The Life of a Practice Manager – By Emma Pope – The LawMaster Brief – May 2012
Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012 - General
Running the business side of a Law firm requires specific and multi-faceted talent. One must know financial management and reporting, human resources, facilities management, technology, marketing, legal industry trends, Rules of Professional Conduct, practice management procedures, and much more.
With all of this going on in the background, Kerry LeStrange, Practice Manager at Gold Coast Practice, Attwood Marshall Lawyers still finds time to manage a household, two teenage children and has recently commenced her Masters of Business Administration (MBA). I asked, Kerry, how she juggles it all?
Her answer is simple; she enjoys the versatility and responsibility of what she does. With over 15 years managerial experience, Kerry still prefers to be hands on, juggling many specialities and responsibilities, there is never a dull moment ‘it really is an enjoyment’.
One of Kerry’s passions is technology. ‘I am always pursuing new and innovative ways as technology evolves and love to implement anything
into the practice that will improve the efficiency of the business.’
Luckily her passion for IT and skill for multi-tasking, aided her when it came to implementing a new system – LawMaster – into the company back in 2008 whilst also opening two new offices. With the inevitable adversity to change from some staff, it took Kerry’s passion and hard-work to help them embrace the changes and see that it would ultimately help their workloads.
It is this vision that Kerry is taking into the future. She sees the company being completely paperless and on the forefront of leading Legal Resource Management technology. ‘We are two thirds of the way there.’ Technology is taking the firm to the next level of communication, over the past 12 months Kerry has also embraced online marketing strategies as one of the firm’s primary communication tools, something that she has seen successfully increase the interest in their website. Google is now one of their top five referral sources. ‘In five years’ time I envisage it being our top referral source!’ A professional aim driven by her passion to succeed.
One thing Kerry does find challenging is juggling her spare time between her family and her drive to complete her MBA, but she knows how to relax (in her garden sculpting Bonsai trees) and doesn’t like to take her work home with her. It is her family that motivates her ambition to succeed along with her passion for her work.
Described by her colleagues as understanding and very helpful, makes me wonder when does Kerry find time for herself? When she’s not working, this busy working and studying mother, loves to spend time with her family and friends. Having had her children at a young age, Kerry has learnt her multi-tasking skills by juggling many of life’s challenges from an early age. ‘My husband of 21 years and I have always worked full time so it has been tough but very rewarding to this point.’ ‘It is so lovely to see all the hard work of the early parenting years has paid off, looking at my two grown up children aged 19 and 16, my husband and I are now able to enjoy some of the finer things in life, like holidays!’
When I met Kerry, I found her drive and passion inspiring, an ambitious and hardworking woman, enjoying every minute; there is one other thing that makes life that little bit easier for Kerry, her office overlooks the beautiful beachfront of Coolangatta in the Gold Coast. ‘I live and work in a beautiful place, what more can I ask for?’
Are your systems protected from virtual intruders?
Your office needs to have a safe computing environment so you can focus on your business. There are a host of nasty intruders on the Internet including viruses, trojans, worms and spyware. The best approach to ensure the safety of your information is to look at IT Security.
While the process of evaluating, purchasing and administering IT Security software may seem daunting, particularly to a small business, the effort of implementing such a system will save a lot of problems in the future should you be unfortunate enough to encounter such an intruder.
For those companies using Windows 7, you already have the Microsoft Security Essentials package ready to be switched on free of charge. Designed to be simple to install and easy to use, it runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you don’t have to worry about interruptions or making updates, it gives you a computing environment that is safe and highly functional, providing real-time protection for your business PCs. Don’t worry if you have not yet moved to Windows 7, there are many other suitable IT Security packages.
Once your new anti-virus software is up and running, it is still necessary to keep your software up to date, to assist you in keeping your computer system free from these malicious intruders, these bugs are changing and improving their tactics all of the time. It is important to realise that the more you practice safe computing, the more effective you will become in providing a clean environment for your computer system to operate in. Your data and operating system will be kept out of reach from any unauthorised access.
Do yourself a favour and beat the bug before it beats you.
Click here for a non-techies guide to internet security.
Take a tour of our new Sydney Office
Our Sydney office is now in business! Our new team are in place in Macquarie Park and we are settling in nicely. We have already held our first training sessions in the new dedicated training room with the team from Lighthouse Health Group, with much success, thanks to our in-house trainer Tyron.
Whether you are transitioning into LawMaster or requiring refresher sessions, by offering training options in both The Sunshine Coast and now Sydney, we hope the flexibility of location will enable you to meet all of your training needs.
Our Trainers are a credit to us
On top of launching the new Sydney training sessions, our trainers have recently been busy working with hundreds of users all over the country. We’ve received some great feedback, which is a welcome compliment for our trainers who work hard to make your LawMaster experience as positive and enjoyable as possible.
Nicholas Hockey, Project Officer, Business Services Section from The South Australian Crown Solicitor’s Office commented ‘overall, the training sessions were very well presented, very successful and very well received. It is a credit to the LawMaster trainers that they were able to deliver so many sessions, 46 in total, and yet be able to maintain such a high quality of delivery throughout the entire period’.
Congratulations to Tyron, Celeste, Steve & Kristina on a job well done.
For any training needs don’t hesitate to call your LawMaster contact, call 1300 135 214 or email email@example.com for more information.
LawMaster Staff in Profile – 5 minutes with…
As mentioned in the previous issue, the LawMaster team is growing. Over the coming issues we will introduce you to each member of the team. We have cornered them, taken their photo and coerced them into answering a few random questions.
In this issue we introduce you to Client Services Manager, Tyron Wong.
Tyron is a qualified lawyer; he also has an accounting degree and experience in practice management. Some of you may have been lucky enough to have recently met Tyron as part of our team of fearless trainers. Apart from being a constant source of help in the office, he is also a trained Barista (sort of)…
What was the last book you read or recommended?
Worth Dying For by Lee Child.
What was your first job?
As a waiter. I spilt beer and orange juice on two of the first customers I ever served.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by possibilities.
My greatest extravagance is…
Watches. One of my ambitions in life is to own either 52, or 365 of them.
LawMaster Tips and Hints
Each issue we will be providing you with some hints and tips to make your LawMaster experience even easier and more enjoyable than it is now. Become the expert in your team and wow your colleagues with your intricate knowledge of the system. In this issue we focus on Quick Edits for Billing.
Reduce your billing time with this easy shortcut
- In-line editing from the Matter Workbench > Costs tab
- Tick Auto Row Height and then you can edit the Narrative field of your costs transactions in readiness for billing
- This stops you from having to select Modify on each Cost Transaction, making your change, then selecting OK to close the screen and find your next row
Around the Conferences
Recently, we’ve been out and about visiting the latest round of industry conferences across the country and meeting many of you.
Beginning with the ALA QLD conference we were welcomed by the beautiful Queensland sunshine and a re-furbished hotel, and it just got better from there. The presentations were as thought provoking as ever, the food was exceptional and we were treated to some quite amazing Belly dancers at the Middle Eastern inspired Gala Dinner, what a spectacular end to the conference.
The weather wasn’t so kind to us in Sanctuary Cove at the 5th Annual Managing Partners Forum, but this didn’t hinder the atmosphere. We managed to speak to many interesting people and were treated to a very inspiring and humorous after-dinner speech by Mr John Muir, an adventurer, who has amongst other things, climbed Mount Everest, trekked across the arctic, Antarctic and east to west across Australia. Dressed the part in a necklace of animals’ teeth and a colourful vest, the real and genuine delivery of his travels captured the attention and imagination of the whole room.
Off next to Canberra and the 2nd Public Sector Forum, this two day event was highlighted by The Hon Michael Kirby who inspired some fantastic debate amongst the delegates about panel-sourced versus in-house Legal Counsel. We feel lucky to have experienced such passion in one room.
On that note, we hope to see you all in a city near you soon.
Congratulations to our Business Card Draw Winners
Congratulations to the winners of our business card draws, we hope you have enjoyed your prizes:
Mark Meikle, Chris Shaw and Martin Reynolds.
Top: The outstanding entertainment of acrobatics and dancing at the ALA QLD Conference
© 2012 LawMaster.