Hanging a Shingle: Starting and Perfecting a Successful Law Practice

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

Video on Site: Monday, August 27 / Charlottesville
  Tuesday, August 28 / Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke
  Tuesday, September 25 / Fredericksburg, Hampton, Lynchburg
(Winchester location only has been canceled)
Registration: 8:00 a.m. (Richmond location: 8:30 a.m.)
Program: 8:25 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. (Richmond location: 9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.)
MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Live on Site: July 11 in Fairfax


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?
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.



* Please note that the Richmond video replay begins at 9:00 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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 Recess
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

VIDEO REGISTRATION FEES (Lunch not included).
(All registrants will receive access to a complete set of downloadable e-book seminar materials.)

$215* regular registration (without printed materials).
$245 regular registration plus printed materials.
$200* Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference member (without printed materials).
$230 Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference member plus printed materials.
$260 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).

*Available until 3 business days before the program



Charlottesville: The Virginia CLE® Building, 105 Whitewood Road (800) 979-8253 (Venue Website / Google Map)


Alexandria: Courtyard Marriott Alexandria Old Town/Southwest, 2700 Eisenhower Ave. (703) 329-2323 (Venue Website / Google Map) Metro accessible!
Norfolk: SpringHill Suites Norfolk—Virginia Beach, 6350 Newtown Road (757) 333-3100 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Richmond: UVA Richmond Regional Center, 2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300, 3rd Floor (Parking available only in spots not marked “Visitor Parking”) (804) 662-7464 (Venue Website / Google Map) (Please note that the Richmond video replay begins at 9:00 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.)
Roanoke: Roanoke Higher Education Center, 108 North Jefferson Street (Parking validated for parking deck adjacent to center only) (540) 767-6161 (Venue Website / Google Map)


Fredericksburg: Courtyard Marriott Fredericksburg Historic District, 620 Caroline Street (540) 786-8321 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Hampton: Old Dominion University’s Peninsula Center, Peninsula Workforce Development Center, Second Floor, 600 Butler Farm Road, next to the TNCC Campus  (757) 766-5200 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Lynchburg: Holiday Inn Select, 601 Main Street (434) 528-2500 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Winchester: CANCELED

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.

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