The Practice Management Advisory Service (formerly the Lawyer Practice Assistance Program) is a free and confidential service of the D.C. Bar to provide practice management information and resources to its members.
The D.C. Bar Board of Governors authorized the Practice Management Service Committee (formerly the Lawyer Practice Assistance Committee) in January 1995 as a result of a recommendation of the Disciplinary System Review Committee to institute a program to assist lawyers with practice-related problems that often lead to disciplinary charges and other complaints by clients and the public.
As envisioned, the program would assist lawyers voluntarily to help them avoid disciplinary problems. The program would also provide remedial and oversight assistance to lawyers in the disciplinary system, referred by the Office of Bar Counsel or the Board on Professional Responsibility.
The Board of Governors appointed the Practice Management Service Committee (PMSC) in October 1995. The PMSC consists of 10 active members of the D.C. Bar and three nonlawyers, who are appointed by the Board of Governors to two-year terms. Among the areas of expertise in practice management issues represented by committee members are financial management, risk management, client relations, office systems, office technology, and personnel issues.
The role of the PMSC is to oversee the Practice Management Advisory Service (PMAS), a multifaceted program to help Bar members improve and enhance management skills in the practice of law. The PMAS is staffed by a Bar employee who assists members in all aspects of practice management, including financial management, client relations and communication, business planning, office technology, and office systems and procedures such as calendar and docketing systems. By improving management practices the PMAS seeks to improve the practice of law and the delivery of legal services to the community.