Hanging a Shingle: Starting and Perfecting a Successful Law Practice

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

Live on Site: Wednesday, July 11 / Fairfax
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:25 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 6.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Video on Site Options


Why Attend?

  • Get practical advice from practicing attorneys who have started their own successful law firms, including the right office space for your needs, how to hire and maintain support staff, and how to provide insurance for you and your employees
  • Learn what budget-friendly equipment and technology are essential for every office
  • Make office management efficient with the best methods for filing, conflict checking, accounting, timekeeping, and billing
  • Discover ways to stay out of trouble: avoid ethical violations by properly managing your clients’ money and utilizing appropriate fee agreements

Cosponsored with the Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar

Whether you are thinking of starting your own law practice or if your shingle has been hanging for a while, you will not want to miss this seminar. This is a unique opportunity to hear and learn from attorneys who have started their own law firms and can provide you with tips to put you on the right path to hanging (or polishing) your shingle. This seminar will help you prepare and fine-tune your office.

Virginia CLE® has worked closely with solo and small firm practitioners to develop topics that are imperative to the success of your business. From business formation, handling trust accounts and client files, to hiring support staff and purchasing equipment, this program is a must-attend event for any small firm practitioner.

Can't Attend?
Attend one of the 9 video replays offered statewide in August and September.
E-mail distance_ed@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail publications@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.



8:00 Registration
8:25 Welcome
8:30 Opening a Law Practice—Initial Business Considerations
Elliott P. Park
  • Business plan
  • Type of entity
  • Office space
  • Equipment
  • Staff
9:30 Budget-Friendly Technology for Your Law Office
Sharon Nelson and John W. Simek
  • Case management, time and billing
  • Document management and assembly
  • Microsoft Office, Office 365, PDF
  • Security suites, e-mail encryption, hard drive encryption, secure cloud computing
  • Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and a host of other technology needed in today’s law firm
10:30 Break
10:45 Law Office Management
Zachary A. Kitts
  • File management and recordkeeping
  • Conflict checking
  • Accounting systems
  • Timekeeping and billing
  • Deadline management
11:45 Employment Law Considerations
Amy E. Smith
  • Filing and payment of payroll taxes
  • Pay periods/withholding pay
  • Employee benefits
12:30 Lunch (provided at live program only)
1:00 Lunch Presentation:
How Do I Get Clients?  Practical Tips for Marketing Your Law Practice in Your Community
(no MCLE credit)
Zachary A. Kitts
1:30 Ethics of Handling the Money
Jeannie P. Dahnk, William E. Glover, and Leslie A.T. Haley
  • IOLTA/Non-IOLTA accounts
  • Recordkeeping considerations
  • Credit card use
  • Type of fees
  • Retainers (really?)
  • Non-engagement agreements
2:30 Break
2:45 Ethics of Fee Agreements
Jeannie P. Dahnk, William E. Glover, and Leslie A.T. Haley
  • Ethical considerations associated with trust accounts, credit card accounts, and other bank accounts
  • Ethical considerations associated with fee agreements and retainers
3:45 Adjourn



Jeanne P. Dahnk, Glover & Dahnk / Fredericksburg
William E. Glover, Glover & Dahnk / Fredericksburg
Leslie A.T. Haley, Park Haley LLP / Richmond
Zachary A. Kitts, K&G Law Group / Fairfax
Sharon D. Nelson, Sensei Enterprises, Inc. / Fairfax
Elliott P. Park, Park Haley LLP / Richmond
John W. Simek, Sensei Enterprises, Inc. / Fairfax
Amy E. Smith, Isler Dare, P.C. / Richmond


Farnaz F. Thompson, University of Virginia, Office of the Virginia Attorney General / Charlottesville

Locations, Dates and Fees

(All registrants will receive access to a complete set of downloadable e-book seminar materials.)

$265* regular registration (without printed materials).
$295 regular registration plus printed materials.
$250* Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference member (without printed materials).
$280 Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference member plus printed materials.
$310 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).

*Available until 3 business days before the program


Fairfax / Wednesday, July 11
Waterford at Fair Oaks (Venue Website / Google Map)
12025 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
(703) 352-3200

Click here if you wish to register three or more people from the same firm.
A special 15% discount and free shipping on Virginia CLE®–published books will be available for purchases made at the seminar site.

Lower Registration Fee and Greater Functionality with Downloadable E-Book Seminar Materials

ALL seminar registrants will receive access to a complete set of downloadable e-book seminar materials. E-book materials are searchable, easily accessible, and efficient to use.

When registering, please be sure to provide a legible, valid e-mail address to which Virginia CLE® can send a link to the e-book materials.

Registrants who elect a registration option that includes downloadable e-book seminar materials only and not the printed materials will receive, at the seminar, a short, printed seminar outline with space to take notes.

Printed Materials: You still have the option of receiving a complete set of printed materials for a higher registration fee. Registrants who choose this option will receive printed materials at the program.


To receive access to the downloadable e-book materials BEFORE the seminar AND register for the lower fee, your registration must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. THREE BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE the seminar.  A link to the downloadable e-book materials will be e-mailed to you two business days before the seminar.  Once you download the materials, you can review them and print the portions you want to bring with you to the seminar.

After 5:00 p.m. THREE BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE the seminar, only the registration options that include printed materials will be available.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored through 5:00 p.m. of the DAY BEFORE the seminar.  You will, however, be charged $90 for the materials if you cancel your registration for the seminar, or transfer registration to a different seminar, after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE®.

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

Registration Options
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