Authors:Vicky Ling
Last updated:2023-09-18
Management skills for private practice
Marc Bloomfield
Description: Practice management
If you want to develop your firm, Legal Aid Practitioners Group’s courses will help.
All legal sector businesses need managers, but relatively few see management as the principal element of their role. Most see their main job as being a solicitor or caseworker; others consider themselves to be administrators. Being trained in good practice will give existing and prospective partners/directors both skills and confidence in supervision, line management and decision-making about strategy or finance.
In 2014, Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) was awarded a government grant to develop a management training programme for legal aid law firms. Successfully piloted in 2015, the Certificate in Practice Management combined face-to-face training with online learning and materials to provide an accessible and affordable management training programme for busy lawyers and practice managers.
Lead tutors Matthew Howgate and I have now completely redesigned the programme, and this year sees the launch of our Management Skills for Private Practice training modules.
You can take any number of one-day modules to suit your needs. Complete them all and you’ll be awarded the LAPG Certificate in Private Practice Management. Ninety per cent of employers surveyed said they had noticed increased knowledge, skills and confidence in the staff who had attended the full programme.
The modules are designed around The Law Society’s Lexcel standard, the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA’s) Specialist Quality Mark and the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s continuing competence framework.
Financial & Resource Management (28 September 2023) covers time management, understanding accounts, budgeting, forecasting, understanding resource, KPIs and dashboards.
Now I can read our balance sheet properly and see the real benefit of forecasting and monitoring and the introduction of KPIs.
Business Planning & Risk Management (19 October 2023) covers creating a strategic/business plan and individual objectives, risk management, business continuity and GDPR.
I’ll certainly use the checklists for compliance, business continuity plan ideas, data security improvements. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and inspiration.
Managing People (9 November 2023) covers bullying and inappropriate behaviour, induction, probation, training and development, supervision, appraisal, feedback and performance management.
I liked looking at the importance of induction and probation and getting it right at the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the course as a whole.
EDI, Policies & Compliance (30 November 2023) covers equality, diversity and inclusion with guest tutor Phanuel Mutumburi, business and operations director at Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality. Matt and I cover the SQM, Lexcel, policies and procedures, and preparing for audits and assessments.
I really enjoyed it, I thought it was great.
Marketing & Communications (14 December 2023), in which Themer Slimane, marketing manager at Ridley & Hall solicitors, will discuss different approaches to effective communication, and how fee-earners can contribute to their firm’s marketing strategy, focused on the needs of legal aid law firms.
I can now develop a social media and marketing strategy.
Managing a Legal Aid Contract (14 December 2023), for which we will be joined by two senior managers from the LAA who will help you better understand how to manage their legal aid contracts and avoid audit issues and contract notices.
The course made me feel more confident with auditing and supervising and dealing with the LAA.
The course delivers practical tools that people can use from day one. Employers say they notice that their colleague has increased confidence after the course.
We’re introducing dashboards at partnership and team level; time targets, costs and average fees.
Your training and support of our practice manager seems to have revolutionised our legal aid work and significantly increased our billing last year.
Several practices have enrolled more than one person on the course and it has become part of their development programme, so that when the current cohort of managers comes to pass the baton to the next generation, they have the confidence and skills to take it.
The full five-day course fee is £630 for LAPG members and £900 for non-members, which covers online course work, training materials and textbooks (including the LAG Legal Aid Handbook 2022/23). To discuss the course, please contact Andrea Shumaker: