Committee Highlight/Member Spotlight/Tips for New Members

Vol. 2, No. 3

 

Committee Highlight

GPSolo Membership Board

 

This year’s primary objective of the Membership Board will be to make personal contact with our members, and especially our new GPSolo members. The goal of the committee is to contact as many of them as possible via phone to thank them for being members, and talk to them about our many benefits and why being in our Division is part and parcel of being a solo or small firm lawyer. They are very interested in conveying the message that “GPSolo is your ABA home.” The Membership Board is actively working on a Pilot Project consisting of about 4,000 members, and it has several layers and initiatives. First, they intend to invite all of the Pilot Project members from the states, or adjacent states, where our standalone meetings are being held in 2012-2013. For example, at the Fall Meeting in Seattle, they are inviting more than 100 members residing in Washington state and Oregon to a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session followed by an informal social event. These members are being personally invited to a specific CLE session and social networking event by Membership Board members via telephone and email. It is a great way to build a network in the solo, small firm and general practice community. They will hold similar events at the ABA Midyear Meeting, in Dallas, Texas; the GPSolo Spring Leadership Meeting, in Anchorage, Alaska; and the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California. All of these initiatives build value, create more networking opportunities, and provide an opportunity to develop a good understanding of GPSolo’s members needs for their legal practices.

The Membership Board is a committee that meets monthly via teleconference calls and has a wide variety of initiatives coming up this year. If you have any suggestions or would like to assist with the Division’s membership initiatives, please contact the Membership Board Co-Chairs: Mr. Matthew B. Butler, Nicholas & Butler LLP, at bartley73@gmail.com; or Ms. Jennifer Hilsabeck, Cadillac Jack, at jennifer.hilsabeck@cadillacjack.com.

 

Member Spotlight

 

 

 

Samantha Williams

Director of Employer Relations,

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

 

1. Where do you live?

Tempe, AZ

 

2.    What group do you practice with as an attorney?

I am the Director of Employer Relations with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. The position is part of the law school’s career services office.

 

3.    How long have you been practicing law?

I have been practicing law since 2003 and with the College of Law since 2007.

 

4.    What is your favorite part of your role as an attorney?

I especially enjoy connecting students to mentoring opportunities and interfacing with small firms as part of my position at the College of Law.

 

5.    What in your profession are you most passionate about?

Working closely with law students as their career counselor is my number one priority. With the employment market being what it is right now, it’s critical to provide students with the help that they need in order to be successful in the job market after graduation.

 

6.    What is the most interesting experience you have had in the legal profession?

Building the College of Law’s employer outreach program from the ground up. ASU is undergoing some very exciting changes right now, and I’d like to think we are the leader in a lot of aspects related to law career services. I also recently coauthored a book entitled Small Firms, Big Opportunities: How to Get Hired (and Succeed) in the New Legal Economy. It is certainly an exciting time.

 

7.    How long have you been a member of the ABA?

I have been a member of the ABA since 2004.

 

8.    What ABA sections or groups do you belong to?

My ABA participation includes the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. I also serve as the co-chair to the Law Student Committee to the Division.

 

9.    What do you find the most valuable about the ABA?

No other legal organization brings together more attorneys from diverse ethnic populations and geographic areas. Hearing differing points of view on a variety of important topics pertaining to the bench and bar has been an incredible learning experience.

 

10. How has the ABA benefitted you personally or professionally?

I have been fortunate enough to attend several conferences over the past few years and have met some incredibly talented people. The ABA has also allowed me to learn a tremendous amount about how legal education is shaping this county and in general, how to make a difference.

 

11. Do you belong to any other professional organizations?

Arizona Women Lawyer’s Association

Maricopa County Bar Association

State Bar of Arizona

 

12. Contact info:

Samantha Williams

Arizona State University

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

1100 South Mcallister Avenue

Tempe, AZ 85287-0001

United States of America

Samantha.c.williams@asu.edu

480-727-7092

 

Tips for New Members

Are you launching your law practice or ready to move up to the next level?

There is a robust section of the ABA Solo and Small Firm Resource Center website called Practice Management that is truly a gift that keeps giving. Yes, we have come to love it and it is a “go-to toolbox” for just about everything--well almost everything. It doesn’t deliver chocolate chip cookies; however, it is calorie-free.

