MSBA Practice Management and Marketing Section
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2004-05 | 2002-03 | 1996-97
MSBA Practice Management & Marketing
Annual Report: 2004-2005
In 2004-2005, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its
third year following the merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section
and Law Practice Management Committee (April 2002). Here are some of the section's
accomplishments and activities during the year:
Solosmall Discussion List:
The section continued to sponsor the MSBA's very successful online discussion list for solo and small firm practitioners. The Section Council began planning for a social event that some list participants had suggested that would permit list participants to meet each other and interact in person.
*November 2004 - a noontime program with a presentation by H. Sam Meyers: "Starting and Managing a Small Law Firm - Discoveries and Confessions of a Large Firm Refugee." To an audience packing the MSBA's Honors Room, Myers shared his insights and experiences from starting and operating a corporate immigration practice after he had left large-firm practice after 20 years.
*May 2005 - a noontime presentation, with CLE credit, to an audience filling the MSBA's Honors Room, by Becky Bickett of Leonard Street & Deinard and Sarah Murphy of Fredrikson & Byron: "Getting Started on Your Practice Development Plan."
Through the year, the Section Council maintained discussions with Minnesota
Continuing Legal Education about potential programs for solo and small practitioners.
This culminated with the section's cosponsorship of a two-day event - "Strategic
Solutions for Solo & Small Firms" - in Duluth in August 2005.
Section membership stood at 111 at mid-year, continuing to be at a higher level than it had been before the merger (81).
Officers for the 2004-05 year were LaVern Pritchard, Minneapolis, co-chair; Michael Vitt, Minneapolis, co-chair; Helen Federline, Buffalo, treasurer. Section Council members: Joan Bibelhausen, Minneapolis; Becky Bickett, Minneapolis; Margie Bodas, Minneapolis; R.D. ("Don") Estes, Minneapolis; Heidi Pliam, Minneapolis; Robert Woodke, Bemidji.
New leadership stepped forward for the 2005-06 year.
Todd Scott, Minneapolis, chair
Roy Ginsburg, Minnetonka, vice chair
Dwain Fagerlund, Crookston, secretary
Helen Federline, Buffalo, treasurer
Section Council members:
Margie Bodas, Minneapolis
Heidi Pliam, Minneapolis
LaVern Pritchard, Minneapolis
Michael Vitt, Minneapolis
Robert Woodke, Bemidji.
MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
2003-2004 Annual Report
In 2003-2004, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its second year following the merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section and Law Practice Management Committee (April 2002).
Here are some of the section’s accomplishments and activities during the year:
• Solosmall Discussion List: The section continued to sponsor the MSBA’s very successful online discussion list for solo and small firm practitioners. During the year, it designated a list administrator and established procedure to collect list-use policy decisions that have developed since the list was established.
• Advocacy on CLE Policy: The section addressed the Minnesota Supreme Court, both in writing and in person, to oppose a proposed amendment that would have included personal development courses in the law office management category for continuing legal education. Uniquely among states, Minnesota will accept only 6 credits in that category for each reporting period.
The Court rejected the amendment and decided that there would be no cap on accepted credits for personal development courses. The Court declined to eliminate or increase the limit on law office management credits, as the section had advocated.
• Programs: The section conducted a number of programs at section meetings:
* October 2003 — a program discussing “50 Ways to Annoy Your Clients” — in which participants examined behaviors to avoid in law practice. This later became the basis for an article in the MSBA’s Bench & Bar, which was copied and distributed at the 2004 MSBA Convention.
* November 2003 — a presentation, with CLE credit, by Stephen M. (Pete) Peterson, managing director of the Law Firm Business Institute in Denver, on “Law Firm Economics: Making Sense of the Numbers.”
* April 2004 — a roundtable discussion on a possible trend toward outsourcing and “offshoring” of legal work
• Practicelaw.org: The section maintained materials on the law marketing segment of the MSBA’s Practicelaw.org online feature. Section leaders and MSBA staff discussed prospects for adding a law office management segment.
• Membership: Section membership declined somewhat, but remained significantly higher at 131 in June 2004 than it had been before the merger (81).
