Managing Partners Conference Series

The Managing Partners Conference Series programs are designed to provide educational, networking and leadership opportunities for managing partners and law firm leaders. The Managing Partners Board of Advisors is made up of 60+ practicing Attorneys from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Illinois, and Texas. To view the full roster, click here.

Managing Partners Conference Program Chairs

Marian C. Rice, Esq. | L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP
Craig S. Brown, Esq. | Bridgeline Solutions

Programs: 


 

Managing Partner Response To COVID-19
1.0 MCLE Credit | This program focuses on how Managing Partners are dealing with the pandemic, how they are getting ready for the lock-down to end, and what law firm life looks like post-COVID-19.

Structuring The Role Of The Managing Partner (2016)
2.0 MCLE Credits | This program provides an overview of structuring the role of the managing partner at a law firm. Featuring nationally known management consultant and panelists, registrants will learn best practices, tips and succession planning.

Annual Meeting 2020:

LPM Day” 2020 Vision Program

7.0 MCLE Credits | This program includes a 1.0 MCLE Credit Managing Partner Roundtable segment on 20/20 Vision for Managing Partners, including succession planning and how to motivate your Associates.

Annual Meeting 2019:

Hot Topics in Law Practice Management 2019
6.0 MCLE Credits | This program includes a 1.0 MCLE Credits Managing Partner Roundtable segment on Developing a Culture of Attorney Satisfaction.

The 2018 Managing Partners Conference:

Managing Partners Round Table: Emerging Technologies for Lawyers
3.0 MCLE Credits | This program will include and overview of hot topics in technology for lawyers as well as information on how law firms can prevent cyber attacks.

The 2017 Managing Partners Conference Series:

Managing Partners Conference – Part One
No MCLE Credit | Part one of the four part series focuses on what can a managing partner do to keep his/her partners happy and incentivized, proper compensation plans for partners and other non-comp measures.

Managing Partners Conference – Part Two
1.5 MCLE Credits | Part two of the four part series focuses on business development and strategies for motivating senior partners to transition their work, clients, and networking contacts to other firm members.

Managing Partners Conference – Part Three
1.5 MCLE Credits | Part three of the four part series focuses on how mid-sized and specialty firms can survive and thrive in this day and age and methods to hire and retain a diverse group of associates and partners.

Managing Partners Conference – Part Four 
1.5 MCLE Credits | Part four of the four part series focuses on planning the orderly succession of firm governance and the orderly transition of clients from senior partners to other members of the firm.

 

Professional Standards for Attorneys

New York Rules of Conduct with CommentsEffective April 1, 2009 as amended through June 24, 2020 with commentary as amended though June 24, 2020.  PLEASE NOTE: The New York Rules of Professional Conduct have been adopted by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and are published as Part 1200 of the Joint Rules of the Appellate Division (22 NYCRR Part 1200).  The Appellate Division has not enacted the Preamble, Scope and Comments, which are published solely by the New York State Bar Association to provide guidance for attorneys in complying with the Rules.  Where a conflict exists between a Rule and the Preamble, Scope or a Comment, the Rule controls.

Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility (PDF) (Updated through December 28, 2007 – includes Rules on Lawyer Advertising) – Effective through March 31, 2009

Statements of Client Rights and Responsibilities

The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct

Sample Letters of Engagement (PDF)

Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program

Starting a Practice in New York

Starting a Practice

Are you considering opening your own firm? Are you a recent law school graduate just starting out? Are you considering leaving your place of employment and starting your own practice?  New York State Bar Association Law Practice Management resources can help you start, build and grow your firm.

Starting up a solo or small firm has its own unique financial, technical and practical concerns, but beginning a practice also has its own set of rewards, fulfillment and accomplishments.  To maximize your chances for success, you must have a plan. Whether you are considering a change or whether you are a recent law school graduate, Law Practice Management CLE programs will help you explore your options.  From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, get practical and useful tips to help you succeed.

This program provides an overview of what it takes to own your own practice. From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, get practical and useful tips for starting a practice in New York.  Focusing on solo practice, program topics include: setting up bank accounts; general accounting information; tax concerns; setting up IOLA accounts; client retainer agreements and intake forms; collecting payments; leaving your old firm; handling referral business; the ethical issues of using the Internet to market your practice; social media considerations; increasing your list of contacts; and much more.

STARTING A SOLO PRACTICE IN NEW YORK (UPCOMING PROGRAMS)

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2020
7.5 MCLE Credits including 3.0 Ethics
Basic Overview of What It Takes to Own Your Own Practice

STARTING A SOLO PRACTICE IN NEW YORK (ON-DEMAND PROGRAMS)

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2019
7.5 MCLE Credits including 3.5 Ethics
Basic Overview of What It Takes to Own Your Own Practice

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2018
7.5 MCLE Credits including 3.5 Ethics
Basic Overview of What It Takes to Own Your Own Practice

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2017 
7.5 MCLE Credits including 3.5 Ethics
Basic Business Skills for Starting a Running a Successful Practice

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2016
8.0 MCLE Credits including 3.5 Ethics
Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2015
8.0 MCLE Credits including 4.0 Ethics
Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice

STARTING A PRACTICE RESOURCES:

Checklist for Starting a Practice in New York State (PDF)

Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice.

NYSBA Solo-Small Firm Resource Center

Comprehensive resources for attorneys in solo or small firm practice in New York State – everything from marketing advice to sample engagement letters, insurance information to business continuity planning, work-life balance to selecting software and hiring staff.

Information about Escrow Accounts and IOLA

Attorney Escrow Accounts – Your “must have” book
Attorney Escrow Accounts comprehensively covers the most common situations where attorneys handle client funds and discusses the legal and ethics issues encountered in handling clients’ funds. The Third Edition provides an expanded discussion of related issues and updated case and statutory law, as well as a more comprehensive appendix featuring relevant statutes, rules and ethics opinions.

Technology Resources for You and Your Practice

Enhance the efficiency and lower the cost of your practice with special discount programs for NYSBA members. From insurance and financial services to discounted office products, your NYSBA membership gets you dramatic savings on important services for all your practice needs.

Marketing Your Practice and Business Development

Information and programs on attorney advertising, ethics and business development

Join The Lawyer Referral and Information Service

Join the Lawyer Referral Service (www.nysba.org/joinlr) and add your name to the list of attorneys receiving referrals from the State Bar.
Contact Eva Valentin-Espinal ([email protected]) Manager of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service for more information.

For more information about Starting a Practice in New York, contact Katherine Suchocki, Director, Law Practice Management at 518-487-5590 or [email protected]

Marketing Your Practice

The key to business development is marketing.  Law Practice Management programs provide information on using Facebook, Twitter and social media to market your practice. Get information on the ins and outs of internet marketing—not just having a website—but using the web in a variety of ways to generate business legally and ethically.  Download programs on cutting-edge topics including the Legal Implications of Social Networking, Twittering, Linking, Posting & Friending, Search Engine Optimization and Building a Strong Web Presence and Marketing on a Shoestring.

