500+ Steps to Becoming a Profitable, Happy, Efficient Law Office (1997)
Jay G. Foonberg
The list of 500+ questions is designed both as a set of goals for new lawyers beginning a law practice and as a check list for lawyers and firms who may think they already have gone as far as they need to go to have a well-managed happy profitable law firm. The list represents what Jay G. Foonberg believes to be the necessary steps to what an almost perfectly run law firm would have in place.
2010 Compensation and Benefits Survey (2010) (Table of Contents)
Coordinated by Debbie Thomas
The 2010 ALA Compensation and Benefits Survey report provides annual base salary and total compensation data for 23 individual management positions; wage and bonus information for legal secretaries/administrative assistants and legal assistants/paralegals; information on the benefits offered to and covered by the organizations for the positions surveyed; and demographic information that is used to break out the survey results by organization type, number of lawyers/judges, supervisory responsibility, experience, education, region/country, state/province, and metropolitan area.
The capturing of demographic data is important, not only to identify who is represented in the survey, but also to distinguish differences in compensation and benefits among various breakout groups. Using these breakouts, members are able to compare their organization's compensation and benefits package to the overall profession, to organizations similar in size, and to those within the same geographic area.
Overall, 2090 questionnaires were returned by the final cut-off date and are included in the results. This represents a response of approximately 31% when compared to the 6701 member locations represented by ALA's 8883 U.S. and Canadian members. As shown in the Management Summary of this report, the sizes of responding firms closely reflects the profile of ALA's total membership.
The consolidated results encompass data for 6684 individuals in management positions, 13371 legal assistants/paralegals, and 30112 legal secretaries/administrative assistants.
The ABA Guide to Lawyer Trust Accounts (1996) (Table of Contents)
Jay G. Foonberg, J.D., CPA
The existing literature is confusing and often directed more at punishing erring lawyers or preserving interest income for bar activities than at protecting clients’ funds or teaching lawyers or law students what to do and how to do it. I hope this book will fill the gap in the existing teaching materials.
This book takes a more conservative or “better safe than sorry” approach. Some of my conclusions and recommendations are stricter that what is required in a specific jurisdiction. One who resolves questions with no clear solutions or answers available will be less likely to get in trouble by using the recommendations set forth in this book.
Attorney Liability in Bankruptcy (2006) (Table of Contents)
Corinne Cooper and Catherine E. Vance
This new and comprehensive book will give you exactly what you need to understand and comply with the law. It provides an overview of the provisions for the new Bankruptcy Reform Act including new sanctions provisions in Chapter 7 cases; regulation of attorneys as debt relief agencies; heightened requirements for reaffirmation agreements.
Building a Better Budget (2008)
Association of Legal Administrators
Richard J. Nigon, CLM and Sarah K. Taylor
Review the reasons budgets are important and will provide participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to prepare better budgets. This program was designed for small to medium sized firm administrators.
Business Competency for Lawyers (2006) (Table of Contents)
You don’t need an M.B.A. degree to run a law firm—but to be profitable, you do need to know the basic business principles in this book. You will discover: Planning for your success; turning billable hours into collected cash; building a more profitable firm; and thinking more creatively about The Business of Law.
COBRA Compliance Alert (2009)
Association of Legal Administrators
Paul M. Hamburger, PC
The recent economic stimulus package signed into law includes significant changes to COBRA administration -- and provides a short deadline for employers, insurers and third-party administrators to comply. The changes will be numerous, complicated and vexing.
Collecting Your Fee (2003) (Table of Contents)
In this book, Ed demonstrates once again that the business of law is about a lot more than doing any one thing right. Getting clients to pay, like everything else in a well-run practice, is about running your practice right. It starts with choosing the right clients, setting the right expectations, and continues on through the entire representation. Ed’s working premise is a favorite of the legal sector’s best consultants: Getting paid is as much about achieving the highest levels of client satisfaction as it is about running your back room well. Being the lawyer that he is, Ed supports his premise with salient and practical advice about how to gear your practice so that clients happily pay their bills. But, being the consultant he is, Ed doesn’t stop there. In the appendix, Ed gives you the well-tooled forms you’ll need to implement his advice. This book is as much a field guide as it is a technical strategic manifest for getting paid.
Compensation Plans for Law Firms 5th Edition (2010) (Table of Contents)
James D. Cotterman (Editor)
The recent economic crisis brought the demise of several great law firms, as well as significant changes in the compensation of employees with surviving firms. Compensation philosophy changed, in part, because of the rapidly changing financial standing of the firms. In this revised fifth edition of Compensation Plans for Law Firms, you will find complete and systematic guidance on how to establish a fair and competitive compensation program for your firm. The guidebook examines the continually evolving compensation landscape and the concepts that will affect your firm most. The book includes workable approaches for compensating partners and associates, as well as other contributors to the firm, including paralegals, clerical staff, and other professionals.
