Books and Records Violations Continue to Plague Law Firms

According to the Delaware Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s Digest of Lawyer Discipline, approximately 60 percent of complaints against lawyers in 2016 involve, either directly or indirectly, books and records violations.  Delaware is not alone.  In fact, books and records violations represent a significant percentage of attorney incidents of misconduct across the country. In Delaware, books […]

Virtual Law Firm Checklist: Adhere to State Requirements

A virtual law office, or virtual law firm, is a law practice that doesn’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar office and largely relies on technology to meet client needs. As technology has become more sophisticated, workforces have become more mobile, and the legal industry is no exception. In a virtual law office, an attorney or group of […]

Detailed Invoices Prove and Build Value for Your Firm

All organizations, from law firms to financial advisors and contractors to non-profits, seek ways to build value for clients. Every interaction across all phases of the customer experience will shape a person’s perception of your organization. Collectively, these client perceptions are the primary driver behind the value of the services you provide. The client’s perceived […]

Are You Using Virtual Paralegals and Outsourced Support? Make Sure You Comply with Ethical and Professional Obligations

Guideline 1 of the American Bar Association Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services states the following: A lawyer is responsible for all of the professional actions of a paralegal performing services at the lawyer’s direction and should take reasonable measures to ensure that the paralegal’s conduct is consistent with the lawyer’s obligations under the rules […]

Avoid the Pitfalls – and Consequences – of Poor IOLTA Management

Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) programs are operated in every state, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most IOLTA programs are mandatory, but a handful are opt-out or voluntary. IOLTA programs are do the following: Prevent the co-mingling of client funds held in trust with the law firm’s operational funds […]

Overcome the Challenges of Accepting Credit Cards for Legal Services

Credit card and other non-cash payment methods have long been considered taboo or even unprofessional in legal circles. Resistance is primarily driven by ethical concerns. Can these payment methods compromise confidential information? If credit cards are used to pay for services rendered as well as retainers and other unearned funds, is the risk of commingling […]

Poor Collections Can Cost You. Ask 4 Questions and Assess.

If you expect to be paid for the services you provide, you need to lay the ground rules in advance, and you need to vigorously manage your collections process. Period. Typically, effective collections management is easier said than done for solo and small law firms that don’t have dedicated personnel to handle invoicing each month […]

Are You Using Virtual Paralegals or Outsourced Support? Make Sure Billing is Correct and Ethical.

Organizations, large and small, are under constant pressure to improve operational efficiency. This often involves outsourcing certain tasks such as: Recruiting Hiring Training Why? Paying full-time employees just isn’t a financially feasible option for many smaller companies. Plan B? They outsource to pay-as-you-go services such as virtual paralegals on an as-needed basis to effectively meet […]

Breaking the Shell: New Disclosure Rule to Impact Business Owners

Making it difficult for terrorists to get funding was the mission of the United States Patriot Act of 2001. It paved the way for regulations requiring banks to know their customers. The Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations were also intended to help prevent money laundering by tying customers’ identities to their transactions. One thing the […]

Poor Time-Tracking Practices: Stop the Bleeding

Most solo and small law practices have a significant gap between hours worked and hours billed. In fact, a study from LexisNexis found that solo and two-attorney firms are not billing as much as 39 percent of time worked. Why? The culprit is poor time tracking which is often the result of a business or ethical dilemma. […]