September 01, 2018

News & Events

Focusing on Finances

Zachary Bambacht

The new bar year is fully underway! After a successful Spring Meeting in Santa Fe, our Law Practice Division (LP) Finance Committee members continued their hard work on the LP budget, which was approved by the Division Council at the Annual Meeting. This part of our planning allows us to kick off the new bar year knowing that we have addressed the financial needs of LP and can navigate through a year of providing our members value.

The Importance of Finance

LP has four key areas of focus: practice management, technology, marketing and finance. Each can be intimidating without regular exposure to the topic. However, the one that seems to make many practitioners nervous is finance. Without a good financial plan in our personal or professional lives, problems can mount and become more complex the longer they are put off. LP has aligned its resources to address the fundamentals of finances for the purposes of practice management, to support you through career growth and to guide you when you are considering retirement. We wish to broaden your knowledge of finance from the time you are a law student managing loans, to being a young lawyer, to establishing yourself as a practitioner and, finally, to when you are ready to wind down your career.

Finance is something that I personally and professionally have a passion for. I am an Executive Scholar of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The successful completion of my program required me to choose one key subject of focus, and I chose Finance for Executives. For five days I stayed at the Allen Center, from morning until late evening, and collaborated with peers from around the world in a dynamic and interactive environment focused solely on finance. It was an intensive workshop of concepts and theories—and learning how to apply those directly to my work at the ABA. The coursework was challenging but also rewarding in that I felt better prepared to show value through the stewardship of key financial areas I was responsible for at the time.

LP Books on Finance

I wanted to share a few of our resources to help you better address your practice’s finances, specifically books that may interest you.

Our Compensation Plans for Law Firms (Sixth Ed.) addresses firms staying relevant and having effective compensation plans as a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent.

Our Results-Oriented Financial Management: A Step-by-Step Guide to Law Firm Profitability (Third Ed.) will help you, regardless of your career level, in managing your financials, including budgeting and the annual planning process.

Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer (Fifth Ed.) helps you get started in a solo practice or, if you are established, helps you maintain a successful practice.

Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned is your guide to succession planning and the economic implications of retirement.

Whether you enjoy finance or are intimidated by it, please know that we are here for you. And find more finance articles and resources at lawpractice.org.

Zachary Bambacht

Zachary Bambacht is the director of the ABA Law Practice Division in Chicago. Zachary.Bambacht@americanbar.org

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