GPSolo Bridges the Gap from the Study of Law to the Practice of Law

Vol. 39 No. 3

By

Grant Beardsley, a second-year student at Stetson University College of Law, is the 2010–11 Law Student Division Liaison to the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division.

The General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division (GPSolo) of the ABA is a practical and diverse organization that is pertinent to today’s law students and young practitioners. Today, approximately 70 percent of lawyers practice in a small firm or solo practitioner setting. GPSolo serves the needs of solo and small firm lawyers, and serves as their voice within the ABA. Among the current 20,000 members of GPSolo are lawyers who practice in the private sector, military, government, and in-house settings. As students, we should continually focus on post–law school employment while trekking through the day-to-day demands of class, which is why I encourage you to become a student member of GPSolo.

Student membership in GPSolo offers many benefits, and best of all it is free! When you join GPSolo as a student member, you have access to the Law Student Welcome Kit, which includes articles on how to find a job, how to perfect your résumé and cover letter, interviewing tips, how to brief a case, and how to take better notes in class. Other benefits of becoming a student member of GPSolo include the following:

Law Student Mentoring Certificate Program. The Mentoring Program focuses on introducing law students to the practical aspects of being a lawyer through real-world activities and the mentor’s insight and guidance. By completing the Mentoring Program, students will have established a strong relationship with their mentors, witnessed several legal proceedings of their choosing, and gained valuable insight into the things law school typically doesn’t teach. Students even have the flexibility of selecting their own mentors. Students who successfully complete the program earn a certificate of accomplishment. To learn more about the Mentoring Program, visit www.abanet.org/genprac tice/lawstudents and click the “Law Student Mentoring Certificate Program” link on the right.

Networking opportunities. With approximately 70 percent of lawyers practicing in a solo or small firm setting, GPSolo’s frequent conferences and networking events allow student members to meet lawyers who represent the largest hiring pool and begin to develop lasting professional relationships. When you graduate, you will have the contacts you need to be hired and succeed in a solo or small-firm setting.

Award-winning periodicals. The Division offers a variety of print and electronic award-winning legal periodicals. GPSolo magazine details the latest trends and legal developments, features special issues like the Technology & Practice Guides with essential software and technology reviews. Also available is SOLO, a quarterly newsletter that provides real-life solutions to the unique challenges that solos and small-firm practitioners face.

For more information about the Division, visit www.abanet.org/genpractice. To begin your free membership in the Division, click “Join GPSolo” from the main GPSolo Law Student website.

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