What You Need to Know about Attorney Advertising and Marketing

Ethics Opinions and Links of Interest

NYSBA Ethics Opinions
New York Rules of Professional Conduct

Attorney Advertising, Solicitation and Professional Notices
Legal Links of Interest

The Authority for Legal Marketing

Attorney Websites for Solo and Small Firms

Attorney Web Sites: Ethical Issues are Only the Beginning: Non-Traditional Advertising on the Internet

Excerpt from Materials and Cases on Law Practice Management

On-Demand Programs on Marketing, Business Development, Attorney Advertising and Ethics

2017 Marketing Conference for Solo Practitioners | 7.0 MCLE Credits
Client Service, Emerging Technology, Ethics and the Delivery of Legal Services – Developing Your Strategic Practice Growth Plan

2016 Marketing Conference for Small Law Firms | 7.0 MCLE Credits including 3.0 Ethics
Using technology and the internet to turbo-charge your business development success

2015 March Marketing Conference
 
| 5.0 MCLE Credits including 2.5 Ethics
Panelists will share advice on attorney websites, public relations, LinkedIn marketing, targeted prospecting and social media. Panelists will also explore the limitations placed on lawyers by ethics rules.

2014 March Marketing Conference | Marketing and Business Practices to Grow Your Firm
6.5 MCLE Credits | 3.0 ethics, 2.5 law practice management, 1.0 skills

Marketing and Business Development 101 for Small and Medium-Sized
4.5 MCLE Credits | 2.5 ethics, 2.0 law practice management

Marketing on a Shoestring | 4.0 MCLE Credits

Managing Your Practice

The Business Side of Practicing Law

Finance, HR, and IT basics for lawyers and law firm managers.
Law Practice Management resources provide lawyers, law firm managers and legal professionals with information on practice management trends, marketing, client development, legal technology and finance. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a managing partner at a national law firm, you’ll find law practice management and business resources to meet your day-to-day practice needs. Checklists, best practices, publications and continuing legal education programs provide up-to-date information and practical tips to help you better manage your law practice.  From retainer agreements, information about bill collection and accounting to document management and file retention, the New York State Bar Association is helping you be a better lawyer and law firm manager. 

NYSBA Publication: Best Practices in Legal Management

Best Practices in Legal Management:  A Comprehensive Guide (Includes forms on CD)
This is the most complete and exhaustive treatment of the subject of the business aspects of running a law firm available anywhere. Approximately 90 law practice management experts were asked to submit what they considered best practices for managing all “back office” functions of a law firm. The result is this comprehensive textbook which provides practical tips and best practices as well as useful forms and templates.

Retainers, Engagement Letters, Disengagement Letters, Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities

Requirement for Retainer Agreements


All four of the Appellate Divisions adopted a rule governing contingent fees in claims and actions for personal injury and wrongful death. This rule is mandatory. The rules for the respective Appellate Divisions are: First Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 603.7[e]); Second Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 691.20[e]); Third Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 806.13[c]); and Fourth Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 1022.31[c]). Lawyers should be aware that the language varies slightly among the different Judicial Departments. Please note, these changes do NOT apply to medical malpractice cases, which are NOT subject to the new rules and must be handled in accordance with NYS Judiciary Law 474-a.


New Client/Matter Intake

Any client who is unhappy with a law firm’s representation is a potential plaintiff in a subsequent legal malpractice action.  Be sure to analyze a prospective new client and the potential matter prior to engagement, in an effort to minimize the risk of a future disciplinary action, legal malpractice action or fee dispute. Pursuant to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1(b): “A lawyer shall not handle a legal matter that the lawyer knows or should know that the lawyer is not competent to handle, without associating with a lawyer who is competent to handle it.” Be sure the prospective client’s matter will not overburden the firm’s finances, time and staff resources. You may also want to perform a state and federal docket search to determine whether the prospective client has been involved in any legal malpractice actions or fee disputes.

Conflicts Checks

Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7, Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9

Performing a conflict check prior to engagement will help prevent later claims of legal malpractice arising from an alleged conflict of interest. Get as many facts as possible regarding the potential parties to the matter to be sure that you do not have any conflicts of interest with any other parties or potential parties should a litigation matter result in third-party claims, counterclaims or cross-claims. Utilize a conflict checking software program to ensure that engagement is proper.

It is good practice to create and maintain the following file opening procedures:
* Prepare a file-opening form.
* Establish procedures so that a file/billing number cannot be assigned without first performing a conflicts check.
* Update file-opening forms when new parties are added to a matter.

Utilize conflict checking software which searches all active, inactive and closed matters for potential conflicts. Conflict checking software is only as good as the information that is inputted into the system. Be sure that all relevant client information is entered into the system, updated and adequately backed up in the event of system failure.

Engagement Letters/Part 1215 Requirement


Engagement letters confirm the scope of representation and set forth the parties’ responsibilities, billing rates/contingency agreements and expense costs. Engagement letters discuss the scope of the firm’s representation and the limits of it. A simple litigation matter can become quite complicated if a party files for bankruptcy, takes an appeal, enters receivership, becomes subject to a guardianship situation or dies. Make sure that the prospective client understands the exact scope of the firm’s representation. The retainer agreement should memorialize the bounds of the firm’s actual representation. If the law firm has no intention of pursuing appeals on behalf of its client, then it must explicitly state that appeals are not part the firm’s representation, unless a separate retainer is executed.

Title 22 Part 1215 of the Official Compilations of Codes, entitled “Written Letter of Engagement” mandates that attorneys provide their clients with engagement letters. Part 1215.1 states:
a. Effective March 4, 2002, an attorney who undertakes to represent a client and enters into an arrangement for, charges or collects any fee from a client shall provide to the client a written letter of engagement before commencing the representation, or within a reasonable time thereafter (i) if otherwise
impracticable or (ii) if the scope of services to be provided cannot be determined at the time of the commencement of representation. For purposes of this rule, where an entity (such as an insurance carrier) engages an attorney to represent a third party, the term “client” shall mean the entity that engages the attorney. Where there is a significant change in the scope of services or the fee to be charged, an updated letter of engagement shall be provided to the client.

b. The letter of engagement shall address the following matters:
1. Explanation of the scope of the legal services to be provided;
2. Explanation of attorney’s fees to be charged, expenses and billing practices; and, where applicable, shall provide that the client may have a right to arbitrate fee disputes under Part 137 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator.

c. Instead of providing the client with a written letter of engagement, an attorney may comply with the provisions of subdivision (a) by entering into a signed written retainer agreement with the client, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation, provided that the agreement addresses the matters set forth in subdivision (b).

The engagement letter must: 1) explain the scope of the legal services to be provided; 2) explain the attorney’s fees to be charged, expenses and billing practices; and 3) where applicable, provide that the client may have a right to arbitrate fee disputes under Part 137 of the Judiciary Rules.

Part 1215 has exceptions.  Engagement letters are not required in the following situations: 1) where the fee to be charged is expected to be less than $3,000; 2) where the attorney’s services are of the same general kind as previously rendered to and paid for by the client; 3) when representing a client in a domestic relations matter subject to Part 1400; or 4) where the attorney is admitted to practice in another jurisdiction and maintains no office in the State of New York, or where no material portion of the services are to be rendered in New York.

