December 01, 2011

General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Division News


2011 Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference Recap

Our gathering in Denver, Colorado, saw record-breaking attendance. Approximately 300 people attended—not counting the virtual participants! Attendees honed their skills and learned to offer improved customer service to clients, regardless of practice setting, area of practice, or years of experience. The Fall Meeting hosted more than 15 Committee Meetings and a Council Meeting. The law student event, “ABA Solo/Small Firm Practitioners Program,” was well attended at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The session was recorded and will be available on the Division’s website.

Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Enrique’s Journey, was the keynote speaker at the Difference Makers Awards Luncheon, celebrating extraordinary lawyers who “make a difference” by breaking down barriers for women, people of color, and people with disabilities, and regardless of sexual orientation. A special training session was offered by Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) to allow attorneys to assist unaccompanied children, some only three, four, or five years old, who currently represent themselves in immigration court proceedings. We also offered a program in collaboration with the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center, which helps attorneys become certified to obtain business from the government. We had a CLE program to assist minority- and women-owned solo and small firm practices (as well as all solos and small firm lawyers) with strategies to attract business from corporations, traditionally big firm clients. For the Division’s public service project, attendees donated needed items for the Literacy Coalition of Colorado.

Of course, this conference involved more than just programming. The two-day conference was chock-full of networking opportunities with a welcome reception, Women’s Roundtable, Diversity Roundtable, breakfasts, lunches, hospitality suite, and a fun run.

We are delighted that the following groups joined us in Denver: ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, ABA Commission on Immigration, ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Standing Committee on Group and Prepaid Legal Services, ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, American Prepaid Legal Services Institute, Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Denver Bar Association, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), and Literacy Coalition of Colorado.


Missed the Conference? Don’t Worry!

You can still access great programming from the 2011 Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference. More than 20 hours of CLE are available online at your convenience during the next 18 months; to register, visit There is also a host of free programming available online, including “Immigration Hearings 101: A Complete Tool Kit for Representing Children in Immigration Court”; “The Changing Face of the Legal Profession: How Commoditization and Specialization Is Permanently Altering the Practice of Law”; and “Leveraging Technology for More Efficient ADR.” To learn more, visit the Division’s website.


2011 Difference Makers Award Winners

Congratulations to all those honored at the 2011 Difference Makers Awards Luncheon at the Division’s Fall Meeting:

  • The award for Making a Difference Through Service to the Profession was presented to Alice E. Richmond of Boston, Massachusetts. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession through service to the profession.
  • The award for Making a Difference Through Community Service was presented to James Bell of San Francisco, California. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service.
  • The award for Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers was presented to the Honorable Alan C. Page of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who has broken barriers for gender, color, disabilities, or sexual orientation.
  • The award for Making a Difference Through Pro Bono Work was presented to James P. Hadden of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This award honors those in the legal profession who have made an outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.


Support the ABA Fund for Justice and Education                                    

For nearly 50 years, the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE) has strengthened the ABA’s ability to improve our justice system and serve those in need. Through your support, the ABA is helping to protect the elderly, represent the impoverished, advocate on behalf of youth in crisis, and defend human rights—here and abroad. Today, it is more important than ever that the ABA remain dedicated to serving justice and helping people. You can make a difference by supporting the ABA’s public service efforts and helping maintain these valuable programs at a time when legal expertise is needed more urgently than ever. Your gift, in any amount, will help promote new programs and expand services already in place. Learn more about the FJE Annual Fund and how to support GPSolo’s pro bono and public service projects at. Please be sure to designate your gift to the GPSolo Program Support Fund.

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