Syllabus

SYLLABUS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Summer 2020 Law – 1010 – 3685-01

Wednesdays 5:30 pm to 9:10 pm

Remote Online Course Via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Synchronous Live)

Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida

Adjunct Professor of Law: James W. Martin, Esq.

Bio: jamesmartinpa.com/bio/ 

Email: jwmartin@law.stetson.edu

Phone: (727) 821-0904

Course Website: lawpracticemanagement.org 

Virtual Office Hours: By appointment

  1. Course Catalog Description: This course is offered to present the practical aspects of organizing a law practice. The course will provide insight into the management of a law firm, in both theory and practice, and provide the students with the rationale behind the procedures and systems they will be asked to adhere to as a professional.
  1. Weekly Classes and Reading Assignments: Please read before each class:
    1. Class #1 6/17/2020: read text chapters 1, 2 and 3 (pages 1-21), business plan in appendix (pages 205-214), and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    2. Class #2 6/24/2020: read text chapters 4, 5 and 6 (pages 23-48) and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    3. Class #3 7/1/2020: read text chapters 7 and 8 (pages 49-71) and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    4. Class #4 7/8/2020: read text chapters 9, 10 and 11 (pages 73-104) and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    5. Class #5 7/15/2020: read text chapters 12 and 13 (pages 105-131), employee manual contents in appendix (page 232), and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    6. Class #6 7/22/2020: read text chapters 14, 15 and 16 (pages 133-159) and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
    7. Class #7 7/29/2020: read text chapters 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 (pages 163-199) and articles posted on lawpracticemanagement.org
  1. Requirements
    1. Required Text: The Experiential Guide to Law Practice Management: Opening and Operating Your Own Firm, Lynne Adair Kramer and Ann L. Nowak, 2016 Carolina Academic Press, ISBN 978-1-6328-1906-2
    2. Required Equipment: Computer with microphone, video camera, and internet access
    3. Required Collaboration Tools
      1. 3.3.1.Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
      2. 3.3.2.Stetson account with Microsoft 365 for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft OneDrive
      3. 3.3.3.Stetson Outlook email account
  1. Classroom Format
    1. This course will be taught remotely online by means of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as a live, synchronous class.
    2. Students will participate in breakout sessions based on teams that correlate to various sizes of law firms and will collaborate with other team members on the subject matter for that particular class period.
    3. Portions of each class will be devoted to lectures, classroom discussions, and reviewing assignments. Other portions of each class will consist of in-class assignments for team collaboration. 
  1. Out-of-Class Assignments: By the beginning of each class, the professor may post an out-of-class assignment for the next class to the course website lawpracticemanagement.org . The completed assignment must be emailed to the professor no later than the day before the next class. Absence from any class does not excuse a student from completing the out-of-class assignment for any class.
  1. Communication with Students: Email is the primary means of communicating during and after class so students must constantly monitor for emails for the following:
    1. Emails from the professor to the students before classes with a link to the class website and other information.
    2. Emails from the professor to the students after classes with supplemental information discussed in class.
    3. Emails from the students to the professor and other student team members with assignments during and after classes.
  1. Two Credit Hours: Twenty-six (26) hours of classroom faculty instruction over seven (7) class weeks, plus fifty-nine (59) hours of out-of-class student work over seven (7) weeks (8 1/2 hours per week reading the assigned text and  other materials), for a total of eighty-five (85) hours of work over seven (7) class weeks. 
  1. Grading Policy: There is no final exam. Grading is based on assignments, classroom attendance, and classroom participation. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory pass/fail scale (not the 4.0 scale).
  1. Classroom Attendance Policy:
    1. A student may miss only one (1) of the seven (7) classes and still receive credit for the course. 
    2. Note: Failure to attend class #1 counts as an absence for four (4) hours of classroom faculty instruction even if the student added the course after class #1.
    3. Failure to attend at least 80% of the total twenty-six (26) classroom hours will automatically exclude the student from receiving any credit hours for the course. 
    4. Attendance is mandatory.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. 
    5. Each student is required to keep a record of total absences for the semester. 
    6. The professor is not obligated to keep a student informed of the student’s absences.  
    7. A student who meets one or more of the following criteria should contact the Associate Dean for Academics (not the class professor) as soon as possible to discuss classroom attendance: (a) has the flu or flu-like symptoms; (b) has a contagious or serious illness other than the flu; (c) is caring for another person suffering from the flu or contagious disease; or (d) presents extraordinary circumstances that might require missing classroom instruction.
  1. Class Participation: Class participation consists of the following minimum requirements:  attendance for the entire class period, arriving on time at the beginning of each class, reading all assigned materials prior to class, being prepared to discuss any of the assigned materials and topics of discussion in class, engaging in and contributing to thoughtful class discussion, and demonstrating professional conduct during class.
  1. Learning Outcomes
    1. 11.1.Demonstrate sophistication in legal analysis, reasoning, and problem-solving: by recognizing, analyzing and resolving typical issues that arise in managing a law practice. 
    2. 11.2.Gather and interpret relevant facts and conduct legal research: by creating and applying plans and systems for managing various aspects of a law practice consistent with legal ethics.
    3. 11.3.Communicate effectively in writing and orally: by meetings with other students and collaborating on typical law practice management documents.
    4. 11.4.Exercise professional and ethical judgment: by recognizing rules of legal ethics that apply to the practice of law and creating policies and procedures to implement compliance.
    5. 11.5.Demonstrate competencies and character traits important to the role of a professional: by establishing routines and habits that promote the efficient and accurate practice of law.
  1. Accommodations:  According to the College of Law polices on ADA Accommodations and ESL Testing Modifications, students with disabilities or foreign students may seek reasonable accommodations and/or ESL testing modifications for this course.  Accommodations and/or modifications cannot be made unless written notice is provided to the ADA Coordinator.  To seek accommodations students must communicate with the ADA Coordinator as soon as possible at ada@law.stetson.edu and follow the procedures found on the school’s Accessibility Resources website. http://www.stetson.edu/law/accessibility/index.php .
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