Solo and Small Firm Resource Center

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    What You Need to Succeed NYSBA's Solo and Small Firm Resource Center offers you the support you need to compete in today's legal environment.
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    Collaboration Has Advantages Working alone doesn't mean you don't have opportunities for working together. Your NYSBA membership offers unique ways to connect and collaborate.
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    Going Solo Enjoy the risks and rewards of being your own boss - with the support of the NYSBA Solo & Small Firm Resource Center
  • Events
    • Starting a Practice in New York (2014) - Video Replay

      Starting a Practice in New York  (2014)
      CLE Online Video Replay
      7.5 MCLE Credits: 5.0 Professional Practice; 2.5 Ethics
      NYSBA Member: $150 | Non-Member: $250
      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
      Real Time Q & A with Cliff Ennico, Esq. 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

      Sponsored by the Law Practice Management Committee of the New York State Bar Association and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education
      Are you considering opening your own firm? Are you a recent law school graduate just starting out? Are you considering leaving your place of employment and starting your own practice?  The New York State Bar Association Law Practice Management Committee is pleased to present an MCLE program on Starting a Practice in New York.
      This full-day program will provide an overview of what it takes to own your own practice. From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, this program will provide practical and useful tips for starting a practice in New York.
      Focusing on solo practice, this year's program topics include: setting up bank accounts; general accounting information; tax concerns; setting up IOLA accounts; client retainer agreements and intake forms; collecting payments; leaving your old firm; handling referral business; the ethical issues of using the Internet to market your practice; social media considerations; increasing your list of contacts; and much more.

      Agenda Topics

      Starting Your Own Law Practice: The Basics
      ·         Your Business Plan (Yes You Need One)
      ·         Choosing a Legal Entity
      ·         Home Office or Rented Space?
      ·         Your Office Equipment and Technology
      Insurance Considerations - Protecting Your Practice
      Getting Beyond “Everything That Comes In the Door”
      What Type of Law Should You Practice? 
      Choosing the Right Legal Specialty (or Specialties) in a Tough Market
      ·         Identifying Practice Areas with Growth Potential
      ·         Doing “What’s Not Being Done”
      ·         Letting the Market Tell You Who You Are
      ·         When the Client, Not the Practice Area, is the “Specialty”

      Maximizing Your Marketing | Turning Basic Business Cards, Letterhead and Websites into Marketing Statements

      Get the Clients and Cases You Want
      ·         Finding Clients
      ·         Exploiting Your Small Size to Get the Clients and Cases You Want
      ·         Practice and Time Management: Do it Right or Die
      ·         Coordinating With Co-Counsel to Build Your Practice
      ·         Special Pitfalls of Litigation to Avoid
      Managing and Organizing Your Practice
      •    Beyond the Solo Practice
      •    When Should You Hire Your First Associate, Paralegal, or Administrator?
      •    Human Resource Issues (Payroll, Insurance, General Accounting)
      •    Technology: Maximizing Efficiency
      •    Practice Management Software
      •    Engagement Letters
      •    Office Policies
      •    Procedure Memos and Templates
      •    Emergency Preparedness
      Becoming a “Bathrobe Lawyer” | How to Build a Successful Solo Practice Out of a Home Office
      ·         Can You/Should You Work Out of Your Home?
      ·         Setting Up Your Home Office
      ·         Marketing, Managing and Growing Your Home-Based Practice
      ·         Time Management for the Home-Based Lawyer
      ·         Dealing with Temptations, Interruptions and “Sidetracks”
      ·         Legal and Tax Issues for the Home-Based Lawyer
      Critical Issues and Ethical Considerations for the Solo Practitioner
      ·         When You Are “More Than a Lawyer”: Conflicts of Interest in the Real World
      ·         Working for Chickens: Investing in Clients and Other Nontraditional Forms of Payment
      ·         What Exactly is the “Practice of Law” and When Is It “Unauthorized”?
      ·         Partnering with Nonlawyers: the Do’s and Don’t’s
      ·         Representing Family Members, Business Partners and Other Multiple Clients
      ·         When Clients Cross State Lines: Doing Legal Work in Jurisdictions Other Than New York
      ·         “Reader, Advisor, Barista, Attorney at Law”: Combining a Law Practice with Other Sources of Income

    • Hiring and Managing Staff - Video Replay


      Hiring and Managing Staff | The Lawyer as Employer (2014) | Online Video Replay
      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
      2.0 MCLE Credits
      NYSBA Member: $75 | Non-Member: $175  
      Real Time Q & A with Nancy B. Schess, Esq. 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
      Sponsored by the Law Practice Management Committee of the New York State Bar Association and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education
      "The Lawyer as Employer"
      Geared toward solo and small firm practitioners, this comprehensive program will address hiring and managing staff and will provide an overview of human resource compliance.  
      Get an overview of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Equal Pay Act, New York State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") and distinctions between federal, state and city laws.
      Do you have an employee handbook? 
      Learn the top 5 important policies for your employee handbook.
      Overtime or Not: Exempt or Non-Exempt?  
      Understand the Risks Involved in Misclassifying Employees as Exempt.
      Do you do performance appraisals? 
      Get Best Practices in Hiring, Discipline and Discharge.
      Understand how poorly conducted investigations create, rather than minimize liability.  
      Understand time off issues and accommodating disabled employees.

      Are you effectively managing workplace technology? 
      Get a sample workplace technology policy.

