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<ul><li>Rodney S. Dowell, Esq. </li></ul><ul><li>Director, Law Office Management Assistance Program </li></ul><ul><li>31 M...
JOINING A FIRM V. HANGING A SHINGLE <ul><li>Know thyself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-starter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wil...
A founder (i.e. entrepreneur) <ul><li>Passion and Reality  (51,000 active lawyers) </li></ul><ul><li>An Entrepreneur – acc...
STEP 1: How to start. <ul><li>Passion and Reality  (51,000 active lawyers) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Plan and budget ...
Referral Based Marketing  (50% - 100% cases) <ul><li>Fee sharing w/attorneys (not non-attorneys) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If ...
Office space and space sharing; <ul><li>Home office – Not for every practice or every individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pro...
Office space and space sharing; <ul><li>Office sharing – benefits and ethics concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: </li></...
Your Computer: What do you want? <ul><li>PC v. Mac </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop, laptop, tablet? </li></ul><ul><li>Ad from De...
What hardware do you need?  <ul><ul><li>Home office: MFM laser– fax, scan, copy, print </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared o...
What software do you need?  <ul><li>SOFTWARE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows/Linux/Mac OS  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>INTEGR...
Data Security Requirements  <ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act </li></ul>...
What can you use to encrypt? <ul><li>PGP Corp (Pretty Good Privacy):  www.pgp.com </li></ul><ul><li>McAfee Data Protection...
Backups and disaster planning <ul><li>NO EXCUSES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DAILY – tapes, flash drive, cd/dvd (something) </li...
. Most Useful Mass. Web-Sites <ul><li>Massachusetts Court Rules and Dockets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Judicial Court a...
Your law practice advisor. <ul><li>CONTACT INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Rodney S. Dowell, Director </li></ul><ul><li>31 M...
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Going Small Or Solo Now What Bc

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Going Small Or Solo Now What Bc

