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LIV President's Blog
June 24, 2011

New Link to LIV Practice Support

Today at the LIV’s 2011 Practice Support for Lawyers Conference, I launched an initiative to assist small and medium-sized practices. From 1 July we will offer guidance on a wide range of practice support issues on a single phone number – 9607 9378. LIV staff will be available weekdays from 9am to 1pm to provide help on practice areas, and assist with issues around buying, setting up, merging or selling your practice, choosing the best practice structure, trust accounting and LIV forms and precedents.

We are well aware that small and medium-sized practices are a key segment within the legal profession. In fact, sole practitioners make up the largest proportion of LIV members (approximately 30 per cent) followed by those employed in firms with more than 40 partners (approximately 23 per cent).

As a sole practitioner, I understand the challenges and opportunities of the small business model. In my keynote address today “Leave no lawyer behind: Issues facing lawyers in small and medium practices”, I looked at some of the challenges facing the whole profession and, more particularly, those of relevance to the smaller scale practices.

My key priorities include a review of the following issues:
• Creating affluence in all its forms;
• Reputation;
• Sustainability, connection and longevity in the profession;
• Creating and retaining diversity among our practitioners;
• Addressing mental health and physical issues; and
• Introducing triple bottom line social accountability concepts and benchmarking.

I was pleased to see a number of these issues addressed by speakers at the conference. John Chisholm and Colin Jasper discussed value-based costing as an alternative to the notorious six-minute increments. And there were sessions on resilience in the law, one from the Small Business Commissioner on business support and one on forward planning for business sustainability and growth.

One of my hot topics, social media, was covered in a lawyer’s guide to the iPad. And I can advise that we have also scheduled a further dedicated session on this topic for early September.

The LIV Council is in the process of providing iPads to our 18 Councillors so we can replace hundreds of pages of documents that we used to photocopy and courier to them each fortnight with real time information transfer. It’s a small but significant step.

What are your challenges in a small or medium-sized practice?

June 23, 2011

LIJ Wins at the VLF Legal Reporting Awards

The LIJ has added another industry accolade to its collection.
Pat Campbell’s light-hearted take on the increasing problem in the digital age of online piracy in copyrighted material won best illustration at this week’s 14th annual Victoria Law Foundation Legal Reporting Awards.

The illustration accompanied the July 2010 LIJ cover story, “Piracy suit sunk”.

Congratulations to all winners. It's good to see excellence in legal reporting rewarded.

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