Casemaker Tips and Tricks for March

Each month we will be bringing you a few tips and tricks for making your research with Casemaker that much more efficient.  For more Casemaker tips and tricks follow them on FacebookTwitter, and via the Casemaker blog.

Tracking Client Research

Need to keep track of time spent doing online research for a client?  Utilizing the Client and Session Summary features of Casemaker can help.  Simply create a Client and select that client each time you begin to conduct research for them.  Once you have finished, click the Sign Out link to sign out of Casemaker and view the Session Summary.  The Session Summary contains the date, time and client for each search, which can be used to keep track of billable hours for the client.  Please remember to print this information as it cannot be retrieved after closing the Session Summary.

Citation Format and Autocorrect

Casemaker uses the Bluebook citation format and will auto-correct your citations for you. For example, if you enter 567 f3d 1120 in the search bar, Casemaker will correct your entry to 567 F.3d 1120. Both regional reporter and state reporter citations will work! If you need to disable this for any reason, simply check the Turn off Autocorrect box before performing your search.

Sorting Results

Did you know you can sort your results by more than just relevance? Once you have completed a search, click on the View All link to see all the results in the document category you prefer. Once you do this you can sort these results by selecting a sort method from the dark gray bar above the results list. You can sort by Relevance, Most Cited, Date Decided or State (Ascending or Descending).

Selecting Jurisdictions

Need to search all the documents in a state? How about all the documents in more than one state? You can select a jurisdiction or any combination of jurisdictions to search by clicking the Jurisdiction menu. This is located in the box located between the search box and the blue search button. There is a blue downward pointing arrow in the right side of this box. Clicking on this arrow will pull up the pop-up menu and from here you can check as many or as few boxes as you need. Special boxes are located at the top of each column. Related Federal will pull documents from any states you selected as well as the related Federal District and Circuit courts. All States will pull documents from all the state libraries. All Federal will pull documents from all Federal libraries.

Changing Font Size

You have the ability to increase the font with just one click. When you are viewing a document in Casemaker you can click on the button labeled Aa in the gray bar above the document content. By clicking on this button the text size gets significantly larger. Click it again and it returns to standard size.

Get control of your searches with the Jurisdiction menu

Rather than clicking on the state you want on the homepage, give yourself more control with the Jurisdiction menu. You can select a jurisdiction or any combination of jurisdictions to search by clicking the Jurisdiction menu. This is located in the box located between the search box and the blue search button. There is a blue downward pointing arrow in the right side of this box. Clicking on this arrow will pull up the pop-up menu and from here you can check as many or as few boxes as you need. You can even select the type of data you want. Want to keep your selections as your default search? Just click the Save to My Settings button!

Dialing in your search with the Radio Buttons

Below the search bar are a number of radio buttons you can use to select the type of search you are doing. The system will default to a keyword search. If you are searching for a case and know the citation then select the citation option. If you only have the name of one of the parties, the party button is the option you want. If you are typing in a statute cite then make sure to select section. Finally, if you are looking for an unpublished or slip opinion you can select docket number to search using that information.

Narrowing your Search

Are your results just too much? If you are finding too many documents, you can always narrow your search. Once you have submitted your query you can see the various document types that your results included in a list on the left side of the screen. Click on the category you prefer to get all the results in that document category.  Once your results load, you will notice a new menu will appear on the left side of the screen. This menu offers you a variety of ways to further narrow your search. For example, you can narrow by state, court, date, and keyword. Casemaker will automatically filter your results after you click the checkbox next to your choice. Take note, in some cases, you may have to click the Show All link to see all the possible options.



By Scott Carlson

Legal malpractice claims in recent years have remained relatively steady, but defense costs, claimed damages and settlement sums have all climbed. That’s according to the latest survey of some of the leading lawyers’ professional liability insurance companies, revealing troubling trends that argue in favor of doing what many attorneys are loathe to do — taking the time to look closely at the language of their legal malpractice policies before they’re hit by a claim. Considering that 5 to 6 percent of all attorneys will face a malpractice claim this year, here are six things to keep in mind if you’re either shopping for a policy or renewing.

1. Figure out whether the limits of liability in your policy are “eroded” or “exhausted” by defense costs. You can save money by buying a “burning limits policies,” in which each dollar spent in the defense of the claim reduces by a dollar the amount available to pay a judgment or settlement. That, however, could quickly leave you with insufficient coverage, especially if things drag on. In other words, you’ll wish you had bought a more robust policy.

