With the new bar year upon us, it is time for some R & R. How, you may be thinking, can we rest and relax at the beginning of a new year, especially in these trying economic times? I couldn’t agree more. The R & R the ABA Law Practice Management Section needs is reflection and renewal, not rest and relaxation.
Now, more than ever, is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past few decades of the LPM Section as this year is a milestone for two long-standing and remarkable programs. We are fortunate to be celebrating the 20 th anniversary of ABA Women Rainmakers as well as the 25 th anniversary of ABA TECHSHOW®. Both have withstood the test of time and arguably are even more relevant today than when they were first created so many years ago.
As a Past Chair of ABA Women Rainmakers, attending the group’s 20-year anniversary celebration at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco last month was particularly meaningful to me. The group has grown from a handful of women discussing professional development issues under a palm tree in Hawaii to a list serve of over 500 legal professionals. From that initial discussion on the beach sprang the first ABA Women Rainmakers’ program, which took place in Chicago in 1990. During the planning for the program, there were concerns whether the topic would be of interest and whether people would attend. On the day of the program, though, it was standing room only, and the business cards that were collected formed the initial membership list.
Today, two decades later, ABA Women Rainmakers continues to provide valuable information and tools to help women lawyers expand their books of business and develop their legal careers. One of their newest programs is the biannual Mid-Career Workshop, which will be held October 22-24 in Washington, D.C., this year. In addition to networking opportunities and personal coaching sessions, the workshop will offer education on topics such as how to sell yourself, creating a personal strategic plan, building buzz, elevating your practice and more.
The Mid-Career Workshop is a perfect example of how ABA Women Rainmakers has renewed its programming and direction to meet the needs of today’s women lawyers. Likewise, ABA TECHSHOW is reviewing its programming and making plans to meet the evolving needs of lawyers everywhere as part of the 25th ABA TECHSHOW, which takes place April 11-13, 2011, in Chicago. I hope you will join us at both of these events.
Over the years, LPM has been at the forefront in helping lawyers develop the business side of their practices through the four core areas of marketing, management, technology and finance. This year, the Section will continue to renew itself by addressing cutting-edge issues facing the profession and providing forward-thinking programming and information in these core areas. I hope you take the time to reflect and renew your practice with the many tools LPM has created to assist you in your professional journey.
Andrea S. Hartley , Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a bankruptcy shareholder in the Miami office of Akerman Senterfitt, where she specializes in complex business bankruptcy cases