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Hanging Your Shingle: Starting and Operating a Solo or Small Firm Practice

Essential guidance on developing a successful law practice

General Info

388 pages in 1 volume (ebook)
1st Edition 2018
© 2018 MCLE, Inc.
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Product Description

Expertise in one's area of practice is only one aspect of success as a solo or small firm lawyer. The second component is the day-to-day operations of a practice, the handling of data and finances, cultivation of clients, management of staff, and the marketing of professional services through various channels. The third essential requirement is to stay current on the law and dealing with the inevitable stress that comes with performing a professional high-wire act. Hanging Your Shingle: Starting and Operating a Solo or Small Firm Practice is a comprehensive, engaging, and practical guide to the many challenges of law practice management. With concrete examples, perspectives from experienced solo and small firm practitioners, and expert ethics commentary, this publication is an indispensable resource for any lawyer contemplating, starting, or seeking to improve a solo or small firm practice.

Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 - Keys to Developing a Practice: Tips from the Field (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 2 - Initial Steps (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 3 - Fees and Billing (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 4 - Bookkeeping and Accounting (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 5 - Developing Your Brand for Integrated Marketing (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 6 - Client Development and Networking (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 7 - Online Directories and Reviews (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 8 - Website Design and Development (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 9 - Social Media (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 10 - Managing Client Relationships (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 11 - Ongoing Operations (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 12 - Research and Training (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 13 - Data Security (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 14 - Personal Challenges and Resources (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 15 - Exit Planning (Buy Chapter)



Rodney S. Dowell, Esq., Law Management Innovation, LLC, Melrose

Ethical Commentator(s)

Charles A. Bookman, Esq., Bookman & Al-Marayati, Malden
Susan E. Cohen, Esq., Peabody & Arnold LLP, Boston
Paul M. Glickman, Esq., Glickman Turley LLP, Boston


Stephanie A. Bahl, Webmaster, Social Law Library, Boston
Joseph S. Berman, Esq., Board of Bar Overseers, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Cristina Gutierrez Shinnick, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, PC, Boston
Brian J. Harkins, Esq., Social Law Library, Boston
David C. Harlow, Esq., Harlow Group LLC, Newton
Stephanie A. Hood, Hemenway & Barnes LLP, Boston
Andrew D. Kang, JD, LICSW, Boston Professionals Counseling, LLC, Boston
John M. Lawlor, Esq., Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., Boston
Susan Letterman White, JD, MS, Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP), Boston
Melissa A. Levine-Piro, Esq., Levine-Piro Law, Maynard
Sofia S. Lingos, Esq., Trident Legal LLC, Boston
Robert J. Munnelly, Jr., Esq., Davis, Malm & D'Agostine, PC, Boston
Benjamin Shwartz, Esq., Tempus Fugit Law, Boston
Dasha Tcherniakovskaia, Esq., Brookline
Julie M. Tolek, Esq., Think Pink Law, Southborough
Gyi Tsakalakis, AttorneySync, Chicago



Nonmembers   Sponsor Members New Lawyers
Print Book (printed book) $145.00 $130.50 $108.75
eBook (PDF, MOBI, or EPUB) $145.00 $130.50 $108.75
eArticle (purchased individually) $28.00 $25.00 $18.75
eForm (purchased individually) $18.00 $15.00 $13.50
Online Library (view online) With MCLE OnlinePass® subscription only

With MCLE's supplementation service, new supplements and revisions are mailed automatically with an invoice. If you do not want to subscribe, please check the opt out option during checkout

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With MCLE OnlinePass® subscription only


Keys to Developing a Practice: Tips from the Field
Initial Steps
Fees and Billing
Bookkeeping and Accounting
Developing Your Brand for Integrated Marketing
Client Development and Networking
Online Directories and Reviews
Website Design and Development
Social Media
Managing Client Relationships
Ongoing Operations
Research and Training
Data Security
Personal Challenges and Resources
Exit Planning


Best and Worst Advice Received by Surveyed Sole Practitioners
Information to Obtain About Law Practice Competitors
Considerations in Selecting a Law Practice Office Location
Sample Business Plan
Budgeting Spreadsheet
Choice of Entity Spreadsheet
Tips on Lawyers’ Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance
Sample Consultation Agreement
Sample Nonengagement Letter
Sample Flat-Fee Agreement
Sample Clause on Use of Internet Cloud Storage Devices
Simple Client Ledger for Tracking Individual Client Funds
Sample Ledger
Sample Check Register
Sample Recovery Breakdown Letter
Sample Contingency Fee Agreement
Sample Destruction of Documents Clause
Sample Disengagement Letter
Income Statement
Cash Flow
Aged Accounts Receivable Report
Billable Hours Report
Client Funds Manual 2018
Balance Sheet
Procedures for Maintaining Accounting and Cash Controls
Ten Tips for Success at Networking Events
Assessment of Relationships
Trends Exercise
Age of the Customer
Content Creation Exercise
Author’s Network Map
Self-Evaluation Quiz
EQ Self-Assessment
Questions to Be Asked When Disengaging from a Representation
Tips for Attending a Networking Event
Sample Marketing Research Plan Template
Sample Business Plan Template
Alignment of Brand Assets with Projected Image
Summary of Relationships
Key Steps to Take in Setting Up a Website
Length of Post
Promoting Conversation
Sample Hootsuite Page
Control Over Content
Planning for the Use of Social Media
Sample Conflicts Check Form
Red Flags in Evaluating Potential Clients
Steps to Follow When Giving Feedback to Law Firm Employees
Sample Language for Consent to Use Cloud Computing
Resources for Close Support, Business, and Personal Support Networks
Informed Consent to Disclosure of Client Information to Prospective Successor Counsel
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