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Annual Report 2001-2002

The Law Practice Management Section (LPMS) is pleased to report that over the past year it has continued to build on the efforts undertaken during prior years. Beginning with its first meeting in Novi on November 10, 2001, and subsequent meetings on January 5, 2002, and April 13, 2002, the officers and council members developed a plan of action which has been implemented during the year.

Among the efforts continued from the previous year was the maintenance of the section's listserv. The listserv, maintained by Barry Brickner, vice chair, has provided the participants with the opportunity to request and share information relevant to the effective management of their practices and their firms. Efforts are underway to stimulate even greater use of this resource. Under the leadership of the newsletter editor, Konnie Kustron, the Fall, Winter, and Spring editions of the Law Practice Management newsletter have been published. The Summer edition will be published in June.

During our meetings to date, the council discussed and agreed that the section should undertake the following activities during the year:

    1. Increase the membership through various activities. Cindy Rhodes Victor continues to chair the Membership Committee.

    2. The Section should provide more information to members about technology in the law office. Gary Gardner agreed to chair the Information and Technology Committee. This committee was combined with the Internet Committee, chaired by Ernest Gifford.

    3. The Council felt the newsletter should have a regular column directed to solos. Joan Bullock continues to write articles for solos in each of the newsletters.

    4. The Council tentatively agreed that the section should present a CLE program at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids.

On April 16 at the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, April 25 at the Ingham County Bar Association, and May 8 at the Oakland County Bar Association, the section successfully presented a program, entitled: The Nuts and Bolts of Successful Law Practice Management. Chaired by council members Vincent A. Romano, Austin G. Anderson, and Henry S. Gornbein, this practical program included the following subjects and speakers:

  • Marketing for the Millennium—Henry S. Gornbein, Esq., Bloomfield
  • Building a Law Practice: Getting and Keeping Good Clients and Avoiding Grievances—Joan P. Vestrand, Moore, Vestrand & Pozehel, Southfield; and Austin G. Anderson, Esq., principal, AndersonBoyer Group, Ann Arbor
  • Law Office Automation and Controlling Costs—Joan R. Bullock, professor, University of Toledo Law School, Toledo, OH; Konnie J. Kustron, associate professor, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; and Gary E. Gardner, Esq., Gary Edward Gardner, Esq., Dearborn
  • Issues in Growing from Solo to Small Firm—Cindy Rhodes Victor, Stroble, Cunningham, Caretti & Sharp, P.C., Bloomfield Hills
  • Partnership Issues and Opportunities—Miles J. Postema, Esq., deputy general counsel, Ferris State University, Big Rapids; and Vincent A. Romano, Esq., president, Attorney Services Marketing, Grosse Pointe Park
  • Changes in Technology—Barry L. Brickner, Esq., Bingham Farms
  • 60 Ideas in 15+Minutes

The Newsletter

  • Now includes the Solo's Column by Joan Bullock
  • A column provided by the Internet Committee, chaired by Ernest Gifford, for each issue of the newsletter
  • The Section's newsletter is published and distributed to section members four times a year

The officers and council continually look for opportunities to serve section members. All section members are invited to attend council meetings. Program Partnership with the ABA TechShow:

    This year for the first time the Section has become a Program Partner with the ABA TechShow on March 14–16 in Chicago, Illinois. This partnership resulted in substantial savings to section members who attended the program. TechShow is far and away the leading program on legal technology and law practice management. The TechShow is a three-day conference featuring over 75 sessions, 100 speakers, and hundreds of technology vendors. TechShow draws together lawyers, consultants, librarians, and technologists from around the country and Canada. The focus of the TechShow is on educating those in attendance how practice technology can improve their efficiency, increase profitability, and deliver excellent client service. Educational opportunities at TechShow are unique and varied, and several tracks are offered. Six council members attended TechShow and will report on new developments in law practice technology and management in the summer edition of the newsletter.

Presentation at the 2002 State Bar Annual Meeting

    The Section will deliver a CLE program at the Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids on September 26, 2002. This showcase program is all about successful, practical lawyer and law firm marketing efforts. The two-hour session will feature a panel including: Sally Schmidt, Schmidt Marketing Consulting of Burnsville, Minnesota, a nationally recognized marketing consultant; Milton W. Zwicker, Zwicker, Evans & Lewis, Orillia, Ontario, Canada's leading small firm lawyer marketer; Henry S. Gornbein of, Bloomfield Hills, who has built a national practice through the use of his website; and Barbara Silkworth, Marketing Director for Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, Ann Arbor. Austin Anderson, a principal in the Anderson Boyer Group will moderate the session. The members of the panel will describe the strategies and techniques which have enabled them and their firms to attract clients who stay and pay their bills. In addition to the presentations and panel discussion, there will be ample time for questions to be answered. It is a program to attend if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as section chair this year. It has been a truly rewarding experience to work with the officers, council, and members of the section. We have been fortunate to have the assistance and attendance of three past chairs at our meetings: Austin Anderson, Cindy Rhodes Victor, and Michael Fraleigh.

Miles J. Postema, Chair
Law Practice Management Section



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