Hanging Your Shingle

I really had a wonderful time acting as the editor of Hanging Your Shingle on behalf of MCLE New England. It gave me the opportunity to reconnect with many friends and experts in law practice management that I had not recently worked with, and it allowed me to meet new experts to help create a truly helpful publication for the new start-up. I also want to say thank you for the significant efforts put in by these volunteer authors, ethics reviewers and those who took time to talk with me about their personal experiences starting a firm.

As we worked on the book, it reminded me how hard it is for busy practitioners to not only take t


he time to read and digest the best practices laid out, but to take time from being a service provider to implement these best practices. It took me back to when my partner and I started our firm in 1998, the many questions we had, and how we worked through the questions with research, networks of practicing attorneys, and common sense.  There were few resources that laid out how to get started, and the resources that existed were not easily accessible when we needed them.

This book helps solve the basic questions often asked by attorneys seeking to start the herculean

task of starting a successful firm.  In this book, I was pleased at how our authors worked diligently to ease the burden and cut to the chase in helping practicing attorneys create an efficient, profitable practice, which is set up to reduce risk of malpractice and ethical claims caused by poor practice management.

As I thought about how this book could add another dimension to the discussion, it was important to me that we hear from successful practicing attorneys that started their own practice.  I interviewed Massachusetts attorneys from different practice areas to discuss basic questions such as how they chose their practice areas and how they gained critical experience.  We discussed the challenges they faced, the good and bad advice they received, and what they considered the keys to their success. Interestingly, from the nitty, gritty of practice, they did not always focus on the same concepts our experts do. However, when you look at the best practices thoughtfully laid out by our authors, they form the underpinnings of that success.  Ultimately, new firms must get clients, get paid, and have operational control that reduces the risk related to practice, so the firm can thrive into the future.  I think that the practical insight of these attorneys with the best practices provided by our experts make for a complete view of how to successfully start a law firm.  The ebook may be found here, and, there is also a print version available at MCLE New England.

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