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With its emphasis on the business aspects of the practice of law, the Law Practice Management (LPM) Section remains a leading source for guidance on law firm management, marketing, technology, finance and career issues. As more lawyers focus on the need to manage their own success, law practice management has become an important part of each lawyer’s career. During the past two years, the LPM section has continued its commitment to helping lawyers and firms meet topical challenges in several significant ways. Notably, as Gulf Coast communities continue to recover from the 2005 hurricanes, LPM joined American Bar Association groups in developing resources to assist lawyers in rebuilding their practices. Many practices suffered direct damage, and much of their client base moved away as well. LPM sponsored free programs in Louisiana and Mississippi placing a special emphasis on legal technology tools that support both disaster prevention and recovery. This year, LPM will propose that the ABA adopt an official position applying sustainable development principles to law practice management. We will urge the ABA to promote better understanding of sustainable development, to develop and promote the business case for sustainable growth strategies and to share best practices that demonstrate the business contribution of lawyers to sustainable development. The section has long led the profession in recognizing the benefits of law office automation. In addition to the well-known annual ABA Techshow conference and exposition in Chicago, now in its 22d year, LPM has launched an additional free monthly Web publication, Law Technology Today, addressing issues ranging from the latest electronic discovery rules and guidelines to the ongoing technology needs of even the smallest law offices. LPM’s use of technology to serve lawyers is extended further by its use of audio continuing legal education teleconferences and podcasts. A particular emphasis for the section in the coming year is the development of programs and publications to better guide lawyers and firms about the benefits of diversity in the profession and in each practice. Through its management core group, LPM aims to raise the profile of diversity’s value as a cultural, ethical and business imperative. Among the new programs being offered in the coming year is the Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference, to be held in Washington in November. Thirty years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Bates v. Arizona decision on lawyer advertising, this conference will focus on ethical and practical issues surrounding law practice marketing. Vedia Jones-Richardson, a principal at Olive & Olive in Durham, N.C., practices intellectual property law, and is the incoming chair of the Section of Law Practice Management. For more information about the section, see www.lawpractice.org.

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