This valuable, one-volume resource features insight and information from the leading legal consulting firm Altman Weil, Inc., and selected date from the annual and triennial surveys on law firm performance and compensation, retirement and withdrawal compensation systems from ALM Legal Intelligence, a Division of ALM Media Properties, LLC (formerly published by Altman Weil Publications). Charts and graphs help you see where your firm stands on salaries and bonuses, while the text gives you detailed analyses of compensation programs for everyone in your firm.
Firms that lack a clear understanding and agreement on the components of the competitive marketplace and internal meritocracy will have trouble getting their compensation decisions right. Careful advance consideration is essential to the success of your compensation program. By using this valuable reference, you can develop a compensation program that conveys fairness, simplicity, and flexibility, and strike the perfect balance within your firm.
The Essentials of Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers (2011) (Table of Contents)
As a manager, finance and accounting may not be an official part of your job description. But chances are, it's the most important thing your executives and senior managers are thinking about. If you want to be in a prime position to take advantage of how corporate financial information applies directly to your own strategies and actions--and ensure that your department gets its share of the budget--you need to develop a thorough understanding of what your finance and accounting staffs do, why they do it, and what their reports really mean.
A classic resource for managers eager to master the concepts and simple math behind key business matters, The Essentials of Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers has been updated to reflect current changes in the economic and corporate financial landscape. Filled with crystal-clear examples, the book helps you understand: Balance sheets and income/cash flow statements; annual reports; fixed-cost and variable-cost issues; financial analysis, budgeting, and forecasting; and much more.
The Forensic Accounting Deskbook (2011) (Table of Contents)
Miles Mason, Sr., JD, CPA
Forensic accounting can help family lawyers win case and help their clients keep money which might otherwise be taken from them by the difficult and confusing divorce process. To help you understand the practice of forensic accounting and business valuation and apply it to your family law cases, The Forensic Accounting Deskbook provides a basic introduction to the core financial concepts in divorce, such as asset identification, classification, and valuation, income determination, and expenses.
Writing in a clear, accessible style, author Miles Mason, both an attorney and CPA, gives step-by-step explanations of these "how to" mechanics and also explores higher-level strategic concerns appropriate for high-asset and high-conflict cases. He connects the dots and fills in the gaps among the interrelated topics involved in divorce, from methodology to testimony.
How David Beats Goliath (2011) (Table of Contents)
Michael J. Swanson
How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms addresses a little-known but critical flaw in America's system of justice. Average citizens and workers who have been injured or wronged through negligence or malfeasance are guaranteed their day in court. In practice, however, this bedrock legal right is compromised. The problem is a paucity of fair and reasonable funding for expenses incurred in the bringing of personal-injury and other lawsuits. Writing for trial attorneys who represent middle-class or even indigent clients, author and finance expert Michael J. Swanson outlines this complex problem in a clear and lucid book that every dedicated trial lawyer should own. "By temperament, training and the long traditions of their profession, contingent-fee lawyers often fail to maximize the business needs of their practices," says Swanson. "They especially fail to understand and control the cost of their capital structure."
How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times (2009) (Table of Contents)
Sharon D. Nelson, James A. Calloway, and Ross L. Kodner
Worried about the economy? Are you a lawyer out of work? Are you afraid you will be laid off? Are you struggling to manage your firm through a down economy? In a single volume, How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times will provide you with a wealth of tips, resources, and tools to help you survive in bad times, as well as teach you management, finance, marketing and technology essentials necessary to succeed.
The weak economy and large number of firm layoffs have resulted in a flood of potential new solo and small firm lawyers—starting their own practices in the wake of the exodus from Big Law. Small practice lawyers, well-seasoned or just starting out, can gain immeasurably by just applying even a few of the myriad tips within this book. The book is divided into three parts: Afraid of Losing Your Job? Lost it Already?; Managing and Marketing Your Firm in a Down Economy; and Do It Better, Cheaper, Faster with Technology: Using Technology to Boost the Bottom Line.
Each part provides practical tips and insightful tools that are concise and easy to read for quick reference. This book addressed the fears and concerns of today’s lawyers, including how to turn a bad economy into a good opportunity to not just survive, but thrive, as well as how you can leverage technology to reduce overhead and maximize profitability.
