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The whole kit and caboodle for small practitioners

News

Cite as: (2008) 82(9) LIJ, p. 25

Time-poor lawyers who are busy running small legal practices will be the beneficiaries of a new information kit developed by the LIV.

The LIV’s Small Practice Support Kit, Supporting Small Practice Across All Dimensions, covers all aspects of running a legal practice from partnership agreements to tendering for contracts.

LIV Small Practice Support Committee chair Michael Tiernan said the kit provided in one place an easily accessible guide to the day-to-day running of legal practices.

“The kit is targeted at small practices with four or fewer partners, including sole practitioners.

“They are time-poor and really want information at their fingertips.”

LIV marketing general manager Sue Noble said the aim was to make the kit a practical resource with checklists, tips, templates and cross-references corresponding to each dimension of legal practice.

The kit told legal practitioners what they needed to know and where to go to get any further information they needed.

“This brings together all of the LIV’s resources to provide information and support that small practitioners need in the one place,” Ms Noble said.

Ms Noble said an important aspect was that the kit would be continually updated.

It was available in a loose-leaf, ring-binder folder, enabling updates to be easily inserted, and was also available on the LIV website.

Ms Noble said the LIV had kept the kit affordable and had developed it as a “member service not a commercial enterprise”.

“It’s a resource to help practitioners be better business managers,” she said. “If they don’t run their business well, the business can fail.”

The kit is divided into three main areas:

1. practice management: informing small practices and equipping them with useful strategies to help them run better businesses. It covers areas such as establishing a practice, business planning, finance and insurance, business development and marketing, human resources management and information technology;

2. professional: information about LIV services to help members’ professional standards, growth and expertise. It covers professional standards, professional support, and education and training; and

3. personal: helping practitioners respond to the personal challenges resulting from their professional obligations. Areas covered include health and wellbeing, career management, networks and events, and personal finance.

Mr Tiernan said the kit could prompt some practitioners to address issues or take action.

“The lawyer who wants to be proactive will find the information they need in the kit and it will stimulate further action,” he said.

He said it was a work-in-progress and feedback from members would be sought.

LIV president Tony Burke said that when legal practices ended up in financial difficulty it was often as a result of a lack of management training.

“The development of this kit is a welcome one because it enables those in small practice to have a structured approach to management,” he said.

“It points to resources to enable practitioners to improve things to ensure they minimise the risk of things going wrong.”

A hard copy version of the kit is available for $75 for members and $95 for non-members. The hard-copy kit includes discount vouchers for the LIV Bookshop and guidelines on using the LIV member logo.

To purchase a copy from the LIV Bookshop, go online to http://www.bookshop.liv.asn.au, phone 9607 9315 or visit the shop at 470 Bourke Street. The kit is also available on the LIV website at http://www.liv.asn.au.

The Small Practice Support Committee is interested in hearing from office managers, accountants and assistants who want to be involved in the committee. For more information contact Michael Hayes at the LIV on ph 9607 9382.

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