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ALPS 411-May 2016 Blog Digest

  Free Ezine: The New Associate’s Guide to Business Development By Kiffin Hope Big firm or small, there’s a single question the partners in any law firm ask about a young associate: “Is she a keeper?” And, while legal skills count, it’s clear they’re thinking: “Can she bring in clients?” Help has...read more

How Long Do We Need to Keep Our Closed Files?

As a risk manager, this question is the one question I’m asked more than any other and I get it. Although my wife is a physician, she had to deal with the same issue. We were paying to store her closed files for years after she left private practice and we both breathed a sigh of relief when that...read more

How to Manage the Risks Associated with Substantive Errors

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability has been providing a statistical analysis of claims data collected from various lawyer-owned and commercial insurance companies for years. One number that I consistently pay attention to has been the number of claims...read more

February 2016 Blog Digest

Law Firm Cyber Insecurity–Fix It! By Kiffin Hope From the White House to Congress and from Wall Street to the mom and pop storefront on Main Street, the issue of cybersecurity is one that is here and here to stay. Hacking computers is no longer a “cottage industry” or something done by lone...read more

One Reason Why You Never Want to Get Lazy With Your Time Keeping

This post is directed toward those of you who fail to accurately record your time on a consistent basis throughout the day, day after day. I know it can be a hassle but there are really good reasons why this should be a priority. Now I could start lecturing and talk about the studies that confirm...read more

Letting Go Is Hard to Do

One of the hardest things for a solo construction attorney like me (or any other lawyer) is how to "let go" and leave the office at the office (or the [wherever you may work]). As conscientious professionals we spend our days obsessing about other peoples problems, advising clients as to the best...read more

Three Unsuspected Influences That Affect Your Productivity

There are three “Productivity influences” that will affect your workflow - in a positive or negative way. What you work on, how efficient you are, and what gets done tomorrow depends on how aware you are of each of these influences. Here is what you need to know so that you can get more done, very...read more

Why You Don’t Want to Take Business Planning Completely Off the Table

Businesses of all shapes and sizes often spend time at the end of each fiscal year developing, reviewing and/or updating their mission statement, strategic plan, and operational plan. While a few solo and small law firms do something similar each year, many attorneys continue to insist on viewing...read more

Who’s Steering the Ship? Managing the Business Side of Your Firm

I have always felt that my law school education missed one key component because a comprehensive course on how to manage the business side of a law practice was never offered. Trust me, I had my fair share of missteps early on in my career and a course like that would have helped. Yes, I do know...read more

ALPS 411 Blog Digest - February 2015 Edition

Why the Use of an Engagement Letter Should Never be Optional By Mark Bassingthwaighte Engagement letters seem to be one of those documents that most attorneys intellectually appreciate the value of but often underutilize. This letter simply isn’t in consistent use day to day and the excuses run the...read more

Why the Use of an Engagement Letter Should Never be Optional

Engagement letters seem to be one of those documents that most attorneys intellectually appreciate the value of but often underutilize. This letter simply isn’t in consistent use day to day and the excuses run the gamut. I often hear “Repeat clients would be offended,” “They take more time than...read more

I Believe First Impressions Matter. Do You?

Like you, I’ve been a consumer for years and the older I get the more I’ve come to recognize the impact of first impressions. They really do matter. I can only speak for me, but these days if I am forced to interact with a pushy sales person when first entering a store, I often leave and rarely...read more

Try Not To Fall Into The Comfort Trap

I suspect it would come as no surprise to learn that many of the files that come our way after a malpractice claim has been reported come up short in terms of thorough documentation. If we had found in those files what should have been there, a number of claims would have been resolved far more...read more

Hamburgers and Quality Control

Years ago a commercial that Wendy’s aired became a personal favorite and I still get a chuckle out of it to this day. An elderly and somewhat curmudgeonly woman with cohorts in tow enters a burger joint. She buys a burger, lifts up the top bun, and upon seeing a tiny little burger patty promptly...read more

New Free E-Zine - New Math, New Money

ALPS partner Attorney at Work has just published a lawyer's guide to the changing business of law. There’s been a lot of talk about big changes in the legal profession. But when the shift starts making popular media headlines and legal academia begins to fuss, you know the change has arrived. At...read more

How Distractions Will Help You Perform Better

Distractions...the productivity killers! When you set your goal to make your best even better, one of the main questions you will face is: How do I improve my productivity? It All Starts With Your Focus Have you noticed that many times when you are focusing on your work, and you are approaching that...read more

Passive Management in Small Firms: Is Anyone Actually Steering the Ship?

I have worked with over one thousand law firms over the years and it certainly seems to me that a number of smaller law firms around the country are being passively managed. Is this a problem? Well yes, it very well could be. Now I define passive management as reactive decision making or making...read more

Shortcuts That Aren't Worth It

Sometimes my wife needs to remind me of the importance of making healthy food choices because it is far too easy to pull up to a drive through window while on the road. She is always encouraging me try to stop someplace where I could have a more balanced meal. The point of this is to suggest that...read more

7 Ways To Reduce Stress For Professionals

My whole business is going through a MASSIVE reengineering and re-branding. Understandably, I'm in this constant state of getting things done but in a calm collected manner. My work space has different colored post-it notes, pen markers, and visuals to create the big picture and then to chunk it all...read more

The Mail's Here, The Mail's Here!

When my kids were young they all got excited when someone spotted the mailman coming. They used to run up and get the mail then run off and riffle through it hoping to find something for them. Maybe grandma sent a note and grandpa slipped in a little fun money. It could happen! And to this day if my...read more