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Practice makes perfect


Briefs

Cite as: (2009) 83(03) LIJ, p.14


The LIV practice support strategy (PSS) will help lawyers ensure their practices operate effectively.

The PSS, developed by the LIV Legal Policy and Practice (LPP) department in consultation with the Small Practice Support Section, is intended to address traditional barriers to practice growth and practice management.

LPP Constituents’ manager Laura Helm said the behind-the-scenes consultation should leave members in no doubt practice support was core LIV business.

Key strategy initiatives aim to ease professional isolation, compliance and administrative burdens. They will also help meet increasing information technology needs, as well as offer research support and up-to-date knowledge for diverse client needs.

The LIV will also cater to members’ individual needs by developing or enhancing services with regard to firm size, location and areas of practice, demographics and clientele.

The strategy aims to increase practice support through new LIV projects relating to succession planning, mentoring and chambers practice model support.

“We are hoping to take a strategic approach to practice support across the organisation by improving offerings and pursuing new initiatives,” Ms Helm said.

It was felt that by opening up Section membership, which currently is limited to members in law firms of less than four lawyers, the LIV would be able to tap into a wider experience base and a greater diversity of ideas on practice management and support.

Tiernan Consulting principal and Small Practice Support Section chair Michael Tiernan said the flow-on effects should see practitioners better equipped to face the daily challenges of running a practice.

“While some of the issues facing small practice are unique to them, the vast majority of practice and management issues are common to small and medium-sized practices and, to a lesser degree, large firms,” he said.

“However, what we had labelled ‘small practice’ will not be left behind and we believe they will now receive better services, better ideas and better support from the LIV.”

The Section will formally become known as the Practice Support Section later this year.

The LIV will collaborate with other member organisations, such as the Law Council of Australia (LCA), the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, the Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) to better understand member needs.

It also intends to work more closely with suburban and country law associations on specific issues relating to practice management.

It currently convenes an annual Practice Support CPD conference, e-discussion forums and offers a small practice support kit.

Other support mechanisms assisting practices are the costing service, property inquiry and other telephone advice lines, publications such as the LIJ and Friday Facts and various LIV committees and departments.

For more information on the Section, see http://www.liv.asn.au/members/sections/sps.

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