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Law Office Organization Basics to Help You Stay Sane

If you operate a solo practice or a small firm, that means you have to manage your own affairs. That includes payroll, client communications, templates, and all that busy administrative stuff you'd rather not think about.

How do you handle it all? Aside from passing off tasks to a virtual assistant, here are a few organization basics to help you keep your sanity.

Law practice today isn't the same as it was a generation or two ago. Attorneys in the modern law office are more likely than ever to rely on technology, innovative marketing, or alternative practice structures. At the same time, some things remain constant, especially the need for competent attorneys, stellar support staff, and effective management.

With that in mind, here are six tips for running a modern law office, taken from the best posts in the FindLaw archives.

Successfully running a firm doesn't just mean mastering the law and pleasing clients. You've also got to be able to manage an office. And office management is just one of the many things they don't teach you in law school.

Luckily, FindLaw's got your back, with plenty of tips on how to manage an efficient, well-functioning, and cost-effective firm. Here are our top seven tips for law firm office management.

Lawyers like rules. They are, after all, our bread and butter. And good firms establish some basic rules that govern their operation: intake policies, conflict checks, accounting procedures, and the like. They're essential to making sure the firm runs efficiently -- and stays on the right side of its ethical requirements.

But too many rules and procedures are also stifling, driving away talent, slowing down the firm's ability to function, and limiting firm success. Here are some ideas on where and how you can strike a balance.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Lawyers in the Digital Age

If you're like the grand majority of the rest of the populace, the very idea of spring cleaning is repugnant to you. You like a clean working environment, but thinking about cleaning places is a weight on your spirit.

Fortunately, spring cleaning is like many things: the hardest part is getting started. Once you begin, you'll find that you get a lot more done than you thought possible. To get you started, here's a list of tasks to accomplish this spring.

Tips to Minimize Overhead When Starting a Solo Practice

For several years, there have been different brass rings to reach for within the legal profession. The most common recurring of these including being named partner and in-house counsel (or better yet, GC) -- though the orders tend to switch.

But for most lawyers, that isn't going to happen or it will be a while yet. One way you can make partner instantly is to create your own firm. You've dreamed about it, of course, but what to do with the expenses?

When you work with others, conflict is inevitable. That's true whether you're working with co-counsel, support staff, or just a difficult client.

How you address these disagreements can be the difference between a productive relationship and completely dysfunctional one. Even in the adversarial world of the legal system, there's plenty of truth behind the old saying "you can disagree without being disagreeable." Here's how.

Intro to Encryption for Lawyers and Small Firms

By now you've heard these terms: encryption, passcode, cybersecurity. Unless you have a technical background in software engineering, it's all Greek to you.

Unfortunately, that's the kind of world we live in. We're now moving headlong into a future where increasingly more and more people rely on technology that only a very few truly understand. Cybersecurity is no different. The fact of the matter is that you probably need encryption in your office, but you don't know the first place to begin. Here is a very abbreviated guide to getting started.

Lawyers are not immune to disaster. When the Twin Towers were destroyed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, so too were the offices of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, though remarkably only one employee died. When the levies in New Orleans failed following Hurricane Katrina, firms large and small saw their practices interrupted, offices destroyed, and employees displaced.

In order to ensure quick recovery and continued client service, all firms should have in place a disaster recovery plan. Here's how to create yours.

Legal consumers might search for a lawyer online. They might check out your attorney website or browse through your blog.

But when it comes time to get in touch, almost all legal consumers do so via phone.