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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Time for Law Firms to Adopt Risk Management

Risk management has been a hot topic in the corporate community for about 10 years, springing mostly from scandals such as Enron, Worldcom and more recently the financial crisis of 2008. The devastation that these events wrought forced boards of directors to devote significant resources to managing risk and to keep abreast of what is happening in the world at large.

When one looks at law firms, we see that attention is paid to risk management only in the micro-sense; controls are put in place to prevent lawyers and staff from stealing trust funds, there are some controls over who . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

A New Century Needs a New Retainer Arrangement

I was involved with managing a litigation file not too long ago. The client had a budget that required its large law firm to be tightly controlled and had asked me to assist in this regard.

Things went off the rails very quickly when the lawyer in charge became angered by the client’s desire to control how he ran the file.

“I’ve heard about you,” he said to me. “And I’ve read some of your stuff. You have a low opinion of lawyers.” It was clear that he was taking the client’s attempt to decide how the file would be . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

So You Think You Are Profitable: 10 Ways to Assess Your Law Firm’s Cash Flow

How do you assess how you are really doing? You need to look at much more than just billable hours. The key is cash flow management: You must understand what monies are coming into your practice, and where money is flowing out. Most modern law office accounting systems can give you reports that will give you a much better understanding of the cash flow of your practice. On a monthly basis, you should review the following ten reports from your accounting system:

#1 – Overall and projected monthly billings: What are your overall monthly billings, measured against your projected billings? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Risk of Cyber Attacks on Law Firms

The inaugural UCLA Cyber Crimes Moot concluded today, with participants from across the U.S. and an international judging panel. Yes, my participation in the preliminary and final rounds of the event is what qualified the event as internationally judged. The winners this year were from GW School of Law, and their coach was none other than Orin Kerr.

The competition focused on a fact pattern based on the 2010 case of United States v. Warshak, dealing with the unconstitutional search and seizure of e-mails under the Stored Communications Act, and whether they should be excluded as evidence . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Addressing the High Cost of Cloud Computing Due Diligence

Last week I wrote on The High Cost of Cloud Computing Due Diligence, and asked readers what thoughts they had on how the burden of cloud computing due diligence could be reduced.

In his post on The Myth of Due Diligence, David Whelan questions the assumption that we should apply more strict due diligence requirements to the cloud than to traditional desktop-based software:

If due diligence is called for – and something is, whether it needs that name or not – then it should apply equally to the wireless routers, operating systems, and locally installed software within law

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The Cloud and Public Bodies in BC

♬ There is no turning back from this unending path of mine…♬

Lyrics, music and recorded by HIM.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia has released guidelines on cloud computing for public bodies.

You can view the guidelines at the following link:

There are several interesting aspects to the guidelines:

In addition to the requirement for public bodies to protect personal information no matter where it is, FIPPA also requires public bodies to ensure that, subject to three exceptions listed in s. 30.1 of FIPPA, personal information is only stored in and accessed

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Role of Law Librarians in Legal Project Management

AALL Spectrum was kind enough to publish in their March 2012 edition my article called “Legal Project Management for Law Librarians” (PDF, 4 pages).

Legal project management (LPM) has already been a popular topic on SLAW for some time now (click here for past stories).

Although the foregoing article is a shortened version of my longer paper from last year entitled “Project Management in Law Firms: A New Role for Librarians?” available on my website, in the 10 months or so between articles I have seen a steady and growing interest in LPM in Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Checklist for Avoiding Conflicts on Lateral Lawyer Transfers

The following article appears in the January 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

Lateral hiring of partners or associates occurs at firms of every size, and is becoming far more common. In addition to reviewing the transferring lawyer’s credentials and suitability, the transferring lawyer and firm will need to identify and deal with potential conflicts of interest that may arise with respect to clients at the transferring lawyer’s previous firm, and in particular, clients for whom the transferring lawyer worked.

This critical task is not as easy as it might seem on first thought. The hiring firm must have sufficient information . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Upcoming CBA Webconference: Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks

Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks

“Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks” will be
presented on Feb. 28, 2012, by the CBA’s Legal Profession Assistance Conference, the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association and the National Law Practice Management and Technology Section live via webconference.

The advantages of cloud computing, virtual or online law practices and unbundling of legal services are getting a lot of press – convenience to clients, reduced overhead expenses, remote access, and enhanced access to justice are among the benefits touted. But there are also very real and practical risks, and ethical

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

LSUC Releases New Guides for Lawyers

It’s time for us to wise up take each other in open arms strength through diversity together we’ll never fall
I know our lives are different in many ways we’ve come to accept each other through diversity
So let’s drop our fronts, lose our insecurities it’s time for us to come together in unity…

Lyrics, music and recorded by Hoods.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has developed two new practice guides for law firms and legal organizations.

The first guide deals with preventing harassment, discrimination, and violence in the legal workplace. It includes sample harassment, discrimination, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management