How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times (3.18.10)
Law firms are shrinking and toppling day by day. The legal world has been badly rocked by the recession and the end is not yet in sight. The worst thing you or your law firm can do is remain passive and wait for the economy to recover. A hard look needs to be taken at management, financial practices and technology. This program will provide you with some of the sobering statistics in the current legal world as well as give practical advice for not only surviving but thriving in this rocky economy.
Professional Transitions: Navigating the Challenges for Women in the Law (1.20.10)
Women’s legal careers often involve multiple transitions. No matter where we start, we may want or need to consider opportunities for change: to practice at a new firm or in-house; to work part-time or flex-time; to take maternity or other leave; to become an independent contractor, consultant or teacher; to start our own practices. Join us as we discuss the challenges involved in pursuing such opportunities with experienced practitioners who will share advice, stories and debate about how to navigate such transitions from legal, ethical and practical standpoints. We will touch upon the role of institutions, the importance of networking and the challenge of finding a work/life fit to make your transitions more successful. In addition, we will have the opportunity to network over drinks and snacks after the event.
Starting & Maintaining Your Own Firm in a Recession (2.9.10)
Do you have what it takes to start your own firm? Was your decision to start a law firm based on a drastic career change or circumstances beyond your control? What is your game plan, and how are you planning on facing the recent downturn in the economy? If you’re thinking of launching out on your own or if you have already hung out your shingle but need to know ways to sustain your practice, there are a multitude of issues to consider ranging from who will your clients be to whether to specialize or diversify to address the economic conditions to what should your letter of engagement contain. Among the topics to be discussed are:
* Taking personal & financial inventory before you launch
* Determining the minimum budget requirement to start or sustain a practice
* The advantages and disadvantages of commercial leases, subleases and virtual office spaces – the mobile office
* Business and other ethical considerations
* How to think like an entrepreneur rather than an academic
* How to obtain and keep clients
Taking Your Firm to the Next Level: Growth & Expansion (3.22.11)
At some point in their career, every solo practitioner will be faced with the opportunity to grow their firm, whether it be by adding partners, of counsel, or simply employees. With each of these steps, however, there are specific issues that need to be addressed. What kind of agreement should the partners enter into? What are permissible of counsel relationships? And what are the tax and legal ramifications of hiring employees?
Moving beyond the stages of starting a firm, this program will examine some of the unique challenges of law firm growth. Among the topics to be discussed are:
* Tips & strategies for billing and collections;
* Overview of common partnership and of counsel agreement language;
* The advantages and disadvantages of hiring staff;
* Tax and ethical considerations.
These issues and more will be discussed in a CLE session by panelists who have their own solo or small firm practices. Come learn, network, get useful ideas, and CLE credits.
A Practical Guide to LLCs and LLPs (Original Live Program Date: 4/2/08)
An expert panel will present a practical guide to the use of LLCs and LLPs. The panel will provide concrete advice on critical formation and early-stage issues, such as the advantages and disadvantages of the LLC/LLP form, a comparison of LLCs and LLPs to corporations, the tax benefits of the LLC/LLP form and the choice of state law. As part of the choice-of-entity discussion, the panel will discuss specific businesses, fact patterns and exit strategies that may dictate the choice-of-entity decision. The panel will describe the mechanics of forming an LLC/LLP and the content of the principal agreements incidental to such formation, including the basic operating agreement. Various management structures and control arrangements of LLCs and LLPs will be examined and considered from different perspectives and in different strategic and investment scenarios. The use of LLPs for law and other professional practices will be discussed, including current issues and events potentially testing their effectiveness with respect to liability. Securities issues will be considered in the context of the formation and growth of an LLC or an LLP. The panel also will examine various executive and other compensation structures in the context of an LLC, including in particular the use of equity-based incentive compensation arrangements and a comparison to traditional corporate stock option plans. The program is intended to provide to practitioners a comprehensive introduction to LLCs and LLPs in a practical and useful context.
4.5 credits in professional practice
Accounting for Lawyers (Original Live Program Date: 6/23/09)
No matter what an attorney's more specific area of practice, the ability to read and understand basic financial information adds value to delivering high-quality services to clients. Accounting for Lawyers is designed for all lawyers who need and want to gain a clearer understanding of accounting and financial statements and the use of such information in real-life practice situations. Offering both a traditional step-by-step instruction on the basics of the financial statements, as well as an in-depth, practical case study, the course offers the practicing lawyer the skills to read and interpret accounting and financial statements as it may apply to diverse professional matters.
This program provides 4.0 credits in professional practice
How To Avoid The Ethical & Fiduciary Pitfalls of Lateral Hiring (Original Live Program Date: 11/2/09)
For both law firms trying to attract laterals and lawyers trying to move to a new firm, there are a large number of ethical and fiduciary issues that are easy to miss. At this seminar, the panelists, using video vignettes, will discuss how to manage the lateral hiring process to avoid these potential problems. Among other things, the program will explore when and what clients can be told, what information can be shared with the potential new firm, what to cover when performing conflicts checks, and the issues that arise when hiring a group of lawyers.
Lawyers Following Orders: Ethical Pitfalls & Practical Advice (Original Live Program Date: 5/21/09)
Many cases in today's complex legal marketplace require lawyers to work in teams and with in-house counsel. This scenario necessarily presents situations where some lawyers on the team are supervising other attorneys or themselves being supervised. In this environment, what happens when a junior lawyer receives an instruction to engage in what he believes is unethical or illegal conduct from a supervising attorney or a valued client? Or when a partner receives instructions from a client that he believes are unethical? For example, what are the ethical ramifications when a partner tells an associate to not produce a potentially damaging document that is relevant and requested by the adversary? What happens when a criminal defense attorney knows that his client is not telling the truth? The answer, social psychologists tell us, is that subordinates are much more likely to do what they are told than we would like to believe. This unique program will present current and practical themes involved in civil and criminal litigation and corporate practice, followed by vignettes and panel discussions that illustrate and analyze common ethical dilemmas faced by attorneys. The panel will lead an interactive discussion that explores the many legal and ethical issues that arise when attorneys receive instructions or requests they believe are not ethical, and offer insights into how to deal with this problem, which ultimately has ethical and legal dimensions.
Significant Ethical Issues Facing Inside Counsel (Original Live Program Date: 3/4/09)
This program will explore ethics issues of significance to inside counsel and outside counsel working with inside counsel.
You Don’t Practice Criminal Law? So, What Do You Do If A Client Calls You in The Middle of the Night About a Criminal Matter?
If you haven’t thought about criminal law since you were required to take it in law school, what can you expect to encounter when a client calls you in the middle of the night about a criminal matter? What questions do you ask? How do you counsel your client? What should you do — or not do? This program is a must for any attorney unfamiliar with the practice of criminal law. Find out everything you need to do to preserve the rights of your client (whether dealing with a minor problem or a serious matter) from the first minute your telephone rings.
Becoming a Mediator & Building a Successful Practice
Are you interested in alternative dispute resolution and in learning how to build a mediation practice? This program will feature a mediation role play followed by analyses of the mediation process as compared with other alternative dispute resolution procedures, an explanation of the roles of the mediator, the parties, and attorneys and the various communication styles and techniques used. Experienced mediators from a variety of markets - court-annexed, community mediation centers, government, academia and the private sector - will discuss the latest developments in the profession and opportunities to train and mediate. The panelists and a marketing professional will discuss strategies to build and market a mediation practice.