The typical law school graduate may enter the practice of law with little, if any, training in business management. This is perhaps not a critical problem for the new lawyer who goes to work for as an assistant district attorney, a public defender or an associate in a large law firm. But for the solo and small firm lawyer, this can be a significant gap in skills. To their credit, law schools are moving to fill this gap. In fact, next week I will be giving a two hour presentation to a class at the University of Oklahoma College of Law that focuses on starting a law practice.
The quandry of the solo/small firm lawyer is that he or she needs to manage well in limited time. Administrative responsibilities are non-billable and the more time that is spent on them means less billable business production that day. So there is a built-in temptation in the small law firm to give short shrift to those tasks in favor of providing client services. Client services are a priority. But good management is also critically important. It may be easy to fail to regularly review the financials because there is money in the bank or defer making decisons because of lack of time to consider alternatives. But what advice would you give a business owner client who failed to regularly review the financials?
I've located a good short course in management, thanks to the BizzBangBuzz Blog. You may be surprised to learn that it was written by an electrical engineering lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and is over ten years old. Read Basic Management Skills by Gerard M. Blair. Read these ten articles when you have time to think about them.