Practice Guide

The Practice Guide section of FindLaw's Law Firm Management Center provides free resources dedicated to operational and risk management issues encountered by solo and small law firm practices. Business issues such as Disaster Preparedness, Malpractice Insurance, Client Relations and Practice News are critically important to the success and survival of your law practice. Risk management limits business liability exposure and can put your practice on the road to recovery in the event of a disaster. Staying current on the news, events and trends in your practice area allow you to keep ahead of the competition. Managing the client relationship is a core issue and challenge for any law practice. As a small business owner, you need to understand these issues well enough to make informed decisions that impact your law practice. Browse, read, and share FindLaw's free collection of articles, news and tips that make up the Practice Guide.

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    • State of the Legal Profession: Client Driven Innovation

      Innovation in the legal services industry is frequently driven by client demand. Over the years, large corporate clients, in particular, have had a substantial impact on the way law firms handle core matters, such as billing and staffing. Recently, large clients have established new varieties of financial and practical requirements that legal service providers must meet.

      Answers to Common Legal Malpractice Insurance Questions

      Before you consider buying malpractice insurance, it is important to understand the basics of insurance.

      Negotiating Better Results for Your Law Firm's Clients

      For a number of years I have been doing research into how one's behaviors at the negotiation table affects financial and other outcomes. For lawyers who negotiate on their clients' behalf day in and day out, understanding this connection could be highly beneficial, or failing to notice it, highly detrimental.

      Thinking About Law Firm Risk Management

      If you're a good lawyer, you won't get sued for malpractice. This belief may be comforting, but it's a myth. Good (and bad) lawyers get sued. There is no simple way to predict if your client will sue you for malpractice. In fact, risk management begins as soon as a person becomes a potential client.  

      How to Deal with Difficult Clients

      Though no one will admit it, more than a few attorneys who are otherwise competent negotiators have returned to their office after a client meeting, closed the door, plotted revenge or, worse, wept (metaphorically speaking). Why do some clients have this aggravating effect?

      Team Conflict Management

      Watching fireworks light up a summer sky awakens the wonder in us all. When fireworks light up a conference room and team members are ready to explode, it can be the true test of your project management and leadership skills.  

Practice Guide Articles
    • Managing Conflict in Law Practice and Life

      As Clarence Darrow pointed out, conflict is part of being human. The good news is that conflict is not all bad. For one thing, it means you are not surrounded by "yes" people. And those differences of opinion can fuel innovation and creative problem solving. Effectively managing conflict or dissent can be beneficial in a wide range of situations, both inside your organization, with clients and in dealings with third parties.

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    • Supreme Court Wreaks Havoc in Federal Courts Again

      Columbia law professor Michael Dorf discusses a 2007 split Supreme Court decision that, while it has attracted little media attention, has made a tremendous splash in the lower federal courts. The decision grapples with the question of what standard should govern a federal trial court's review of the sufficiency of the allegations of a complaint -- generally, and especially in the antitrust context.

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    • Conflicts of Interest: What a Lawyer Hears from a Declined Client

      Can what a lawyer hears during an initial consultation with a prospective client later create a conflict of interest requiring disqualification?

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    • Incorporating Civility into Your Law Practice

      Despite professional rules and guidelines, the practice of law does not have the best reputation for respectful behavior. Learn how attorneys can incorporate this much needed civility.

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    • State of the Legal Profession: Junior Associates

      The legal profession is in the midst of a fundamental change, according to some inside observers. Critics of the status quo insist that aging law firm structures are no longer serving the best interests of clients or new generations of lawyers. In support of this conclusion, analysts point to record numbers of junior associates departing traditional firms in search of meaningful alternatives.

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