Law Practice Management Division
The Law Practice Management Division of The Virginia Bar Association is built on a strong foundation developed by the Law Practice Management Section. Created in 1992, the Section focused on the operation and management of law firms, both large and small, and the solo practitioner. At the 2013 VBA Summer Meeting, for instance, one program organized by the division looked at an organic approach to retention, diversity and high performance (photo, right). The division has developed signature programs such as the Managing Partners Roundtable and the Small Firm Practice luncheon conducted at each Annual Meeting for the past several years. Its focus also has included technological advancements as they affected the practice of law, which resulted in the LawTech conference conducted successfully for several years.
Strategic planning process
Under the chairmanship of Janet Thomas in 2000, the Section began a strategic planning process to establish long-term goals. At the same time, the VBA Executive Committee had begun its own strategic planning initiative that identified, as an element of the promotion of professionalism, a need to focus on the balance between a successful and rewarding practice and other lifestyle issues such as health, family relationships and intellectual development.
The result of these two parallel processes was a recommendation from the Law Practice Management Section, approved in the fall of 2001 by the VBA Executive Committee, that the Section be converted to a Division that would house the initiative on practice/lifestyle balance.
All VBA members also part of LPMD
As an integral part of this step, each VBA member automatically becomes a member of the Law Practice Management Division without the necessity of separate dues. The Board of Governors has approved bylaws similar to those of the Young Lawyers Division that provide for an Executive Committee of 11 individuals to be selected from diverse geographic areas and practice settings. However, the real work of the Division is carried out through its substantive committees that provide an opportunity for interested VBA members to become involved with the Division and to contribute to its operation and programs.
Professional and personal aspects
The focus of the Division has expanded from that of the Law Practice Management Section. While continuing to stress firm and other organizational aspects of law practice management, the Division emphasizes the individual and personal aspects of law practice management, such as personal time management, professional skills development, personal marketing, achieving an appropriate practice/lifestyle balance, and promoting overall professionalism.
The operation of the Division will initially be directed at three areas:
•providing a resource base for its members; and
•providing recognition to those firms, organizations and individuals who make outstanding contributions in the area of law practice management.
Committee success depends on you
The following committees were established:
Member Services Committees:
Professional Skills Development
We ask that each of you who have an interest in participating with any committee let us know or advise the chairperson of the committee, if one has been appointed. While there is, of course, some practical limit on the size of a working committee, we hope to be able to accommodate all VBA members who wish to become more involved in the Division’s activities either through committee membership or other participation.
How can we add value?
We also solicit your thoughts on methods by which we can make the Division a source of added value to you and to all members of The Virginia Bar Association and the practicing bar in Virginia. Give us your suggestions on desirable program topics and educational vehicles, methods of communication and issues of concern.
As a Division, we have a primary mission to bring to our membership needed and valuable services. Each of you can help us fulfill that mission, as it relates to both personal practice management and organizational practice management, by telling us how we can best serve you and your practice.
Thank you on behalf of the Law Practice Management Division for your support and interest.