Legal Happiness“The best things in life are free. But you can keep ’em for the birds and bees.”

So sang Barret Strong, originally, and dozens of other cover artists, including The Beatles. But as it turns out, there’s a lot of free stuff these days that had Mr. Strong known about, may have changed his lyrics.

If you’re running a small law firm and are looking for some advice on the cheap, take a look at these great resources which you may or may not know about:

1) SCORE.org

The SCORE organization has nothing to do with what happens after you round third base. Rather, it’s wisdom from retired business professionals free of charge, to you. You, as a business owner, can be paired with a former company head to serve as a mentor. In addition, the SCORE website has some terrific financial spreadsheets which can help you assemble your balance sheet, and income and cash flow statements.

2) MILO

MILO, which stands for Macs in Law Offices, is arguably the most cutting-edge legal technology community around. MILO runs a listserv you can sign up for, an annual conference, and a monthly podcast. Even if you’re not a Mac, iPad, or iPhone aficionado, the experts weighing in on the MILO listserv are some of the most knowledgeable around when it comes to paperless law firms, web applications, or electronics.

3) PMA’s

Practice Management Advisors, or PMA’s, are employed by bar associations around the U.S. and Canada to advise their constituents on best practices for running, or in sad cases, shutting down a law firm. Need a recommendation for software or business practices? Call the PMA for your jurisdiction. They can assist in understanding the confusing world of trust accounting. Check here for a list of PMA’s.

4) SOLOSEZ

SOLOSEZ is an ABA listserv, but like MILO, transcends email and is actually a thriving community for solo and small firm attorneys. The conversation ranges from legal issues to technology to casual introductions and banters. New members introduce themselves by mentioning their favorite mixed drinks. And SEZZERS, as members are called, often meetup at conventions and cities around the country.

5) ABA LTRC

Any technology question you possibly have can be answered by the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, or LTRC. According to their mission statement on their website, “The ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center’s expert staff helps lawyers understand and use technology successfully, so they can focus on providing the highest quality legal services to their clients or organizations.”

Those are our suggestions, among many of amazing free resources in our Internet age. What are your highly recommended free resources?