Vol. 31 No. 3

The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s Solo and Small Firm Awards celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of outstanding solo and small firm practitioners, as well as bar leaders and bar associations. This year’s winners were honored at the 2014 Spring Meeting Awards Luncheon on May 2, 2014, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Solo and Small Firm Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes exceptional lifetime achievement by a solo or small firm practitioner who is widely accepted by his or her peers as having consistently achieved distinction in an exemplary way. The winners are viewed by other solo and small firm practitioners as epitomizing the ideals of the legal profession and of solo and small firm practitioners.

This award was presented to Larry Walker, founding partner of Walker Hulbert Gray & Moore, LLP, Perry, Georgia. Walker, a small-town lawyer and a native of the gnat line (a distinctive area of Georgia), has been a solo and small firm lawyer for 48 years. He represents individuals, small businesses, corporations, and banking institutions in all aspects of real estate, commercial transactions, civil litigation, estate and probate, personal injury, and wrongful death matters. He currently serves as an at-large member on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Walker is Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

The Solo and Small Firm Project Award

This award is designed to reward bar leaders and associations for their successful implementation of a project or program specifically targeted to solo and small firm lawyers.

This award was presented to the State Bar of Nevada’s Transitioning into Practice (TIP): A Mentor Program for Nevada Attorneys. The TIP program, established in late 2011, supports newly admitted lawyers by pairing them in a one-on-one relationship with experienced attorney mentors for a six-month introductory period. During the training cycle, the mentor provides the trainee with an introduction to the practice of law in Nevada, using a comprehensive library of support material and a flexible curriculum that includes both mandatory and elective elements, which can be customized to match the newly admitted attorney’s interests and practice areas. Although helpful to all of Nevada’s incoming lawyers, the TIP program is especially critical to the success of solo and small firm practitioners, and the program’s pool of mentor attorneys boasts a high percentage from solo and small firms—54 percent of the participating newly admitted attorneys practice in a solo or small firm setting.

The Solo and Small Firm Trainer Award

This award recognizes attorneys who have made significant contributions to educating lawyers or law students regarding the opportunities and challenges of a solo and small firm practice.

This award was presented to the Small Law seminar and practicum of the Mississippi College School of Law (MC Law), Jackson, Mississippi. Small Law offers an introduction to small law firm management and solo practice. Additionally, it provides every student at the law school with an ABA membership, both to give access to additional resources and to encourage student involvement. The Small Law program is open to second- and third-year law students for their own benefit (no credit hours are given), but the program is free for students who wish to participate. The idea for the program was initially brought to MC Law Dean Jim Rosenblatt by Justice James Kitchens of the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Small Law Program Director is Professor Sheryl Johnson, who also serves as the MC Law career counselor.


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