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Law firm management is an antiquated system. Attorneys were used to practicing law by servicing their clients one-on-one. A lot of attorneys were generalists. Up until recently, law firms consisted of a legal secretary and/or a paralegal to support the attorney. Historically, legal secretaries would answer phones, transfer calls, schedule meetings when told, send out mail and welcome visitors. Paralegals or highly trained legal secretaries would provide other services such as dictation, shorthand and transcription. As far as building a clientele, marketing was not allowed until the 1980’s. Networking was not ordinary practice. In fact, networking events consisted of “all boys clubs” such as county and state associations or groups.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Attorneys are now looking at their practice as a business. The old school general practitioner model is not what people or organizations are looking for. An attorney is no longer just an attorney. Attorneys are now encouraged to brand themselves in a specialized area of law, bring in their own business, manage their staff and market. Some firms require attorneys to handle their own accounts receivables and time entry, bill, and (depending on the size of the firm) may suggest involvement in committees, boards and charities.

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