Lending Library

Introduction to Law Firm Practice

By Michael Downey

Lending Library Number: 145

Navigating your way through a law firm practice can be overwhelming, especially in larger firms. A firm is made up of equity and non-equity partners, senior attorneys, senior associates, Of Counsel designates, associates, and interns, in addition to the paralegals, managers, and support staff that all help make a law firm run effectively and efficiently. A new guide by the ABA Law Practice Management Section, Introduction to Law Firm Practice, is a systematic study of how lawyers practice law at private firms and will help you navigate your way through how a law firm operates.

In an easy-to-read format, this guide contains basic information on a law firm, such as "how do equity and non-equity partners differ" and who is Of Counsel to more advanced concepts, such as a discussion of the market for legal services and strategic alignment of a law firm. This guide discusses:

  • the organizational structure and promotional tracks for the firms work
  • how firms develop business and generate revenue
  • lawyer compensation and the review process
  • intake of client matter, including engagement letters, retainers, and conflict checking
  • law firm profitability
  • business development efforts for new clients, such as advertising, direct mail and email, in-person solicitation, preparing RFP/RFI responses, and more
  • firm culture and demands on your time
  • mentoring
  • and much more!

Whether you're a law student interested in working in a law firm or a young lawyer who would like to gain a better understanding of how your law firm operates, this guide will provide you with the ins and outs you need to help you navigate your way through a law firm and excel in such a firm.