Checklist for Setting up a Law Office

I.                     Obtaining Clients
a.       Determine what kind of clients to represent
                                         i.      Small businesses
                                        ii.      Family law
                                       iii.      Personal injury
                                      iv.      Collection work
                                       v.      Insurance defense
b.       Solicit clients
                                        i.      Advertising
                                       ii.      Announcement letters
                                      iii.      Word of mouth
c.       Potential client Interview
                                        i.      How often
                                       ii.      Length of time
                                      iii.      Fee or no-fee
                                     iv.      Information to be gathered
d.       Retainer letters ($)
                                        i.      Hourly fee
                                       ii.      Contingency fee
                                      iii.      Flat fee with expenses
                             iv.    Meets with Ethics Requirements
                              v.    Non-retainer letters/declining representation
e.       Ethical considerations
                                        i.      Conflict of interest
                                       ii.      Competency
II.                   Setting up an office
a.       Office equipment
                                        i.      Furniture
                                       ii.      Computer and printer
                                      iii.      Telephone and fax
b.       Office software
                                        i.      Word processing
                                       ii.      Time and billing
                                      iii.      Research
c.       Office supplies
                                        i.      Preprinted – Letterheads and envelopes
                                       ii.      Pleading and document papers and covers
                                      iii.      Pens and pencils – Preprinted?
                                      iv.      Files and folders
                                       v.      Desk top supplies
d.       Assistance
                                        i.      Secretarial help
                                       ii.      Temporary help
                                      iii.      Investigators
                                     iv.      Contract employees
e.       Banking and finance
                                       i.      Checking accounts
                                      ii.      Escrow accounts
                                     iii.      Trust accounts ($)
f.         Ethical considerations
                                       i.      Retainer accounting
                                      ii.      Escrow responsibilities
III.                  Case Handling
a.       Setting up Files
b.       Document preparation
c.       Calendar
d.       Discovery
e.       Trial Preparation
f.         Negotiations and settlements
g.       Appeals
h.       Post-judgment actions
i.         Ethical considerations
IV.                Terminating attorney-client relationship
a.       Withdrawal letters
b.       Termination by time
c.       Destruction of files
d.       Ethical considerations