2. Speaking of which, today’s malpractice policies bear little resemblance to older policies. Enhancements of all kinds are now available, including pre-claim intervention coverage, which can help a firm protect itself against a potential loss even before a claim has been made. And when a claim is filed, some policies now allow a law firm to pick a defense counsel of its choosing, rather than accepting an attorney assigned by the insurer. Which would you prefer? Working with a lawyer you trust or a complete stranger?

3. Most legal malpractice policies are “claims-made” policies, meaning they cover only claims made during the policy period. Some, however, require that the claim be reported to the insurer during the policy period as well. Such policies are called “claims-made-and-reported” policies. Failure to follow the reporting requirement to the letter gives the insurance company room to deny coverage. When in doubt about whether a claim has been made or not, the best thing to do is to always report. In other words, not reporting is not an option.

4. Most lawyers do a lot more than just legal work. They can be title agents, trustees, conservators, administrators, arbitrators and mediators. The problem is, most legal malpractice policies are very specific in defining what is considered a “professional service,” so be sure to check your policy definitions and compare them to the activities your firm’s lawyers are involved in. If they’re making money doing it, be sure it’s covered by some kind of policy.

5. The cheapest malpractice insurance policies are written so that the insurer can rescind the policy if you failed to disclose all of the relevant facts in answering questions on your application. Insurers don’t need proof you intended to answer inaccurately. They can rescind simply because they could have charged you a higher (or even lower) premium if only they had gotten the correct information. Of course, claims against you won’t be covered if the policy is rescinded. So be careful and thorough in filling out applications.

6. Insurers also can abruptly cancel policies for nonpayment of premiums, even if you didn’t mean to miss the payment. The better policies, thankfully, require what should be ample warning before any cancellation for nonpayment.

The above covers a few of the bases. As with most things, there’s more. Just know that failing to have a full understanding of your professional liability insurance policy can leave you at risk of significant liability exposure and possibly a very expensive malpractice case. 


Scott Carlson is a Vice President at CCIG, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based business and personal lines insurance brokerage. Reach him at This article first appeared in the Docket.


Are you looking for a way to become more involved in the Solo Small Firm Section? Well, now is your chance! The Solo Small Firm Section is accepting nominations (self-nominations) for the 2018-2019 Executive Council.

The Solo Small Firm Section is governed by a Council of 13 people and we are currently seeking applicants for the open Council positions. The Nominating Committee must submit a slate of candidates to the Secretary of the Section by April 1, 2018. The slate will be circulated among Section Members no later than April 15, 2018. At that time, Section members will have an opportunity to approve the slate or re-nominate if they feel someone else is better qualified for the position.

The Council meets quarterly at noon at the CBA offices. Attendance in person is preferred, but members can participate by conference call. Any additional work on committees or projects outside the meetings is voluntary, unless related to the specific position held.

The vacant positions on the slate of nominees are as follows:

Council Member at Large — 1 year term to finish out another’s term; followed by 2 year term

Legislative Policy Committee Rep — 1 year term

In order to apply, please submit a letter or e-mail to Sue no later than Thursday, March 15, containing a brief statement confirming your status as a Section Member, describing if you have any prior involvement with the Section (which is not a requirement) and explaining why you would like to be a Member of the Council.

You can indicate a first and second choice for a position. If you have questions about the Council, or the duties of a position, please contact Sue.





By Doug Striker, CEO, Savvy Training & Consulting

I’m gonna go all throw-back on you today. While I am a big lover of technology and all the efficiencies it adds to our lives, I’m also a believer that nothing “sticks” as well as in-person interaction. Would you rather be on a date with your loved one or on FaceTime? Would you rather read your child a book or have a book read to them by Learning Ally? Would you rather pitch a client in person or over video conference? Would you rather ask a question of an expert in the field or of Siri?

All of those technologies are fantastic and thank goodness we can reach the people and the answers we need when we need them. But I think we can all agree that we value (most) people more than technology and our best learning experiences have been in the presence of mentors who really care about our success.

That’s why, in this article, I want to remind you of all the benefits of floor support as an integral piece of your training program.

Sink-or-Swim Training Doesn’t Work

As I mentioned in a recent blog, a lot of firms rolled out (or are currently rolling out) big technology and software upgrades. As part of this initiative, they are hopefully also launching training programs so that their teams can work as efficiently as possible in the new platforms. These rollout training programs often include in-class trainings, some webinars and even ongoing learning with learning management systems.

