GENERAL PRACTICE, SOLO AND SMALL FIRM
Focus Your Vision
When I think of “Back to the Basics” for the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, I look to the Division’s Vision and Mission Statements. The Vision Statement answers the question, “What do we want to become?” The Division serves, educates, and speaks for the current and future Main Street Lawyer. The Mission Statement answers the question, “What is our business?” The Division secures our constituency the highest levels of fulfillment in the legal profession, in the justice system, and in the American Bar Association. We are able to accomplish this by focusing on the following goals:
- to be the home within the ABA of general practice, solo and small firm, and other constituent lawyers;
- to retain our current members, add new ones, and provide opportunities for leadership and increased participation by our constituents;
- to advance the interests of our constituents within the ABA, the profession, and their personal lives;
- to provide products that will ensure our members' success and professional excellence;
- to increase the prominence of the Division within the ABA and the profession;
- to communicate our goals and mission statement to Division members, other ABA entities, and critical groups in the general public;
- to do good work in keeping with our professional obligations to render pro bono publico legal services to those unable to pay and to ensure that superior affordable legal services are available to all who need them;
- to create and maintain resources adequate to ensure the well-being and efficacy of the Division;
- to increase the diversity of the Division, its constituent groups, and the profession at large; and
- to have fun!
It might not surprise you that a large organization such as the GP|Solo Division has clearly articulated Vision and Mission Statements, but what of smaller organizations—like your law firm? Sure, solos and small firms might be used to flying by the seat of their pants, but is that really wise? If you haven’t already drafted such statements for your firm, consider giving it a try. And even if your firm has such documents prepared, when was the last time you actually read them? Your own vision and mission statements should be directing you in all of your business decisions. It is important to review these statements periodically and update them with the changing times. As you review the technological developments outlined in this special Technology & Practice Guide issue,consider how you can integrate the latest developments into your overall goals.
2008 Spring Meeting Wrap-up
GP|Solo members celebrated all their hard work and efforts in New Orleans in May. Some of the meeting highlights include:
S. Guy deLaup, president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, welcomed GP|Solo Division members at the awards luncheon where Charlie White received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Charlie was honored (more like roasted) with stories from friends and colleagues. GP|Solo is grateful for all of his years of exceptional service and dedication.
GP|Solo, the Commission on Domestic Violence, and the Judicial Division cosponsored a public service project, “Honoring Hope for Domestic Violence Survivors: A Day of Service and Learning in New Orleans,” in conjunction with our meetings. Members were able to participate in a full day of events or provide a monetary donation to support the Crescent House Healing Center (a shelter and support for victims of domestic violence) or the New Orleans Family Justice Center (a one-stop resource providing holistic services for victims of domestic violence).
Kimberly Anderson is Staff Director of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. She may be reached at 312/988-5636 or Kimberly.Anderson@americanbar.org.