      Learn about the full range of laws governing the workplace including:
      -Wage/Hour Laws
      -Safety and Health Laws
      -Time off Laws (including Family and Medical Leave)
      -ERISA (benefits)
      -Correct Classification of Employees/Independent Contractors

  • Technology

    Technology Resources for Your Practice | Maximizing Technology and Your Practice

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    NYSBA's Legal Resource Guide features comprehensive information on products, companies and vendors that may be of interest to attorneys in New York.


    Enhance the efficiency and lower the cost of your practice with special discount programs for NYSBA members. From insurance and financial services to discounted office products, your NYSBA membership gets you dramatic savings on important services every practice needs.

    Save time and money with members-only programs like group health insurance from MVP, financial services from Bank of America, free legal research, discounts on CLE of more than 30%, practice management software, hardware and resources, and much more.


    Announcing NYSBA's New Member Benefit | Fastcase

    The Smarter Alternative for Legal Research
    Fastcase is the leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools at your fingertips.
    Fastcase’s libraries are searchable, just like you search the Web or traditional legal research services – by keyword (or “Boolean” search), natural language search, or citation lookup.  What makes Fastcase’s solution smarter is its tools that find the best answers fast, saving you time, and making your practice more competitive to clients.

    NYSBA Partnership with Clio

    Take the management of your practice with you anywhere you go with cloud-based practice management tools from Clio. Handle time tracking and billing, manage client matters and take your files on the go. NYSBA members receive a 10% discount on Clio subscriptions. Reduce your costs, improve your efficiency and focus on your practice. Visit to sign up.

  • Forms

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    Downloadable Forms

    Please note: Downloadable forms are available in electronic format only.  No product will be shipped. 
    Please click on the link(s) below to view the list of forms or to purchase downloadable forms.  Sample forms are for illustrative purposes only.  The current versions of these forms are available upon purchase. 

    Best Practices in Legal Management
    Buying and Selling a Small Business
    Commercial Real Estate
    Corporate and Partnership
    Criminal Law
    Debt Collection
    Elder Law
    Enforcement of Money Judgments
    Estate Planning and Will Drafting
    Limited Liability Companies
    Matrimonial Law
    Mechanic's Liens
    Mortgage Foreclosures
    Power of Attorney Forms
    Probate and Administration of Decedent's Estate
    Real Estate Transactions - Residential Property
    Representing the Personal Injury Plaintiff in NY
    Will Drafting
    Zoning and Land Use

    New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education products are intended to provide current and accurate information to help attorneys maintain their professional competence. Products are distributed with the understanding that NYSBA does not render any legal, accounting or other professional service. Attorneys using products or orally conveyed information in dealing with a specific client's or their own legal matters should also research original sources of authority. 

    While it is our hope that the information will be extremely helpful to new attorneys, it cannot be stressed enough that all forms should be considered only as a starting point. All forms must be tailored to meet the needs of your client for a particular transaction and researched to make sure they are current and not in violation of any statute or legislation. 

    Copyright 2015, New York State Bar Association. All rights reserved. 

  • Practice Management

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    Law Practice Management resources provide lawyers, law firm managers and legal professionals with information on practice management trends, marketing, client development, legal technology and finance. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a managing partner at a national law firm, you’ll find law practice management resources to meet your day-to-day practice needs. Checklists, best practices, publications and continuing legal education programs provide up-to-date information and practical tips to help you better manage your law practice.

    Upcoming Programs

    Legal Malpractice | March 2015
    Legal Malpractice 2015 - Professional Liability Claims, Litigation Strategies and Ethics
    4.0 MCLE Credits including 3.0 ethics credits / Overall Planning Chair: A. Michael Furman, Esq.

    Albany | Friday, March 6, 2015 | New York State Bar Association | One Elk Street |
    New York City | Friday, March 6, 2015 | The Graduate Center, CUNY | 365 Fifth Avenue
    Long Island | Friday, March 13, 2015 | Melville Marriott | 1350 Walt Whitman Road
    Westchester | Friday, March 13, 2015 | Elmwood Country Club | 850 Dobbs Ferry Road
    Rochester | Friday, March 20, 2015 | Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside | 120 East Main Street


    2015 March Marketing Conference | 5.0 MCLE Credits including 2.5 ethics credits
    Marketing and Business Practices to Grow Your Firm
    Friday, March 27, 2015 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | NYC | Executive Conference Center


    Starting a Practice in New York | 7.0 MCLE Credits
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


    New Requirement for Retainer Agreements

    All four of the Appellate Divisions recently adopted a new rule governing contingent fees in claims and actions for personal injury and wrongful death. The new rule is mandatory. The rules for the respective Appellate Divisions are: First Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 603.7[e]); Second Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 691.20[e]); Third Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 806.13[c]); and Fourth Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 1022.31[c]). Lawyers should be aware that the language varies slightly among the different Judicial Departments. Please note, these changes do NOT apply to medical malpractice cases, which are NOT subject to the new rules and must be handled in accordance with NYS Judiciary Law 474-a. 


    LPM CLE Programs available online, on demand

    Using Powerpoint at Trial
    Powerpoint as a Tool of Persuasion

    1.5 MCLE Credits |

    iPad for Legal Professionals | How To's and Best Practices
    1.0 MCLE Credit |

    Leveraging Technology in Your Practice |  25 Tips to Streamline Your Practice
    2.0 MCLE Credits |

    Legal Malpractice | Professional Liability Claims, Litigation Strategies and Ethics
    4.0 MCLE Credits |

    Marketing and Business Development 101 for Small to Medium Sized Firms
    4.5 MCLE Credits |

    Get involved with the NYSBA Tech Community.  Learn more at

    Stay informed.  Follow NYSBA LPM on Twitter |

    To view the full list of Law Practice Management Programs for members, click here.