Lee Kolczun is and long has been a forceful advocate for the ABA to focus intensely on serving the needs of solo lawyers. His passion for solos grows out of his own experience as a solo practitioner, from recognition that solo lawyers continue to be the most rapidly growing segment of the legal profession, and from his years of leadership within the GPSolo Division, the Section Officers Conference, and the ABA.
Most recently, Lee was appointed to Chair the ABA Task Force that developed the Solo and Small Firm Resource Center, a long-planned concept conceived by the GPSolo Division that finally is providing important information and other services to solo and small firm lawyers.
As a presidential appointee in the 1990s to the Standing Committee on Solo and Small Firm Lawyers, Lee recognized that the ABA’s principal focus was on larger law firm members. Yet the growth of solos clearly pointed to a need for the Association to provide more and better services if it were to keep pace with the profession. In 2004–05, Lee was elected Chair of what was then the GPSolo Section. One of his early endeavors was to help develop support for designating the Section as a Division, which enabled outreach to all solo and small firm lawyers whose practices focus on many areas of law.
Lee’s own legal practice centers on estate planning, probate, elder law, and workers’ compensation. The latter focus developed from his early work as Assistant Attorney General, Workers’ Compensation Section of the State of Ohio’s Attorney General’s office. In that position, Lee represented the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and the Industrial Commission of Ohio in trials and Common Pleas Court, and in cases before the Ohio Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.
Lee also served as Assistant City prosecutor for the City of Lorain, Ohio. Earlier he was selected by United Airlines to participate in the company’s prestigious Management Development Program to learn about all aspects of the airline operations before accepting a management position in Miami, one of United’s most profitable venues.
During his legal career Lee has been the name principal in a number of small firms that have focused on workers’ compensation, estate planning, probate, and elder law, but he always returned to being a solo practitioner. Throughout his career Lee has held leadership positions in or owned a number of business enterprises focusing on providing a range of support services to medical practitioners. This business interest developed as a result of his efforts to support the extensive medical practices of his orthopedic surgeon father and brother.
Lee earned separate degrees of Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University and the Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami. Today he combines his entrepreneurial and legal experience as adjunct professor in the Business Division of Lorain Community College, teaching three or more courses each semester. Most recently Lee has worked to develop the Entrepreneurial Studies program, made possible through a series of alliances with Case Western Reserve and the University of Miami, his alma maters.
From 2008–1011 Lee served on the ABA Board of Governors, with appointment to the Board’s Finance Committee. He also served as a member of the House of Delegates, first representing the General Practice Division, and later as a member of the Board.
Business Ventures for Physicians is a publication that Lee coauthored with his brother, a physician with the Cleveland Clinic.
“I’m fortunate to be able to combine many and diverse interests into satisfying and rewarding work,” Lee noted. “My activities within the ABA have provided many opportunities to serve and lead in areas that benefit the mainstream lawyer, who, after all, is the lifeblood of our profession.”