General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionTechnology & Practice Guide

General Practice Section, Compleat Lawyer, Winter 1996

Active GPs/News of the Section

A New Name for the Section
The Section will propose a Section name change to the House of Delegates at the 1996 Midyear Meeting in Boston. The new name, "General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division," was chosen because it more accurately reflects the current and future activities of the Section.

As a Section, we are concerned with the many and varied activities that a particular person or firm could incorporate into a general practice. We deal primarily with these matters and with solo and small firm practitioners, who by their nature do not usually concentrate on one practice area alone. Our commitment to general practitioners will not be lessened, but we are expanding our traditional role to be more inclusive.

The Section membership will be asked to vote on this proposed change at the 1996 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on August 1-5.

The Nominating Committee Report
The Nominating Committee, consisting of Chair Earle F. Lasseter, Frank E. Bazler, John R. DeBarr, Suzanne E. Graber, and Victor B. Levit, submitted the following slate for the election of officers and council members for the 1996-97 bar year.

Chair-Elect: Michael E. Massie, a solo in general practice in Galva, Illinois. He chaired the Section's Marketing Board and its Program and Ag Law committees. He was on the Mead Data Task Force. He has served on numerous Section committees and as a Council member. He is vice chair of the Section.

Vice Chair: Florencio "Larry" Ramirez, in general practice with a law firm in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He has written several articles for The Compleat Lawyer and other publications and has participated in numerous Section programs and committees. He chaired the Minority Lawyers Committee and was group director of the Business Practice Group. He has been a member of the Council. He is currently secretary of the Section.

Secretary: Sharon C. Stevens, in general practice in a two-attorney firm in Keizer, Oregon. She has been director of the Meeting and Arrangements Group and the Administrative & Liaisons Group. She has served on numerous Section committes and has been a Council member. She is currently director of the Outreach Group.

Council Member-at-Large (four-year term): Juliet L. Gee, a solo in general practice in El Cerrito, California. She has served as chair of the Minorities in the Profession Committee. She is currently director of the Government Practice Group.

Council Member-at-Large (four-year term): William T. Hogan III, a general practitioner with a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently editor of the GP Link newsletter, a member of the Marketing Board, and a member of the Membership Committee.

Council Member-at-Large (four-year term): Lee S. Kolczun, a sole practitioner in Lorain, Ohio. He previously served on the Council. He is chair of the Sole Practitioners & Small Firms Committee, a member of the Marketing Board, and a member of the Scope and Correlation Committee.

Council Member-at-Large(four-year term): Stanford E. Lerch, a general practitioner with a law firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He is currently a member of the Long Range Planning Committee and director of the Administrative and Liaisons Group.

Council Member-at-Large (four-year term): Karen J. Mathis, a general practitioner with a small firm in Denver, Colorado. She has been a member of the Marketing Task Force and other committees. She is currently director of the Business Practice Group and chairs the Membership Committee.

Midyear Meeting Events Cosponsored by the Section
The General Practice Section is cosponsoring the following events at the 1996 ABA Midyear Meeting in Baltimore:

Reception Commemorating Margaret Brent. Margaret Brent, America's first woman lawyer, spent a significant portion of her life in the colony of Maryland. She arrived in the colonies in 1638 and was involved in over 124 court cases in eight years. This reception will be held on Friday, February 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Westminster Hall of the University of Maryland School of Law. Sponsored by the Commission of Women in the Profession and the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations.

How to Start and Develop a Small/Solo Law Firm. This program is aimed at helping law students and new practitioners develop their practices. It will be held on Thursday, February 1 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the University of Baltimore Law School. Sponsored by the Section of Law Practice Management.

Realistic Approaches to Winning and Retaining Clients. The Women Rainmakers Interest Group will present this program on Friday, February 2 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Stouffer Harborplace. A networking reception will follow. Sponsored by the Section of Law Practice Management .

