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Wherever you are, it's likely that solo and small firm practitioners make up a sizeable portion of your area's lawyer population. But are they joining the bar and actively participating? And are you providing the services and communication that let them know the bar is there to help them? See how some bars have been working to attract, involve, and assist a group of lawyers that is small in firm size but huge in numbers.
When it comes to attracting and serving solo and small firm lawyers, practice management assistance can go a long way. But does adding this type of program mean you have to set up a whole new department and hire a director-and does whoever performs the service need to spend hours on the road, visiting lawyers' offices? Not necessarily: There's a wide range of services bars are offering, and many different ways they provide them. A well-known former state bar practice management advisor gives us the inside scoop on who's doing what, and how.
Associations are in trouble, because Gen Xers are slackers who don't join anything … right? Actually, says nonprofit expert Arthur C. Brooks, the outlook for bars and other professional associations is far from bleak. Bars are in a position to offer the community and connection Gen Xers seek (yes, really)-if they are willing to rethink their leadership track, the benefits they offer, and the services used to provide those benefits. That's a lot to take on, but here's why Brooks believes it's well worth your time.
If you're struggling to attract solo and small firm lawyers and you're looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, you should stop that search right now, says Michelle A. Behnke, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services. Just like any other type of lawyer, solo and small firm practitioners are individuals, and their needs vary. But by developing a combination of ways to assist them in their practice, offer them tools and services they need, and bring them into the leadership circle, you can take big steps toward attracting and serving your solo and small firm members better.