Launching a Successful Practice

February 27, 2019 | 2.0 Other and 3.0 Ethics CLE Credits | WSBA Activity ID #1098941

Considering launching and maintaining a successful practice? Have a small firm or solo practice already? This no-nonsense practice based program will provide you the fundamentals for opening your own law firm, working with clients, and facing the challenges of practicing as a solo or small firm in the 21st Century. Dean Standish Perkins and Associates along with The Access to Justice Institute of the Seattle University School of Law have committed to presenting a realistic road-to-success program; sign-up now.


9:30-10:00 a.m.

Registration and Coffee Service

10:00 a.m.-10:05 a.m.

Welcome and Housekeeping


Stan Perkins, Dean Standish Perkins & Associates

10:05-11:05 a.m.

Session 1 - Setting the Stage for Success


Jeff Liang, Ling & Liang

Jeff will provide an overview of the options for selecting a business entity type and the pros/cons of each. He will cover the tax consequences, the personal liability involved, and the info you need to make this decision. This discussion will cover the following business entities: PLLC, PS, Non-Profit, B-Corp, and S-Corp.

11:05 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

Session 2 - Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Managing Client Funds


Tracy Sambrano, Auditor, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Washington State Bar Association

Tracy will discuss the most common pitfalls lawyers encounter in managing their client funds, possible solutions, and proactive measures lawyers should take to prevent such pitfalls, as well as share advice and stories from her experience as an auditor and as a former accountant for a law firm.

12:05-1:00 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Session 3 - Keeping Cool Under Pressure: Professionalism and Civility


Jeanne Marie Clavere, Professional Responsibility Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Washington State Bar Association

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Session 4 - Bottomline: How to Set Fees, or How Much Should I Charge?


Jessica Lewis, Executive Director, Northwest Advocacy Foundation

Stan Perkins, Dean Standish Perkins and Associates

How much to charge along with a brief overview of fee agreements.

3:00-3:15 p.m.


3:15-4:15 p.m.

Session 5 - Reality Check: The Biggest Challenges Practitioners Face When Setting Up Their Own Practices


Stan Perkins, Dean Standish Perkins & Associates


Katrina Brede, Attorney at Law

Fatima Dilek, Attorney at Law

Celeste Miller, Attorney at Law

Time for a reality check! Stan Perkins will guide our panelists in a deeper discussion of topics raised previous portions of the CLE. Panelists will share the challenges they have faced in practice and how they have overcome them. This section is intended to be a candid discussion of the experiences of the panelists and the realities they faced in hanging their own shingle. Bring your questions!

4:15 p.m.

Wrap up and Evaluations

4:30 p.m.

Happy Hour at Optimism Brewery

Sponsored by the WSBA Low Bono Section.



Dean Standish "Stan" Perkins

Stan Perkins is the founder of Dean Stanish Perkins and Associates, a firm representing plaintiffs in personal injury matters exclusively. Since 2013 he has been the director of the Seattle University School of Law Incubator Program, and an adjunct faculty member teaching tort litigation. He speaks regularly on issues surrounding small firm management, tort issues, and legal marketing for the 21st century. He has been named in the national top 1% of attorneys in the country by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, and one of the top 100 litigators in the State of Washington by the American Society of Legal Advocates. He is an Eagle member of the Washington State Associates for Justice, and a recipient of the WSBA Apex Award for Legal Innovator of the Year. He graduated from the Seattle University School of Law (then UPS) in 1985 after attending UC Berkley, where he graduated with a major in political science.


Katrina Brede

Katrina Brede earned her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kansas where she majored in film studies and US History. She received her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law. She has a background in media production and experience with start-ups and brings that knowledge to better understand the legal challenges of small businesses.

