Legal Profession Research Guide
This guide will identify resources available for researching the legal profession, focusing on materials for the management of law offices and corporate legal departments.
This guide identifies resources available for researching the legal profession, focusing on materials for the management of law offices and corporate legal departments. Related Georgetown Law Library research guides which are available include:
- Legal Ethics Research Guide - This should be consulted for ethical questions about the profession and professional codes of conduct.
- Accounting Research Guide - This should be consulted for guidance on accounting standards and principles.
To keep abreast of the hottest issues related to the legal profession, these web sites and blogs monitor the profession and are updated on a regular basis.
- Adam Smith, Esq. - http://www.adamsmithesq.com/ - This site focuses on the economics of law firms. It covers partnership structures and practice group management in depth. Extensive links to other worthwhile legal resources are provided.
- Altman Weil - http://www.altmanweil.com/ - Altman, Weil, is one of the largest management consulting firms to law firms and legal departments and their web site provides management tips. The articles, news and resources tab links to material on trends in the legal profession, job descriptions for legal professionals and pertinent surveys and special reports.
- Hildebrandt - http://www.hildebrandtblog.com - Hildebrandt, another consulting firm to law firms and corporate law departments, follow the trends in the legal profession and write about "what the future may hold". The blog focuses on all aspects of management, technology and strategy. They produce a quarterly report analyzing the demand for legal services, as well as reporting on the trends of negotiated rates and productivity.
- Law Department Management - http://www.lawdepartmentmanagementblog.com - Rees Morrison, a leading consultant to corporate law departments shares his expertise in this blog updated daily.
- Law Firm Mangement Center - http://practice.findlaw.com/ - This basic starting point covers topics such as management, firm automation, marketing and practice support.
- Legal Profession Blog - http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/ - Law professors monitor emerging issues in the legal profession and post their comments and findings on this blog. The topical archive allows readers to focus on specific areas of interest including billable hours, clients and more.
The library has many books written on the legal profession, including topics such as the management of law offices and corporate legal departments, law firm technology and merger management. On the fifth floor of the Williams library the call numbers KF300-KF320 are the general browsing area for material on law office management.
Alternatively, it may be helpful to search the library catalog by author for American Bar Association Section of Law Practice Management. This search will retrieve over 150 of these publications in our collection.
Some secondary sources to start your research include:
- Anatomy of a Law Firm Merger: How to Make or Break the Deal KF318 .A77 2004
Everything from initiating to evaluating to integrating firms in a merger are discussed in this primer. The exhibits include step by step checklists, calendars and subcommittee responsibilities for a successful merger.
- The Attorney's Guide to the Business Mind: An Expert Explains Corporate Clients, Finance, and the Instincts of an MBA, by Weston Anson KF390.B84 A57 2009
A brief look at the J.D. vs. the M.B.A. with useful insight into the business of law, including marketing, valuation and compensation.
- Hildebrandt Handbook of Law Firm Management KF318 .H545
Also available on Westlaw (HHLFM).This looseleaf publication addresses partnership structure and compensation, as well as professional development and law firm ancillary businesses.
- Law Practice Management in a Nutshell, by Gary A. Munneke KF318.Z9 M86 2003
A cursory look at all of the topics important to the managing partner, including managing clients, human resources, physical resources, information resources, financial resources and the legal work product.
- The Lawyers Guide to Governing Your Firm, by Arthur G. Greene KF318 .G742 2009
This step by step guide to governing law firms includes model partnership agreements, as well as sample roles and responsibilities of law firm staff. Associate task lists and performance appraisals are also featured.
- Learning From Law Firm Leaders, by Susan Manch and Michelle C. Nash KF318 .M28
Paths to leadership and the core competencies of leadership are features of this book.
- Managing Partner 101: A Guide to Successful Law Firm Leadership, by Lawrence G. Green KF318.Z9 G73 2001
This "how-to" guide provides insight into the roles and responsibilities of the managing partner by advocating planning, organizing and educating.
- PLI Law Firm Leadership & Management Institute KF318.A2 P55
This course handbook includes the presentations at the Practicing Law Insitute's program on law firm leadership and management. The featured topics are what do clients want, managing by the numbers, consolidation and leadership succession planning. Actual law firm case studies are presented.
Periodical literature provides current awareness of the profession, including rankings of the top firms, management trends and automation pointers. A few of the most prominent periodicals for coverage of the legal profession include:
- ABA Journal (1984- ) K1 .B2
also available electronically (1915- )
- American Lawyer (1893- ) KF175 .A44
also available electronically (1893-1908, 1986-)
- Corporate Counsel (1995 -) K3 .O8595
also available electronically (2000- )
- Law Office Management and Administration Report - electronic version only
- Law Practice (1990- ) K12 .A962
also available electronically
- Law Practice Today - electronic version only
- Of Counsel - electronic version only
For an overview of searching journals and periodicals, including information on searching non-legal periodical databases, see our Finding Journal Articles research guide. A majority of the articles written on the legal profession will be included in the law journal indexes.
|Electronic Version||Tutorial||Print Version||Lexis/Westlaw|
1980 - present (about)
|Tutorial||Current Law Index
1980 - present
Westlaw - LRI
|Legal Periodicals and Books
Some full text
1982 to present (about)
|Tutorial||Index to Legal Periodicals||
Westlaw - ILP
For a comprehensive search of professional issues, you should also look at business periodicals, which are available in the following databases:
|Academic Search Premier||Tutorial||4,425 titles are abstracted and indexed covering academic areas of study. Years of coverage vary. Many links to full-text.|
|ProQuest (ABI/Inform et al.)||2,900 periodicals in the social sciences, humanities, general sciences, business and general interest. Years of coverage vary. Many links to full-text.|
c. Electronic Resources
- ALM Legal Intelligence - The preeminent publisher of American Lawyer, National Law Journal and other publications, provide access to their business research and legal industry intelligence with this resource. Surveys of law firm economics, corporate representation, billing hours, and much more are available for download. Examples include: Law Firm Leaders Report, Diversity Scorecard and Summer Associate Survey. Best accessed using the Internet Explorer browser.
Several law schools sponsor research initiatives which focus on the legal profession including:
- Center for the Study of the Legal Profession - This Georgetown Law School center is "devoted to promoting interdisciplinary scholarship on the profession informed by an awareness of the dynamics of modern practice.."
- Center for Diversity in the Legal Profession - The research at this CUNY School of Law institute focuses on participation of people of color in the legal profession.
- Center on the Global Legal Profession - At the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, this center focuses on applied research and looks to "incorporate cutting-edge research to teach today‰s students how to be the great lawyers of tomorrow."
- Program on the Legal Profession - The mission of this Harvard Law program" is to increase understanding of the structures and norms of the legal profession in the United States and around the world, through research, scholarship and teaching."
- Stanford Center on the Legal Profession - The research at this center focuses on professional responsibility and the structure of legal practice.
Updated 5/13 (MK)
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