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General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

A service of the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division


American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice

APR 2009


  • ABA GP|Solo Annual Meeting
    Swissotel Chicago
    Chicago, Illinois
    July 30–August 2, 2009
    Schedule of Events
  • Solo Day: The How and Tao of Legal Entrepreneurship, Part I
    July 31, 2009
    8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
    This will be a two-track program focusing on so-called “hard” and “soft” skills and issues affecting law firm formation and growth. The “How” program will focus on fundamental business startup issues and skills, such as preparing business plans for the firm’s use or for lenders, principals of budgeting, cash flow projections, and other financial aspects necessary for planning and growth.
    Keithe E. Nelson Memorial Military Law Luncheon
    July 31, 2009
    12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
    Solo Day: The How and Tao of Legal Entrepreneurship, Part II
    July 31, 2009
    2:30 p.m.– 3:30 p.m.
    This will be a two-track program focusing on so–called “hard” and “soft” skills and issues affecting law firm formation and growth. The “Tao” part will focus on the law firm as an entrepreneurial enterprise, and include discussions on entrepreneurship, leadership, core firm and personal values, and their importance in ensuring growth for the firm.
    Historical Trial: The Insanity Trial of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln
    July 31, 2009
    2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Only ten years after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, a Chicago court found his widow insane and committed her to a mental institution. Was she really insane or did her son, attorney Robert Todd Lincoln, conspire against her? Join forensic expert Professor James Starrs, psychologist Dr. Darlene Shelton, trial consultant David Weinberg, and trial lawyers Carlin Phillips and Shain Khoshbin as they retry this historic case before the Honorable George Leighton using modern technology and forensic science.
    Solo and Small Firm Lawyers Caucus Breakfast
    August 2, 2009
    7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
    Hospitality Suite
    July 31 and August 1, 2009
    10:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.
    Don’t forget to cap the night off with good conversation and refreshments in the Hospitality Suite. You never know what will happen when you get a bunch of GP|Solo members together!
  • 2009 GP|Solo Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference
    Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, California
    October 15–17, 2009
  • The goal of the conference is simple—to learn from one another, forge valuable business relationships, and have fun in the process. You never know when that person sitting next to you will open the door to your next opportunity.
    The conference offers more than 20 CLE sessions, four plenary sessions, and a preconference marketing workshop. CLE session tracks will include Service to Others, Technology, and Law Practice Management.
    Just a few of the programs include:
    1. Straight Talk on How to Maximize Cash Flow in Uncertain Times
    Through lecture, real-life examples, practical formulas, and interactive audience discussion, participants will learn how to:
    • Identify the many opportunities available in an economic downturn (the need for legal services increases in certain practice areas during an economic downturn—you just need to understand who your new clients might be and what their needs are).
    • Effectively manage accounts receivable (collections policy, fee agreements, advance fee deposits, aged accounts reports)
    • Gain more billable time each day without working harder (contemporaneous timekeeping, time management tips, and planning)
    • Get your billing rates right (cost of providing legal services, attorney compensation, realization rate, the flat fee trap)
    • Analyze key information for better financial management (overhead-to-revenues ratio, turnover rate, liquidity and current ratios, budget)
    • Adapt the firm’s billing practices to even out cash flow (billing cycles that keep revenues up, detailed billing descriptions, three purposes of a client bill)
    • Identify personal habits that keep attorneys under-earning (procrastination, disorganization, excessive volunteerism, inadvertent pro bono, poor case and client selection skills, vagueness about money, and so forth)
    • Generate new business from former clients (costs 11 times more to generate business from a new client than from an existing or former client)
    2. The Young Lawyers Institute offers six CLE programs for law students and new lawyers:
    • How to Hang Your Shingle and Start Your Firm
    • General Practice 101: Avoiding Solo/Small Firm Ethical Traps
    • General Practice 101: The Family Law and Estate Planning Practice
    • General Practice 101: Litigation and Discovery: Ten Absolute Musts
    • General Practice 101: Business Law Basics
    • Starting a Low Bono Program in Your Area: Panel Presentation
    3. Networking events such as the Welcome Reception, group breakfasts, lunch, and hospitality suite
    4. Difference Makers Awards Dinner co-sponsored by West, a Thomson Reuters business
    5. Committee business meetings

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