Happy New Year! We begin at the beginning and look at the topic of management for this first issue of 2013. Management is one of the most important core areas of our LPM Section, truly the foundation that determines the overall health of each of our law firms.
This issue of Law Practice reflects the synergy of talented authors and our dedicated group of volunteers who planned this issue. A big thanks to our issue team, led by Mary Vandenack and Bill Gibson, and joined by fellow editorial board members Linda Klein and Jim Calloway as well as guest experts Karen MacKay and Tom Bolt.
Our columnists are the backbone of LP. We rely on them to add value to knowledge and deliver great ideas in issue after issue. This is again the case here. Karen MacKay’s Taking the Lead column, “Questions for the New Leader,” is a must read for those who begin the year in new leadership positions. Our newest columnist, Greg Siskind, demystifies “Trade Show Marketing for Lawyers” in our Marketing column. Sharon Nelson and John Simek have been keeping us informed of Hot Buttons since 1998. In “The Lawyer Video Boom: Should You Join the Crowd?,” the button to push is on your video cam! LP Ethics columnist Marian Rice serves up a commonsense approach to ethics: Every email should be composed as if someday an exhibit stamp would appear at the bottom of the document. Wondering about storing documents in the cloud? Product Watch columnist George Leloudis kicks the tires for us on NetDocuments, gives it a thumbs up and reminds us all of its potential value to our disaster-recovery plans. Erik Mazzone, our Web 2.0 go-to guy, gets us off and running with “Rethinking IT: Beyond the iPad.” Jennifer Ator’s Managing column discusses important law firm management roles firm in “Being a Little Bit of Everything.” Career Steps columnist Wendy Werner encourages you to brush up your managing and supervising skills in “Management Skills for Lawyers.” Take a 30,000-foot financial view of your law practice with Finance columnist Peter Roberts in “Reality Check: A Four-Point Pathway.” Managing your firm resources is important when undertaking pro bono and limited-scope representation in supporting your state bar association’s access-to-justice programs. Laura Calloway’s Simple Steps column helps you to focus with “I Need Your Help, but I Can’t Pay You!” Lastly, our guest Practice Management expert, Kenneth Young, shares his advice in “Lateral Growth Is the New Normal.”
For our lead, a constellation of talented legal professionals explores “Management: Reinventing Practice.” Mary Vandenack interviews Kenneth Carroll of Morningstar Law Group in “Dawn of a New Business Model: What Morningstar teaches us about law firm management.” Patrick Lamb then shares lessons learned during his experience with creating the Valorum Law Group in his article “Is Small the New Big?”
For more on “small,” read Bill Gibson’s “Taking Care of Business: The Challenge of Small Firm Practice,” along with Mary Vandenack’s “Making the Decision to Make a Change” before you make the leap into managing a small firm.
Do you know how to manage a client relationship successfully? Author Adam Severson explains how in his article “One Size Fits One: Understanding Key Client Relationship Management” and shows this skill is built on lawyers’ abilities to deliver on client expectations, to communicate those expectations within firms and to ensure quality control across the enterprise.
For developing your best talent, Kenneth Imo shares diversity lessons from corporate America in “Mentors Are Good, Sponsors Are Better.”
Have you implemented a unified, firm-wide business development approach? Gear up for a successful 2013 with author Mo Bunnell, who gives helpful tips for finding your firm’s perfect potential clients in “Ready, Aim, Target! Finding Your Next Big Clients.”
I hope you find this issue is filled with content to challenge, inspire and instruct. My best wishes to you and your law firm.
Sheila M. Blackford