Profiles in Law Practice Excellence. This program will highlight communication skills necessary to cope with difficult clients, manage change, conduct effective meetings, and satisfy clients. It will be held on Saturday, February 3 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Stouffer Harborplace. Sponsored by the Section of Law Practice Management.

Empowering the Attorney of Color. This program is aimed at attorneys of color or other minorities who are employed by majority firms, though all are encouraged to attend. It will be held on Saturday, February 3 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Stouffer Harborplace. Sponsored by the ABA Commission on Minorities and the Section of Law Practice Management..

Techshow: Exploring Technology
The Section will cosponsor the Law Practice Management Section's Tenth Annual Techshow, the nation's premier legal technology conference. It will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel on March 21-23, 1996. The conference will cover everything from basics to cutting-edge technology, with sessions on mobile technology, lawyering on the Internet, courtroom technology, Windows95 and what's hot and what's not in technology for solo and small firm practitioners.

Over the course of the three-day conference, over 90 educational sessions will be presented, with a "General Track" focusing on business and efficiency-boosting strategies for solo and smaller firms. An on-site Internet lab will provide hands-on training for those interested in using the Internet in their law practice. The Exhibit Hall, with more than 150 vendors, will provide an opportunity to view the latest in legal software.

For more information, call the Law Practice Management Section hotline at 312/988-5619 or e-mail your request to lpm@att.com. Be sure to ask about the special one-day Saturday registration fee, designed for those who are too busy to leave their practice during the week.

A Successful Fall Meeting
The General Practice Section's Fall Meeting, held in Sedona, Arizona, on October 19-22, 1995, was a resounding success. Over 200 members and guests attended the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Native American Law Conference and the Eleventh Annual Leadership Conference. Against the majestic backdrop of Sedona's red rocks, programs were held on Indian law, Section members met to discuss leadership issues, committees held planning meetings, and social events allowed members and guests to develop and deepen relationships.

Coming Right Up
February 2-4, 1996
Midyear Meeting
Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland

  • The Midyear Meeting luncheon will be held at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday, February 3, 1996, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. The 1996 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access will be presented during the luncheon. (Ticketed event: $25 per person.)
  • Veterans Law. An overview of filing veterans disability claims, duties of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and appeals to the Court of Veterans Appeals. Friday, February 2, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Moving into the Twenty-first Century: Hands-on Computer Training for the International and General Practitioner. This course is designed for lawyers who have not yet used computers for legal research or have just started. Space is limited. Friday, February 2, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Moving into the Twenty-first Century: Hands-on Computer Training for the International and General Practitioner. This course is designed for lawyers who have not yet used computers for legal research or have just started. Space is limited. Friday, February 2, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Computer Technology for the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner. A demonstration of what the solo and small firm practitioner will be able to accomplish by using available and affordable technology. Friday, February 2, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • How Prepaid Legal Plans Can Improve Your Practice. An examination of the growth of prepaid legal services plans and its effect on the general practitioner. Saturday, February 3, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

May 2-5, 1996
Spring Meeting
Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort, Dorado, Puerto Rico
The Section's Spring Meeting will focus on quality of life issues in the legal profession. Topics will include:

  • Examples of lawyers who have experienced problems such as alcohol or substance abuse
  • A statistical overview of the problem within the legal profession
  • The roles of the legal education system and of the profession itself in perpetuating the problem
  • The impact of the media
  • How lawyers can stay in the practice of law or seek careers outside of the law to improve their quality of life.

May 16-18
CLE Conference Experience '96
San Francisco, California
The General Practice Section is cosponsoring this event, which will focus on what every lawyer needs to know about retirement planning, second careers, Of Counsel agreements, mediator training, and other topics. Sponsored by the Senior Lawyers Division.

August 1-5, 1996
Annual Meeting

Walt Disney World Dolphin, Orlando, Florida

To receive information about any of these upcoming meetings and events, please e-mail or write to the General Practice Section, American Bar Association, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611; phone 312/988-5648; fax 312/988-5711.

Back to Top

< _