But when you finally cut the life vests off and throw everyone into the deep end, I’d argue that you need to send someone out in a boat to make sure they’re swimming!  IT and HR professionals know as well as I do that law firm staff just want to get ‘er done. They are barely keeping their heads above water as it is (to continue the water analogy). When they run into a problem with their workflow due to one of your tech upgrades, they are likely to find a work-around or revert to old ways rather than seek out a training webinar.

Adding floor support to your rollout means that, once all of the initial trainings are over, you still have a trainer “floating” around on the floor, checking in with people, making it easy for them to ask questions from a pro and get the immediate answers they need.

So, without further ado, here is my list of the Top Reasons to Add Floor Support to Your Training Program

1. Personalized Training Is More Friendly
Classroom training can be intimidating and even inefficient, depending on how it’s organized and scheduled. Additionally, many people are too proud or self-conscious to ask questions in a classroom setting. When you add floor support to your rollout program, suddenly it’s much easier for the meek legal secretary to ask, “I have a question about mail merge.” Or the know-it-all attorney to say, “Remind me how to access the templates.”

Additionally, if you have a learning management system (LMS), your floor trainer can automatically enroll individuals in the classes or learning paths that will most quickly help them to achieve their goals. This also takes a load off of YOU, madam IT professional or mister HR expert. When the questions are getting answered before someone calls you, you have more time to think about your big goals!

2. A Floating Trainer Wins Friends, Multiplies Productivity

With a trainer floating from desk to desk or department to department offering help, suddenly your people have a Johnny-on-the-spot resource to help them keep their work moving forward. Further, once a few people have success with the trainer, they’ll talk about their experience to others and the impact will multiply weekly. The proper workflow techniques get shared and more people will consistently use your new technologies correctly.

3. Attorneys Need Help but Won’t Ask

Perhaps my favorite use of floor support is in handling attorney needs. Attorneys are notoriously awful when it comes to technology training. They either won’t attend the classroom trainings at all or attend with half their brains, checking their phones constantly and racing out for lunches or meetings.

Floor support takes the training to them. Your friendly trainer can pop in and say, “How’d you do on that brief the other day? Did you store it properly in the document management system? Any glitches you’d like to tell me about?” Attorneys are entirely more likely to get the help they need if the help comes to them.


Doug Striker is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Savvy Training & Consulting, a provider of legal software training solutions. As a former Chief Operating Officer of a prominent law firm, he specializes in helping firms acquire the software platforms they need, training staff for maximum workflow efficiency, and enhancing continuity and bottom-line results. 



March Solo and Small Firm Networking Events

Solo Small Firm Section networking meetings are a great opportunity to connect with your peers, as well as a practice management and technology discussion forum. The meetings are open to all CBA members, not just Solo Small Firm Section members, the sponsoring entity. Colorado Springs routinely offers CLE credits, although sometimes there is no formal agenda, and no RSVP is required to attend any of the meetings.

We encourage you to think about and prepare questions or ideas to present to the group. Don’t hesitate to e-mail a meeting coordinator to suggest a CLE topic and/or speaker! Click here for more information.

W.O.L.F. Pack (Women Owned Law Firms) Southern Front Range – Thursday, March 1

  • BL Speer & Associates, Sun Plaza, 104 S Cascade Ave, Ste 200C, Colorado Springs, (719) 381-1708
  • Contact: Theresa Sidebotham, (855) 748-4201,
  • Join us for an exploratory meeting on starting a WOLF Pack in the Southern Front Range. All women who own, partly own, or are thinking about owning a law firm are welcome. We’ll have tea, coffee, wine, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Cost is $10 plus Eventbrite fee. Register here.

Downtown Denver Breakfast Group – Tuesday, March 6
Breakfast at 7:30 am (reservation in the name of D.A. Bertram).

  • 1884 Restaurant (2nd Floor) inside the Denver Athletic Club, 1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, (303) 534-1211
  • Contact: D.A. Bertram, (303) 871-9300,
  • First Tuesday of every month

W.O.L.F. Pack (Women Owned Law Firms) Denver – Wednesday, March 7
Discussion Topic: Fee Agreements, Termination and Declination Letters. Bring your ideas and issues, along with lots of business cards!

  • Denver Tea Room, 1165 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
  • Contact: Kimberly Utesch at (720) 907-4491 or
  • Quarterly networking events for women who own (or are thinking about starting) their own law firms. Meetings are held on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Denver Tea Room, . Tickets are $25 per person (plus a handling fee), which include delicious teas, petite sweets and savories, tax and tip. Cash bar. Space is limited, please purchase your ticket in advance. Select WOLF Pack Tea Salon. This event is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have special dietary needs such as gluten-free or vegetarian meals, please contact the owner and chef, Margo Seymour, no less than 48 hours prior at (303) 321-2236.