Non-engagement Letters


To minimize risk a firm should send a non-engagement letter when it decides not to accept a client. A non-engagement letter should be direct, concise and in plain English, and it should explicitly inform the prospective client that the law firm will not accept retention. It is highly advisable to send such letters via certified mail, return receipt requested, such that evidence exists in the event a statute of limitations issue later arises.

Disengagement Letters

When a matter or transaction has concluded, send a letter to the client advising that the attorney-client relationship has terminated. Disengagement letters are best delivered via certified mail.  Sending a disengagement letter is an effective risk prevention tool, as it provides a concrete date for purposes of statute of limitations defenses in the event of a later legal malpractice claim. Disengagement letters may act to curtail any later tolling arguments of a continuous representation.

Additional Documents:


Sample Letter of Engagement

Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities

Purchase Laminated Statement of Clients Rights and Responsibilities

CNA Lawyer’s Toolkit 3.0: A Guide to Managing the Attorney-Client Relationship

NYSBA CLE Malpractice Programs

Applying for Malpractice Insurance 2018 | 2.0 Law Practice Management
Learn about malpractice insurance considerations while gaining practical tips when applying for and purchasing the appropriate coverage.

Understanding Your Malpractice Insurance | 2.0 MCLE Credits
This program will provide a thorough understanding of your malpractice insurance policy and the insurance application process. Panelists will take you step-by-step through the application process and will provide practical tips when applying for professional liability insurance. Fee suits will also be discussed. Panelists will also cover when it is appropriate to sue for fees and how to manage the risk of fee disputes in a tough economy. Topics also include conflicts, the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, engagement and non-engagement letters, and serving on client board.

Legal Malpractice 2017 | 4.0 MCLE Credits
Lawsuits against lawyers arising from errors and/or omissions in the performance of legal services continue to rise. It is an essential part of a law firm’s business practice to evaluate its legal risk and malpractice insurance needs. This program is designed to educate attorneys on how to prosecute and/or defend a legal malpractice action. In addition, this program will educate attorneys about their legal malpractice exposures, what they should do in the event that a lawsuit or a grievance complaint is filed against them, and what they should do when situations arise that indicate that a legal malpractice claim is likely. Both solo practitioners and members of larger firms would benefit from knowing how to assess professional liability risk and manage legal malpractice litigation.

Malpractice Insurance – The Application Process | 1.5 MCLE Credits
This program provides an overview of malpractice insurance and the application process. Get tips and best practices from both the carrier and broker perspective.

Docket and Calendar Management

Approximately twenty-five percent of legal malpractice claims result from calendaring issues, such as failure to know a deadline, failure to timely file, failure to record in a calendar or failure to respond to a calendar reminder.  A law firm should use calendaring for all projects, events and deadlines. To prevent delays and missed deadlines, supervisory attorneys should perform a workload analysis of subordinate attorneys on a frequent basis. The use of a central department to monitor individual supervision will assist in the monitoring of important dates. For more information about the New York State Bar Association’s Affinity Partnership with CLIO visit  Clio.  NYSBA members receive a 10% lifetime discount; newly admitted attorneys receive a one-year FREE period. Click here to learn more.

Billing

Billing Systems and Controls
A law firm should send clients bills frequently and in accordance with the terms of engagement letters. Clients are more likely to feel that their matters are being actively managed. Articles of interest on billing are posted below.

Converting Hours Worked into Dollars Received: How to Get the Bills Out and Receivables Collected by Joel A. Rose  
Nine Essential Billing and Collection Skills for Lawyers
 by Joel A. Rose
For CLE programs on Alternative Fee Arrangements and Billing,  click here.

Escrow Accounts and IOLA

Attorney Escrow Accounts – Your “must have” book
Attorney Escrow Accounts, Fourth Edition is a handy reference for newly admitted and seasoned attorneys. It comprehensively covers the most common situations where attorneys handle client funds and clearly discusses the legal and ethics issues encountered.

Insurance Programs for NYSBA Members

Take advantage of comprehensive, competitive insurance programs available through our exclusive insurance administrator, USI Affinity. USI Affinity offers a broad spectrum of insurance products for NYSBA members, their firms, and their employees – ranging from Individual Life, Disability, Auto & Home…to Lawyers’ Professional Liability…to group Medical & Prescription Drug, and more.

Document Management and File Retention

There are tens of thousands of boxes of closed client files sitting around in warehouses, storage buildings, spare offices and, believe it or not, probably garages. Some firms spend thousands of dollars on closed file storage. While many firms are starting to move towards paperless office environments, many attorneys are asking about what to do with their banker boxes full of closed files. “How long do I have to keep my closed files?” is one of the most frequent questions sent to the “Ask LPM” email box.   Rule 1.15(d) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct outlines bookkeeping requirements.

Rule 1.15(d) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct:

(d) Required Bookkeeping Records.
(1) A lawyer shall maintain for seven years after the events that they record:
(i) the records of all deposits in and withdrawals from the accounts specified in Rule 1.15(b) and of any other bank account that concerns or affects the lawyer’s practice of law; these records shall specifically identify the date, source and description of each item deposited, as well as the date, payee and purpose of each withdrawal or disbursement;
(ii) a record for special accounts, showing the source of all funds deposited in such accounts, the names of all persons for whom the funds are or were held, the amount of such funds, the description and amounts, and the names of all persons to whom such funds were disbursed;
(iii) copies of all retainer and compensation agreements with clients;
(iv) copies of all statements to clients or other persons showing the disbursement of funds to them or on their behalf;
(v) copies of all bills rendered to clients;
(vi) copies of all records showing payments to lawyers, investigators or other persons, not in the lawyer’s regular employ, for services rendered or performed;
(vii) copies of all retainer and closing statements filed with the Office of Court Administration; and
(viii) all checkbooks and check stubs, bank statements, prenumbered canceled checks and duplicate deposit slips.

We refer attorneys to consult Ethics Opinion 460 – 2/18/77 (12-77) – Preservation of Closed Files which describes the circumstances under which lawyers may dispose of closed files. To quote from the opinion “What is required of lawyers must for the most part be determined in the light of common sense and certain general principles of considerably broader application.” The final paragraph of the opinion states “Whenever possible, the client should be consulted concerning the disposition of his files and encouraged to preserve them on his own. Lawyers are advocates and advisors.  They are not warehousemen or perpetual repositories for the files of their clients. A good lawyer need not retain his clients by holding on to their files and a poor one will soon learn that such tactics avail him nothing but additional expense.” Ethics Opinion 623 should be reviewed when dissolving a law firm and procedures for disposing of closed files.

Ethics Opinion 641
 – 02/16/1993 (40-92)
 discusses disposition procedures and compliance with recycling regulations. In many communities there are recycling regulations. “A lawyer who is subject to a recycling law must ensure that compliance with that law does not entail violation of the lawyer’s obligation to maintain the confidentiality of client information.”

In disposing of client files, it is important to remember the need to preserve client confidences and secrets. If you use a recycling or shredding company to dispose of paper, take extra care to ensure that disposed documents are not reviewed by third parties.  Similar steps should also be taken when donating, recycling, or disposing of firm computers. Deleting an electronic file from a hard drive does not mean that a record is destroyed in the same way that paper can be destroyed. “Scrubbing” software should be used.

