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Standardized office procedures are not just a good Risk Management tool, they aid and assist law firms in providing more effective and efficient legal representations to their clients. Establishing standard processes for client intake, client communications, calendaring, billing, and other essential law firm functions is essential to running a successful legal business.

When developing your procedures, consider:

  • Develop office manual/operating procedures manual
  • Personnel policies/benefits
  • Docketing, calendaring, tickler system
  • File organization, retention and destruction
  • Client intake procedures
    • Client intake forms
    • Conflict of interest checking system & conflict waivers
    • Setting client expectations
  • Client billing procedures
    • Regular monthly statements even if no amount due
    • Detailed billing statement
    • Expense billing
    • Costs to be billed
    • Legal assistant time/paralegal time
    • Telephone expenses
    • Duplicating expenses
    • Computerized legal research
    • Mailing costs
    • Collection policy
    • Credit cards for payment
  • Client Relations Policy
    • Setting appointments, introducing staff
    • Returning phone calls, e-mail messages
    • Client intake form/survey at conclusion of representation
    • Keeping clients informed
    • Send copies of work, documents
  • Document maintenance
  • Develop the following forms as needed for your practice:
  • Client interview/intake form
  • Engagement/non-engagement letters
  • Written fee agreements
  • Billing statement form
  • General client correspondence, notices, etc.
  • Closing letter
  • Client satisfaction survey form after conclusion of representation
  • Communicating Fees
    • Clear discussion about fees
    • Written fee agreements/engagement letters
  • Accounting Procedures
    • Bank account reconciliation
    • Cash flow statement
    • Accounts receivables/payables
    • Aging review
    • Expense approval system
    • Counter signature requirement on checks
  • Disaster recovery
  • Offsite – safety deposit box
  • Computer backup

Use The Bar Plan As a Resource

We are here to help. Lawyers will always have questions about their professional duties or malpractice risk throughout their careers. The Bar Plan’s Risk Management team is here to help lawyers answer those questions, along with any questions pertaining to starting your practice. Our Risk Management Hotline is free and confidential. You do not need to be an insured of The Bar Plan to use this service. Call 1-800-843-2277 x103 or email