was a big step for me. And you’re right, you know, I jokingly call myself a Floridette. But at that’s what I do all the time; when I get off on an airplane, and I’m like, “Oh, it’s cold here, and I don’t have a coat.” So, Mary, thanks for buying me shoes and a coat when I needed them the most. Thank you so much
Mary Vandenack:°My pleasure.
Adriana Linares:°to both of you. I look forward to seeing everyone at Tech Show, which I will be at next year. It’s March 2 through the fifth in 2022. I look forward to seeing everyone in Nashville. That’s in the area that’s going to be a really great meeting. Thank you both so much.
Mary Vandenack:°Thanks for having us, Adriana.
Heidi Barcus:°Thank you so much. It’s been a joy.
Adriana Linares:°Okay, everyone. We’ve reached an end of another great episode of New Solo. I want to remind you that I’m taking questions on Office 365, and all things Microsoft. We are going to do a listener questions episode. I’m going to get a good Microsoft expert to answer all of our questions. And several of you have reached out either by emailing New Solo
at Legal Talk Network. Several of you have hit me up on Twitter which, “Oh, I have to apologize to the two or three people that have sent me DMs on Twitter. I just saw them. I promise, I will respond. And if anyone else hits me up on Twitter in the future, I will pay more attention to it.
You can also find me on Instagram at lawtechpartners. I’m going to find you. And send me questions about Microsoft 365 to get those answered. I had questions so far about SharePoint, someone asked me about phone services that work with Teams, someone is asking me about subscriptions. And so, send your questions in. We’ll try to get those answered. Thanks everyone. I appreciate you listening to another great episode of New Solo and we will see you next time.
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Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com