File Retention Policies – Your Firm Should Have One
Your firm should have a file retention policy in place.  A file retention policy is provides a step-by-step outline of the processes and procedures on how firm files should be closed, retained and destroyed. Links to sample file retention policies and resources on document management are available at the links below:

Sample Document Retention Policy from Prolegia  
Practice Management Resource Center Sample Closed File Check List

Tell Your Clients about Your File Retention Policy – Review Your Retainer


You should tell your clients about your file retention and destruction policy when you are retained. You should include your policy in your retainer agreement or engagement letter to set expectations at the outset and clearly indicate that file destruction is anticipated a certain number of years after the representation. This keeps everyone on the same page as to what happens with the contents of the file while the matter is pending and after the file is closed. For example your retainer can include the following language: “The firm retains closed files for at least seven years after they are closed.”

You should also include a reminder that copies of all pleadings, correspondence and other documents will be provided to the client during representation. The client is free to maintain a copy of the file and keep it forever. For those firms striving to go paperless, retainers sometimes note that most original documents will be scanned and forwarded to clients as they arrive at the office, and that the firm will keep only an electronic record of that document.

What You Should Keep for More than Seven Years


You should always evaluate the statutes of limitation for legal malpractice cases; retain these files for at least as long as anyone could conceivably make a claim in connection with your work. Original wills, client files involving minors or those under a disability, select real estate files, family law matters for instance those involving matters relating to future college or school tuition and expenses should be kept for more than 7 years. Disposing of closed client files requires good judgment and common sense.

Article of Interest |  Safe-Guarding Client Information: Basic Data Security Training for Lawyers by John R. McCarron, Jr., Esq.
For more information, review the NY Rules of Professional Conduct, Ethics Opinions 460, 623 and 641.

Ethics Opinions on Document Management, File Retention, Closed Files

New York Rules of Professional Conduct

Opinion 680 – 1/10/96(57-95 )
Digest: Lawyers may retain some records in the form of computer images, but certain records must be retained in original form
Question: May lawyers comply with the mandatory record-retention provisions of the Code by storing records in the form of computer-generated images or by other electronic means?

Opinion 724 -11/30/99
Digest: A lawyer who drafts a client’s will should agree in advance whether the lawyer will maintain the original will for safekeeping and, if so, what obligations the lawyer will thereby assume. At least absent agreement to the contrary, if the lawyer has maintained the client’s original will, after the client’s death the lawyer must assure that the executor and/or beneficiaries are aware of its existence, unless the lawyer knows of a later valid will. Absent agreement, the lawyer has no obligation to take steps to learn of the client’s death or to file the original will with an appropriate court. However, the lawyer should clarify in advance whether or not the lawyer is to undertake these or other additional obligations and must comply with whatever agreement is made.
Code: DR 2-103 (A), 4-101; EC 2-3, 4-6
Question: If a lawyer keeps custody of a client’s original will, absent agreement does the lawyer have an obligation to learn of the client’s death, to file the original will with an appropriate court?

Opinion 623 –11/7/01(38-90)
Digest: Procedures for disposing of closed files; partners’ ethical obligations are joint and several
Code: DR 1-102 (A)(5), 4-101(B)(1), 4-101(D), 9-102(B), 9-102(D), 9-102(G); E-C 1-5, 4-4, 4-6, 7-1, 7-8, 7-11, 7-12.
Question: What procedures should a lawyer undertake when disposing of closed files and to what extent are those procedures affected by dissolution of the lawyer’s firm?

Opinion 460 – 2/18/77 (12-77)
Digest: Circumstances under which lawyers may dispose of closed files
Code: EC 1-5, 4-6, 7-1, 7-8, 7-11, 7-12; DR 1-102 (5), 4-101
Question: Under what circumstances may a lawyer properly dispose of closed files relating to his client?

Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness

We have all witnessed in graphic detail scores of people and regions around the world devastated by unforeseen and wholly unpredictable events – natural disasters, fires, storms, floods and earthquakes, along with the specter of terror attacks or power outages. Law firm businesses cannot afford to take a “wait and see” attitude in this crucial business reality. In addition to the serious human toll of such events, the business implications are astounding and often crippling – potential loss of income and clients, malpractice liability exposure and worse.

Is your firm prepared?


Most law firms know they need a disaster recovery plan, but don’t have one. Maybe your firm has started its emergency planning procedures, but how can you be certain it is comprehensive or that you are not overlooking important functions, contingencies and considerations? Without an effective and customized plan, your firm is at risk. An action plan and checklist incorporating the best practices in emergency planning and disaster recovery for law firms is key. Click here to start your firm’s planning and to download a sample Disaster Recovery Template created by Barry Jackson, CPA, CLM. You can use this as a loose guide and specifically tailor it for your firm. There are much more sophisticated procedures out in the marketplace. This template is simply designed to start the process.  A records disaster recovery program identifies and protects records encompassing vital files, documents (hard copy and electronic) and information necessary for a law firm to maintain business continuity in case of a disaster or emergency. Knowledge of the physical layout of your premises is critical to safe evacuation of personnel, retrieval of important documents and equipment, restoration of services, and planning to repair or rebuild. A detailed floor plan should be part of your disaster plan.

Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness – Best Practices for Solo Practitioners
An unforeseen crisis can be difficult to manage and can jeopardize your law practice. Planning ahead is essential to providing competent representation and preventing disciplinary problems. Most law firms know they need a disaster recovery plan, but don’t have one. Maybe your firm has started its emergency planning procedures, but how can you be certain it is comprehensive or that you are not overlooking important functions, contingencies and considerations? Without an effective and customized plan, your firm is at risk.

This program covers:

  1. Law Practice Continuity – Learn how to prepare for retirement, disability or other planned or unplanned interruptions in the practice of law
  2. Ethical Risks – Don’t risk your good standing status by neglecting to plan ahead
  3. Preparedness Manuals, Action Plans and Checklists – Best practices in emergency planning and disaster recovery for law firms
  4. Physical Facilities: Knowledge of the physical layout of your premises is critical to safe evacuation of personnel, retrieval of important documents and equipment, restoration of services, and planning to repair or rebuild
  5. Records Protection, Retention and Storage: A records disaster recovery program identifies and protects records encompassing vital files, documents (hard copy and electronic) and information necessary for a law firm to maintain business continuity in case of a disaster or emergency.

View an outline from the program | Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners by Deborah Scalise, Esq.

Member Benefits and Savings Programs

Enhance the efficiency and lower the cost of your practice with special discount programs for NYSBA members. From insurance and financial services to discounted office products, your NYSBA membership gets you dramatic savings on important services every practice needs.  Save time and money with members-only programs like group health insurance from MVP, financial services from Bank of America, free legal research, discounts on CLE of more than 30%, practice management software, hardware and resources, and much more.

Human Resources and Hiring Staff

The following programs on human resource compliance and hiring staff provide insights to growing your firm and managing staff.

