Center For Practice Management

Popular Articles from the CPM ICYMI Newsletter (January – March 2024)

Every week subscribers receive the ICYMI enewsletter from the NCBA Center for Practice Management. The newsletter highlights tips, tools, trends, and techniques to help your law practice. The following are a few popular links from the past issues of the newsletter.

My 40 Most-Read Blog Posts This Year Tell a Story of a Legal Industry Consumed with Generative AI (1/5/2024)
Generative AI consumed the headlines throughout 2023, including legal news. Bob Ambrogi compiles the most read blog posts from his Lawsites blog. These headlines also include a quick summary of big news in legal technology.

New NC Ethics Opinions Related to Practice Management (1/12/2024)
Brian Oten and Peter Bolac provided their annual update on what is happening at the North Carolina State Bar during their recent Expert Series CLE. In addition to topics such as legal deserts, changes to CLE rules, the new random audit selection process, and much more, they discussed two recently adopted ethics opinions related to billing and handling of aged client files upon sale or closure of a practice.

Increasing Your Legal Fees: A Four-Step Approach (1/19/2024)
Erik Mazzone, writing for Attorney at Work provides a process to consider when to increase fees, for how much, and how to tell your clients. It is best to take a data driven approach, and raise your fees a little bit every year, rather than realize you need to make a big rate change that ends in surprised and disgruntled clients. Remember to consider alternative fees too! The NC State Bar has a subcommittee currently studying unbundled services.

To-Do Lists: 15 Tips to Make an Effective To-Do List (1/26/2024)
While this article is on the Asana product page and does suggest that you use the product, the tips here are good ones no matter what technology you use to manage your to-do list. Prioritizing, batching, delegation, and more are all important keys to working your to-do list effectively.

12 Little-Known Microsoft OneNote Features You Will Love (2/2/2024)
Microsoft OneNote, which has free and paid versions, is incredibly useful and is becoming more integrated into the 365 suite, replacing the wiki in Teams channels and showing up in Outlook Online. Custom tags, internal and external notes linking, versioning, sorting, save email to OneNote, and more tips are explained in this article.

3 Time Management Tips That Are Improving My Productivity (2/9/2024)
If you have tried to-do apps and still find you are not getting everything done, this article suggests that you are going about it in the wrong way. It isn’t about getting everything done, it is about getting the right things done. One interesting approach the author advocates is using your calendar as your task management tool. Why? Because everything takes time.

How I Fell for an Amazon Scam Call and Handed Over $50,000 (2/23/2024)
This is a detailed exposition of a sophisticated and convincing hoax that separated the author from $50,000 in cash. If you think you wouldn’t ever fall for this kind of scam, read the article. She was skeptical the whole time, but also scared enough to move things forward. AI is going to make these kinds of swindles even more difficult to recognize and easier to perpetrate. Be on guard!

Some Best Practices from Law Firm Associates (3/1/2024)
A recent Reddit thread posed the question “what are some examples of best practices you employ in your daily routine or have learned from more senior attorneys?”. The following is a summary of the responses, edited for repetition and some negative advice removed. In some cases, more senior attorneys submitted their thoughts. These are helpful suggestions whether you are a newer associate or an experienced attorney.

Supreme Court Accidentally Forgets to Delete Basic Metadata in Trump Ballot Ruling (3/8/2024)
Metadata. Again. All those file properties, tracked changes, comments, and other bits can come back to haunt you. Understand what metadata is, how it could be damaging, and learn how to remove it here: Exposed! What Lawyers Need to Know About Metadata.

Emergency Planning – Thinking About the Unthinkable (3/15/2024)
This article from Lawyers Mutual tells a sad, but all too common story, of an attorney who unexpectedly became incapacitated due to sudden illness. It then provides access to a practice guide with checklists, form letters, and sample emergency attorney agreements, followed by a list of action items in case of emergency.

The Eisenhower Matrix: How to Prioritize Your To-Do List (3/29/2024)
If you have a tough time triaging your to-do list this article does a great job of explaining how to categorize your list so that tasks fall into a quadrant. Then you can organize your time and tackle the right task first. This article also makes some helpful suggestions, like eliminating unnecessary tasks before you prioritize them!

5 Security Features That All Apple Users Should Be Using (4/5/2024)
If you are using an iPhone or the Mac OS, these tips to keep your data safe are easy to deploy and provide security benefits. Add end to end encryption in iCloud, manage sharing and permissions on your iPhone with Safety Check, prevent hijacking of your Apple ID if your phone gets stolen, and other tips will keep your devices and information safe.