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Practice Management

Feb 11, 2011

Credit card payments, electronic deposits are legal ethics pitfall

The conveniences of technology abound for both lawyer and client, and lawyers like to make payment easy for clients. But those conveniences contain traps for both the wary and unwary, J. Cameron Halford told Lawyers Weekly. The state Supreme Court sanctioned the Fort Mill attorney last week over his handling of credit card payments and electronic deposits.

Feb 4, 2011

Guest Commentary: Good waiters make good lawyers

Law firm managing partners are talent agents. They spend most of their day managing the talent they have and recruiting new talent. In my time in law firm management, I was constantly trying to create a template for a successful lawyer, and for me "successful" meant those who create, develop and nurture long-term client relationships. A strong understanding of the law itself was a baseline require[...]

Feb 4, 2011

Experts for hire: Womble Carlyle’s litigation support team is not just in-house

By SYLVIA ADCOCK, Staff Writer [email protected] When Cris Windham arrived at Womble Carlyle 25 years ago, he got involved in the firm’s tobacco litigation and quickly began to see the need for in-house medical experts. A litigation support team that included nurses and other experts to assist the firm’s attorneys in developing medical defenses was […]

Jan 14, 2011

Coach’s Corner: The lawyer as consultant – Should you charge?

Most law firms, whether large or small, begin a new client engagement with a consulting process: a stated period of time, such as an hour, that potential clients spend with an attorney to discuss their matter and explore whether to establish a client relationship. This consulting process is essentially a business-development effort, targeted to converting prospects into clients. It is marketing in[...]

Dec 30, 2010

Coach’s Corner: Billable hour: Going, going … still here

In a recent article, I asked whether the billable hour method of billing clients is dead or on life support. It turns out that there is a third option: Hibernation. A recent survey reported that almost 73 percent of 2009 outside counsel fees were based on arrangements other than the standard hourly rate, up from 66 percent the year before. It is clear that law firms are scrambling with deals to re[...]

Dec 23, 2010

Coach’s Corner: You must define when payment is delinquent

If a lawyer fails to specify a "pay by" date for a client, at what point, if any, can the client legally be considered delinquent for failing to pay? This question is essential to "The Business of Law®." Every engagement should begin with an enforceable written agreement on services to be provided and fee to be charged. ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5 states that "the basis or rate of [...]

Dec 17, 2010

Coach’s Corner: What does it take to go national?

By ED POLL, Special to Lawyers Weekly [email protected]   In 1960, fewer than 40 law firms in this country had 50 or more lawyers. In the latest listing of the 250 largest U.S. firms – even after two years of declines in total employment – No. 250 on the list still employed 160 attorneys. Many […]

Dec 3, 2010

Coach’s Corner: When does a prospect become a client?

When does someone visiting your website, blog or LinkedIn page become a prospective client? This does not seem to be a difficult issue. Everyone that a lawyer meets, including in cyberspace, is a prospective client! To think otherwise is to say you don't believe you have something of value that can help the person reading your material or who is standing in front of you. Of course, if your target [...]

Nov 24, 2010

With market still in the tank, real estate lawyers diversify

For many of South Carolina's real estate attorneys, the most recent housing and foreclosure reports probably won't boost their holiday spirits. Home sales plummeted nearly 26 percent statewide in October compared to a year ago, according to a report by S.C. Realtors. "I've been doing this for 17 years, and this is the worst I've seen this," attorney Trey Harrell (pictured), founding member of t[...]

Nov 12, 2010

Coach’s Corner: Leaders are made – even in law firms

When it comes to management, law firms, particularly large firms serving major corporations, are not trendsetters. They follow their clients. The much-criticized billable hour is an example. Until well into the post-World War II era, legal fees were based not only on time spent, but also the nature of the service, the result achieved and the amount at stake.

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