Whether you’re out of work, or afraid you will soon be out of work, this book offers a compendium of helpful tips to secure your present job or to find a new one. How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times will help provide you with shelter from the storm by giving you the tools to build your own personal ark. If you have the will and the focus, you will survive the current maelstrom. Good lawyers can indeed survive bad times.
How to Draft Bills Clients Rush to Pay (2003) (Table of Contents)
J. Harris Morgan and Jay G. Foonberg
Backed by their numerous years of combined experience, these two distinguished ABA authors show you how to prepare bills that enlighten and satisfy your clients—and inspire them to pay. This is a step-by-step guide on drafting and formatting invoices that clients will fully understand, find reasonable, and be more likely to pay—on time and without complaint. Samples of effective bills are provided throughout to use as templates. Topics also covered in the book include the importance of building the lawyer-client relationship, establishing fees, budgeting, keeping good records, and much more.
How to Make Money as a Mediator (and create value for everyone) (2006) (Table of Contents)
Jeffrey Krivis and Naomi Lucks
How to Make Money as a Mediator(and Create Value for Everyone) is an invaluable and inspirational resource filled with practical, proven, and down-to-earth information on how you can develop a satisfying and lucrative career as a mediator, no matter what your area of interest—labor and employment mediation, intellectual property, environment, personal injury, family and divorce, contract, securities, or international peacekeeping.
Law Firm Accounting and Financial Management (1994) (Table of Contents)
John P. Quinn, Joseph A. Bailey, David E. Gaulin, and Stanley Kolodziejczak
Almost 20 years ago, John P. Quinn, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, realized that there was no reference book that would give a straightforward explanation of law firm accounting and financial reporting practices to law firm partners who were not accountants. Drawing from his extensive experience working with law firms of many sizes, he embarked upon a project to write what has become the most authoritative reference book available for those involved in law firm administration.
Law Firm Fees & Compensation (2008) (Table of Contents)
Every law firm is a business, and every business has three common elements: Get the work, do the work, and get paid. This publication shows you how these issues intersect and guides you through an integrated approach to growing your practice and your profits—while simultaneously adding value to your billings and services. The vital concepts in realizing new value include: engagement agreement essentials for lawyer and client; easy-to-understand pricing methods that convey meaning to client; collection strategies that secure prompt payments; and compensation policies that serve the firm’s best interests.
Law Firm Partnership Agreements (1998) (Table of Contents)
Leslie D. Corwin and Arthur J. Ciampi
This book is intended as a means to contemplate and address the ethical and legal principles which generally govern the rights and obligations of partners to each other and to the law firm’s associates, clients and creditors. The text specifically addressed the ethical considerations, partnership law, contract law, and tort law issues which develop when there is a change in the relationship between a partner and a law firm caused by withdrawal, whether voluntary or involuntary, death, disability or retirement.
Law Practice Accounting Using QuickBooks 5th Edition (2008) (Table of Contents)
This book was designed to show you how to use QuickBooks accounting software in your law practice. QuickBooks 2009 has a few versions, Simple Start, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier Edition, and QuickBooks Enterprise. If you plan on billing for your time I recommend using the Premier edition. It costs a little more but a real time saving feature is included for billing time. I do not recommend the Simple Start for Law Firms.
QuickBooks offers many things that attorneys can us in their business. For example you can use QuickBooks to track your time and bill your clients for the time. This book will also show you how you can use the customer information part of QuickBooks to track conflicts of interest. You can also use QuickBooks to write checks and reconcile your bank account. The payroll feature in QuickBooks is very easy to use and that many attorneys are processing their own payroll in house. QuickBooks offers different levels of payroll support. You can purchase just the payroll tax tables, which allows you to process your own payroll, or you can sign up for one of their payroll services. Another feature that is helpful for attorneys is the class tracking option. You can track your income and expenses by different segments of your business such as attorney or office location.
Law Firm Profitability Enhancement—2010
Association of Legal Administrators
Cathy Benton and Lynn Carroll
Discover ways to transform your office into a remarkable workplace, delivering not only superior client service but also satisfaction for each and every person who is part of that effort.
Lawyer Trust Accounts—Audio CD (1996)
Jay G. Foonberg
The accompanying CD-Rom to The ABA Guide to Lawyer Trust Accounts. This CD-Rom contains the forms from Lawyer Trust Accounts. The forms are in Microsoft Word format and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
The Lawyer’s Guide to Increasing Revenue (2011) (Table of Contents)
Arthur G. Greene
Are you ready to look beyond cost-cutting and toward new revenue opportunities? Learn how you can achieve growth using the resources you already have at your firm. Discover the factors that affect your law firm’s revenue production, how to evaluate them, and how to take specific action steps designed to increase your returns. You’ll learn how to best improve performance and profitability in each of the key aspects of your law firm. The enclosed CD-Rom features sample policies, worksheets, plans, and documents designed to aid implementation of the ideas present in the book. Let this resource guide you toward a profitable and sustainable future!