The Lawyer as Employer 2018 | 2.0 Law Practice Management
This program addresses deciding when you need an employee and what that employee should be, an association or a paralegal. Additional topics to be covered are human resource issues, exempt vs. nonexempt, and millennial exemptions in the workplace.

HR Issues for the Solo or Small Practice | 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice
This program will include the following topics: What Types of Staff Members Should You Hire? When Is the Best Time to Hire? How Can You Create a Competitive Competition Structure You Can Afford? What Types of Incentive Programs Can You Put Into Place? How Will You Manage Your Team? Partner, Employee or Contractor – Which Is Best?  What Legal and Tax Responsibilities Do You Have as an Employer? How Will You Deal with the Affordable Care Act?

Article of Interest |  Contract Attorneys: How A Small Firm Can Reap Huge Benefits by Cynthia Feathers and Craig S. Brown

Protecting Your Practice

Insurance Considerations and Risk Management for Attorneys in New York

Incorporating sound management procedures into you everyday routine from the time you first begin the practice of law – before the bad habits are learned – is one of the most important ways you can control the level of stress that comes with the occupation. Sound risk management practices can dramatically decrease the possibility of the preventable malpractice claim or grievance.

Take advantage of comprehensive, competitive insurance programs available through our exclusive insurance administrator, USI Affinity. USI Affinity offers a broad spectrum of insurance products for NYSBA members, their firms, and their employees – ranging from Individual Life, Disability, Auto & Home . . . to Lawyers’ Professional Liability . . . Group Medical & Prescription Drug, and more.

Insurance Programs for NYSBA Members

Through your membership with the New York State Bar Association, you have access to the New York State Bar Association Insurance Program, administered by USI Affinity, with exclusive insurance and benefit solutions not available to the general public. This includes an exclusive lawyers’ professional liability offering to protect New York attorneys against legal malpractice claims, now with a NEW 5% Bar Association Member Credit, per attorney. The program also offers other business coverages, healthcare benefits and personal coverages.

USI Affinity has been the endorsed insurance broker for the New York State Bar Association for more than 50 years, and one of the leading administrators of Bar Association insurance programs across the country. With over five decades of experience in lawyers’ professional liability insurance and more than 30,000 attorneys insured, USI Affinity has the expertise and market leverage to design comprehensive and innovative insurance and benefits packages for New York law firms, with unique advantages in coverage, price and service.

Available products include lawyers’ professional liability, medical and dental plans, business insurance, and life, disability and long term care.

New York State Bar Association Insurance Program with USI Program Information
Checklist for Purchasers of Professional Liability Insurance
Practical Tips When Applying for Professional Liability Insurance

CLE Programs on Risk Management

Attorney Discipline and Risk Management for Lawyers 2019 | 1.0 Ethics
See Full Program and Faculty here.

Risk Management for Lawyers 2017 | 4.0 Ethics
Program Faculty: Marian C. Rice, Esq. | Greg Cooke | Janice J. DiGennaro, Esq. | Matthew K. Flanagan, Esq. | Brett A. Scher, Esq.

Earn 4.0 MCLE Ethics credits while getting up-to-date tips from experienced practitioners and consultants.

Designed for all practicing attorneys regardless of their level of expertise, this program will offer practical tips to help improve your practice and lessen the possibility of a malpractice claim or grievance. The program includes an overview of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, disciplinary rules, recent developments and cases of interest. Participants in this program will receive a 7.5% credit toward their CNA Lawyers’ Professional Liability premium.  Please note that the 7.5% credit is per attorney participating in the program regardless of status (open to full-time, part-time and moonlighting attorneys).


Program Topics


• Competency in Area of Practice & Insurance Considerations
• Recognizing and Handling Conflicts of Interest – Proper Client Intake
• Effective Client Relations and Resolving Attorney-Client Disputes
• Relations with Others, Including Partners and Non-Clients
• Insurance Considerations, including the Appropriate Coverage and the Importance of Proper and Timely Notice

Reasons to Purchase this Program


– Earn 4.0 Ethics credits
– Learn about standardization of engagement, non-engagement and disengagement letters
– Learn about malpractice insurance considerations and purchasing the appropriate coverage
– Learn about dangers in office sharing and implied partnerships
– Includes a segment on conflicts of interest

Managing Your Cyber Practice 2017 | 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice
Program Faculty: Marc M. Natale | Jillian L. McNeil, Esq.

Understanding Your Malpractice Insurance Policy/Coverage | .05 Ethics
Program Faculty: Marian C. Rice, Esq. | Lana James-Moore

Legal Malpractice 2017 | 4.0 MCLE Credits
Program Faculty: Brian Baney, Esq. | Jonathan Bruno, Esq. | Alexandra Fridel, Esq. | A. Michael Furman, Esq. | Jason Joslyn, Esq. | Colleen McNicholas, Esq. | Elizabeth Mulligan, Esq. | Harold Neher | Marian C. Rice, Esq. | Michael S. Ross, Esq. | Brett Scher, Esq. | Philip Touitou

Legal Malpractice 2019 | 3.0 Ethics, 1.0 Law Practice Management
Program Faculty: A Michael Furman, Esq. | Scott W. Bush, Esq. | Nicole M. Marlow-Jones, Esq. | James Bradley, Esq. | Karen Kruidenier | Mike Mooney | Andrew R. Jones, Esq. | Crystal Ivy, Esq. | Rachel Aghassi, Esq.

NYSBA Lawyer Assistance Program | 1-800-255-0569

Click here to view the new eLAP Website

The New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) provides education and confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, law school students, and immediate family members who are affected by the problem of substance abuse, stress, depression or other mental health issues.  Its goal is to assist in the prevention, early identification and intervention of problems that can affect professional conduct and quality of life.

MODEL POLICY ADDRESSING IMPAIRMENT
On April 10, 2010 the New York State Bar Association’s  House of Delegates and Executive Committee approved a Model Policy to assist bar associations, law firms and other legal departments in addressing impairment issues.

Escrow Accounts, IOLA and Ethics

StartingSoloPracticeInNY

What Every Attorney Needs to Know about Escrow Accounts, IOLA, and Ethics

Handling attorney trust accounts is a large part of the practice of law in New York. Statewide, attorneys maintain over 48,000 IOLA accounts in approximately 200 banking institutions. Every New York lawyer who handles client funds must maintain an IOLA account. Lawyers must use an IOLA account for qualifying funds, unless he or she uses an account that will generate compute and pay net interest to the client (net of all bank fees and the lawyer’s or law-firms related services). A New York lawyer may not place qualifying funds in a non-interest bearing account. For additional information, visit www.iola.org.

Attorney Escrow Accounts Programs

Attorney Escrow Accounts 2017 | 4.0 Ethics Credits
Program Faculty: Monica A. Duffy, Esq. | Christine M. Fecko, Esq. | Michael G. Gaynor, Esq. | Sarah Jo Hamilton, Esq. | Timothy J. O’Sullivan, Esq.

Attorney Escrow Accounts: Traps for the Unwary 2017 | 0.5 Ethics
Program Faculty: Sarah Jo Hamilton, Esq. | Monica A. Dufy, Esq.

