Planning to Succeed

By Kimberly Anderson

Each year the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division has a new Chair. This system could bring chaos. What if the new leader radically changed the focus of the Division or drained its resources to fulfill pet projects? Fortunately, the GP|Solo Division leadership acknowledges the potential for such difficulties and combats it by meeting annually in December with future Officers to keep the Division focused on its Vision and Mission. This meeting is called the Chair-Elect and Vice Chair Planning Meeting.

The Chair-Elect and Vice Chair Planning Meeting is a two-day gathering that current Officers and invited members attend to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) overview of the Division’s products and services. They also create a detailed plan for the upcoming Bar Year. This plan assists committee members and staff to keep their work focused on meeting the overall goals of the Division.

The Division also has a Long-Range Planning Committee that develops the vision for the future of the Division by creating and maintaining a long-range plan consistent with the Mission of the Division and policies developed by the Council. This Committee is headed by the Division’s Vice Chair and includes 12 members (three newly appointed by the Vice Chair and nine serving out the remainder of their four-year terms). This year the Long-Range Planning Committee consists of Vice Chair jennifer j. rose and members Jeffrey M. Allen, Antonio Alvarado, Laurel G. Bellows, Joseph A. DeWoskin, Charles Driebe, David Lefton, Elio F. Martinez Jr., Alan O. Olson, Stephen B. Rosales, Marc S. Stern, Judy Toyer, and Edd Vasquez, along with Special Advisor Laura V. Farber.

These are just a couple of the ways that the Officers ensure you are receiving the most from your membership. That being said, all work and no play make a dull member, so the Officers strive to balance the work of the Division with some fun. The GP|Solo 2009 Spring Meeting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, definitely will fulfill this goal. The Spring Meeting will offer a great mix of informative business meetings and exciting social events. You will also have an opportunity to network with the Judicial Division Officers during this joint meeting. While in Cabo San Lucas, you will find an array of entertaining activities—championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and a host of unique shops and boutiques. We will also hold our annual awards program recognizing dedication to the practice of law by general practitioners or solo or small firm lawyers. (To view a list of past winners, please go to

Of course, getting the most out of the Spring Meeting will require a little planning on your part. GP|Solo has reserved a limited number of discounted rooms at the Westin Resort and Spa in Los Cabos (www.westinloscabos.
com), available on a first-come, first-served basis until Monday, April 6, 2009, at 5:00 pm (CST). To confirm a reservation, call the hotel directly at 011-52-624-142-9000 or 800/937-8461 (1-800-WESTIN1) and mention the ABA General Practice 2009 Spring Meeting to receive the special low rate of $285. Your room rate includes breakfast and lunch. The discounted rates are available three days prior and three days after the official meeting dates on a space-available basis. All reservations must be guaranteed by credit card. Individuals with guaranteed reservations must cancel their reservation by 24 hours prior to the scheduled day of arrival to avoid a one-night cancellation charge.

Also plan for the new passport restrictions that have taken effect for air travel to and from the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. All persons traveling by air outside the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. Most travelers can find information at Travelers from Canada should go to

We suggest that you make reservations early for this meeting to get the best possible fare, as spring is a popular travel time. Discounted airfares are available from ABA Orbitz for Business, including ABA-negotiated discounts on American and United Airlines. To book online, go to For assistance with online or offline reservations, call toll free 877/222-4185.

For additional information about hotel shuttles, taxicabs, and car rentals at the meeting, please contact the GP|Solo Division at 312/988-5648.

The 2009 Spring Meeting in Cabo San Lucas promises to be one of our Division’s most memorable gatherings. We hope you plan to join us.

Kimberly Anderson is Staff Director of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. She may be reached at 312/988-5636 or

Copyright 2008

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