The Practice Management section of the “toolbox” has advice, examples, tools, and resources legal professionals need to successfully manage a law practice. There are 14 sections in this toolbox:

 

 

 

 

Practice Management

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Technology

Books

News and Articles

Career Center

Marketing

Tools and Advice

Insurance

SoloSez™

Work & Life Balance

Staffing

Rainmakers/Case Studies

Form Banks

 

An added gift for you: Here are 20 tech tools that really can help. Some tools are free or offer special pricing for small businesses. These tools will help lawyers and law firms become more productive marketers, collaborate on and track initiatives, capture content for websites and presentations, garner media exposure, and more.

Have fun and bookmark this page: make it easy to tune-up your law practice.

 

Twenty Tech Tips

  1. Avast (www.avast.com/en-us/index) is an antivirus software that provides reliable protection for your business.
  2. Buzzword (www.adobe.com/acom/buzzword) is a must-have if collaborating on documents is a key part of your work life. Your document resides on the web as a single file that can be shared by multiple collaborators, with changes and comments viewed in real time.
  3. Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) is a great service for backing up your files automatically and takes the worry out of losing files—inexpensive plans available for small business.
  4. Co-op (http://coopapp.com) makes it a snap to stay connected with your coworkers without disrupting them. Use it to post updates, ask questions, share links, track time, and share daily agendas.
  5. CyberAlert (www.cyberalert.com) offers up a comprehensive list of free and low-cost press release distribution services compiled from various sources.
  6. Doodle (www.doodle.com) is an easy scheduling software program, free of charge and without registration, that allows you create, poll, and confirm responses for an event, call, etc.
  7. Evernote (www.evernote.com) is a memory tool that allows you to make “note” of anything you want using your desktop, the web, or your phone and its camera, and easily retrieve it later.
  8. FreeConferenceCall (www.freeconferencecall.com) allows you to record phone meetings, consultations, and teleseminars—and turn them into easily downloadable audio files.
  9. GatherGrid (http://gathergrid.com) is your go-to tool for scheduling a meeting among multiple parties—or maybe that small group seminar you’re planning for your best referral sources.
  10. Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) is invaluable for tracking stories about clients and prospects, their industries, your competitors, your own firm, and much more—and it’s a breeze to use.
  11. Google Reader (www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?hl= en&nui=1&service=reader& continue=http%3A%2F%2F www.google.com%2Freader) allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites so that new or updated content lands in their email in-boxes the moment it’s posted. You can organize the content by subject matter and choose to share items with a list of contacts, as well as add your own notes to your shared items.
  12. Help a Reporter Out (http://www.helpareporter.com) is a mailing list—but don’t let an old-fashioned connotation prevent you from joining one of the most helpful free PR resources there is. Sign up and every day up to three emails will land in your in-box, each containing 15 to 30 queries from journalists eager to connect with suitable sources.
  13. Jing (www.jingproject.com) allows you to capture any image on your screen; mark it up using a basic text box, highlighter, and a few other tools; and zap the results to others.
  14. Live Mesh (www.mesh.com) enables you to synchronize files across all your devices and access the files from any of them.
  15. PBworks (http://pbworks.com; formerly called PBwiki) provides on-demand collaboration for managing projects and sharing and storing documents. A wiki is an extranet without the expense of an IT department.
  16. PDF Download (www.pdfdownload.org) converts any web page into a PDF file—an indispensable tool for creating press clips of your online coverage.
  17. Remember the Milk (www.rememberthemilk.com) is a web-based app that lets you create as many to-do lists as you need; share, send, and publish tasks and lists with your contacts; and get reminders via email, SMS, and instant messenger.
  18. SendThisFile (http://www.sendthisfile.com) provides a mechanism to send large files and easy to upload-no size limitation—pics, docs, and more.
  19. Zamzar (www.zamzar.com) converts images, documents, music, and videos from one format to another. It stores all converted files online for 24 hours.
  20. Zoho CRM (http://crm.zoho.com/crm/login.sas) is an on-demand customer relationship management system, and it costs nothing for up to three users. You can import contacts from a CSV file, and from there you can maintain as simple or complex a program as your situation demands, from generating CRM and marketing reports and forecasts to utilizing dozens of other related tools.

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