General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

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

Law Trends & News

Practice Area Newsletter

American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice

Spring 2009

Vol. 5, No. 3

Free Teleconferences

How’s the recession affecting you? Need some insight on navigating these troubled economic times?

Listen in to the ABA Recession Recovery Teleconference Series, free for ABA members. We hope you can join us for one of these four teleconferences, which feature expert faculty providing practical tips and strategies for succeeding in today’s career climate. Programs will focus on marketing yourself, succeeding as a solo practitioner, adapting to the new legal environment, and stabilizing your outlook in an unstable world.

When registering for a program, please select either teleconference (telephone only) or audio webcast (Internet only) via the links below or on the individual program page. Or, click here to learn about registering to listen at a participating local bar association.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009: 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Eastern
Solo tions: Overcoming the Obstacles of Going and Being Solo in a Down Economy
CLE credit requested!
Program Description | Teleconference Online Registration | Audio Webcast Registration
Teleconference Event Code: CET9SOO
Audio Webcast Event Code: CET9SO2

Tuesday, June 16, 2009: 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Eastern
Recession-Proof Yourself: Take Control in a Down Economy
Program Description | Teleconference Online Registration | Audio Webcast Registration
Teleconference Event Code: CET9RYT
Audio Webcast Event Code: CET9RY2

Tuesday, June 30, 2009: 1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Eastern
Staying Positive in a Down Economy: Beyond the "Group Hug"
Program Description | Teleconference Online Registration | Audio Webcast Registration
Teleconference Event Code: CET9SPD
Audio Webcast Event Code: CET9SP2




Chair's Note

Dear Division Member:

Below is the third issue of Law Trends for the 2008–09 bar year. As always, the editors believe this is a very exciting issue, and I am very happy to present it to you. As with prior issues, this enewsletter includes articles, checklists, and other valuable practice information and practical tips, from our substantive practice and other areas in the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division. This issue continues to include articles dealing with practice management and issues affecting each solo and small firm attorney in these troubled times. It presents several articles dealing with managing your time in the practice of law.

In this issue, we are continuing to present articles about books recently released. One of those books, principally authored by Lisa Runquist, a solo practitioner, is a book concerning representing religious organizations, and is published by the ABA Section of Business Law. If you practice in this area, please take a look at the article and, if you find it valuable, click through to purchase the book. The other, written by Ronald Slusky and published by our Division, is a lawyer’s guide to patent law. I also recommend you take a look at this article and, if you find it valuable, consider clicking through and purchasing the book. Also in this issue, the editors have continued to present articles that are of interest to lawyers with solo and small-firm lifestyles who are managing their practices. We are very pleased to add this new area to Law Trends, and we will be publishing articles quarterly in this area. Lastly, there are many articles authored by young lawyers. Those articles give many tips and other ideas on how to manage your practice, get new clients, and budget your time.

We hope you agree that with each issue, Law Trends continues to provide meaningful articles for each of you. We trust that this issue, like the others, will be helpful to you in your daily practice. I encourage you to take just a few moments to read the list of articles below. Of course, the issue is yours to download and keep as a reference for the future. And, as in the past, you can either download specific articles, or you may download the entire newsletter by clicking the PDF PDF link.

There are many Division members integrally involved in putting this enewsletter together. Their hard work and dedication are certainly present. I thank them for producing this issue for the Division.

I hope each of you enjoys this issue of Law Trends. The publication will continue quarterly, and we hope you continue to find it a source of valuable information. If you are interested in either writing an article or participating in the production of the newsletter, please contact Jim Schwartz at I thank him for his work and dedication.

Best regards,

Robert A. Zupkus
Chair, General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

Letter from the Editor

The economy continues to affect each of us, many of us in not so pleasant ways. Several large law firms have announced significant layoffs or hiring deferments. Less in the news, but nonetheless present, is the “hurting” by solos and small firm attorneys because of fewer new clients, a reduction in the amount of work in their practice areas, and a reduction in the amount of money coming in. As with the prior issue, I have included several articles in the practice management section on time management issues, ways to network to increase new clients, and other issues that affect each of us. I hope these articles will be helpful to you, to help identify some problems we all share, some potential ways to avoid them, and some ways to correct and cope with them. They are also a message to say that you are not alone in these troubled times and that many of us share the exact same problems. Please let me know if there are other things that I can do or other kinds of articles that you would like to see, and I will do my best to include them. I also recommend Brian Annino's article on networking.  In there, Brian gives you instructions on how to sign up for Facebook and Twitter as well as presenting the value to you in doing both.  Thanks Brian. 

In addition, I am introducing two books to you. One of those books is written by a solo, Lisa Runquist, and is being published by the ABA Section of Business Law. The book is entitled Guide to Representing Religious Organizations and is quite a remarkable book on the subject. I found it quite valuable, and hope you do as well. If you like Lisa’s article and feel the book would be valuable, please click on the link to the book and purchase it. The other book, published by GPSolo, is entitled Invention Analysis and Claiming: A Patent Lawyers Guide. Authored by Ronald D. Slusky, this book will be quite helpful to anyone either registering a patent, or prosecuting or defending a claim. I recommend these articles to you.  In the future, I plan to publish excerpts from both books. If you find this beneficial, use the click through to purchase it.

I look forward to hearing from you with any other thoughts or ideas. I hope all of you are well and that you enjoy reading this issue as much as I had putting it together.

Best to all of you,

Jim Schwartz

Family Law

Featured Author

 Alexis Martin Neely Alexis Martin Neely built her law firm from nothing to more than a million dollars a year in only three years by putting in place a radical new business model that allowed her to work only a few days a week and have extremely happy clients who loved her. She now teaches her methods for attracting, engaging, serving, and retaining clients to thousands of lawyers through her company the Family Wealth Planning Institute. Its mission is to change the way lawyers think and change the way the American public thinks about lawyers. Alexis can be reached at 866-999-3974 or by email at Join her Law Business Revolution ( and receive more than $22,500 of practice building resources and tools.

Business Law


Real Estate

Practice Management

Young Lawyers

About GP|Solo


  • Say It! »
    Share your feedback with the editors. We want to know what you think of Law Trends & News.
  • Write It! »
    Contribute to Law Trends & News by writing an article or product review.

GP|Solo Division Chair Robert A. Zupkus
Practice Area Division Director Elio F. Martinez
Law Trends & News Editor James Schwartz
Assistant Editors John Carr, Travis Cushman, Noah Davis, Henry DeWoskin, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Linda Holder, Kathleen Hopkins, Charles Lamb, Jay Ray, Randi Whitehead, Arnettia Wright

Law Trends & News is distributed automatically to members of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division.

© Copyright 2009 American Bar Association.