Law firms of all sizes have sensitive information that make them vulnerable to data breaches. This article outlines four strategies for preventing — or, at worst, minimizing the damage of — a cyber attack. These are encryption, employee training, cyber liability insurance coverage and recovery planning.
Law firms that invest in creating memorable brands enjoy many benefits, including increased awareness in the marketplace and among their peers. This increased awareness often results in business development opportunities, enhanced recruiting visibility and stronger client relationships. This article explains how a law firm can use its brand to differentiate itself from its competitors and discusses ways to avoid failing to integrate a firm’s brand across the organization.
The nature of law firm billing, collections and expenses can create gaps in cash flow that capital must fill, so it is not surprising that firms increasingly are requiring larger capital contributions from partners. This article discusses common financial pressures, ways to determine how much capital a firm needs and how much partners should be required to contribute. A Sidebar explains why a line of credit is not always the best source of capital.
Law firms, in light of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), are facing new challenges when it comes to payroll management and record keeping. This article discusses three payroll issues that require attention: Properly classifying employees and independent contractors; keeping and retaining complete and accurate payroll records; and withholding and paying payroll taxes. A Sidebar explains what professional employer organizations are and how they work.
Many law firms that merge primarily focus on getting the deal done, which means they not be prepared to integrate the two organizations. This article explains how integration planning should start early and be a team effort involving both firms and professional advisors. A transition team should evaluate both practices; determine how staff in duplicative positions can be redeployed; and document internal policies and procedures.
For law firms, the key to surviving a natural or manmade disaster — and minimizing physical and financial damage — is to plan for it. This article provides tips on building a plan that minimizes threats, including assigning emergency responsibilities to specific individuals and regularly backing up electronic data offsite.
Firms that hire and retain only partnership-track associates could be turning away profitable legal talent. This article argues that a two-tier partnership system can make a firm more attractive to both new law school graduates and experienced attorneys nearing retirement. A Sidebar explains how part-time partnerships work.
Managing partners who reduce their rainmaking activities and billable hours to assume administrative duties can end up with smaller slices of the compensation pie. This article proposes a fair and straightforward managing partner compensation model that takes into account objective and subjective criteria.
Law firms need to provide their partners with cash flow statements so they will be able to identify and address cash shortfalls and other problems. This article describes the three main sections of a typical cash flow statement — operating, investing and financing activities — and urges partners to take action if statements indicate a possible liquidity issue.
Most lawyers are legal experts, not business specialists, and many do not have the time or inclination to assume full-time business management and development duties. That is where a business manager can help. This article discusses the types of functions business managers can perform and provides tips on finding the right person given the scope of the position.