How We Help Lawyers
What can we do for you? Well, a lot, actually.When lawyers think of the Professional Liability Fund, the first thing that probably comes to mind for many is coverage (“Do I need it?”), followed quickly by claims (“I hope I never have one!”). While it’s understandable to associate the PLF with malpractice coverage and claims handling – it is, after all, our guiding purpose and central operational effort – that’s far from a complete picture of all that we do for Oregon lawyers, judges, law students, and law office staff.
The PLF’s unique status as the mandatory provider of primary malpractice coverage for Oregon lawyers in private practice enables us to offer an array of programs and services that help lawyers reduce their legal malpractice exposure and maintain the primary coverage at a reasonable assessment. We do this through a wide range of legal education and resources, plus free and confidential personal and practice management assistance available to every member of the Oregon legal community. The confidential nature of our services is intended to encourage lawyers to reach out to us for assistance whenever they need it - at any point in their career and from wherever they practice.
At the PLF, we believe that assistance to one lawyer is assistance to all.
- The new law school graduate who attends our CLEs and downloads our practice aids on starting a law firm before hanging out a shingle benefits the entire community if they gain knowledge, learn how to avoid common pitfalls, and establish a successful law practice.
- The senior lawyer who contacts the PLF for guidance on winding down their law practice in the face of declining health or a medical emergency could be one less claim file the PLF opens.
- The phone call from the sole practitioner who reaches out for help with anxiety, depression, or substance use might end up saving their life and career.
“Helping each lawyer when they need it, for the good of the whole profession" - as our home page proudly states - is the animating force behind the PLF's mission and our staff's dedication to serving the Oregon legal community.
Help for your law practice
Practicing law can be challenging. Managing a law practice entails further responsibilities and complexities, carrying added risks for practitioners. Fortunately, Oregon lawyers have a unique and highly qualified resource in the PLF’s Practice Management Assistance Program (PMAP), whose goal is to help lawyers understand and manage their malpractice risks so they can have a successful and satisfying practice. Long-established in the Oregon legal community, the program is nationally recognized for its innovative risk management services and appoach and for its contribution to the legal profession.
Through the PMAP, the PLF practice management attorneys (PMAs) assist and educate lawyers and law office staff around the state in all aspects of law practice management and malpractice prevention. They help lawyers and staff by:
- Providing free and confidential assistance and advice by phone, in-person meetings, or video calls on topics such as opening or closing a law practice, departing or joining a firm, streamlining office systems and procedures, improving client relations, and trust accounting
- Presenting at CLEs and other educational programs
- Writing for legal publications such as the PLF’s inBrief and inPractice, the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, and various other media outlets
- Developing and updating practice aids and handbooks that assist lawyers in private practice, as well as creating content for online toolkits and other PLF resources
For practice management tips, subscribe to the PLF’s inPractice blog or follow @OregonPLF on Twitter.
Education & Resources
The PLF offers a number of different searchable educational resources to assist Oregon lawyers:
- 300+ forms (checklists, sample letters, and other practice aids)
- 100+ audio and video programs (CLEs and other educational presentations
- Toolkits on practice management and substantive areas of law that identify major issues and link to other relevant PLF resources on those topics
- inPractice blog – practice management tips and resources
- Thriving Today blog – current information, tips, and insights to enhance well-being in the profession
- inBrief publication – information on how to avoid legal malpractice, technology updates, practice tips, and resources of interest to Oregon practitioners
- inSight publication – support and information to help lawyers, judges, and law students improve the quality of their lives
- 4 PLF handbooks on different topics related to running a law practice
Personal & Professional Well-Being
Being a lawyer can be challenging. Many in the legal profession face long hours, stiff competition, and high expectations. Some experience constant stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Recent research shows that, as a group, lawyers have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and problem substance use than the general public.
Fortunately, Oregon has one of the most experienced, successful, and emulated lawyer assistance programs in the country – the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program (OAAP). The OAAP is a free and confidential service provided by the PLF to assist members of the Oregon legal community with well-being and personal challenges, including:
- Behavioral health
- Stress management
- Anxiety and depression
- Substance use
- Career transition
The OAAP offers numerous types of assistance and resources, including:
- Short-term individual counseling
- Referrals to community resources
- Support groups and workshops
- CLEs and other educational programs
- A blog and newsletter with current information, tips, and insights
All communications with the OAAP are completely confidential and will not affect your standing with the Professional Liability Fund or the Oregon State Bar.