American Bar Association
General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Division
The Compleat Lawyer
Winter 1998
© American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

The Chair's Corner

BY MICHAEL E. MASSIE

Benefits Report

The General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division continues to work hard this year to more effectively meet the needs of solo, small firm, and general practitioners. This hard work has resulted in new periodicals, regular communication with Section members through fax blasts, low-cost CLE programs, and publications.

Periodicals

We have met a key Section goal: Our members now receive a Section periodical every month. These periodicals provide crucial information that helps members practice more effectively and competitively.

Two new periodicals were introduced last year. The Best of ABA Sections is a synopsis of some of the best articles published by other ABA sections. Members receive updates in family law, estates, law practice management, real property, business law, litigation, and others. Because we believe that every member of our Section needs to belong to other substantive sections, membership applications for other sections are included in this periodical.

Technology and Practice Guide, another new periodical, offers valuable information about planning, setting up a computer network, software applications, going online, and the symbiotic relationship between people and technology. Both of the new periodicals will be published biannually.

Solo is now distributed to every Section member, regardless of firm size, because it delivers timely, real-life solutions to law practice questions in a "quick read" format. This quarterly newsletter focuses on running a law office smoothly, from marketing to timekeeping to staffing.

The Section's quarterly magazine, The Compleat Lawyer, continues to provide timely information to keep members abreast of practice trends and legal developments. Upcoming themes include elder law, what the general practitioner needs to know about major federal laws, and children and the law.

Fax Blasts

Since March, we have sent one-page fax blasts to all Section members to keep you informed of Section activities, policies, programs, and events. They have been well received by you and provide an opportunity for us to demonstrate all that we are doing for solo, small firm, and general practitioners.

Bringing the ABA to You

Four satellite seminars co-sponsored by the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division were held during the past few months. The four-part series, "How to Grow Your Practice with Financial Planning," was co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Taxation and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, and hosted by The Equitable Life Assurance Society.

If you missed the seminars, you're in luck—they are available on videotape by calling the ABA Service Center (800/285-2221). The seminars covered:

• "Basic Skills," which taught lawyers how to market their services; meet with clients to gather facts; discuss financial goals and investment objectives; prepare and review a financial plan with clients; and guide clients in executing the plan through personal financial planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and business succession plans.

• Effective Estate Planning, which covered structuring assets, tax planning, charitable giving, and long-term care.

• Strategic Estate Planning for the Family Business Owner, which discussed choice of entity, structuring and drafting shareholder and buy-sell agreements, succession planning, and selling the business.

• Nuts and Bolts of Financial and Retirement Planning, which covered cash management; insurance; stocks, bonds, and other investments; portfolio construction; annuities; tax leverage; and retirement plans.

Upcoming Meetings

At the 1998 Spring Meeting, which will be held at the Boar's Head Inn & Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, on April 23-26, 1998, CLE programs will focus on financial and estate planning, as well as an all-day program at Piedmont Virginia Community College on technology for beginners and advanced users.

The Section will present a full slate of CLE programs at the 1998 Annual Meeting on a wide range of topics that tackle hot issues, address our members concerns, and help build practice skills. The meeting will be held from July 30-August 4, 1998, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Coming on the heels of a successful and well-received Solo and Small Firm Day '97, the first day-long conference for solo and small firm practitioners sponsored by the Section, we are eagerly planning Solo and Small Firm Day ‘98. It is tentatively scheduled to be held on Thursday, July 30, so save the date.

Publications

The Section published four books last year: Fundamentals of Personal Investing: A Guide for Lawyers and Other Professionals; Applications of Psychology in the Law Practice: A Review of Relevant Issues, Practices, and Theories; Financial Planning for You & Your Clients: What Every Lawyer Should Know About Insurance, Investments, Estate Planning & Taxes; and Real Estate Closing Deskbook: A Lawyer's Reference Guide & State-By-State Summary.

Upcoming books include: The Complete Guide to Divorce Practice, 2nd edition; Federal Consumer Law; Family Law Guide for Uniformed Services; Writing Contracts; and A Lawyer's Guide to Estate Planning, 2nd edition.

Benefits Suggestions

Our Section wants to provide benefits of real value to you. Please let me know of any suggestions you may have regarding programs, periodicals, books, or anything else by writing to 115 N. W. Third Avenue, P.O. Box 205, Galva, IL 61434; calling 309/932-2168; sending a fax to 309/932-3427; or sending e-mail to massie@netins.net.

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