Law Office Management Assistance Program gears up to help lawyers help themselves
Great legal talent doesn’t always translate into great business acumen, and business management mistakes can lead to professional liability for attorneys caught off guard.
Now, thanks to the efforts of the Office of Bar Counsel, the Board of Bar Overseers, the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts judiciary and the state bar associations, attorneys needing assistance in the business of law can turn to the Law Office Management Assistance Program.
LOMAP was launched in July with attorney Rodney S. Dowell as its director. Massachusetts LOMAP assists attorneys in establishing and institutionalizing professional office practices and procedures. Its mission is to increase attorneys’ ability to deliver high quality legal services, strengthen client relationships and enhance attorneys’ quality of life. LOMAP provides this assistance through its consulting services, reference materials, educational programs and referrals.
The establishment of LOMAP was driven in large part to improve the commonwealth’s system of attorney discipline. While the Office of Bar Counsel conducted an effective, twice yearly, full-day ethics school, the OBC did not believe that could achieve the same results as LOMAP. LOMAP reaches lawyers whose primary problems stem from inadequate law office management skills, not dishonesty or fraud or other substantial problems that are unrelated to practice management.
“I want attorneys to be willing to reach out long before they have an inkling there may be a concern about any disciplinary action,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re all better off if the bar understands that by implementing good business practices early on and running an efficient office with a client-centric legal practice, the decrease in disciplinary problems will take care of itself.”
Dowell has an ideal skill set to perform in his new role as LOMAP director. In addition to writing articles and presenting on client management issues, he has 18 years of litigation experience in attorney malpractice defense, insurance coverage and employment law, has started two small firms, and was primarily responsible for implementing technology and client management programs at his firm, Berman and Dowell.
“As a practitioner, I’m focused on providing practical advice that people can actually use. I won’t be hawking expensive, complicated software programs. I’ve been in the trenches and understand things have to be practical and easy to implement,” promised Dowell.
LOMAP will provide free and confidential consulting to attorneys in three general areas: providing help for attorneys starting their own practice, whether directly out of law school or transitioning from another firm; auditing an attorney’s current practice to find areas for improvement or to eliminate professional liability risks; and helping attorneys prepare for transitioning out of the practice of law.
For those entering or leaving the practice, LOMAP can provide advice as to ethical concerns, financial consequences and insurance concerns, as well as offer other resources to simplify the process.
For attorneys in an established venture, a LOMAP consultant can meet with the practitioner and staff at their office. The consultant will analyze what the primary areas of concern are and recommend what practice management tools to implement to make the practice more efficient, to improve client relations and to improve their quality of life.
Alan J. Klevan, chair of the Law Practice Management Section Council, said he admires Dowell’s enthusiasm and energy for this project. Klevan said, “On behalf of the Law Practice Management Section, I’m looking forward to doing anything and everything to assist Rod in getting this program off the ground and running successfully.”
For more information on LOMAP, go to http://masslomap.org/ or e-mail Rodney Dowell at [e-mail rodney].
Moll named Babson College vice president, general counsel
Babson College has named Jonathan Moll a vice president and its in-house general counsel. He will provide legal advice and guidance while managing its legal affairs. Moll takes the newly created position after serving Babson for more than 20 years as a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and, prior to that, at Goldstein & Manello.
He received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.A. from Harpur College, SUNY at Binghamton.
Van Amsterdam named chair of Wolf Greenfield biotechnology group
Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks PC recently named John R. Van Amsterdam, Ph.D., as the chair of its biotechnology practice group.
Van Amsterdam, a shareholder of the firm, specializes in patent prosecution and intellectual property transactions in biotechnology. His areas of expertise include protection of therapeutics and diagnostics of cancer and metabolic disorders.
He received his Ph.D. in toxicology from MIT, his law degree from Suffolk University Law School, his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Middlebury College, and his master’s degree in applied biological sciences from MIT.
Five Boston lawyers recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America”
The law firms of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott LLC and Nelson, Kinder, Mosseau & Saturley PC recently announced members of their firms were recognized as top attorneys for 2007 in Woodward-White’s “The Best Lawyers in America.”
The Best Lawyers lists are compiled through a peer-review survey in which 16,000 attorneys in the country evaluate their professional peers.
Stephen R. Delinsky, of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, was recognized for consistently working at the highest levels of the legal profession with his work in commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense.
Nelson, Kinder, Mosseau & Saturley PC partners Richard C. Nelson, E. Tupper Kinder Jr., Peter W. Mosseau and William C. Saturley were also honored in the September issue of New Hampshire Magazine, which offered a sneak peak at the “The Best Lawyers in America” granite state contingent.
“To be included, your peers must recognize your talents and the value you bring to the profession,” said C. James Parks, Eckert Seamans’ executive director. “Being included in Best Lawyers in America is considered a significant honor.”
Rubinstein honored by Collection Advisor and Lawyers Weekly
Kenneth Rubinstein, attorney at Nelson, Kinder, Mosseau & Saturley PC, has been selected as one of Collection Advisor’s “Top 50 Collection Professionals” for 2007.
Rubinstein will be honored during the Collection Advisor’s third annual TECH’07 conference in Las Vegas. Recipients of this honor are selected through coverage in the magazine, field nominations and TECH’07.
“We are very proud of Ken for receiving such a sought-after distinction. He is a competent and integral member of our team,” said Richard Nelson, president of Nelson, Kinder, Mosseau & Saturley PC.
In addition to his recognition by Collection Advisor, Rubinstein has been named one of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s “Up & Coming Lawyers,” an honor presented to Massachusetts lawyers who have been distinguished members of the bar for 10 years or less.
Cetrulo & Capone LLP joins International Society of Primerus Law Firms
The Boston law firm of Cetrulo & Capone LLP has been accepted into membership by the International Society of Primerus Law Firms, a highly selective alliance of independent law firms.
“We feel honored to have been approved for membership and will continually strive to live up to the Primerus principles of excellence,” said founding partner and MBA member Bert J. Capone.
Primerus is a network of top-quality, independent law firms that are accredited for membership based on their commitment to rigorous standards based on integrity, excellence of work product, reasonable fee structure, professional education, civility and community service.