Click HERE to read a review by Barbara Cashman in The Colorado Lawyer.
The Lawyer’s Guide to Modern Payment Methods (2007) (Table of Contents)
Frederick H. Miller
Using a hypothetical example, the author explains the applicable laws of fund (wire) transfers, credit, debit, and charge cards, checks, and other payment methods, including stored value, PayPal and others, and then discusses those laws in the context of the hypothetical.
Each chapter includes several research resources for additional information as well as handy checklists, forms and agreements. The book is accompanied by a CD-Rom of the checklists, forms and agreements for easy customization.
The Lawyer’s Retirement Planning Guide (2010) (Table of Contents)
Susan A. Berson
For ages 45 to 64, this book is key for professionals wanting to successfully maneuver through the financial times we live in. Susan S. Berson of the Banking & Tax Law Group LLP covers everything from investment methods to managing family responsibilities and retirement living trends.
Making Money Talk (2007) (Table of Contents)
J. Anderson Little
Learn how to deal with the peculiar problems of traditional bargaining through proven models and techniques that will help you to: Gain a better understanding of the dynamic of money negotiations; Identify the recurring problems presented in the negotiation of insured claims; Arm yourself with new tools to move beyond impasse; Build a model of the mediation process that assists when traditional bargaining is unavoidable; and Help the parties in traditional bargaining in a facilitative, rather than a directive way.
Maximizing Law Firm Profitability (2006) (Table of Contents)
Susan G. Manch and Marcia Pennington Shannon
Looking at the unique aspects of and effective strategies for hiring, training, and developing productive lawyers forces the investigator to face the reality of the challenge. Any one of these three tasks might prove to be the undoing of even the most capable senior partner or experienced administrator of a successful firm, but desiring to establish competency in all three sets the bar very high indeed. Yet that will be the stated goal of this book—establishing competency (or at the very least sharing information designed to help employers of lawyers get a good start in doing so) as thoughtful recruiters, focused trainers, and insightful guides of professional development. The authors will work toward accomplishing two objectives: First, to carefully examine the unique attributes of successful hiring, training, and professional development practices employed in shepherding lawyers on the path from student to practitioner; and second, to set forth best practices and recommended strategies that stand out as being effective in ensuring that these tasks are accomplished.
The Modern Rules of Personal Finance for Professionals (2008) (Table of Contents)
Susan A. Berson
Money impacts every corner of our lives and dictates the way we live today and how we’ll be able to live tomorrow. Take charge of your finances with this valuable resource in the American Bar Association’s Modern Rules Series.
Now more than ever, lawyers and other successful young professionals can benefit from the timely information found in this book. While you may be saddled with student loans, you are also experiencing significant income for the first time in your career. Learn how to better understand your money, and how to make it work for you. Written by noted tax litigator, Susan A. Berson, this indispensable book will help any professional become a better steward of his or her own money, today and into the future.
Topics include debt/student loans; saving; investing; philanthropy; real estate; preparing for a drop in income to change paths; and much, much more.
The Profitable Law Office Handbook (1996) (Table of Contents)
Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC
This guide is a companion piece to my book and its accompanying computer disk, Attorney & Law Firm Guide to The Business of Law (General Practice Section, ABA, 1994). Recognizing that this handbook was created to give you the big picture in broad strokes, I suggest you go to the book should you want a more in-depth treatment of the subject.
The Profitable Law Office Handbook: Attorney’s Guide to Successful Business Planning is organized in an outline format. If you’re using it in a seminar setting, simply follow along with the seminar leader. If on your own, read and take advantage of the empty right-hand column (“Notes”) to jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to you. You might want to read over the entire Handbook first, then return to re-read specific sections for further study.
Protect your Firm from Unintentional—Possible Unethical—Billing Practices (2007)
Association of Legal Administrators
Results-Oriented Financial Management (2003) (Table of Contents)
John G. Iezzi, CPA
This book is ideal for any law firm looking to improve its financial management system and ultimately achieve better profitability. CPA and law firm financial expert John Iezzi guides you through the entire financial management process, from gather a firm’s historical personnel and billing data to preparing and analyzing the budget itself. In discussing different ways to set rates, compute billable hours, calculate net income, and perform other financial analysis, Iezzi presents options for the reader and then offers his own advice and the reasoning behind it. It’s a complete guide to creating and implementing a successful law firm financial plan.
The Retirement Nightmare (2000) (Table of Contents)
Diane G. Armstrong, Ph.D.
