WHILE YOU ARE ENJOYING READING Law Practice, with John D. Bowers as its editor-in-chief (firstname.lastname@example.org), a large cast of Law Practice Division (LP) volunteers is always hard at work behind the scenes on a variety of projects. LP members who want to get involved are invited to contact the leaders directly and offer their help.
The "Big Five" LP activities include this magazine, the online webzine Law Practice Today, the LP book publishing program, the educational seminars and ABA TECHSHOW. In addition, though, activities are being sponsored by the ABA Women Rainmakers, and the biennial marketing conference and other conferences are being planned—all by volunteers.
LP Publications Board Chair Tom Mighell (email@example.com) reports that more than 30 books are in the pipeline for 2013-14. LP Publishing recently released titles including Adobe Acrobat in One Hour for Lawyers, The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2013, Legal Project Management in One Hour for Lawyers, How to Succeed as Outside Counsel, Entertainment Law Careers (Third Ed.) and PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers, among others.
In addition, LP has a number of committees, task forces and interest groups, all working assiduously on initiatives and programs.
The Member Development Committee, led by LP Vice Chair Tom Bolt (firstname.lastname@example.org), reports that the committee continues to expand the membership of LP through an annual membership campaign.
The new LP Interest Groups have begun to offer programming to LP members, such as a CLE from the Knowledge Strategy Interest Group, led by Jack Bostelman (email@example.com), at the LP Fall Meeting and through LP's regular webinars. The Law Firm Marketing Interest Group, chaired by Larry Kohn (firstname.lastname@example.org), is assisting in planning the LP Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference in St. Louis on May 1-2. The Finance Interest Group's mission is to provide education and to support LP members on all aspects of "money matters" in a law practice. Chair Ed Poll (email@example.com) reports that this group's focus is on helping lawyers and law firms to understand and address financial issues, such as billing and collection, investment of funds and cash flow management.
The Mobile Practice Interest Group, led by Nerino Petro (firstname.lastname@example.org), is "the home of the road warriors within the Division." It focuses on issues involving mobile computing, such as best practices for tablet computers, smartphones and apps. It also investigates how law firms of all sizes can use cloud computing technology in a safe and secure manner.
LP members interested in joining one of the LP interest groups can sign up at lawpractice.org by clicking "Committees" on the left-hand side of the page.
The Strategy & Planning Committee, under the leadership of Vice Chair Tom Bolt (email@example.com) and Secretary Stephanie Kimbro (firstname.lastname@example.org), are revising the bylaws of the new LP Division and will present them to the membership at the Annual Meeting on August 8 in Boston. The committee has also worked on updating the Law Practice Division Handbook, which is intended to provide an orientation to LP's ongoing activities and provides summary information for new volunteer leaders and staff members as well as longtime active members.
The Career Paths Task Force Chair, Wendy Werner (email@example.com), reports that members are writing profiles of attorneys for Law Practice Today, describing a variety of career paths for attorneys and law school graduates. Profiles include attorneys at varying stages of their careers. The task force is investigating ways to use LinkedIn to create an active listing of member profiles. The Career Paths Task Force is also working on an initiative with the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) called Career Checkpoint to provide new lawyers with practice development resources available from LP. A second initiative with YLD involves mentoring of new lawyers. YLD is also looking to the Career Paths Task Force to assist it with a new Mentoring Initiative for new lawyers.
The e-Lawyering Task Force, led by Richard Granat (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Marc Lauritsen (email@example.com), spends its time on programs to extend the reach of law practice using online tools and resources. The task force conducted an outreach session at the Phoenix School of Law for law students and lawyers during the LP Quarterly Meeting last fall.
In addition, the e-Lawyering Task Force is working with the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to develop a support program for law firm incubators.
The task force is also planning a nationwide survey of law schools to determine which have made a commitment to teaching law students about legal technology. The task force plans to work with the Association of American Law Schools to publish its results. The objective, according to Granat, is to provide information to law students about which law schools are teaching law practice technology and management so that students and prospective students can determine whether a law school is committed to training practice-ready lawyers.