Meet the Staff

By Alexa Giacomini, Staff Director

Greetings, Division members! I thought I’d take some time this month to tell you about the GP|Solo Division’s office located at the ABA Headquarters in Chicago and also introduce you to the Division’s staff members, telling you a little bit about each of our roles within the Division.

The General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division’s office is located on the 18th floor of what used to be known as the Quaker Building, located at 321 North Clark Street on the north side of the Chicago River. Our floor is also home to many of the other membership entities in the ABA. The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Section of Health Law, and the Section of Science and Technology Law are just a few of our neighbors.

If you’ve ever called the Division’s general information line (312/988-5648), you’ve probably already had the pleasure of speaking with Dee Lee, the Division’s Finance and Committee Coordinator. Dee is the longest-serving staff person in the Division, having started in March 2001. She is responsible for working with the Division’s Budget Officer to oversee the budget, assisting with the awards and fellows programs, and managing the Division’s committee systems. As many of you know, with your Division membership you are eligible to sign up for three of the Division’s substantive and practice-setting committees. If you ever have any questions regarding these committees, Dee is the person to call.

Our new Meetings Manager, Laura Ramirez, has been with the Division for almost four years and was recently promoted from the position of Meetings Assistant. Laura handles all of the planning that goes into putting on the Division’s four yearly conferences (Annual, Fall, Midyear, and Spring) in addition to a couple of other leadership meetings. Laura works directly with the Division’s Programs Board and Host Committees to ensure that the Division’s CLE programs are accredited and the numerous committee meetings and events run smoothly. If you would like to find out more about the Division’s upcoming meetings, speaking opportunities, or CLE offerings, contact Laura at 312/988-5640.

For the past few years, the Division has had the unique opportunity to work directly with the ABA’s Membership and Marketing Department (MMD) through a unique staff relationship. Marianne Braverman, our Member Services Manager, works for the Division, but her office is located on the 16th floor among the MMD staff. This provides us with an inside view into what new programs and discounts are being offered by the ABA and allows us to be part of that decision-making process. We’ve recently partnered with the MMD to conduct a nationwide survey of solo lawyers to learn more about what solos need from the bar. Marianne is responsible for sending out the new member packets; working with the Division’s Young Lawyer, Law Student, and Membership Committees on projects; tracking the Division’s membership numbers and statistics; and fielding calls from members about the ABA’s and the Division’s member benefits. Marianne can be reached at 312/988-5674.

As I write this column in mid-October, we are currently in the process of hiring for two staff positions left vacant by recent departures. We hope to fill the Division’s Technology Coordinator and Meeting Services & CLE Coordinator positions very soon. In the meantime, Doug Knapp, who was recently promoted from our Technology Coordinator position to Associate Director of Marketing for ABA Publications, has been helping us out with the website one day a week.

I’ve now been serving as Staff Director for the Division for nearly four years and have greatly enjoyed meeting and working with the Division’s leaders and members. Every day brings a different project. From developing handbooks and timelines to participating in discussions about the Division’s future goals and plans, there is always much activity going on within the Division. If you ever have any questions regarding how to get more involved in the Division or just need someone to walk you through the ABA’s structure, please feel free to call me at 312/988-5636.

In addition to the Division’s staff, there are many other staff at the ABA who help support the Division’s activities: Rick Paszkiet and Holly Hickey, Senior Staff Editor and Marketing Manager for the Division’s book publications program; Rob Salkin, Staff Editor of GPSolo magazine; Tom Campbell, Staff Editor for both the Technology eReport and New Lawyer e-newsletter; MaryAnn Dadisman, Staff Editor for SOLO newsletter; Gelasia Croom, our Media Relations Specialist; and Nicolina Mangano, our liaison from the Meetings and Travel Department.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about the Division; we want to make sure you have the best possible membership experience.

Thank you to the GP|Solo Division’s 2006 National Solo & Small Firm Conference Sponsors for helping to make the meeting possible.

Thank you for all that you DO!

Division Sponsors:
Thomson-West (West is the primary sponsor of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division); National Arbitration Forum; Minnesota Lawyers Mutual; Workshare.

Meeting Sponsors:
ABA Retirement Funds; EPS, Inc.; Strategic Settlements; Green Point Legal Services; Tabs3.

Alexa Giacomini is the Staff Director of the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division. She can be reached at .

Copyright 2006

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