After working hard to build your nest egg, you are finally making plans for your retirement year. But will you be free to make your own choices when those golden years finally arrive? Or will you fall victim to ruinously expensive involuntary conservatorship/guardianship proceedings and be stripped of your rights, your money, your independence—for the rest of your life?
In an ominous trend that threatens America’s successfully aging population, state judges are imposing an increasing number of unwanted conservators and guardians upon allegedly incompetent men and women to manage their property and personal affairs. The results are grim. In New York alone, judges appointed over 32,000 guardianships during 1997, up from 15,000 in 1992, and Michigan’s guardianship petitions have more than quadrupled since 1981.
These little-known state laws were originally created to safeguard the rights of “infants and lunatics.” Today, involuntary conservatorship and guardianship laws are being used by calculating heirs to seize control of their parents’ assets and by protectors in the social welfare community to control the vulnerable elderly themselves. And who is “elderly”? to be declared incompetent on the basis of age you only have to be 62.
Drawing on sadly typical cases from courtrooms across America, Dr. Armstrong shows how competent elders can be victimized by arbitrary conservatorships and guardianships. She describes the historical roots of our codes and shows how they function in today’s courts, highlighting concepts that are problematic and suggesting appropriate changes. Dr. Armstrong summarizes every state’s conservatorship/guardianship statutes and provides contact numbers for national services, legal organizations, state offices of aging, and other resources for the elderly. Most importantly, her breakthrough book gives YOU the tools you will need to protect yourself or someone you love when your retirement years usher in the real threat of predatory litigation.
Running a Law Office on a Shoestring (1997) (Table of Contents)
Theda C. Snyder
No matter how successful you are, there’s no point in wasting money. Good natured penny-pinching can result in greater profits that you and your law office staff can enjoy. Learn some relatively painless and easy ways you can save money on routine law office expenses from Theda C. Snyder, a successful solo practitioner.
This book is geared to the solo or small firm lawyer who needs a cram course in successful entrepreneurship. Understanding that many new law school graduates may never get the benefit of law firm management training, and that many transplants from large law firms have not had hands-on management experience, Snyder has identified some of the most wasteful practices and show you how to stop them forever so your law practice can be more profitable.
Strengthen your Bottom Line with a Well-Built Budget (2009)
Association of Legal Administrators
Stephen P. Odum and Sarah K. Taylor
Learn how to build a budget-from the ground up-that can be used as a planning tool and a way to gently force policy decisions. Focus on how to use the budget to identify key information to manage cash flow and analyze how to strengthen the bottom line through increasing revenue rather than cutting costs.
The Successful Lawyer-Banker Relationship (2006) (Table of Contents)
Building a strong relationship with a good banker is key to every law firm’s long-term viability and profitability. This volume provides essential steps for building a tie that binds, including: Choosing the bank that’s right for you; establishing your creditworthiness; getting a loan when you need it; using trust accounts and other banking services; and strengthening the banking relationship.
Third-Party and Self-Created Trusts (2002) (Table of Contents)
Clifton B. Kruse, Jr.
Professor Austin Scott’s great treatise, The Law of Trusts, was first published in 1939 in four volumes. Its most recent transcription is authored by William F. Fratcher, and since his death in 1992, it has been supplemented by Mark L. Asher and currently appears in twelve volumes annually supplemented. It is indeed a rare treatise and a seminal one for all persons counseling others on the intricacies of trust law. Third-Party and Self-Created Trusts is much less ambitious than Halbach’s and Scott’s work, but this third edition, still a single volume and distinctly less monumental in coverage than Halbach and Scott, describes comprehensively the effect governmental legislations has had on trust law in this country. In particular, it describes the effect of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 1993) on trusts for older and disabled Americans.
Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour (2008) (Table of Contents)
Mark A. Robertson and James A. Calloway
Your entire practice is based on doing battle for your clients. Unfortunately, the issues that arise when it comes to assessing the value of these protective and beneficial services are a source of contention for both yourself and your clients.
This newly revised third edition of the highly acclaimed Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies That Work, provides you with tools you can use in your practice to implement and evaluate alternative billing methods—including real case studies of lawyers and firms successfully using alternative billing to deliver value to both the client and the lawyer.
In addition to an appendix containing sample agreements, forms, proposals, and client letters, you’ll find topics addressed include: understanding the client’s perceptions of value; ethical rules and practices (covering most of the gray areas); interpreting and applying the “value curve”; how to build a billing method; integrating technology and alternative billing; developing a case and/or transaction plan; and evaluating alternative billing method results.
Click HERE to read a review by Michael J. Katz in The Colorado Lawyer.