DIVISION NEWS
GENERAL PRACTICE, SOLO AND SMALL FIRM
Listen—and Be Heard

By Kimberly Anderson

Hello! In case you are not familiar with me, I am the new Staff Director of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. For the past several weeks, I have spent a lot of time listening so I can learn as much as possible about how this Division can assist you with your practice. One thing I have learned is that no matter how much I listen, there is always more to learn.

Listening serves as an essential skill in communication, along with observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. In fact, for communication to take place, listening is as essential as speaking. There have been many articles written on this topic, and you can find a few of them in past issues of GPSolo magazine.

This Division produces a variety of periodicals in both electronic and print formats to keep you up-to-date on legal issues, practice management techniques, and ethical topics that we believe address your concerns as you practice law. In addition to these publications, we produce books that cover topics in depth to help you in supporting your practices.

We also sponsor the popular SoloSez listserve. Now at more than 3,000 e-mail subscribers, SoloSez offers Division members and others the opportunity to share forms, contacts, technology tips, and other useful information. It also provides a sense of community, keeping lawyers in solo or small firm practices from feeling isolated. Recent threads such as the ones on the best rock and roll songs to play loudly while driving or the best musical covers add to the camaraderie found on this listserve.

Much of the communication generated by the Division is directed outward, but we are always eager for communication from you. There are several ways to make your voice heard. One way is to nominate yourself or another deserving individual for one of the following Division awards: the Solo and Small Firm Lifetime Achievement Award, the Solo and Small Firm Project Award, or the Solo and Small Firm Trainer Award. Winners will be honored at the Division’s 2008 Spring Meeting Awards Ceremony in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 2. For a complete description of the awards and a convenient online application form, please visit our website at www.abanet.org/genpractice. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by March 17.

Another way to be heard is to become involved. The Division is now accepting applications for the 2008-2009 Diversity Fellows Program. This program is designed to promote diversity within the Division and the ABA while providing leadership development opportunities within the Division for attorneys of color, women, and those with disabilities. The Division’s Diversity Committee and Membership Board identifies and nominates four lawyers of diverse backgrounds and experience who will be appointed by the Chair-Elect to a funded fellowship position within the Division, to be effective during the following bar year. For a complete description of the Diversity Fellows Program and application process, please visit our website. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by April 15.

Yet another way to become involved is by submitting an application for the 2008-2009 Young Lawyers Fellows Program. The GP|Solo Division is committed to increasing the participation of and leadership opportunities for young lawyers in Division activities. This program will provide young lawyers the opportunity to become actively and integrally involved in the Division’s meetings and committees.

The Division’s Young Lawyer Committee will identify and nominate two young lawyers who will be appointed by the Chair-Elect to a funded fellowship position within the Division, effective during the following bar year. For a complete description of the Young Lawyers Fellows Program and application process, please visit our website. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by April 15.

What would be even better is if you would join us at the Division’s 2008 Spring Meeting in New Orleans from May 1 to 3 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. There you will have the opportunity to learn, to network with your fellow ABA leaders from across the country, and to reenergize some old and lasting friendships.

Regardless how you choose to communicate, I am interested in learning what you find valuable about the Division’s products and services. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions at or 312/988-5636.

Kimberly Anderson is Staff Director of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. She may be reached at 312/988-5636 or .

Copyright 2008

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