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Practice Development + Lawyer Well-Being

Professional Development Plan


This professional development plan takes you step by step through the most essential elements of setting up, managing, and dissolving a law practice.

Usage note
  • Overview
  • Unit 1: Defining Your Practice
  • Unit 2: Creating a Business Plan
  • Unit 3: Choice of Entity
  • Unit 4: Location and Leasing Issues
  • Unit 5: Risk and Insurance
  • Unit 6: Managing the Attorney-Client Relationship
  • Unit 7: Fees
  • Unit 8: Client Funds
  • Unit 9: Accounting and Finances
  • Unit 10: Marketing
  • Unit 11: Websites
  • Unit 12: Law Practice Technology
  • Unit 13: Data Security
  • Unit 14: Building Your Library
  • Unit 15: Dissolving Your Practice
  • Unit 16: Personal and Professional Challenges


This professional development plan takes you step by step through the most essential elements of setting up, managing, and dissolving a law practice.

How to Use the Plan

Click on a unit to identify relevant online resources that have been selected from MCLE’s collection of programs and publications. Then click on any link to

  • view a recommended program or specific lecture,
  • read a relevant chapter,
  • select a sample form, or
  • choose a training module with a practical demonstration by MCLE's highly experienced faculty.

The resources identified represent only a small portion of what is available on MCLE’s website. To see what else is available on any given topic, click the “See All MCLE Resources” link at the bottom of each unit to conduct a search for other full programs, individual lectures, chapters and forms.

Ongoing Updates and Additions

We continue to work on this plan and are adding dynamic content to each of these topics on a regular basis, including new programs and lectures, information from our books, and demonstrations. Keep checking back for updates and new material. We also look forward to your suggestions on how we can make this plan the most effective tool for your professional development and training needs.

Other Available Resources

In addition to the resources available through the professional development plan, MCLE offers in-person programming for developing practice management skills and engaging with legal professionals from throughout the region. MCLE programs provide guidance on topics of critical importance to practice management, such as data security, attorney-client relationships, and effective marketing and communication. Hanging Your Shingle, a comprehensive treatment of challenges facing solo and small-firm practitioners, addresses marketing, technology, business planning, and the nuts and bolts of setting up a practice. And Practicing with Professionalism, offered a number of times each year, brings essential principles of professionalism to life through video, lecture, interactive polling, and compelling hypotheticals.

Note to Firm Training Directors and Law School Librarians & Clinical Program Directors

MCLE’s professional development plans have been designed to complement in-house training and law school educational programs. Firms can tailor plans to the specific needs of their training programs—taking associates unit by unit through an entire practice area plan or targeting only the areas of greatest relevance. Law school faculty and clinical program directors can use professional development plans to identify lectures, demonstrations, articles and forms for use in the classroom, as a supplement to classroom presentations, or to support the student’s representation of clients in the school’s clinical program. If your firm or law school subscribes to the MCLE OnlinePass®, all the electronic resources included in MCLE’s professional development plans are instantly accessible to everyone in your firm or school.