Continental Divide Area — No March meeting
Happy Hour at 5:30 pm

  • Location changes each month, contact Sandra for details
  • Contact: Sandra Nettleton, (720) 232-0367,

Colorado Springs – Wednesday, March 7
Lunch at 11:30 a.m. — Topic: “Top 20 Things a Practitioner Must Know,” presented by Robert Margrave.  Credit TBD.

  • Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, upstairs, 21 S. Tejon, Colorado Springs, (719) 385-0766
  • RSVP to for the program materials.
  • Contact: Tomasz Stasiuk, (719) 359-9311,
  • First Wednesday of every month

North Metro Area – Thursday, March 8
Happy Hour at 6 pm

  • LODO’s Bar & Grill 3053 W 104th Ave, Westminster, (303)635-8025.
  • Contact: Aileen Law, (303) 252-8800,
  • Second Thursday of every month

WestminsterFriday, March 9
Breakfast at 7:30 am

  • The Delectable Egg (reservation under Rachel Sheikh), 1005 W. 120th Ave, Westminster, (303) 451-7227
  • Contact: Rachel Sheikh, (720) 551-2219,
  • Second Tuesday of every month

Downtown Denver Happy Hour Group – Tuesday, March 13
Happy Hour at 5 p.m.

  • Tupelo Honey, 1650 Wewatta St, Denver
  • Contact: Jessica Hoyt, (970) 985-9444,
  • Second Tuesday of every month, venue changes for each meeting

Denver Tech Center Area Wednesday, March 14

  • Contact: Dave Sprecace, (303) 454-8260,
  • Second Wednesday of every month

West Denver Metro Area (Jeffco) – Wednesday, March 14
Breakfast at 7:30 am

  • Mimi’s Café, 14265 West Colfax Ave., Golden, 303-384-9350.
  • Contact: Sarah L. Hostetter, (303) 274-2700,
  • Second Wednesday of every month

BoulderTuesday, March 20
Lunch at noon (Reservation in the name of Graham Fuller, please RSVP to Graham so he can get an accurate headcount)

  • Carelli’s of Boulder, 645 30th St., Boulder, (303) 938-9300
  • Contact: Graham Fuller, (303) 442-0802,
  • Third Tuesday of every month

Cherry Creek/Glendale – Friday, MAY 18
Topic: TBD

  • The Ptarmigan Building , 3773 Chery Creek North Drive, Ste 575, Denver
  • Contact: Amy Symons,
  • Third Friday quarterly, location may change



February’s Best of the Blogs

We know you are busy! So we read through numerous blog posts and find the best ones to share with you each month.

Please let us know if you feel we are missing a particularly good.

Quick Tips

How to start any Windows app with a keyboard shortcut!
Few people know that Windows allows users to start their favorite apps using keyboard shortcuts. You can use predefined keyboard shortcuts to launch both desktop apps and apps from the Microsoft Store. Or, you can use your custom keyboard shortcuts, to start any app you want. This can be done using built-in features of Windows, without using third-party apps. If you are curious or you need to run apps using keyboard shortcuts. Read more.
How to Get the Most Out of Linkedin
With half a billion users and two new users joining every second, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and the digital business card of the 21st century that enables all lawyers to achieve more. Read more.
Casemaker Tips and Tricks
Each month the CBA’s Solo in Colo blog provides a few tips and tricks to increase your Casemaker research efficiency. Read more.

Product Reviews

The Apple Watch’s Latest Health Implication Could Be A Game-Changer
The Apple Watch can detect diabetes in previously diagnosed patients with up to 85% accuracy. That number comes from Cardiogram in conjunction with the UCSF Department of Medicine, which held a study to understand how useful Apple’s wearable hardware is at detecting diseases. Read more.
Effortlessly Perfect Your Grammar and Spelling with Grammarly — 49% off
Regardless of the field in which you work, using proper grammar and developing good writing skills is absolutely essential in order to be taken seriously. Even the most well-meaning and diligent writers, however, are prone to slips. Grammarly Premium thoroughly and automatically perfects your grammar and spelling on any platform, and a 1-Year subscription is currently available for just $69.98. Read more.
ASUS Blue Cave Review: Different Looks, Great Performer!
ASUS Blue Cave is a wireless router that looks different from most routers on the market, and it includes an Intel processor, instead of Broadcom, Qualcomm, or MediaTek, as you usually find on many other routers. Its technical specifications are promising, and it is also integrated with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and task automation services like IFTT (If This, Then That). Read more.