IOLA Accounts and the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection 2017 | 1.0 Ethics
Program Faculty: Christine Fecko, Esq. | Timothy O’Sullivan, Esq.

Attorney Escrow Accounts 2015 | 4.0 Ethics Credits
Program Faculty: Peter V. Coffey, Esq. | Monica A. Duffy, Esq. | Christine M. Fecko, Esq. | Michael G. Gaynor, Esq. | Timothy J. O’Sullivan, Esq. | Deborah A. Scalise, Esq.

Avoiding Ethical Nightmares: Attorney Escrow | 1.5 MCLE Ethics Credits
Everything you wanted to know about NYS Interest on Lawyers Account Fund (IOLA), but didn’t know to ask.

The New York Interest on Lawyer Account Fund (“IOLA”)

The New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund (“IOLA”) helps low income people in New York State obtain help with civil legal problems affecting their most basic needs, such as food, shelter, jobs and access to health care.  The IOLA program is a partnership of lawyers, banks and community organizations. It produces millions of dollars each year to finance legal aid for low income New Yorkers and improvements in the administration of justice throughout New York State.

Participation in New York’s IOLA program is mandatory in two senses. First, every New York lawyer who handles client Funds must maintain an IOLA account. Second, the lawyer must use an IOLA account for qualifying funds, unless he or she uses an account that will generate compute and pay net interest to the client (net of all bank fees and the lawyer’s or law-firms related services). A New York lawyer may not place qualifying funds in a non-interest bearing account. Interest earned on deposits held in IOLA accounts are remitted directly to the IOLA Fund by participating financial institutions. Further information is available at www.iola.org.

Should you enroll? If you are a lawyer who maintains a qualifying client trust account and have not yet opened an interest-bearing IOLA account for making nominal or short-term deposits, you should take steps to do so immediately.

Enrollment takes just two easy steps. (1) Open an IOLA account with a participating financial institution. Banks vary widely in terms of the “net yield” (interest rate less service fees) their IOLA accounts pay into the IOLA Fund. See the list of banks with rate and fee information here. (2) Within 30 days of opening the IOLA account, submit the online Enrollment Form.

Attorney Escrow Accounts—Rules, Regulations and Related Topics

Attorney Escrow Accounts, Fourth Edition is a handy reference for newly admitted and seasoned attorneys. It comprehensively covers the most common situations where attorneys handle client funds and clearly discusses the legal and ethics issues encountered.

The Fourth Edition adds sections on Disability as a Defense to Conversion of Client Funds, Third-Party Liens, Responsibility for Acts of Others, Failure to Cooperate With Investigation and Broker Commission Escrow, and offers expanded discussions on liability, elements of the agreement, commingling of funds, and attorney compliance. It includes case law and substantive updates to the sections on restitution and reimbursement, fund expenses, trustee regulations and determinations, and the funds of missing and unknown clients. Every ethics opinion cited in the text is included in the Appendix.

The Fourth Edition also features a word-searchable CD, with text, statutes, regulations, opinions and forms.

Contents at a Glance
• Handling of Escrow Funds by Attorneys
• Escrow Agreements
• The Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York (IOLA)
• Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the State of New York

Additional Information:
Author Bios and Table of Contents

Cases, Rules and Ethics Opinions Related to Attorney Escrow Accounts

Due to the fiduciary nature of the attorney-client relationship, an attorney must separate from his own properties and endeavor to keep those funds and other properties belonging to the client.
In re Le Pore, 43 A.D.2d 793 (4th Dep’t 1973). (Respondent commingled his client’s funds received from the real estate transaction with his own personal funds, drew a check or checks against his account for his use or for other clients, thereby reducing his bank balance below that required to pay his client, and issued a check to his client when his account had insufficient funds with which to honor it).

This is not merely an aspiration goal; any violation of the rules governing use of a client’s property will subject an attorney to discipline even if no actual loss occurred, and to personal liability in the event of loss of funds whether or not the attorney profited personally in any respect. In re Brown, 180 A.D.2d 150, 586 N.Y.S.2d 565, (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 1992). (By commingling personal funds with client funds, respondent violated DR9-102(a) and 22 NYCRR § 603.15(a)).

As a basic protection, all funds of clients paid to a lawyer or law firm must be deposited in one or more identifiable bank accounts within the state of New York or elsewhere with the client’s written consent The only funds belonging to the lawyer or firm that may be deposited in those accounts are funds sufficient to pay bank service charges.

The exceptions to the rule are money advanced for future costs and withdrawal of funds due and owing. However, if there is any dispute, the disputed portion must remain in the separate client account pending resolution of the controversy.

RULE 1.15: PRESERVING IDENTITY OF FUNDS AND PROPERTY OF OTHERS; FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY; COMMINGLING AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLIENT FUNDS OR PROPERTY; MAINTENANCE OF BANK ACCOUNTS; RECORD KEEPING; EXAMINATION OF RECORDS

Selling Your Practice, Closing and Retirement

The New York State Bar Association Planning Ahead Guide is provided to all attorneys as a courtesy of the Law Practice Management Department and outlines the steps a lawyer must take to protect his or her clients in the event of a sudden inability to continue in practice.  The Planning Ahead Guide includes important information about selling or closing your firm.

The Committee on Lawyers in Transition provides free webcast programs to all members on transitioning or retiring.  Programs are available online at here.   Members are also encouraged to visit the Senior Lawyers Section homepage for additional helpful information at here  The LPM Department also offers CLE programs on selling your practice.

Departing a Law Firm

The following checklist and sample forms should be used for guidance only and are not intended to be an all inclusive list of what needs to be done. Every attorney and every firm needs to tailor the departure practice aids to meet their own specific situation.

Checklist for Departing Attorneys 
Email Communications for Departing Attorneys

Letter From Firm and Departing Attorney

Authorization for Transfers of Client Files

Senior Lawyers Section Well-Being Webinar Series Online On Demand Archives

Palliative Care, Hospice and Relevant Laws
David C. Leven, JD | Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, End of Life Choices New York

A Future by Chance or a Future by Design
Larry Ganim, Founder and President of Ganim Financial and GFS Wealth Management Advisors, Inc.

