GPSolo Magazine - June 2005

The Internet Has Changed All of Us

The Internet has changed the way we practice law, get our news, and even how we make new friends. In the decade that I’ve been online, I’ve seen enormous changes in the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division. Those changes mirror the way this Section responds to changes in the law, our members’ needs, and even the way the Section delivers benefits to our members.

Ten years ago there was a great debate about whether the Section ought to reveal the contents of the magazine, then known as The Compleat Lawyer, on its website. Were we giving away the store? Should content be limited only to duly authorized, enrolled, and dues-paying members of the Section? Should it be embargoed until the next print edition arrived in members’ mailboxes? We took a risk, and we became one of the first Sections in the ABA to provide full content to any and all. Since then, the magazine has changed its name to GPSolo and its contents are uploaded within days after the print publication is mailed.

The Section has added even more online products: GP|Solo New Lawyer, GPSolo Technology eReport, GP|Solo Law Trends & News, and The Buzz. And, of course, the blue-and-white SOLO newsletter, available both in print and electronic form.

The Section’s website now has areas dedicated to Young Lawyers, Military Lawyers, Law Students, Diversity, and everybody else. The Events page lists meetings all the way to 2008 and provides online registration. The Internet has changed the way the Section communicates with its members. We now blast e-mails about important events to our members and maintain more than 50 listserves.

Participation in GP|Solo activities has never been as accessible to members as it is right now. Our Committees page not only allows members to sign up with the flick of the wrist and the click of a mouse, but it also lets members find out who else is participating in these committees.

Have you been to the GP|Solo Bookstore lately? Our latest release, How to Build a Law Firm Brand by Corinne Cooper, is a downloadable eBook, a concept we didn’t even contemplate ten years ago. The eBook, a chapter of the soon-to-be-released How to Capture and Keep Clients: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers, is available as a package deal for discounted purchase before July 15.

The Members’ Lounge is the inner sanctum of GP|Solo’s website, where members can ferret out the hidden secrets of the organization—and access the ABA member directory.

West Group, a primary sponsor of GP|Solo, is more than just Westlaw and FindLaw, because now WestLegalEdCenter delivers online CLE from GP|Solo meetings at a substantial discount to our members. From Lawyers Weekly USA, GP|Solo’s website delivers a live news feed. From blogs to Low Bono and practice management, the Resources page is an endless trove.

Each morning, as I’m downloading the night’s worth of e-mail, I read The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer online. But I’ve made www.abanet.org/genpractice my home page. Why don’t you?

 

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