I am so proud to welcome you to the GPSolo Division’s new monthly eReport. This monthly electronic publication is the Division’s latest effort at bringing our members—whether in solo, small firm, or general practice—timely, practical information to help you to serve your clients effectively and to be a success. The GPSolo Division has something for everyone.
Many lawyers, whether they are general practitioners, solos, or small firm practitioners, struggle to be successful, struggle to service their clients, and struggle to serve the profession and the general public. The GPSolo Division has tools, resources, networking opportunities, continuing legal education, and publications that will help you meet those challenges. The GPSolo Division exists to serve you. It exists to do everything possible to make you a success. And it has done so for 49 years.
As we look forward to the upcoming year, I hope to build on the solid foundation laid by the 49 past chairs of this Division who have brought their experience and their wisdom to the table.
This is an exciting time, and we have many projects, activities, and services planned for the upcoming year to help improve the lives of solo, small firm, and general practitioners. We are your voice and want to assist you in any way we can. Whether it be by providing leadership, CLE, networking, technology, practice management support, or our virtual law firm, SoloSez, we are here to make you successful. By providing opportunities to give back, either by pro bono, public service, or through leadership, we want to help you to better serve your clients, the public, and the profession.
Also, if you cannot come to us given the heavy demands of running a business, practicing law, involvement in community, and family life, we want to come to you. This is the reason for our push to webcast and make available on demand all of our CLE presentations, as well as our monthly teleconferences. From our Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference, which will take place in Denver, Colorado, October 20 to 22, at the Westin Tabor Center, to our monthly teleconferences and Midyear and Annual Meeting programming, you will have plenty of CLE opportunities available virtually at any time, date, or location that works for you. Besides GPSolo magazine and our excellent books, we will also share practice tips, office management advice, and technology through this new consolidated eReport, a monthly electronic publication.
In order to hone your skills and provide excellent services to your client, regardless of your area of practice, whether you are a solo, a small firm lawyer, or a general practitioner, the ABA General Practice Solo and Small Firm Division has a fantastic National Solo & Small Firm Conference coming up, October 20–22, 2011, in Denver, Colorado, at the Westin Tabor Center, which will be extremely useful to you. Whether you can attend in person, virtually, or via access to the video recorded offerings after the conference ends, I encourage your involvement. Here is an overview of some of the CLE offerings at the meeting:
· Tips in Technology
· Ten Ways WordPerfect Can Make You Better, Stronger, Faster
· RESPA, Dodd-Frank, and Consumer Financial Protection for Real Estate Practice
· Residential Foreclosure Update
· Taxes: How Do They Affect Lawyers?
· Credit Scores, Credit Reporting, and the FCRA
· How to Get More Clients Out of Legal Plan Participation
· What Solo and Small Firm Practitioners Need to Know About the Professional Discipline System
· Veterans Disability Compensation
· Bankruptcy for Nonbankruptcy Lawyers
· 60 Technology Tips in 60 Minutes
· Setting Up a Law Office
· Ethics and Internet/Website Use
· Technology for the Solo or Small Office
· How to Avoid Electronic Malpractice
· How to Have Happier Clients
· An Introduction to Special Education Law
With our pro bono and diversity efforts in the Division this year, we are offering some very exciting training in Denver to allow attorneys to assist unaccompanied children, some only three, four, or five years old, who currently represent themselves, in immigration court proceedings. If you are thinking about expanding your practice into the area of immigration or are willing to provide pro bono services for a vulnerable child, this will be for you. We will also offer a program in collaboration with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center in the Denver area, which assists attorneys in becoming certified to obtain business from the government. Further, we will put on a CLE program to assist minority- and women-owned solo and small firm practices (as well as all solos and small firm lawyers) in using strategies to attract business from corporations, traditionally big firm clients. All these offerings will be available via webcast, and if the timing does not work for you, they will be video recorded and available for viewing after the conference. If you register for either the conference or the webcasting, you will get a code that will give you access to more than 20 hours of CLE to use at your convenience during the next 18 months.
Throughout the year, the Division will also provide the opportunity for you to get involved in substantive committees composed predominantly of solo, small firm, and general practitioners and focusing on areas such as administrative and government law; agricultural law; alternative dispute resolution; bankruptcy; business advice and financial planning; business opportunities and commercial law; construction law; consumer protection; corporate counsel; criminal law; elder law; estate planning, probate, and trust; ethics and professional responsibility; family law; gaming law; immigration law; intellectual property law; international law; juvenile law; labor employment and civil rights law; legal educators; litigation; military law; real estate law; taxation; technology; title conveyancing; tort and insurance practice; urban, state, and local law; workers’ compensation; and others. This list gives you an idea of the depth and breadth of the areas and types of law being practiced by members of the Division. If any of these committees sounds interesting to you, visit our website to sign up—it’s free for Division members.
This year we are trying some new and exciting initiatives. In addition to our print and electronic publications, our monthly teleconferences, and our webcasts and on-demand recording of all our CLE offerings, we will be hosting monthly virtual brown bag luncheons to provide our members with an opportunity to network with others across the country on issues of interest to them. These virtual brown bags will be run by our substantive law committees and will feature topics of great interest to solos, small firm lawyers, and general practitioners. For more information, see our website.
We will do all of this and more with a fabulous cadre of amazingly energetic, dedicated volunteers who will lead our Division into the next 50 years of existence. However, we will definitely celebrate our past 50 years with a yearlong 50th anniversary celebration in 2012, starting with our Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2 to 5, at the Sheraton Hotel, followed by our Spring Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, at the DoubleTree Suites, May 17 to 19, 2012, then to our Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, at the Swissôtel, August 2 to 5, 2012, culminating in a celebration when Benes Aldana is Chair of the Division at the Fall Meeting in Seattle, Washington, October 11 to 13.
The projects and programs that we will spend energy developing and implementing will not be “one and done” but will be in place for the next three years. This will allow our members to hone their skills, increase their visibility, obtain needed support and expertise, and succeed and serve.
It is with great enthusiasm, excitement, and energy that we work toward the 2011–2012 bar year. We have something for everyone. It is just a click, email, or phone call away. Please visit our website at http://www.americanbar.org/genpractice, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 626-796-9123. I look forward to working together toward a year of Success and Service.