Speak Your Time Entries to Alexa with Tali
On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port interviews Matt Volm, the CEO and co-founder of Tali. Tali—Rocket Matter’s newest integration partner—makes it possible for you to speak your time entries into Amazon Alexa and, coming soon, Google Home-powered devices. You can then have them sync directly to your legal practice management software!. Listen to Episode.
930,000 Law Firm Passwords Are Exposed — It’s Time To Make Cybersecurity A Priority
If you’re not making cybersecurity a priority at your firm, I advise doing it now, considering what happened to 500 of London’s largest law firms. According to a just-released white paper by the cybersecurity firm RepKnight: 1.16 million email addresses from these firms were found on the dark web (anonymously hosted websites that are often used for illegal activities.) Read more.
How to Upgrade from Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10
Windows 10 is officially the most used operating system in the world. However, there are still people who are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on their computers and devices. If you are one of them, you might want to upgrade to Windows 10, so that you get the latest and the greatest Microsoft has to offer. Read more.


Adapting To The New State of The Legal Market — And Why You Can’t Afford Not To
It was easier to be a lawyer a decade ago—the demand for legal services always seemed to be growing, along with the revenue and profit that came with it. With the Great Recession, everything changed. The flow of clients slowed while competition increased, leaving profit margin and productivity to suffer. Read more.
7 SEO Trends for Search Marketing Success in 2018
Current research shows that most people—94%!—won’t look beyond the first page of their Google search results. So knowing the latest SEO trends that will help you attain that piece of rare real estate is key if you want to build a strong online presence for your law firm. Read more.
7 Proven Ways to Be a Happier Lawyer
Did you know that being happy can result in a 31% increase in productivity? Happiness can also increase your accuracy on tasks by 19%! Read more.


Googling Clients — How Much Should You Dig Online?
Googling a potential client should be part of any law firm’s client intake process. After all, an adversary most certainly will, and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to find red flags that will warrant further research or discussion. Read More.
Lawyers: Comcast May Be Cheating You and Everyone You Know
If you have Comcast internet service, you might want to take a closer look at your bill. If there’s a charge for a Service Protection Plan, or SPP, you may want to start digging to find out how that got there. If the numbers from Washington’s AG are right, there’s over a 50 percent chance you were lied to by Comcast. Read more.
Lawyer Serves Complaint Via Instagram
In a world where technology has infiltrated almost every aspect of our daily existence and people’s lives revolve around their latest social media posting, what’s a lawyer to do when she’s unable to track down a defendant to serve a complaint? Read more.




By Doug Striker, CEO, Savvy Training & Consulting

When you hear the words “artificial intelligence,” you likely think of a TV robot that has learned its owners’ food preferences, schedules, musical tastes and even moods. (Where is Rosie the Robot when you need her?!) But in real life, artificial intelligence often looks and smells like normal technology. The difference is that today’s AI enables computers and other devices to perform tasks that we have typically only assigned to humans. (Tasks that humans typically hate and also typically botch.)

In the legal world, think: document proofreading, editing, defining terms, creating references, building citations lists and more. Ohhhhh, wait, did I just hear you groan? Are those many of the tasks that make you want to bang your head against your desk like a judge bangs a gavel?

Then you, my friend, are going to love what AI can do for you.

Litigation Companion

As an example, allow me to trot out my friends at Litera Microsystems. (I wrote a blog a few months ago about some of their more helpful tools for lawyers. Check it out here.)

Litera Microsystems has a product called “Litigation Companion” and it is designed specifically for litigators, who are frequently (continuously?) buried by the paperwork that they must generate. Under such an intense workload with so many looming deadlines (did you file that on time?), it’s no wonder that the document editing process is loaded with angst and fear (mistakes can ruin a case!).

Enter Litigation Companion, which can:

  • Analyze: Review your entire document with one click and view proofreading issues in a consolidated dashboard.
  • Check Defined Terms, Cross-References and Citations: Quickly review defined terms, references and citations to ensure validity, accuracy, consistency and clarity.
  • Fix Mistakes: Locate and remedy mistakes such as unpaired quotations marks, spacing variations, inconsistent numbering, phrases and case-specific information.

You can even add a product called “Citationware” to Litigation Companion. Citationware generates impeccable tables of authority with one click and it double-checks all citations.


