General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

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

Technology eReport

American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice


Vol. 9, No. 3




Have You Accessed the ABA Smart Soloing Center?

The American Bar Association has launched the Smart Soloing Center—an online resource that is the latest in the Association’s growing portfolio of products and services designed for sole practitioners. The center aggregates content from across the ABA’s website and a host of Internet sources. It includes:

• The Solo Blog Network, featuring posts from some of the most insightful lawyers who are writing about the joys and challenges of solo practice.
• Articles drawn from the ABA’s dozens of substantive law magazines.
• The most popular discussions from SoloSez, the ABA’s free email discussion list for solo practitioners.
• The latest news about solos and small firms from the daily feed of the ABA Journal.
• Links to a wide variety of websites for solos.

Solo and Small Firm Project Award Winners: State Bar of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Bar Association (Joint Project) Solo and Small Firm Conference

The Project Award was accepted by Nerino Petro (State Bar of Wisconsin) and Britt Wegner (Milwaukee Bar Association)

The 2009 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference (WSSFC) arose from a partnership between the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Bar Association. The Conference had several goals: delivering top quality educational information at an affordable cost, providing hands-on resources and materials, and doing so in a relaxed resort setting that maximized the opportunity to benefit from 32 program sessions spread over 2½ days (October 20–22, 2009)! The programs tracked each day in four areas: substantive law, practice management, technology, and ethics.

At all times throughout the planning process, the coordinators recognized the effect the struggling national and state economy was having on the target audience: solo and small firm practitioners. The coordinators successfully juggled seemingly conflicting principles: quality at a low cost. Financial aid was offered with graduated rates, subsidies, and sponsorship contribution. More than 98 percent of attendees want to return in 2010 and/or would recommend the conference to colleagues. What better measure of success in delivery?

Call for 2010 Difference Makers Awards Nominations

The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division is pleased to announce a call for nominations for its annual Difference Makers Awards Program to recognize extraordinary lawyers who “make a difference” by breaking down barriers for women, people of color, people with disabilities and regardless of sexual orientation.

These awards have been expanded to honor local attorneys whose dedication has made a difference to the profession or the community where the Division’s fall conference is held. However, the winners are not limited to only those in the local community. Rather than only recognizing solo/small firm lawyers or those working in the solo/small firm sections of local and state bars, these awards are intended for any size firm lawyers, educators, judges, and so forth who fulfill one of the award categories. Recognition is given in the areas of Breaking Barriers, Community Service, Service to the Profession, and Pro Bono Service.

Winners will be honored at the Division’s 2010 Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference Awards Ceremony in Austin, TX, on Friday, October 22, 2010.

Applications must be submitted by email to, faxed to (312) 988-5711 or postmarked no later than August 31, 2010 .


2010 Small Firm Awards

The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division’s awards program is underwritten by the generous support of West, a Thomson Reuters business.

Service to Others Recognition

At the GPSolo Council meeting in San Francisco on August 7, outgoing Division Chair James Durant presented Service to Others recognition certificates to:

Jeffrey Allen of Oakland, CA
Marvin Dang of Honolulu, HI
David Lefton of Cincinnati, OH
David Levesque of Damariscotta, ME
James Schwartz of Chicago, IL
Bryan Spencer of Austin, TX
SoloSez, the Internet discussion forum for solos and small firm lawyers

Call for Nomination for Officers and Council Member-at-Large—2011/2012

Joseph A. DeWoskin has appointed N. Kay Bridger-Riley to serve as chair of the Division’s Nominating Committee for the 2010–2011 bar year. The committee members are Chauntis Jenkins, Stephen Rosales,Patricia Sexton,and Alan Olson.

The Nominating Committee will meet during the 2010 Fall Meeting in Austin, TX, October
21–23, at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol to nominate members for the positions of Division Vice Chair, Secretary, and Members-At-Large of the Council. In accordance with § 4.4 of the bylaws, the Committee will nominate five Council Members-At-Large to serve four-year terms. Minority applicants are encouraged. The duties, terms of office, and eligibility requirements for each of the positions to be filled are outlined in the Division bylaws.

Please return your completed questionnaire to the Division Office via email at or via fax at (312) 988-5711 or mail directly to ABA, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 postmarked by Friday, October 8, 2010. Click here to download a copy of the nominating application or visit the website at

During the Fall Meeting, each interested individual will have an opportunity to appear in person before the Nominating Committee to discuss his or her qualifications and aspirations. Please note that a personal appearance is not necessary for an individual to be considered by the Committee. Further, an appearance before the Committee will not entitle one to reimbursement for attendance at the meeting.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact N. Kay Bridger-Riley at (918) 933-9047 or by email at

2010 Fall Meeting & National Solo and Small Firm Conference

October 22–23, 2010
Sheraton Austin at the Capitol
Austin, TX

The General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division invites you and your family to join us for the ABA GPSolo Division Fall Meeting at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, TX, from October 21–23, 2010.

This year’s meeting, the 5th Annual National Solo and Small Firm Conference, is chaired by Vicki Levy Eskin and features tracks dedicated to Smart Substantive Law, Smart Soloing, and Smart Practice, with speakers hailing from Waukesha and Guadalajara and points in between.

After the GPSolo Council holds its meeting on Thursday afternoon, we’ll enjoy a Welcome Reception at Threadgill’s World Headquarters (adjacent to Armadillo World Headquarters). On Friday, we’ll have a lunch and our awards ceremony to help kick off the National Solo and Small Firm Conference, and follow up with a reception for conferees on Friday evening. We will finish the conference on Saturday afternoon with a closing plenary session—60 Tips in 60 Minutes.

You may now register for the Fall Meeting & National Solo and Small Firm Conference. Please click here to take you to the registration page.

The Fall Meeting & National Solo and Small Firm Conference website is now available. Please click here to take you to the website. Please be sure to check the schedule because we will be having committee meetings on Thursday morning.

We will also be joined by the ABA Standing Committee on Group & Prepaid Legal Services/API Board.

We’re really looking forward to seeing all of you in the capital of the Lone Star State.

And, as my wife and kids would say, “Hook ‘em, Horns!”

Joseph A. DeWoskin
Chair, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division

GPSolo has reserved a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis until Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. (CST). To confirm a reservation, visit American Bar Association - GP Solo Fall Meeting 2010 or call the hotel directly at (512) 478-1111 or (888) 627-8349 and mention the ABA General Practice 2010 Fall Meeting to receive the special low rate of $149 single/double. The discounted rates are available three days prior to and three days after the official meeting dates on a space-available basis.

All reservations must be guaranteed by credit card or deposit check. Individuals with guaranteed reservations must cancel their reservations 72 hours prior to the scheduled day of arrival to avoid a one-night cancellation charge. For more information visit our website.


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