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Studying for the Exam

Resources

One place to start in preparing for the exam is with the list of resources in the CLM Information & Application Packet, outlined below, which are updated yearly by the Certification Committee. Quite a few of these books can be found in ALA’s bookstore under the CLM Study Resources section, but other books and articles with similar subject coverage may be used instead. Note: One does not need to purchase all of these resources.

It is also important to know that exam questions may cover any of the areas in the Body of Knowledge, and no single resource covers all of these areas to the extent you will want or need. 

Best advice: Seek the most current edition or most recent year of any resource. If references are provided in a particular book or guide, use them.

CLMSM Book Bundles

Save on these valuable CLM resources:

  • Law Firm Accounting and Financial Management, Fifth Edition
  • Human Resource Management, 13th Edition

Free Resources

Financial Management

Any introductory college-level accounting textbooks plus industry-specific accounting books:

Law Firm Accounting and Financial Management
Quinn, J.P., Bailey, J.A., Gaulin, David E. & Kolodziejcak, S., Law Journal Press, New York, New York (including current annual supplement).

For years, many law firms outsourced distinct functions such as reprographics, mailroom services and outside deliveries. More recently, some law firms are outsourcing their “back office” functions of HR departments. Law Firm Accounting features a chapter on outsourcing and how law firms can benefit from outsourcing certain jobs to reduce costs and improve quality. Available in the ALA Bookstore

Other reference materials such as:

  • Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies That Work
    Calloway, James A. & Robertson, Mark A., Law Practice Management Section, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois.
    This is a comprehensive guide to alternative billing based on real-life situations and practical matters. Useful forms and proposals designed to facilitate the implementation of alternate billing systems are included on a disk. You'll also find useful advice for dealing with problematic billing issues. Available in the ALA Bookstore
  • ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Ethics Opinion 93-379 (Billing for Professional Fees, Disbursements and Other Expenses), American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois. www.abanet.org/cpr
  • Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide (Publication #15), current edition. Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf.
  • Accounting and Financial Planning for Law Firms, (newsletter). LJN-Law Journal Newsletters, a division of American Lawyer Media, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, www.lawcatalog.com under “Newsletters.”
  • Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois. www.abanet.org

Human Resources

General textbooks such as:

Human Resource Management.
Mathis, Robert L., & Jackson, John H., Thomson South-Western.

Covering everything from hiring and developing employees to executive compensation to employee safety and security, Human Resource Management is cited as suggested reading in preparing for the Certified Legal Manager (CLM)SM examination. Available in the ALA Bookstore

Reference materials on current federal laws and government publications such as:

  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • The Department of Justice (www.usdoj.gov) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.eeoc.gov)
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Form I-9 (latest version), OMB No. 1115-0136
  • Web sites containing information on the above include: U. S. Department of Labor (www.dol.gov), United States Department of Justice (www.usdoj.gov), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [USERA] (www.eeoc.gov)
  • Uniformed Services Employment & Re-employment Rights Act [USERRA] (www.userra.gov)

Legal Industry/Business Management

Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois www.abanet.org.

Risk Management: Survival Tools for Law Firms
Davis, A.E., American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Learn practical ways to assess your level of risk, improve client services and avoid mistakes that tend to lead to malpractice claims, civil liability or discipline. You'll get Law Firm Quality/In Control (QUIC) Surveys, a system of questionnaires, and answer-and-analysis sheets to perform a self-audit. Available in the ALA Bookstore

The Lawyer's Guide to Records Management and Retention
Cunningham, George C., and Montaña, John, Law Practice Management Section, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois.

For many law firms, the challenge of managing the firm's client and personnel records falls to legal administrators. This book addresses the issues arising from the need to manage records and information in a law office and use records management as a tool for: improving risk management, managing e-mail as part of a client file, implementing records retention schedules, managing records during investigations and audits, serving the techno-centric and techno-phobic attorney, and using records management as a pipeline to knowledge management. This book is suitable for both the large and small office. Available in the ALA Bookstore

Other reference materials such as:

  • Report on Uniform Task-based Management System, Litigation Code Set, Background, Definitions, Principles, and Assumptions. American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, www.abanet.org/litigation/utbms.

Operations Management

Web-based resources related to computer technology.

Articles from current professional periodicals such as:

  • AmLaw Tech and Legal Tech.

Most recently published books, bulletins and other opinions from the American Bar Association (www.abanet.org), American Institute of Architects (www.aia.org), Building Owners and Managers Association (www.boma.org), and ARMA International (www.arma.org) such as:

  • Standard Method of Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings. Building Owners and Managers Association, Washington, D.C.
  • General Conditions of the Contract for Construction. American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C.

General Resources

Lawyers Guide to Strategic Planning, Defining, Setting and Achieving Your Firm's Goals.
Grella, Thomas C., and Hudkins, Michael L., ABA, Law Practice Division

Provides practical advice on how to implement your strategic plan at the tactical level, as well as how to monitor your progress so the firm remains on track with your vision. (ALA bookstore)

Additional resources:

  • Cotterman, James, Compensation Plans for Law Firms, 5th Edition, ABA
  • Maister, David H., Managing the Professional Service Firm. The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, New York.
  • Maister, David H., True Professionalism. Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.
  • Williams, Meri, The Principles of Project Management, 2008 SitePoint Pty.Ltd.
  • Project Management Institute, http://www.pmi.org
  • ALA Management EncyclopediaSM. Association of Legal Administrators, Lincolnshire, Illinois.
  • Legal Management Resource Center, Association of Legal Administrators, Lincolnshire, Illinois.
  • Legal Management (journal). Association of Legal Administrators, Lincolnshire, Illinois.
  • Law Practice (magazine). ABA Law Practice Management Section, Chicago, Illinois


 
 
 
 
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