A shortage of volunteer participation in section activities, both in preparation and attendance, hampered section program development through the year.
In 2002-2003, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its first full year following the April 2002 merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section and Law Practice Management Committee. The section was renamed and its mission expanded.
Here are some of the section's accomplishments and activities during the year:
MSBA Practice Management & Marketing
1996-97 Annual Report
The Minnesota State Bar Association Marketing and Client Service Section had a very successful 1996-1997 year. The following is a summary of the section's primary accomplishments during the year.
Officers that led the section during the 1996-97 year were: Chair Heide Rose of Schmidt Marketing; Vice Chair Clare Borovac of Moss & Barnett; Secretary Maria Moeller of Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman; Treasurer Cindy Moen of Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel (half-year) and Susan Swierkos of Maun & Simon (half-year). Council members were: Maury Beaulier of Beaulier Law Office, Jacquie Bystrom of Mahoney, Dougherty and Mahoney, Donna Erickson of Briggs and Morgan, Lette Gears of The Gears Group, Ltd., Kevin Gray of Rajkowski Hansmeier, Ltd., Dean Harakas of Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, Elise Schadauer of Doherty, Rumble & Butler, Gretchen Semler of Commercial Law Affiliates, and Tim Turner of West Publishing Company.
To achieve the above objectives, the section formed two major subcommittees: (1) Programming, chaired by Tim Turner and (2) "Marketing on the Road," chaired by Clare Borovac.
The Programming Subcommittee held five successful bimonthly luncheon meetings on the following topics:
"Keeping Clients Satisfied" (November 7, 1996)
When lawyers talk about marketing they usually mean getting new clients. Yet a firm's existing clientele can account for up to 80 percent of its future work. Providing excellent client relations ensures that the firm's most important assets do not leave. Sally Schmidt of Schmidt Marketing offered suggestions for designing effective client service programs, firm-wide and for individual lawyers, to keep clients satisfied. Attendance: 37
"How Outside Counsel Can More Effectively Meet Client Needs"
(February 6, 1997)
One of the primary reasons clients leave law firms is often not for the quality of the work product or the end result, but because of poor communication and a failure to treat clients as valued customers. To retain existing business and obtain additional work, law firms are continually challenged to better understand the needs of their clients. Ken Ross of Bowman & Brooke moderated a panel of client-lawyer pairs which discussed how lawyers can deliver quality service to their clients. Client-lawyer pairs included: Mike Morse of Peoples Bank of Commerce and Richard Salmen of Maun & Simon; and Hilding Nelson of Kinnard Investments and Timothy Heaney of Fredrikson & Byron. Attendance: 38; CLE Credits Awarded: Pending.
"I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" (May 15, 1997)
Lawyers are very busy people and frequently find it difficult to spend time on business development -- yet, the future of their practices depend on it. Joan Autrey of Primary Alliance explored practical approaches that lawyers can use to make business development an integral part of their work. Attendance: 28; CLE Credits Awarded: 1.5
Press releases were sent to the media for all three programs.
The "Marketing On the Road" Subcommittee conducted a program for the 11th District of the Minnesota State Bar Association. On March 19, 1997, in Duluth, Clare Borovac of Moss & Barnett, Gretchen Semler of Commercial Law Affiliates, and Heide Rose of Schmidt Marketing discussed marketing basics, how to build a referral network, and relationship building and client service. Attendees were awarded .5 CLE credits.
The section published three newsletters and developed a section brochure. The newsletter topics included: "Six Steps to Service Excellence" by Sally Schmidt of Schmidt Marketing, Inc., "Marketing is a Very Personal Skill" by Ken Ross of Bowman & Brooke, and "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" by Joan Autrey of Primary Alliance.
Our beginning balance, dated July 1, 1996, was $437.61; our ending balance, dated May 31, 1997, was $2,583.28, resulting in an impressive profit of nearly 500 percent. (Please note that the financial information for May was used because the June report had not been issued yet.)
Our membership increased 3 percent, with 114 members at the beginning of the 1996-97 year and 117 members at the end of the year.
- Last Updated 10/15/04 -