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PERSPECTIVES

FROM THE CHAIR OF THE ABA LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SECTION

Flying solo doesn’t mean you can’t have a wingman. The Law Practice Management Section and the solo and small firm member–it’s like peanut butter and chocolate! It’s true, they are “two great things that go great together.” Most solo and small firm lawyers need to be a jack of all trades. Well, LPM can help you master the four core areas of marketing, management, technology and finance.

Solo and small firm lawyers need to be marketing machines to survive in the marketplace. Fortunately, LPM has the resources and committees to help you develop business. We have information and tools on numerous topics, including building client relationships, networking, using press releases, rainmaking and building your reputation. And with CLE programs like Seven Rules to Avoiding Allegations of Fraud and Misrepresentation in Attorney Advertising and conferences like the ABA Women Rainmaker’s Mid-Career Workshop and the 2011 ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference, the Section is here to help lawyers with all their marketing efforts.

Management may be one of the toughest tasks a lawyer encounters. There is an expectation that all lawyers are good managers, when often that is not the case. The Section offers books including An Introduction to Law Firm Practice and How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times and CLEs like Creating a Culture that Reduces Stress and Creating a Culture of Inclusion. While the Section is committed to making all lawyers better managers, it is especially helpful for solo and small firm lawyers who are required to wear all the hats in their practices.

Technology can level the playing field among lawyers. But for many solos and small firm lawyers, technology is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Big, dark and scary. LPM has tamed the beast for you, and has committed tremendous resources to addressing the issue of technology in the practice of law. LPM books are second to none, and include the highly anticipated Google for Lawyers and the best-selling The Lawyer’s Guide to Using… series, which covers Word, Excel, Outlook, Acrobat, LexisNexis CaseMap (our newest publication) and more.

LPM is committed to helping lawyers understand and better utilize technology in their practices. We hope you will join us for LPM’s 25th annual ABA TECHSHOW, which will take place April 11-13, 2011, at the Hilton Chicago.

Finally, for solos and small firm lawyers, the buck stops at your office. Finance is another tough area in one’s everyday practice, especially in today’s economy. LPM has resources on issues such as flat-fee and alternative billing, outsourcing legal services, and transitioning your practice upon retirement and many more financial topics that can help you with the business of practicing law.

There is a natural synergy between LPM and solo and small firm lawyers. Of all the famous relationships in history—Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, Maverick and Goose—there is none with more promise and potential than that between LPM and the solo and small firm lawyer. After all, flying solo doesn’t mean you can’t have a wingman.

About the Author

Andrea S. Hartley , Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a bankruptcy shareholder in the Miami office of Akerman Senterfitt, where she specializes in complex business bankruptcy cases.

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