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September 2007 Issue | Volume 33 Number 6 | Page 4
Features

Perspectives

On the Horizon for Law Practice Management

LPM Section Chair Vedia Jones-Richardson shares her vision for the 2007-2008 bar year.

As I step into my new role as Chair of the Law Practice Management Section, the transition to leadership naturally is a topic that has particular resonance for me. Unsurprisingly, this Section is all about leadership. It was formed by visionaries who recognized the possibilities for coalescing around their interest in the things that make law practice great.

Still, as anyone who has tried to guide the success of any legal enterprise might know, leading a group of leaders is no easy task. The dynamic influences that form the LPM Section continually express themselves in a variety of realms. Determining how to corral all this talent into a cohesive whole clearly presents challenges. In my planning, the concept that has continually come to mind is a mosaic—an intricate assemblage of disparate elements, each often a skillful work in itself, which come together to produce yet a greater work. The LPM Section is comprised of many such gems, talents from all aspects of the legal community, united in their interest in the better practice of law.

Like any mosaic, it is a diverse group with varied approaches. This is what makes any mosaic interesting and beautiful. This also is what makes it challenging.

My approach to leadership in the coming year will be focused on capitalizing on our talents by integrating them into an even better whole. The several committees and boards that produce the Section’s great output, from ABA TECHSHOW® and our other educational programs to our books, magazine and Webzines, will be employing new communication technologies and techniques to work more closely with their members and with each other.

The four Practice Core Groups, focused on our key areas of Marketing, Management, Technology and Finance, also will be enhanced to provide even more valuable content, while at the same time offering more opportunities for involvement by Section members everywhere. For example, this fall we launch two new educational programs that are both produced by committees of the Marketing Core Group: The ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop in October and the Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference in November.

In addition, bringing home the central concept of the mosaic principle, our Management Core Group will give birth to a new standing committee this year: The Standing Committee on Diversity. This new committee not only will guide the Section in the development of its own diversity management skills, but also will develop a core competency in diversity management as part of our offering of expertise to the legal community as a whole. Its inaugural activity will be a two-day series of interactive sessions at the LPM Section Fall Meeting in October, in one of the nation’s most diverse settings, the island of Puerto Rico. Participants in these groundbreaking sessions will develop skills for embracing the true diversity of all who contribute to the vitality of this profession.

I am looking forward with great anticipation to an extraordinary year of leading this most unique ABA Section in our development of the multifaceted and striking work of art that is our Section’s mosaic.

About the Authors

Vedia Jones-Richardson, Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a principal with Olive & Olive, PA, an intellectual property law firm in Durham, NC.

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