One form can keep your practice working -- even if you can’t
You are your practice. You may have staff or other assistance,
but your knowledge is indispensable to keeping your practice
running. You know what needs to be done, where information is
located, how things work -- the vital elements of running your
practice. If you were temporarily unable to work due to disability,
natural disaster, extreme travel delays or other challenges would
your practice survive? Would your clients get the service they
deserve? One form can ensure your practice keeps working, even if
Wells H. Anderson ([e-mail info]), a consultant to law firms and
operator of Active
Online, a secure backup service for attorneys, created
this fillable .pdf form to help you record key information to
keep your practice running. His article on incorporating the form
into your practice,
"How a Key Technology Information Form Can Save Your Practice,"
suggests collecting information including:
- The passwords and login information for computers, your cell
phone and web-based services;
- Any information needed to access backup systems and restore
- The locations of your electronic and paper files; and
- Instructions on how to generate critical information such as a
list of active cases, bills for outstanding work, records of
accounts receivable and client contact information. If you have the
ability, you might wish to record a video or screen shots of you
generating this information.
As you fill out the form, consider using the following practices
to maximize its utility:
- You needn't complete the entire form in one sitting. Just add
information during your normal work day. As you log into a computer
or website, record the password on the fillable .pdf.
- Once the form is fully or partially completed, store it in a
very secure location in your office. If you keep backup, paper
copies of vital information, like this form, take them offsite to
protect against a disaster in your office.
- You should also share the form with your backup attorney,
trusted colleagues or a responsible family member.
- If you encrypt the form you need to share the password with
whomever will use the form and tell him or her the location of the
- Revisit this form occasionally. Have you changed passwords,
implemented a new two factor authentication process, purchased a
new phone or signed up for a new service? You also want to confirm
that contact information is correct and that your backup attorney
or other responsible persons are still willing to assist you.
Tip courtesy of Scott L. Malouf (@ScottMalouf),
Management Assistance Program (@MassLOMAP).
Published August 23, 2012
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice