Law Practice Management & Accountancy

Academics

I. Basic Course information
a. Course Title : Law Practice Management
b. New course : New Professional Law Course
c. Course Duration : June 20th – September- 16th 2016
d. Semester Total Number of Hours: : 36
e. Maxium Weekly Lecture Periods : 3
f. Tutorials : Twice a Month

II. Description
This course is a one semester introductory course. It seeks to introduce final year students to the practice of law in its various forms with a focus. The related aspects of law practice such as the regulations of practice, dealing with clients,, basic skills and support systems and management will be covered. Matters related to personnel and other supports systems and other support system will also be covered.

III. Statement of course need
This course provides those students who intend to pursue a career in law with the basic understanding of what goes into the practice law beyond the classroom. This is to enable them fit easily into the legal environment after school and provide a foundation they can build on the function better in the profession.

Whilst it is intended to equip the student with the necessary skill that enable him/her to understand practice, it also will help the student to easily integrate and participate in a firm and subsequently, it will form the foundation that enable them become effective in the management of their law offices in future.
IV. Place of course in law school curriculum
The course is compulsory for all final year students and is examinable. It will also constitute part of the basis for assessment of students after they undertake the attachment and filed training in law firms as part of the second year programme in the professional law course.
V. Outline of course content

This course is divided into three parts as following:
1. The first part will cover the legal marketplace and what it constitutes.
2. The second part will be devoted to a discussion of the basic issues related to management and how it affects the practice of law.
3. The final or third part will deal with the system that complement the practice of law and help practitioners to function effectively.

PART I: THE SCOPE OF PRACTICE AND THE LEGAL MARKETPLACE
a.Teaser
1. What I wish I knew before I finish law school
2. What lawyers do

b. Practice of law
1. Historical perspective
2. Modern scope of law practice

c. The practitioner and practitioner types
1.Terminology
2.Scope of legal work
3.Practitioner functions
4.General list and specialist
5.Emerging issues/ types

d. Set-up of law practice
1.Types of law practice and terminology
2.Traditional approach
3.Evolution of practice
a. The concept of chambers
b. Sole practitioners and unregistered individual
c. Partnerships
• LLPs
• Non-LLPs
d. Companies
e. The Boutique firms
f. Professional corporations
g. The rise of regional and global Law Firms
h. Full service
i. Office –sharing arrangements

e. The regulation of practice
1.The Regulator
2.Country requirements
3.General practice requirements
4.The impact of Globalization on practice and regulation
5.The Africa context
6.Bar associations
7.The Ghana context
8.Governance of practice
9.Ethics of practice
10.Professional risks and indemnities
11.Clients complaints and effects on attorney discipline
12.Miscellaneous

Part II: management of practice and related matters
f. Management
1. Management Generally
a.Basic History and Theory of Management
b.The core functions of Managements
c.Scope of management and professionalization of management
2. Application of management in a law firm

g. Basics of Personnel Management In Law Practice
1. Recruitment
2. Training and capacity building
3. Compensation

h. Paralegals and Support Staff
1. The concept of paralegals
2. The key role of a non-lawyer staff
3. Paralegal and Client Relations
4. Paralegals and external relations
a.Court
b.Regulators
c.Others
d.‘’independent paralegals’’

i. Finance and accounting as a component of the law firm practice
1. The basis and concept of time in relation to fees’’
2. The concepts of time in relations to fees
a.Time keeping and matters arising
b.Time keeping systems
c.Converting time into fees
d.Billing and billing methods
e.Bar scale of fees
f.Practical matters related to fees and charges and expenses

PART III. LAW OFFICE SYSTEMS AND MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES
j. The people in a firm
1. The Legal Team
a.Roles
b.Hierarchy
c.Some norms
2. The client
d.Defining the client
e.Factors Affecting Clients Relations

k. System that make a law firm work
1. System and the Technology in the Law Office
2. Some key system
a.Calendar System
b.Common Problems

l. File and records Management
1. Filling and docket systems
a.File Review system
b.Tickler system
c.Computerized and Manual Docket systems
2.File Maintenance
3.Rules relating to file closing and destruction
4.Ethics in File Management
a.conflict of interest checks
b.preservation of client property
c.confidentiality concerns
d.highly sensitive cases

m. Law Library Organization And Management
1.Scope of the law library
2.Traditional and modern library system
3.Court Forms, Forms Files,
4.The influence of the knowledge system

n. Practical’s and Test Cases
1.The role of non- lawyers in practice
2.The dummy client
3.Handing a court case
4.Billing and fee practical
5.M & A
6.KYC and Due Diligence
7.miscellaneous

o. Recommended Materials
1.Abrans, L. L. (200). The Official Guide to Legal Sepcialisties: an insider’s Guide to Every Major Practice Area.
2.Arron, D. (2004). What can you do with a law degree?: A lawyer Guide to Career Alternative Inside, Outside and Around.

Prepared by Mr. David Ofosu-Dorte