I'm always humbled by the seemingly endless expertise and collective wisdom of our Law Practice (LP) Division volunteers and their selfless dedication in sharing their knowledge, in the truest spirit of volunteerism, with all other American Bar Association members who need their wisdom and the resources developed from it. Daily, our team gets to see the culmination of these efforts that consistently result in CLE programs, substantive articles and publications, networking opportunities and leadership development. It is not lost on me that our Management Issue of Law Practice is the perfect time to highlight one of our most recently published books, which we are proud of because it so aptly demonstrates many of the ways LP is here to support the management of your practice: Law Office Policies, Procedures, and Operations Manual (Seventh Ed.).
This book includes everything you need to develop a comprehensive, customized manual that can serve as a reference guide for your entire firm and as a training tool for new employees, associates and temporary workers. The seventh edition has been updated to address recent changes in the law and the significant growth of virtual/hybrid law firms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The manual is divided into two key parts:
Part I: Policies and Procedures Manual, consisting of a template for a policies, procedures and operations manual that can be adapted to the needs of any firm. Suggested policies and procedures are included for every facet of law firm operations, and author’s notes provide guidance on what nuances to consider as you choose which ones to adopt and how to implement them.
- Departments, Practice Groups, Industry Groups and Committees
- Organization, Management and Administration
- Legal Support Personnel and Their Functions
- Office Policies
- Personnel Policies and Benefits
- Preparation of Correspondence, Memoranda and Legal Documents
- Office Security and Emergency Procedures
- Financial Management
- Records and File Management Systems
- Technology and Information Security
- Communication Systems
- Information Resource Center
Part II: Offers guidance on law firm operations that goes beyond the template to provide more in-depth advice on best practices in select areas of law firm operations, including:
- Designing the Evolving Law Firm: How to Navigate the Process of Creating an Effective, Future-Proofed Space
- Branch Office Operations
- Risk Management in the 21st Century
- Insurance for Law Firms
It’s exciting for LP to have two esteemed leaders from our delivery boards and substantive committees take on a project of this significance and scope as the authors and editors of the manual. Marcia Watson Wasserman and Cynthia Thomas have been active contributors to LP, serving in roles that are critical to LP’s success.
Wasserman is currently a member of our Lawyer Leadership & Management, Publishing and Law Practice (magazine) committees.
Thomas is currently serving as a co-chair of our Lawyer Leadership and Management committee, and is a member of our Law Firm Finance, Productivity & Knowledge Strategy, and Law Practice (magazine) committees.
On behalf of the Division, we would like to thank and congratulate them both for their exemplary efforts, as well as all contributors to this latest edition of Law Office Policies, Procedures, and Operations Manual.