ABA Blueprint.com is a new tool designed to help solo and small firm lawyers find what
they need to run their firm. Any lawyer may browse the website for resources and information. Technology, marketing, insurance, retirement, and practice management services are available to ABA members only. Here’s an overview:
Services for ABA Members at Blueprint.com
- Discounts on products and services
- Access to free practice management consultants
- Firm Builder (see below)
- Ability to save solutions to your Blueprint account so you don‘t lose your research
If this sounds good to you, check out ABA membership here. Dues are pro-rated based on your date of original bar admission. Membership is free for 2016 and 2017 admittees.
Resources Non-ABA Members Can Access at Blueprint.com
Informative BLOG Posts
At ABA Blueprint, click the logo (upper left) to visit the Home page. Scroll to the bottom to find a feed of the latest posts from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center blog. Examples include using email newsletters, trends in legal technology, website costs, getting the most out of online forms, and state data breach notification laws.
Anyone can visit the Universal Solutions page to look at the curated list of products for starting a firm, growing a firm, getting paid, building a team, mastering eDiscovery, and insuring your family and future. Keep in mind the listed discounts are for ABA members only. The ABA expects to add more products in the future. Here are the highlights:
What is Firm Builder?
Firm Builder is available to ABA members only. Online modules provide help for technology basics, virtual assistance, and marketing. This is also the place where ABA members can connect to a practice management consultant. Here’s how the modules work:
- Select a Firm Builder topic (technology, virtual assistance or marketing).
- Answer a series of questions. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of options for “I don’t know, or I’ve done some research, but tell me more.)
- Once you’ve answered all the questions, Firm Builder proposes a set of solutions, i.e., products that fit your needs. The product list is curated from the Universal Solutions page of ABA Blueprint.
Long story short
Firm Builder is a fancy tool that ends up replicating the information already available under Universal Solutions. While this is redundant, don’t let it dissuade you from using the tool as it may help you focus more specifically on the products that fit your needs. In addition, Firm Builder gives you the option of contacting a live practice management consultant. Thirty minute consultations are available at no charge via phone or email, and users are promised a 24-hour turnaround time. Live chat is available for quick questions from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, presumably 7 days a week as no limitation is noted on the website.
Who are these consultants? For now, most or all of them will come from CuroLegal, a private consulting firm working with the ABA. In the future, the expectation is that practice management advisors – like those associated with your bar or liability coverage provider – will sign on as ABA Blueprint consultants.
Endorsements and Ethics
Does the ABA endorse the products listed on their site?
No, as a matter of ABA policy. Products featured on the site were selected based on “suitability for solo/small firm practitioners, the stability of the vendor, the availability of integrations, and the standing of the product in the market.”
Do the products on the ABA site meet ethical requirements for all states?
The ABA does not certify the ethical suitability of a given product or service. The website recommends consulting your local ethics body for advice or guidance. Oregon lawyers can speak to private ethics counsel or contact the Oregon State Bar General Counsel’s office.
Speaking of Oregon Lawyers
If you need help, please take advantage of the abundance of resources available to you through the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, including access to free and confidential practice management advisors. You are also welcome to call or email me. I dedicated the last 20+ years of my professional career to helping Oregon lawyers. Thirty minute emails and calls are always free. Turnaround time is next business day.
On the CLE front, it’s not too late to sign up for Unclaimed Client Funds this Wednesday. Or start the new year off right with “Fee Agreements – Ethical Dos and Don’ts.” This live, online webinar is scheduled for January 18, 2017. Registration is open now.
All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis