Law Office Management
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Because You Really DON'T Know Everything!! How and Why to Draft Your Own Procedure Manual

By Patricia Yevics
Director, Law Office Management
Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.

Listed are some of the many procedures and policies that can be included in a Procedure manual.  This list is NOT comprehensive and all the items listed may not be included in all firms.  The key is to include all the procedures that your firm does and include them in the manual.

Procedures to Include

Accidents
Accounts Receivable
Accounts Payable
Billing
Bulletin Boards
Calendars
Client Confidentiality
Closing Files
            Notifying clients
            Storage of files
Computer Backup
Correspondence
            Copying for file
            Naming rules for computer
            Standard salutation and close
            Standard number of copies
            Use of letterhead
            Signature in absence of attorney
Disbursement of funds
            Office expenses
            Petty cash transactions
Emergency procedures
E-mail procedures
            Rules for deleting
            Confidentiality
            Signatures
Employee Addresses
Ethics /Confidentiality
Fax cover sheets
Filing Court Papers
Financial record keeping
            Costs account/advanced expenses
            Retainers
            Fund balances
            Checking account reconciliation
Housekeeping
Incoming Mail:
            Date Stamping
            Opening
            Making Copies for File
            Forwarding to Client
Office supplies
            Responsible party
            Approval process (if any)
Opening new files
                New matter report
            Fee agreement/engagement letter
            File folders and labels
            File numbers
Outgoing mail
                Certified Mail
            Fax
            Express mail
            Signing on behalf of the firm
            Who takes out mail
            Location for outgoing mail
Outgoing telephone calls
                Long distance record log
            Time and charges
            Personal calls
            Index cards/cross reference cards
            Organization of contents
            General principles of filing
Payroll and employment
            Paydays
            Timecards
            Hours of operation
            Holidays
            Sick leave and vacation policy
            Time keeping
            Employee benefits
            Staff training and education
Photocopier and fax machines
            Posting to client account
            Personal use
            Repairs/maintenance
            Use of copy services
Quality Client Service
Repair of equipment
Setting client meetings
Telephone calls
            How they are handled
            Option for Voicemail
Telecommuting
Timekeeping

Policy Issues to Include

Although not procedures, these are some policies that can be included in an employee manual.

Attendance
Complaints
Decorum
Dismissal
Dress codes
Evaluation/Reviews
Excused time off
Foul Language Prohibition
Funeral time off
Inclement weather
Lateness
Holidays
Medical Insurance
Misconduct
Moonlighting
Overtime
Parking
Personal Phone/Email
Payroll/timesheets
Sexual Harassment
Smoke/Coffee Breaks
Vacation
Work Hours
Lunch Room
Professional Ethics


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