Your Gateway to the ABA

By Alexa Giacomini

The Best of ABA Sections editions of GPSOLO magazine are designed to provide our members a glimpse of what is offered by the various substantive ABA Sections, Divisions, and Forums. This issue of Best of ABA Sections features for the first time an article from Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, a publication of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

Part of the mission of the GP|Solo Division is to work with these entities to help produce products and programs specifically designed for the solo, small firm, or general practitioner whose practice covers one, two, or many different substantive law areas.

During the past few years, the Division has worked closely with many other ABA entities. One such group is the Young Lawyers Division (YLD). This past year, GP|Solo kicked off a Young Lawyer Fellowship Program, modeled after our Diversity Fellowship Program. The Young Lawyer Fellowship Program provides leadership opportunities for solo and small firm young lawyers who wish to become actively and integrally involved in the Division’s meetings and committees. Together with the YLD, the Division also produces a quarterly e-newsletter, the New Lawyer, which offers career and practice tips for lawyers new to the practice.

The Law Practice Management (LPM) Section is another ABA entity with which the Division has worked closely on many projects. This year, LPM’s ABA TECHSHOW will provide solo and small firm lawyers an opportunity to learn and enjoy one full day of “The World’s Premier Legal Technology Conference and Expo.” On Friday, March 23, eight sessions on two parallel tracks of CLE about legal technology topics are specifically geared to solo and small firm attorneys. The Division is cosponsoring this program and plans to continue working with LPM to address the specific challenges solos and small firm lawyers face in managing their practices.

Recently, GP|Solo joined forces with the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law to develop the February 2007 Practice Builders CLE teleconference entitled “Local Boards Appearances: Working Out a Winning Game Plan with Your Client.” This program covered practical approaches for working with clients to get through these pressure-packed situations. With the help of the ABA State and Local Government Law Section, we were able to provide a more well-rounded approach to the program and broaden the program’s audience.

Our Division has also worked with the ABA Section of Business Law to address areas of mutual concern in the field of bankruptcy law. GP|Solo’s Bankruptcy Committee Co-Chairs, Marc Stern and Larry Feinstein, have worked with members of the Section of Business Law on the Ad Hoc Committee on Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Processes to develop such reports as the Report on Attorney Liability Under 707(b). With an eye on how the new requirements imposed on attorneys under the new bankruptcy act affect solos and small firm practitioners, both the Division and the Section of Business Law are looking out for our members’ interests.

At the 2007 Midyear Meeting, the Division’s Military Lawyers Committee hosted an educational program entitled “New Rules in Military Pension Division: Tips and Traps.” The program was cosponsored by the Section of Family Law. Mark Sullivan, a member of their Section and one of the country’s preeminent military family law practitioners, spoke at the program about the military retirement division and two new federal statutes. Copies of the Section of Family Law’s book, The Military Divorce Handbook, written by Mark Sullivan, were made available for sale at the program.

These are just a few of the ways in which the GP|Solo Division is working with other ABA Sections, Divisions, and Forums to help meet your needs on a variety of subject areas.

If you have ideas about other products and programs that would assist you in your solo, small firm, or general practice, please pass along your ideas to us at . We are always looking for new ways in which we can help meet your needs. And by working with other ABA entities, the products and services developed become that much better.

On a Related Note

I also encourage you to take advantage of the three committee memberships offered to all GP|Solo Division members at no extra cost. These committees, which run the gamut from substantive law practice areas (e.g., Intellectual Property, Elder Law, Real Estate Law) to practice setting areas (e.g., Corporate Counsel, Legal Education, Senior Lawyers), offer you the opportunity to exchange ideas and gain insight from other lawyers who share your interests and expertise and receive timely information on developments in your practice area. For more information or to sign up for a committee, visit

Alexa Giacomini is Staff Director of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. She can be reached at (312) 988-5636 or .

Copyright 2007

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