Q: What is the single best thing you can do to practice law ethically and avoid disciplinary trouble?
A: Be proactive – make it a habit to bring an ethics lens to everything you do in your law practice. Use that focus to frame your thinking as you make day-to-day decisions about not only your client work, but also your office operations. If you’re sloppy about how you run your practice, the potential for slip-ups snowballs.
Examining your entire law firm can seem daunting, but fortunately, the Texas Lawyer’s Insurance Exchange has created an excellent tool to help. The Legal Malpractice Self-Audit – available for free on the Texas Bar CLE website – is a 38-page document that includes a thorough checklist you can use to evaluate whether your firm is using the best management practices to avoid ethics and malpractice problems. With sections covering billing, conflicts of interest, and client relations – among other things – this is an invaluable solution for anyone serious about running an efficient, effective, and ethical law practice.
Of course, whenever you have questions, we’re here to help. Let the Texas Center for Legal Ethics serve as a reliable, robust resource to help you find the answers.