Litera Microsystems also offers a tool that helps non-litigators. DocXtools assists in the review and delivery of documents, taking time and risk out of the process. And the beautiful part is that DocXtools functions as a toolbar on your MS Word platform so it integrates smoothly into the work and protocols that you already follow.

DocXtools can:

  • Analyze: Analyze your document to discover problem areas.
  • Clean Up and Repair: Quickly fix document instabilities with tools ranging from Quick Clean to Rebuild Document.
  • Style: Apply comprehensive style and branding to any document with one click.
  • Compare and Cross-Reference: Enhance the compare functionality built into MS Word, or utilize integration with Change-Pro to compare every element within a document.

DocXtools has been proven to reduce the time that firms spend on repairing and styling documents by 50%, and it also increases accuracy. In the end, that positively affects the firm’s bottom line.

Tools are Only as Good as The People Using Them

If you’re considering any of the Litera Microsystems tools, I encourage you to add “training” to your purchase budget. You wouldn’t set a robot loose in your house without learning how to operate it, would you? Similarly, make sure that you learn how to operate these smart tools to their maximum capacity. Just because you load it onto your computer doesn’t mean you’ll know how to use it.


Doug Striker is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Savvy Training & Consulting, a provider of legal software training solutions. As a former Chief Operating Officer of a prominent law firm, he specializes in helping firms acquire the software platforms they need, training staff for maximum workflow efficiency, and enhancing continuity and bottom-line results.


Global Legal Hackathon in Denver — Feb. 23 – 25


The world’s most innovative minds in legal technology are getting together for the Global Legal Hackathon during the last weekend in February to build solutions that progress the business of law or provide access to justice. Denver-area programmers, lawyers, marketers, technologists, entrepreneurs and other legal professionals are invited to participate.

This is an opportunity to solve problems in legal through technology that will grab the attention of the legal industry on an International scale.

Legal Talk Network and the Global Blockchain Summit will be co-hosting the Denver node of the Global Legal Hackathon.

February 23-25

Legal Talk Network located at 3120 Blake St. Denver, CO 80205
(RiNo neighborhood)



Eyes Wide Open — What you Need to Know about Starting your Own Firm

By Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq., Director of Practice Management, Affinity Consulting Group

There you sit. It’s 7:30 p.m. You haven’t eaten, and by now you have missed your son’s hockey game. You are still not done with the brief that has to be filed tomorrow. You work about 12 hours a day (including Saturday) because you have a 2100 hour per year billable requirement. The firm bills your time at $250 per hour, but you certainly don’t get paid $250 per hour that you work. You wonder why you don’t just go out on your own. Keep that $250 for yourself. You could do this on your own.

Congratulations! You graduated from law school, and you have passed the Bar Exam.  Big things are in store for you. You have always wanted to be your own boss, run your own firm. You would do things differently than the firms you worked for during law school. You have a plan. You have a computer and an internet connection, and you know how to use Word – you are ready.

Not so fast.

Regardless of what motivates you, starting your own firm is not for the weak at heart. Time and Financial constraints can take a toll. Before you grab the hammer and hang out your shingle, make sure you are considering every aspect of starting your own firm.

Do you have a budget? Are you getting a small business loan? Do you have a business plan? What phones will you use? Will you have support staff? How will you do payroll? Will you bill enough to pay your law school loans? Where will you bank? Scanners? Printers? Do you still need a fax machine? Where will you save documents? How will you name documents? What will you use for backup? Where will your office be? Will you meet clients in your office? How will you bill your clients? Hourly? Flat Rate? Contingency? What will your bills look like? How will you manage Trust accounts? Who will your malpractice carrier be? Will you use Exchange? Office 365? Should you encrypt email? How will you protect your client’s data?  Will you buy a server? Do you need a website? What will your firm logo look like? You learned about the law in law school. Nobody told you how to run a successful business. Is your mind racing yet?

Starting and maintaining a firm can be a rewarding experience. However, you must embark on the journey in an organized fashion, and you might need help along the way. Check out your MGMT HQ and browse the content. Take advantage of the checklists, whitepapers, articles and videos to help prepare you for adventure of building a firm.



The CBA has partnered with Affinity Consulting Group to bring law practice management and technology-related resources to members. Learn how to navigate the new MGMT HQ webpages along with your free member benefit Affinity University. Affinity specializes in strategic technology and management solutions for law firms and legal departments of all sizes. Questions? Contact Sue Bertram.
Webinar: Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 12 to 12:30 p.m.