The Little Known Living Benefits of a Life Insurance Policy
Henry Montag, CFP, CLTC, Managing Director of The TOLI Center East

Relevant Previously Recorded Programs:

Buying and Selling a Law Practice
Selling a law practice is not an easy thing to do. However, with thoughtful planning, buying or selling a law practice can be a viable option for retiring attorneys and growing firms.
2.0 MCLE Credits; 1.0 Law Practice Management, 1.0 Ethics

Clients/Attorneys Planning Retirement Must Understand (2018)
Understanding your social security retirement benefits and the elections you can make, understanding the basics and planning for your IRAs and other retirement plans.
6.0 Credits in Professional Practice

Planning with Your Clients Retirement & Life Insurance (2018)
Presents issues that may arise with respect to the treatment of retirement, annuity, and life insurance benefits for purpose of taxes, transfers on death, domestic relations, medicaid eligibility, and creditor’s rights.
6.5 Credits in Professional Practice

Qualified Retirement Plan (2017)
Comprehensive overview of various retirement plans including defined benefit plans, qualified pre-retirement survivor benefits, post-retirement survivor benefits, and whether or not the order can provide for a shared/separate interest benefit.
6.0 MCLE Credits; 6.0 Professional Practice

Planning Ahead and Preparing for Retirement (2015)
Learn how to protect your clients, your family and your peace of mind.
7.5 Total Credits: 3.0 Professional Practice, 4.5 Ethics

Succession Planning and Client Transition
A nationally recognized Certified Management Consultant and a panel of Managing Partners of law firms will also discuss practical strategies and advice on planning ahead.
1.5 MCLE Credits in Law Practice Management

Selling Your Law Practice | A Program for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners
Geared toward solo and small firm practitioners, this program will provide an overview of planning for retirement and selling your law practice.  
1.5 MCLE Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

Retirement 101 – Selling Your Law Practice | A Program for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners
Geared toward solo and small firm practitioners, this program will provide an overview of planning for retirement and selling your law practice. Panelists will share tips and best practices.
1.5 MCLE Credits in Law Practice Management

Merging and Acquiring Law Firms for Firms of All Sizes
A Primer for Mergers and Acquisitions of Law Firms
1.5 MCLE Credits in Law Practice Management

Buying or Selling a Law Practice
Winding up a Law Firm, Buyers and Sellers, Valuing a Law Firm, Going Solo: Starting Up or Buying In.
2.0 Credits in Law Practice Management

Strategies for Progressing Equity Partners, Classes of Partners and Part-time Partners in this Difficult Economic Environment
This program provides an overview of strategies for progressing equity partners, classes of partners and part-time partners in this difficult economic environment.
1.50 MCLE Credits in| Areas of Professional Practice

Partner Compensation (2014)
Chaired by a nationally recognized law firm management consultant and featuring managing partners of law firms as panelists, this program provides a comprehensive overview of partner compensation systems and examples of compensation systems.
1.50 MCLE Credits in| Areas of Professional Practice

Partner Compensation Systems: Strategies for Admitting New Equity Partners, Classes of Partners and the Feasibility of Part-time Partners in This Difficult Environment (2012)
Chaired by a nationally recognized law firm management consultant and featuring managing partners of law firms as panelists, this program provides a comprehensive overview of partner compensation systems and examples of compensation systems.

1.50 MCLE Credits in| Areas of Professional Practice

Growing Your Firm Part One
“Bringing on Lateral Partners | Partnership Agreements 101”
1.50 MCLE Credits in| Areas of Professional Practice

Growing Your Firm Part Two
Growing Your Practice or Corporate Legal Department: Virtual Law Firms and Of Counsel Arrangements
1.50 MCLE Credits in| Areas of Professional Practice

Planning Ahead Guide

Planning Ahead – Establishing an Advance Exit Plan to Protect Your Clients’ Interests in the Event of Your Disability, Retirement or Death

It is not easy to think about circumstances that could render you unable to continue practicing law.  Unfortunately, accidents, illness, disability, planned or unplanned retirement, and untimely death are events which do occur. Under any of these circumstances, your clients’ interests, as well as your own, must be protected.

The New York State Bar Association Planning Ahead Guide is provided to all attorneys as a courtesy of the New York State Bar Association and outlines the steps a lawyer must take to protect his or her clients in the event of a sudden inability to continue in practice.  The Committee on Law Practice Continuity created the guide in 2005 to help attorneys establish an advance exit plan in the event of disability, retirement or death.  The Committee on Law Practice Continuity became a part of the Law Practice Management Committee in 2011.  The LPM Committee updated the guide in 2016 to reference the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

Download the entire 2016 book as a PDF (free)
For best viewing, we recommend downloading the PDF to your desktop and opening the file using Adobe Acrobat.

Planning Ahead: Establish An Advance Exit Plan To Protect Your Clients’ Interests In the Event Of Your Disability, Retirement Or Death 

  • What If? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Checklist for Lawyers Planning to Protect Clients’ Interests in the Event of the Lawyer’s Disability, Impairment, Incapacity or Death
  • Checklist for Closing Your Own Office
  • Checklist for Closing Another Attorney’s Office
  • Checklist of Concerns When Assuming Temporary Responsibility of Another Attorney’s Practice (Disability or Suspension)
  • Checklist of Concerns When Assuming Temporary Responsibility of Another Attorney’s Practice (Purchase or Acquisition)
  • Checklist for the Fiduciary of a Solo Practitioner
  • Checklist for Lawyers’ Business Disaster Planning and Recovery
  • Agreement to Close Law Practice in the Future
  • Authorization and Consent to Close Law Office
  • Limited Power of Attorney to Manage Law Practice at a Future Date
  •  PCs and PLLCs: Appointing the Appropriate Agent to Manage a Solo Law Practice in the Event of a Death, Disability, Incapacity or Other Inability to Practice Law
  •  Letter from Planning Attorney Advising that Lawyer is Closing Law Office
  • Letter from Closing or Assisting Attorney advising That Lawyer Is Unable to Continue Law Practice
  • Letter from Firm Offering to Continue Representation
  • Authorization for Transfer of Client File
  • Request for File
  •  Acknowledgement of Receipt of File
  • Law Firm Master List of Contacts and Important Information
  • Special Provisions for Attorney’s Will: Instructions Regarding My Law Practice
  • Transfer of a Law Practice
  • Valuing a Law Practice
  • Sample Asset Purchase Agreement
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Interruption of a Practice Due to a Lawyer’s Substance Abuse or Mental Health Issue
  • “Impaired Attorneys: The Firm as Employer,” an article by Paula A. Barran
  •  New York Human Rights Law
  • FAQs re Document Destruction and Preservation
  • Selected Excerpts from the CPLR and Judiciary Law
  •  Selected Appellate Division Rules
  •  Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Selected Ethics Opinions
  • “Ten Things Not to Do When You Retire,” an article by David Kee
  •  HIPAA Form
  • ABA FAQs on Extended Reporting Period Coverage

Attorney Wellness

“To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to wellbeing . . . the current state of lawyers’ health cannot support a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust.” ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being (August 14, 2017)

Recent Articles of Interest

Easing Stress While Working from Home 
Brandon Vogel

The Case for Attorney Wellness
Robert Herbst

What Makes Lawyers Happy
Libby Coreno

Season’s Wellness
Robert Herbst

How to Help Judges in Need of Help
Paul Curtin

One Lawyer Living and Working with Depression
Daniel Lukasik

Attorney Wellness in a Nutshell
Robert Herbst

Recent Programs of Interest

“LPM Day”: 20/20 Vision 
This program focuses on important topics for solo/small firms including a segment called “Lawyer Well-Being: Ethical Considerations.”

Attorney Wellness/Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession 
Thomas C. Nicotera, Esq. | Lawyer Assistance Committee | Albany
Paul W. Van Ryn, Esq. | Maxwell & Van Ryn, LLP | Albany

“LPM Day” – Hot Topics in Law Practice Management 2019
This program focuses on important topics for solo/small firms. Panelists cover what you need to know about tax changes, working remotely and complying with the NY Rules of Professional Conduct, time management and attorney wellness.

