Strategies for Taking Charge of Your Law Firm

Faculty:  Cynthia Sharp, Attorney at Law

Level of Instruction - All Levels

This program is broken down into 3 one hour modules

Medium: Live

Length of Instruction - Three 60 minute modules (Total - 180 minutes) 
CLE Credits - One MCLE (Ethics and/or Professionalism) per 60 minutes

Course Description*

The lawyer/client relationship is based on service. The Rules of Professional Conduct contain specific guidance on the following service related topics:  Duty to Act Competently, Diligence and Communication.  We will discuss these topics in the context of a review of the relevant Rules of Professional Conduct as well as pertinent case law and advisory opinions issued rendered by the Nebraska Ethics Advisory Opinions for Attorneys.

By staying organized and running your practice efficiently, you lessen your chances of violating MRPC 1.3 (Diligence) because you will by and large be on top of your work load. I will introduce several practice management and activity mastery strategies that participants can incorporate immediately into their practices as well as day to day personal lives. Tools that will assist with organization and self management will be provided along with a detailed explanation as to how the diligent and persistent use of these tools can help you achieve balance in personal as well as professional lives.

Poor client service is one of the primary reasons that clients file ethics complaints. Great lawyers don’t always know how to give great (or even acceptable) service.  Cynthia will discuss the benefit of building a practice with a strong philosophy of client service and will outline a list of 5 practical techniques that attendees can begin to use today.

Communication is the cornerstone of client relations and is in fact mandated by MRPC 1.4 (Communication). Concrete tips on developing communication skills will be provided with emphasis on maintaining strong connection with clients.  Cynthia will emphasize the concept that maintaining accountability to self ultimately translates into accountability to clients.

This program will offer concrete strategies that attendees can adapt to their own personal style that will help them to:

  • Manage client expectations
  • Create a culture of client communication
  • Deliver top notch client service
  • Develop a powerful and loyal staff
  • Stay on top of pending cases
  • Minimize daily stress and irritation

*While all attorneys can benefit from the principles discussed in this program, many of the practical tips are geared toward attorneys who are in (or seek to enter) private practice.

Course Agenda

9:00 - 10:00  

In Depth Review of the Following Rules of Professional Conduct:

MRPC 1.1  COMPETENCE
MRPC 1.2  SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION AND ALLOCATION OF AUTHORITY BETWEEN CLIENT AND LAWYER 
MRPC 1.3  DILIGENCE
MRPC 1.4  COMMUNICATION

This portion of the presentation will include a discussion of relevant case law and advisory opinions.

10:00 - 10:30

The approach in this portion of the program is practical and hands on. It is designed to introduce practice management and activity mastery strategies to help attorneys avoid MRPC 1.3 complaints.   Concepts explored will include:

  • Covey Activity Management Quadrant
  • Johari Window
  • The Golden Goal Technique

10:30 - 10:45   BREAK

10:45 - 11:15

Developing strong communication skills and habits will not only lessen the possibility of ethics complaints but will also strengthen client relationships. Topics covered include:

  • The Power and Impact of Effective Communication
  • Four Keys to Avoiding Miscommunication
  • Three Letters That Must Be Sent - ALWAYS - In EVERY Case!
  • Developing Critical Listening Skills

11:15 - 11:30

Maintaining competency in a complex legal world
     
11:30 - 11:55

Improve the quality of your practice through effective use of your staff

  • Considerations in Hiring an Employee
  • Delegation Dynamics
  • Importance of Staff Meetings
  • MRPC 5.1 and 5.3

We will provide tools that will help attendees become more effective leaders and efficient managers.

11:55 - 12:15

  • The Three Power Steps to Take NOW!
  • Concluding remarks
  • Questions