March 01, 2012

General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Division News

Division Name Change to Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division hereby provides notice of its intent to change its name to the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. The change will be considered and hopefully approved by its members at the Annual Meeting of the Division Membership to be held at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, August 2 to 5. In addition, the ABA House of Delegates must consider and approve the change. The name change was approved by the Division’s Council on October 21, 2011.

This change simply rearranges the descriptive categories in the current name. Lawyers who maintain a general practice or who serve in the military, on the judiciary, or in corporate counsel positions are and will remain vital, valued, and important members of the Division.

The name change will reflect and clarify that GPSolo is the home for solo and small firm lawyers within the ABA. Although this fact may be clear to the active members of the ABA, it may not be clear to lawyers who are new to the ABA, to those thinking about joining the ABA, or to those who have never been active in GPSolo.

It is the Division’s hope that moving the words “Solo” and “Small Firm” to the start of its name will be of great benefit to the ABA and also will send a clear message to solos and small firm lawyers (both within and outside the association) that the ABA, through the Division, is doing all it can to meet the needs of this underrepresented population.

If the change is approved, the Division’s bylaws would need to be revised purely to reflect the new name; no other changes to the bylaws or to the Division’s internal structure are being proposed. Any questions or concerns should be e-mailed to

GPSolo 2012 Spring Meeting

May 17–19
DoubleTree Suites
Charleston, South Carolina

Don’t forget to register for the ABA GPSolo Division’s Spring Meeting, which will feature several joint activities with the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS). Meeting highlights include, on Thursday, May 17, a joint Welcome Reception with TIPS followed by a dinner party celebrating the Division’s 50th Anniversary at a historic plantation; on Friday, May 18, CLE, Committee Meetings, Solo and Small Firm Awards Ceremony, and Public Service Project; and on Saturday, May 19, Committee Meetings and Council Meeting. For more Spring Meeting events, visit the Division website.

ABA GPSolo has reserved a number of rooms at the DoubleTree Suites at a reduced rate on a first-come, first-served basis until Monday, April 23, at 5:00 pm (EST). To receive the special room rate of $210, which includes complimentary high-speed wireless Internet, please contact the hotel directly at 843/577-2644 or 877/408-8733 and identify yourself as an ABA GPSolo Spring Meeting attendee. It is recommended that you confirm your reservation early in order to guarantee your preferred dates.

Call for Nominations: 2012 Solo and Small Firm Awards Program

A call for nominations is open for the Division’s annual Solo and Small Firm Awards. Each year, the Division honors outstanding solo and small firm practitioners, as well as bar leaders and bar associations. Recognition is given for the following:

  • Solo and Small Firm Lifetime Achievement Award: This award recognizes solo and small firm attorneys who are widely accepted by their peers as having significant lifetime distinction, exceptional achievement, and distinction in an exemplary way. The winners will be viewed by other solo and small firm practitioners as epitomizing the ideals of the legal profession and of solo and small firm practitioners.
  • Solo and Small Firm Project Award: This award rewards bar leaders and associations for their successful implementation of a project or program specifically targeted to solo and small firm lawyers.
  • Solo and Small Firm Trainer Award: This award recognizes attorneys who have made significant contributions to educating lawyers or law students regarding the opportunities and challenges of a solo and small firm practice.

Winners will be honored at the ABA GPSolo 2012 Spring Meeting’s Solo and Small Firm Awards Ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 18, 2012. For a list of past winners, please visit our website for a list of past winners and to apply a Solo and Small Firm Award. Nominations are due by March 30, 2012.

Call for Applications: ABA GPSolo Diversity and Young Lawyers Fellowships

The Division is pleased to announce the sponsorship of four Diversity Fellowships during the 2012–2013 Bar Year. The Diversity Fellowship Program is designed to promote diversity within the Division and the ABA while providing leadership development opportunities within the Division for women, attorneys of color, those with disabilities, and persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities.

We are also pleased to announce the sponsorship of two Young Lawyers Fellowships in the Division during the 2012–2013 Bar Year. The Young Lawyers Fellowship Program provides leadership opportunities for young lawyers. The GPSolo Division is committed to increasing the participation of young lawyers in Division activities. This program will provide young lawyers the opportunity to become actively and integrally involved in the Division’s meetings and committees.

Applications and nominations for both the Diversity and the Young Lawyers Fellowships must be received by April 30, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified in early June 2012. Visit our website for more information about these programs.

Committee Leadership Appointments, 2012–2013 Bar Year

It is that time of year again for the Division’s Chair-Elect to appoint members to the numerous Committees within our Division. The GPSolo Division is the voice of the nation’s solo and small firm lawyers, general practitioners, and lawyers serving in the military, on the judiciary, and in corporate counsel positions. Our Committee work is vital to the success of the Division and the support we can provide to these lawyers across the country. We are looking for individuals willing to step up and volunteer to provide content, product, and ideas that will assist lawyers in your community and elsewhere.

If you are interested in getting involved, please visit the Division’s website and complete the online application. You must be a member of the Division in good standing in order to receive an appointment. There is no guarantee that you will receive your first appointment request. However, we will attempt to do whatever we can to fulfill your appointment and committee preferences. The application deadline is March 30, 2012.

For additional information, please contact the Division at

More Than 40 Hours of On-Demand CLE Programming Available

If you did not make it to the 2011 National Solo & Small Firm Conference in Denver, you can still view and receive CLE credit from the programs. Topics include foreclosures, family law, consumer law, ADR, setting up a law office, PDFing your practice, and many more. To view the full list of programs and to purchase any programs, click here and choose “Online CLE.”