“LPM Day” – Hot Topics in Law Practice Management 2018
This program focuses on hot topics in law practice management. Panelists cover what you need to know about key considerations for protecting your firm, how to recognize alcohol and substance abuse among colleagues, attorney wellness, ESI and forensics, ethics of email, ABA Formal Opinon 477, protecting client information, and  technology and billing while providing practical advice.

“LPM Day” – The Law Firm Check-Up 2017
A strategic review of your firm’s operations, current processes and procedures can identify challenges and areas for improvement. As the year comes to close, now is the perfect time to take a step back and review where you are and where you are headed. Call it your annual physical.

What Makes Lawyers Happy
Practicing law can be stressful. Unmanaged stress can lead to career dissatisfaction, mental health problems and substance abuse. Recent research based on a survey of New York Lawyers and lawyers from several other states identifies the key elements to keeping stress at bay and finding balance in lawyering. These protective elements of happy lawyering will be discussed by the panel as well as the signs and symptoms of mental health problems that sabotage health and happiness and jeopardize your ability to practice law competently.

Lawyer Assistance Program | Prevention, Intervention and the NY Rules of Professional Conduct

Lawyer Assistance Program | Prevention, Intervention and the NY Rules of Professional Conduct | What You Need to Know in New York

To learn more about the New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program, please visit www.nysba.org/LAP.

To learn more about resources available to Lawyers in Transition, including free access to over 50 videos on career topics, visit www.nysba.org/LIT.

Mini MBA Program for Lawyers

Three wooden blocks with letters spelling "MBA"

“Business School for Lawyers”

You didn’t go to law school to be a human resources director, finance director or marketer, but it’s the mastery of these functions that frees you to be a great lawyer.  Download programs on finance, technology, HR compliance, marketing and business development and create your own mini-MBA program. Learn the skills necessary to run your firm efficiently and effectively. All LPM live programs and events are recorded and available online, on demand. Special member pricing options are available. Save up to 40% when you create your own bundled CLE program.

Additional Programs Available Online, On demand | Here

Finance

Accounting for Lawyers  | 7.0 MCLE Credits (1.0 ethics)
Designed to help lawyers gain a working knowledge of important issues involving accounting as they relate to the practice of law.

Attorney Escrow Accounts: Rules and Regulations | 4.0 Ethics
Get an overview of the administration of attorney trust accounts – including IOLA accounts – and the rules governing the handling of funds in those accounts.

Bill Collection and the Business of Law  | 1.5 MCLE Credits

Alternative Fee Arrangements  | 1.5 MCLE Credits

Human Resources

Hiring and Managing Staff – The Lawyer as an Employer (2014) | 2.0 MCLE Credits | Featuring Nancy B. Schess, Esq.
This program will provide an overview of human resource compliance. Geared toward solo and small firm practitioners, this comprehensive program will address hiring and managing staff.  Highlights distinctions between federal, state and city laws and provides an overview of human resource compliance.

Basic Human Resources for Solo and Small Firms | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Featuring Nancy B. Schess, this program provides an overview of human resource compliance. Geared towards solo and small firm practitioners, this program covers the basics of staffing, hiring and firing.

Human Resources Electives:
The Trouble with Larry: Dealing with a Problem Partner | 3.0 MCLE Credits
Strategies for Progressing Equity Partners | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Partner Compensation Systems | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Growing Your Firm “Bringing on Lateral Partners | Partnership Agreements 101” | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Growing Your Firm “Growing Your Practice or Corporate Legal Department | 1.5 MCLE Credits

Marketing

2017 Marketing Conference for Solo Practitioners | 7.0 MCLE Credits
Client Service, Emerging Technology, Ethics and the Delivery of Legal Services – Developing Your Strategic Practice Growth Plan

Legally LinkedIn | 1.5 MCLE Credits in Ethics
What Lawyers need to know about LinkedIn and ways to market yourself and your practice.

2016 Marketing Conference for Solo Practitioners | 7.0 MCLE Credits including 3.0 Ethics
Using technology and the internet to turbo-charge your business development success.

Marketing and Business Practices to Grow Your Firm
6.5 MCLE Credits | 3.0 ethics, 2.5 law practice management, 1.0 skills

Marketing & Business Development 101 for Small to Medium Sized Firms | 4.5 MCLE Credits (2.5 ethics)
Get practical ideas you can implement right away. Panelists will share advice on attorney websites, blog posts and other online writing, online banner advertising, use of videos on the web, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media. Panelists also explore the limitations placed on lawyers by the ethics rules.

Marketing on a Shoestring | 4.0 MCLE Credits
Through email, websites, blogs and social media lawyers can reach far more potential clients than ever before. This program provides a framework for understanding and managing ethical liability for lawyer marketing.

Technology

Microsoft Word Academy for Lawyers | 7.0 MCLE Credits in Skills
How to Dramatically Improve Speed and Accuracy While Drafting Complex Legal Documents

How to Achieve Meaningful Paper Reduction in Your Practice | 3.0 MCLE Credits in Law Practice Management
A Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe Acrobat, Scanners and PDFs

Leveraging Technology in Your Practice  | 2.0 MCLE Credits
During this fast-paced CLE webcast program will you learn twenty-five ways to streamline your practice. Covering the latest trends in technology, the overall goal of this program is to help you become a more efficient lawyer. Learn ways to leverage technology in your day-to-day practice to work more efficiently.

The Law Firm of Tomorrow Today  | 4.0 MCLE Credits (2.0 ethics)
Exploring issues raised by the Report of the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession, download this program to learn how your firm can begin to incorporate elements of the law firm of the future into your law practice today.

Technology in Your Practice – Trends, Tools and Ethics Rules | 4.0 MCLE Credits (3.0 ethics)
Exploring the hottest trends in legal technology, this program provides an overview of practice matters including outsourcing, knowledge management, legal research, virtual law practice, cloud computing, and related technologies.  Panelists discuss ethical considerations, security concerns, accessibility issues, information sharing, billing considerations, overhead and competitive advantages.  This program includes the ever popular “50 Apps in 50 Minutes.” Get fifty tips to streamline your practice.

Technology Electives: 
Safe-Guarding Client Information | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness  | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Malpractice Insurance – The Application Process   | 1.5 MCLE Credits
Legal Project Management 101 | 1.5 MCLE Credits

Business Development

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2016 | Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice | 8.0 MCLE Credits including 3.5 Ethics
Get an overview of what it takes to start your own practice, from choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients.

Starting a Solo Practice in New York 2015 | 8.0 MCLE Credits including 4.0 Ethics
Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice

Starting a Practice in New York (2014) | Video and Materials Online, On Demand
Are you considering opening your own firm? Are you a recent law school graduate just starting out? Are you considering leaving your place of employment and starting your own practice? This program will provide an overview of what it takes to own your own practice.

Starting Your Own Practice in New York (2013) | Video and Materials Online, On Demand
From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, this program provides practical and useful tips for starting a practice in New York.  Focusing on solo practice, topics include: choosing a legal entity, working from home, office equipment, choosing a practice area, work-life issues, finding clients, time management, managing and organizing your practice, marketing your solo practice ethically and effectively and much more.