The Law Practice Management (LPM) Section welcomes everyone to
the 2017-2018 program year. LPM Section is unique in that the
challenges and concerns raised by the business of practicing law
are applicable to practitioners across all practice areas and modes
of practice; government, big firm and solo practitioners alike face
the daily onslaught of emails, time management challenges and
keeping up with the latest technology.
LPM, in cooperation with other sections of the Massachusetts Bar
Association, offers educational CLE programming, networking, pro
bono and volunteer opportunities, and other ways of getting
involved for attorneys at all career stages, whether starting out
solo, transitioning from a large firm into a smaller environment,
succession/retirement planning - all aimed at enhancing the
experience of managing the business of practicing law and striking
the appropriate work/life balance. The programming offered by LPM
addresses not only the general areas of operating a business, such
as accounting, finance, marketing, management, planning and
technology, but also presents unique contexts with additional
topics applicable more narrowly to the practice of law.
Here is a sampling of programs that LPM has sponsored or
co-sponsored over the last few years.
"How to Get Paid: Fee Structures, Referrals and Collecting"
provided a discussion of the various fee structures available for
attorneys in Massachusetts, including referral fees between
attorneys. Also discussed was the MBA's Fee Arbitration Board,
which helps facilitate settlement of fee disputes with former
"Work/Life Balance: How to Have a Productive Day and Still Make
it Home in Time for Dinner" offered a panel that included retired
Judge Robert A. Gordon, two practicing attorneys, and a guest
speaker from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. The title perfectly
captures the topics discussed.
"Starting or Jump-Starting an Innovative Law Practice" was a
four-part workshop series that combined traditional tools,
including business plans, marketing plans, and check-lists, with
more innovative tools, such as visual facilitation and imagery, to
help develop and leverage an entrepreneurial mindset. This series
was co-sponsored with the Solo and Small Firm Section and the Young
"Take a Bite out of KPIs" featured a discussion of Key
Performance Indicators (KPIs) and how to utilize statistics to
learn more about a firm's clients, define performance targets, and
achieve higher profitability. This program was co-sponsored with
the Solo and Small Firm Section.
"From Bankruptcy to the Bank" addressed steps to be taken when a
client files for bankruptcy, aimed at maximizing the chances of the
practitioner getting paid, including how to file proofs of claim,
working with bankruptcy trustees, and avoiding violations of the
"When to Splurge and When to Save" was a presentation on how to
better manage a firm's budget. The topics included rent and office
equipment, VOIP phones, virtual assistants and answering services,
refining fee agreements, paperless office, and usage of apps to
save money and time.
"Data Protection Revisited" provided an updated look at the
modern threats to data, practical ways of protecting data, and how
attorneys are accountable for safeguarding client information.
"Using Video Marketing to Attract More Clients" offered an
overview of the importance of video marketing, different types of
video marketing, and how video marketing has changed. This program
was co-sponsored with the Solo and Small Firm Section.
"Reclaim Time and Clear Your Mind" provided an overview of
Evernote and similar programs, their unique application to the
practice of law, and their use as a searchable data repository for
daily use. The program was presented by Heidi S. Alexander of LOMAP
and Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez of the Probate and Family Court
Department. This program was co-sponsored with the Solo and Small
"How to Become a Mediator" provided information on training,
marketing, and integration of mediation as a component of a
practice. This program was co-sponsored with the Dispute Resolution
"Techno Mind Meld" is a recurring discussion of various aspects
of law office technology. Topics include managing email, cloud
computing, advances in telephone systems and automation, case
management, paperless office, and more.
In addition to the programming sampled above, LPM works closely
with area law schools to facilitate the annual Mock Interview
Program, now entering its fifth year, where law students can
practice their job interviewing skills in a real-world scenario by
experiencing a mock job interview after being paired with one of
dozens of volunteer firms. The program is structured in two parts:
first, an interview takes place where students are prepared to
discuss their skills and achievements, as well as ask and answer
questions as a part of the interview process. Thereafter, students
receive immediate feedback on their interview performance, with
suggestions for improvements and other feedback.
During the upcoming year, LPM intends to continue to provide
quality programming reflecting the modern trends in the business of
practicing law, including a series tailored specifically to new bar
admittees, and additional opportunities for law students to get
involved. LPM Section members will continue to contribute articles
for the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, take part in the
MBA Dial-a-Lawyer program, get involved as coaches and judges in
the MBA High School Mock Trial Competition, serve as mentors to the
local legal incubators, and maintain involvement in the many
legislative initiatives and other programs within the MBA.
Wherever one may be in their legal career, and whether one's
goal is to teach or to learn, we look forward to working with you
during the coming year. See you at the MBA!
Dmitry Lev is the vice chair of the Law Practice
Management Section Council. His solo practice in Watertown, now in
its 12th year, is focused on bankruptcy litigation and criminal