Date: Friday, April 28th, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Location: Dockser Hall, Northeastern University School of Law, 65 Forsyth Street

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Special thank you to the Solo and Small Firm Symposium Committee: 

  • Barry Bisson '13 
  • Garrett Lee '07
  • Sofia Lingos '09
  • Luke Mitcheson '09 
  • Joel Rosen '94
  • Mike Sams '94

Schedule

Friday, April 28, 2017

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Seated Networking Breakfast

Location: 230 Dockser 

9:00 - 9:20 a.m.

Conference Welcome 

Location: 230 Dockser 

Welcome remarks given by:

  • Dean Jeremy Paul 
  • Sofia Lingos '09
  • Solo and Small Firm Symposium Committee 
  • Mielle Marquis, Director of External Relations, Northeastern University School of Law 
9:20 - 10:20 a.m. 

Panel 1: Flying Solo

Location: 230 Dockser 

Being your own boss, making your own hours, choosing your own clients—the attractions of going out on your own are countless. But there are also challenges: drumming up business, bookkeeping, and being your own IT department…to name a few. Are you cut out to fly solo? Come to this panel to hear the pluses and the minuses from those who have taken the plunge.

Moderator: Sofia Lingos '09, Principal Attorney, Trident Legal; Adjunct Professor, Northeastern University School of Law; Business Law Advisor, Lawyers for Affordable Justice; President, NUSL Alumni/ae Association Board of Directors

Panelists:

10:20 - 10:35 a.m.

Coffee and Networking Break 

Location: Lounge outside of 230 Dockser 

10:35 - 11:35 a.m. 

Panel 2: Navigating the Next Steps: Know When to Grow

Location: 230 Dockser 

Operations are going well, so what’s next? Should you hire an assistant or associate(s)? Do you need more space? How can you expand your client base? What factors do you need to consider? In this interactive session, you’ll hear from those who have navigated those crossroads to determine if now is the time to take your practice to the next level.

Moderator: Kelly Bonnevie ’92, Partner, Wilson, Marino & Bonnevie 

Panelists include: 

11:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

"Ethic"quette Luncheon 

Location: Dockser Commons  

Special Guest Speaker: Melinda Drew '87, Professor, Northeastern University School of Law 

12:40 - 1:25 p.m.

Workshops I

I. Financials 

Location: 30 Dockser 

Not sure where to start when it comes to money matters? Join us for this workshop to hear about best practices from a law office manager and external requirements from a bookkeeper/accountant. Whether you outsource or undertake the tasks on your own, there is no faster way to get in trouble then to mismanage money. Covering law firm basics and daily considerations, leaders will help you create a checklist for compliance. We will also address whether you should do it alone, what innovative options exist to outsource and when it’s time to hire dedicated staff.    

Leaders: 

II. Technology

Location: 42 Dockser 

This workshop will take you through the essential technology requirements of a small law office regardless of whether you’ve recently hung your own shingle or have been in practice for years. We’ll address different types of technology, including all-in-one case management platforms and automation software, in addition to effectively implement technology in your practice to increase efficiencies. Don’t worry, we’ll also discuss security and ethics as it relates to technology! Come for an exciting discussion, be prepared to share your experiences and lessons learned, and ask all your questions to our panel of experts!

Leaders: 

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.

Workshops II 

III. Operations 

Location: 30 Dockser 

When operating a solo practice or small law firm, it is essential to work both thoroughly and efficiently. Garrett Lee and Luke Mitcheson from Mitcheson & Lee LLP will lead a discussion concerning the best practices for operations such as client intake, conflict checks, engagement letters and fee agreements, filing systems (both electronic and hard copies), and calendaring systems. We will also discuss the best practices for merging two or more different methods of operation when partners create a new law firm.  

Leaders: 

IV. Marketing 

Location: 42 Dockser 

Whether online or in person, having a strategic marketing plan can be the guiding factor for law firm success. Learn from law firm marketing experts on what they find works and what has been a waste of time. We will also explain why and how to track your return on investment (ROI). Come in with ideas and questions, come out with an action plan for what’s next. 

Leaders: 

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Thank You and Closing Remarks 

Location: Dockser Commons 

  • Mielle Marquis, Director of External Relations, Northeastern University School of Law 
  • Solo and Small Firm Symposium Committee 

This conference is hosted by the NUSL Alumni/ae Association and the Office of Development and Alumni/ae Relations. Sponsorship is generously provided by:

Trident Legal

Program Partners: 

  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM) 
  • Boston Bar Association Solo & Small Firm 
  • Lawyers for Affordable Justice
  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) 
  • Massachusetts Bar Association Solo & Small Firm 
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
  • Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) 
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly 
  • NUSL Alumni Association Board of Directors 
  • NUSL Boston Regional Alumni/ae Chapter 
  • Starting Out Solo 
  • The Social Law Library 
  • Women's Bar Association Solo & Small Firm