Jeanne Marie Clavere

Jeanne Marie Clavere is a 1987 graduate of the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law). Prior to earning her law degree she received a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago. In February, 2010 she joined the staff of the Washington State Bar Association as Professional Responsibility Counsel. After four years with a Seattle law firm, Jeanne Marie began her solo practice in 1992, focusing on estate planning, elder law (including complex guardianships, trusts, and guardian ad litem appointments), and contract based criminal prosecution. As Professional Responsibility Counsel, Jeanne Marie serves as an advisor to members of the bar on the Rules of Professional Conduct as they apply to WSBA Advisory Ethics Opinions, the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, and the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions. She has been invited to lecture on Professionalism, Civility, and Ethics at all three Washington law schools, for the American Bar Association, and speaks at various local bar CLE's throughout the state. Jeanne Marie is the primary responder on the WSBA Ethics Line and wants every attendee to commit the number to memory and call her first, not after they run into an ethical dilemma.

While in private practice Jeanne Marie appeared before a wide range of courts and tribunals, ranging from Ex Parte hearings to trials on guardianship and criminal issues, and served for many years as a Settlement, Litigation, Adoption, Family Law, Incapacity and Probate Guardian ad Litem in King and Snohomish Counties. Jeanne Marie is Past President of the state Washington Women Lawyers, past Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Elder Law Section and served on the executive committee of the King County Bar Association Guardianship and Elder Law Section. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the ABA's Center for Professional Responsibility, is a Washington Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is a Master Member of the William L. Dwyer Inn of Court. Jeanne Marie also serves as President-Elect of the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations.

Fatima Dilek

Fatima Dilek is of Turkish descent, born and raised in Germany, and is a native speaker of both. Ms. Dilek attended the University of Washington for her undergraduate degree, and Seattle University School of Law for her Juris Doctor. Throughout her legal career, she has gained unique experience as a prosecutor in King and Snohomish County as well as the Seattle City Attorney's Office. Ms. Dilek has confidently and professionally represented clients as a public defender, and provided In-House Counsel to a large corporation. A seasoned and well-rounded litigator, Ms. Dilek consistently prevails in the courtroom while maintaining special attention to providing personalized and thorough service to her clients.

Jessica Lewis

Jessica is the co-founder of Northwest Advocacy Foundation - a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) legal services provider that works with low- and moderate-income individuals in King County and the surrounding areas. She primarily works with survivors of domestic violence, assisting with protection orders, family law cases, and related housing issues. A large portion of her work is providing unbundled services, and she is always looking for creative ways to best assist her clients.

A Chicago transplant, Jessica moved to Seattle prior to starting law school at Seattle University School of Law. After graduating in 2016, Jessica participated in SU's Low Bono Incubator, and also completed a year-long family law and domestic violence fellowship with Eastside Legal Assistance Program. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Low Bono Section as Treasurer.

Jeff Liang

Jeff Liang is the co-owner of a small firm, Ling & Liang, PLLC, located in Seattle's International District. His practice focuses on helping small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals with transactional, corporate, tax planning, tax controversy, and estate planning issues. He is also an adjunct law professor at Seattle University School of Law where he teaches courses on Tax Exempt Organizations and Taxation of LLCs and Partnerships. He received an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University in 2008. He currently serves on the board of directors of Asian Counseling and Referral Services and has served on the board of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, including a year as President.

Celeste Miller

Celeste grew up in Central Oregon and moved to Seattle for law school. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University and believes that her social work and counseling training is very influential in her law practice. She believes in listening to her clients and understanding their entire story, not just the facts needed for the legal case. Celeste attended law school with the goal to become a lawyer for people whose lives are seriously affected by their legal issues and who cannot afford traditional legal representation. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2010, where she was the president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, a student organization that focused on inspiring law students to work in the area of public interest law. Since law school, she has gained experience in family law, dependency, immigration, and juvenile record sealing through work and volunteer programs. She founded Social Justice Advocates in 2012 with the goal of helping regular people access the legal system in an affordable way.

Tracy Sambrano

Tracy Sambrano is the Random Examination Auditor at the Washington State Bar Association. Her duties include conducting random examinations of Washington lawyer's trust accounts. She educates lawyers about the trust-account rules and assists lawyers in establishing procedures and internal controls to bring their trust-account practices into compliance with the rules. Prior to joining the WSBA auditing staff in 2015, she worked as an Accounting Manager at a mid-size law firm in Snohomish County for 18 years. She managed all of the accounting functions for the firm, including managing the firm's trust account.


General Registration - $89.00

Current Seattle University School of Law Students and Faculty - free on a space available basis