After months of economic turbulence, we’re almost there—2009 is nearly over, and many will be glad to say good riddance to it. But at least we’ve survived, albeit with a few bumps and bruises, and now we can look forward to making fresh plans for a brand-new year. In this issue, we present ideas for some early New Year’s resolutions that we hope will help you build a new and improved practice in 2010.We start by looking at the top two overhead elements for most law firms: people and facilities. Donna Neff shares ideas she has used to streamline procedures and reduce HR costs in her firm. (See, your bottom line is looking better already.) Also, Jorge Rey gives advice on important steps to take in terminating employees when that unpleasant task is necessary. Then, because one of your other biggest expenses is typically office rent, Luke Raimondo explains how you may be able to use the economic downturn to create some leverage with your landlord.
Of course, keeping the money coming in is more important than ever when clients are squeezed by tight economic times, so we provide ideas on that critical topic, too. Frederick Esposito’s tips will help you improve your collections. And be sure to read Emiko Ando’s article so that whenever clients have questions about your invoices you’ll know how to respond in ways that will help make both you and your client happy. Plus, this issue includes great tips for stretching your marketing dollars, drawn from the new ABA book How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times; tuning up your business development efforts with social networking, from Rodney Dowell and Erik Mazzone; and adding flair with online video, by Diana D’Itri.
Finally, don’t forget to look after yourself—something that is more important when times are tough and stressful. Alisa Tazioli’s article, “Be the CEO of You,” is an inspirational piece that everyone should read.
Time for renewal at Law Practice.
At the LPM Section’s Fall Meeting, the magazine’s 2009-2010 Editorial Board met to make plans for the coming year. (See page 8 for the list of board members.) I’m quite excited about the changes we are planning and would be pleased to hear from any of our readers on how we can improve the magazine, so be sure to send your ideas along! Here’s to looking forward to 2010 and all the promise and possibilities that a fresh new year can bring.
Dan Pinnington, Editor-in-Chief