  1. 1. <ul><li>Rodney S. Dowell, Esq. </li></ul><ul><li>Director, Law Office Management Assistance Program </li></ul><ul><li>31 Milk Street, Suite 810 </li></ul><ul><li>Boston, MA  02109 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.masslomap.org </li></ul><ul><li>Blog : www.masslomap.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Toll Free 888-545-6627 </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone 857-383-3250 </li></ul><ul><li>Facsimile 617-482-9909 </li></ul>Going Small or Solo − Now What?
  2. 2. JOINING A FIRM V. HANGING A SHINGLE <ul><li>Know thyself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-starter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willing to Market Yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secretary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail clerk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountant/bookkeeper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reconcile personal accounts? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice of Law: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Book learning v. practice (is an art not a science) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>market reality – what happens if no jobs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a mentor and learn to do it all </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A founder (i.e. entrepreneur) <ul><li>Passion and Reality (51,000 active lawyers) </li></ul><ul><li>An Entrepreneur – accepts risk of start up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>anyone can start a business – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success requires more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MUST DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NO EASY ANSWER </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HAVE TO CHOOSE, FOCUS, MARKET, EVALUATE, REINVENT, BEGIN AGAIN </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. STEP 1: How to start. <ul><li>Passion and Reality (51,000 active lawyers) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Plan and budget (cash flow is king) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How long till you earn money (i.e. can you put food on the table now) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management of the solo and small firm practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ultimate Question - Return on investment – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of on-going evaluation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Referral Based Marketing (50% - 100% cases) <ul><li>Fee sharing w/attorneys (not non-attorneys) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If share fees – put it writing and pay fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Client sign-off </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Keys to getting more referrals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep referring attorney informed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thank you note, gifts, and personal delivery of fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referrals beget referrals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialty/expertise </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Office space and space sharing; <ul><li>Home office – Not for every practice or every individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Short commute </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clients are at house </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not networking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to separate personal and business </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Office space and space sharing; <ul><li>Office sharing – benefits and ethics concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lowers cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On rent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shared cost of equipment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shared cost of internet access and research </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Built in referral sources and mentors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually have little control of space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality conflicts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY IS ALWAYS AT RISK </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MUST USE CAUTION </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership by estoppel/malpractice claims due to other attorneys errors – it happens </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Your Computer: What do you want? <ul><li>PC v. Mac </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop, laptop, tablet? </li></ul><ul><li>Ad from Dell - </li></ul><ul><li>Intel® Core™2 Duo E7200 Processor (2.53ghz) </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic </li></ul><ul><li>19&quot; Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitor </li></ul><ul><li>2GB Memory* </li></ul><ul><li>250GB* Hard Drive </li></ul><ul><li>DVD Burner </li></ul><ul><li>1-Year Next Business Day On-Site Service </li></ul><ul><li>Priced at $449.00 </li></ul><ul><li>What is it missing? </li></ul><ul><li>no productivity software </li></ul><ul><li>2 screens (minimum of 20% productivity increase) </li></ul><ul><li>Extended service package – next day on site </li></ul><ul><li>No speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Key Decisions </li></ul><ul><li>XP v. Vista </li></ul><ul><li>Home v. Business </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum 3GB memory </li></ul><ul><li>DVD and CD or just one </li></ul><ul><li>PCI Network card – get it – add wireless? </li></ul><ul><li>Security software </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Standard for $35 </li></ul>
  9. 9. What hardware do you need? <ul><ul><li>Home office: MFM laser– fax, scan, copy, print </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared office: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>own fax, or efax, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>be careful at copier, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>desktop scanner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hard-drive back up /encrypted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flash drive with encryption </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What software do you need? <ul><li>SOFTWARE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows/Linux/Mac OS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>INTEGRATED CLIENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE: Can I say “JUST DO IT” – T&B, docket/calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office Suites: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Office </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WordPerfect X4 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OpenOffice(free) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PDF – Adobe/Nuance, or free and low cost alternatives (CutePDF, PDFforge) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounting software: TABS111, PCLaw, Quicken, QuickBooks, Microsoft Accounting Express </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time and Billing: Excel?, QB, Accounting Express, RTGBills, Billing Software for Attorneys (BSA), Tussman, Chaos Legal Billing, TurboLaw </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Data Security Requirements <ul><li>Federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MGL 93H, Security Breaches (May 1, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware and software encryption </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What can you use to encrypt? <ul><li>PGP Corp (Pretty Good Privacy): www.pgp.com </li></ul><ul><li>McAfee Data Protection: http://dataprotection.mcfee.com </li></ul><ul><li>TrueCrypt, Free Open-Source Disk Encryption Software: www.truecrypt.org – no formal support (are you a tech geek?) </li></ul><ul><li>Windows OS – Built in – kind of </li></ul><ul><li>Encrypted hard-drive or USB thumb drive </li></ul>
  13. 13. Backups and disaster planning <ul><li>NO EXCUSES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DAILY – tapes, flash drive, cd/dvd (something) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly – rotate 2/3 hard-drives – take off-site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly – on-line backup (Carbonite, Mozy, Connected Backup for PC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encrypted on your computer, you retain encryption key </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep files off the floor – water damage/fire/smoke </li></ul><ul><li>List of critical contacts of site </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance </li></ul>
  14. 14. . Most Useful Mass. Web-Sites <ul><li>Massachusetts Court Rules and Dockets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court Docket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massachusetts Court Rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massachusetts Trial Court dockets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massachusetts District Court Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Massachusetts Agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Department of Industrial Accidents (Workers Compensation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secretary of State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Division </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Registry of Deeds </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Your law practice advisor. <ul><li>CONTACT INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Rodney S. Dowell, Director </li></ul><ul><li>31 Milk Street, Suite 810 </li></ul><ul><li>Boston, MA 02109 </li></ul><ul><li>857-383-3250 (local line) </li></ul><ul><li>888-545-6627 (toll free) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>www.masslomap.org http://masslomap.blogspot.com/ Follow me on twitter.com/rodneydowell eNewsletter: MAsses of Info Follow LOMAP AT:

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