Risk Management: Survival Tools for Law Firms

Risk Management: Survival Tools for Law Firms

by Anthony E. Davis, Katie M. Lachter


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When the second edition of Risk Management: Survival Tools for Law Firms was published in 2007, the legal landscape was very different. Since then developments like new technologies, the financial crisis, and the rise of non-lawyers as major providers of legal services have all transformed the legal world immeasurably. In this new environment, managing risk no longer means simply avoiding malpractice claims and staying ethical. It now requires lawyers and law firms to address an increasingly complex world of rules and regulations in order to keep firms both respected and profitable.
This all-new, updated third edition by Anthony E. Davis and Katie M. Lachter moves past recognizing risk and addresses the realities of managing risk. From managing employees to performing appropriate client intake due diligence, this book offers a practical approach to evaluating the state of risk management within your firm, and to implementing a program to control it. Topics include:
• Strategies for tailoring a risk management program to your firm’s specific needs
• How a good plan will improve your firm’s profitability
• When and why to refuse a client’s business
• How the rise of technology has affected risk for the modern law practice
• The need for an in-firm general counsel
• Self-assessment questionnaires for evaluating every aspect of law firm risk management

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627223263
Publisher: American Bar Association
Publication date: 07/07/2016
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Anthony Davis is a partner in Hinshaw & Culbertson's New York office. He is a member of the lawyers for the profession practice group and his practice focuses on the laws that govern lawyers. He advises attorneys and law firms on legal professional and ethics issues, law firm creation, merger and dissolution, risk management and loss control. Mr. Davis joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in February 2003. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL). He is a member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the New York City Bar, a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Davis is a lecturer-in-law at the Columbia University School of Law, teaching professional responsibility issues in business practice. As an adjunct professor of law, Mr. Davis taught legal profession at Brooklyn Law School for many years.
Katie Lachter focuses her practice on attorney professional responsibility and risk management. She represents lawyers and law firms with respect to all aspects of legal ethics and the law governing lawyers. Having previously practiced for eight years as a litigator in both civil and criminal cases, Ms. Lachter is skilled in identifying potential problems before they arise and advocating on her clients' behalf. She is also a national award-winning writer and a frequent speaker on professional responsibility issues. Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson in February 2011, Ms. Lachter was an associate in several leading New York law firms, including the renowned litigation department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where she worked on matters for the firm's largest client. From 2003–2004, she was a law clerk to the Honorable Bruce W. Kauffman, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
About the Authors     ix
Foreword     xi
Introduction     xiii
Law Firm Management in a Hostile Environment-A Guide to Risk Management     1
What Is "Risk Management" (or "Loss Prevention") Anyway?     3
Risk     3
Risk Management     4
Loss Prevention     4
Case Study-How Risk Management Could Have Helped Kaye, Scholer     4
The Main Elements of Risk Management for Lawyers     10
The Role of Law Firm Audits Generally and Self-Audits Particularly     25
The Fundamental Purpose-The Prophylactic Audit     25
Additional Uses for Law Firm Audits     26
Why Self-Audits?     29
What Is a Self-Audit?     31
What Is Involved in Administering a Self-Audit?     31
What Can a Self-Audit Accomplish?     32
When Not to Do It Yourself     33
How to Conduct a Self-Audit     35
Selecting the Partner or Administrator to Conduct the Audit     35
Deciding on the Scope and Timing of the Audit     35
Distributing and Completing Questionnaires     43
Distributing Answer and Analysis Sheets and Conducting Review Sessions     43
Preparing a Report     44
Implementing the Report Recommendations     45
Follow-Up and Implementation     47
Internally or Externally Directed Reforms     47
The Elements of Effective Implementation     48
Timing and Implementation     50
What Will an Integrated Risk Management Program Look Like?     50
A Tool, Not a Pancea     50
Bibliography     52
Quality/In Control (QUIC) Survey for Law Firms Questionnaires     53
Management Structure Questionnaire     57
Risk Management Oversight Questionnaire     59
New Client/Matter Intake Questionnaire     65
Client Relations Questionnaire     73
Docket (i.e., Tickler/Critical Date Reminder) and Calendar Systems Questionnaire     77
Practice and Human Resource Management Questionnaire     81
Trust Accounts Questionnaire     87
Disaster Recovery Planning Questionnaire     89
Quality/In Control (QUIC) Survey for Law Firms Answer and Analysis ("Crib") Sheets     93
Management Structure Questionnaire     95
Risk Management Oversight Questionnaire     99
New Client/Matter Intake Questionnaire     105
Client Relations Questionnaire      117
Docket (i.e., Tickler/Critical Date Reminder) and Calendar Systems Questionnaire     123
Practice and Human Resource Management Questionnaire     129
Trust Accounts Questionnaire     137
Disaster Recovery Planning Questionnaire     141
Index     149
About the CD     157

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