Setting Up a Sole Practice

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Setting Up a Sole Practice

  1. 1. Setting Up and Running a Sole Law Practice Beverly Michaelis, J.D. Practice Management Advisor Professional Liability Fund
  2. 2. 40% of Claims Involve an Administrative Error  Missed deadlines  Inaccurate documents  Deleted e-mail  Undetected conflicts
  3. 3. Sound Office Systems Help You Control the Risks
  4. 4. Learn How to Manage  Files  Deadlines  Conflicts  Your Trust Account  Your Business
  5. 5. How to Manage Files
  6. 6. Organize Paper Files Witnesses Police Report Client’s Diary Medical Bills Lost Wages and Color Code
  7. 7. Organize Electronic Files
  8. 8. Give Clients Their Own File
  9. 9. 7 Key Steps to Closing a File 1. Closing letter sent 2. Client originals returned 3. File intact 4. Electronic documents captured
  10. 10. 5. Destruction date assigned 6. Final bill or refund issued 7. And …
  11. 11. How to Manage Deadlines
  12. 12. Do You Enter Dates Immediately and Automatically?
  13. 13. Do You Allow Enough Lead Time?
  14. 14. Do You Enter Follow-Up Dates?
  15. 15. Do You Sync Each Day?
  16. 16. Do You Avoid e-Court Pitfalls?  Filing the correct document?  Creating rules to forward e- notices?  Training staff?  White-listing court domains?
  17. 17. Do You Tickle Files?
  18. 18. How to Manage Conflicts 1. Use a database 2. Track dates, names, description 3. Contact PMA for advice
  19. 19. Quick Conflict Tips  SSN or TIN  DOB  123 ABC Street  FKA
  20. 20. How to Manage Your Trust Account
  21. 21. Set it Up Right 1. Oregon Law Foundation TIN 2. Properly identify 3. Bank service charges 4. FDIC Insurance
  22. 22. Notify the OLF in writing within 30 days
  23. 23. Keep a Paper Trail • Each client is separate • Track all deposits and withdrawals
  24. 24. Reconcile!  Each month – without fail  Do a “three way”  Supervise staff
  25. 25. Avoid Temptation 1. No cash draws 2. Don’t pay rent from trust 3. Use caution with transfers
  26. 26. Use Credit Cards Wisely
  27. 27. Keep Records For Five Years
  28. 28. Manage Your Business Protect Yourself Protect Your Clients
  29. 29. What Can You Do Now? 1. Get a buddy 2. Sign an agreement 3. Protect your trust account 4. Inform your family 5. Use the Law Office List of Contacts
  30. 30. Where Can You Go For Help? Planning Ahead: A Guide to Protecting Your Clients’ Interests in the Event of Your Disability or Death
  31. 31. Summary  Manage Files  Manage Deadlines  Manage Conflicts  Manage Your Trust Account  Manage Your Business
  32. 32. Beverly Michaelis - Practice Management Advisor beverlym@osbplf.org http://www.linkedin.com/in/beverlymichaelis 503-639-6911 or 800-452-1639 http://twitter.com/OreLawPracMgmt

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