August 01, 2016 Chair's Corner

The Chair's Corner: Building on Prior Success

David H. Lefton

Congratulations to outgoing Chair Stephen B. Rosales on a job very well done! Steve has proficiently led the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) over the past year. His theme “Work Hard. Do Good. Have Fun.” has reminded all of us that hard work toward positive goals, whether those goals be aspirational, personal, or professional, does not need to be tedious and uninspiring. Hard work and doing good can be fun, and indeed it has been a fun year in which we’ve done a lot of great work. Steve, I thank you personally for your leadership and look forward to your guidance as we continue to work hard, do good work, and have fun providing valuable benefits to our GPSolo members and the legal community.

This issue of GPSolo magazine focuses on estate planning. Estate planning is near and dear to me as it is my primary area of focus. It was an honor to be invited to write the article on “Your First Meeting with an Estate Planning Client.” I hope you find valuable tips to implement into your practice from the many articles in this issue.

As lawyers, you know one of the components of estate planning is succession planning. Succession planning can be described as planning to make sure an organization continues to grow and move forward. As we move on from the 2015–2016 Bar Year, we look to continue to grow and move forward. Last year, our Fall Meeting underwent a change in name and format, and as we commence the new bar year, we look to continue to grow and advance the Solo & Small Firm Summit to new heights based on this new format.

This year’s Summit will be in Cincinnati, Ohio, from September 29 to October 1. The Summit is the Division’s main event of the year for our nation’s solo, small firm, and general practice attorneys. Plan to attend and learn new skills, expand your knowledge, and take away strategic solutions geared to promote a thriving solo and small firm law practice. The Summit will feature continuing legal education and practice management courses, prominent national speakers, networking events, vendors exhibiting products and services, and more—all designed to assist you in being “All the Attorney You Can Be,” the theme for the 2016–2017 Bar Year.

Summit speakers and topics include:

  1. “Strategies for Building a Seven-Figure Law Firm” by Stephen Fairley of the Rainmaker Institute.
  2. “Seven Success Secrets for Managing Your Cash Flow” by Ann M. Guinn, author of the GPSolo Division book Minding Your Own Business: The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer’s Guide to a Profitable Practice.
  3. “Law Firm Toolkit: 30-Plus Marketing and Tech Tools to Manage, Promote, and Grow Your Firm” by Tim Baran of Rocket Matter.
  4. “The Ethics of Marketing for Lawyers” by Jabez LeBret and Mark Homer, authors of Amazon’s number-one best-selling book, Online Law Practice Strategies.
  5. “How to Capture and Keep Clients” presented by a number of the contributing authors to the second edition of the GPSolo Division book How to Capture and Keep Clients: Melanie D. Bragg, Jennifer R. Willner, Jeffrey Allen, and Michael P. Hurley.

In addition, as part of the Summit, the Division will hold its inaugural Diversity Reception at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the banks of the Ohio River. This event will include a tour of this historic museum, a reception with a band, plus a keynote address by Judge Nathaniel Jones, this year’s winner of the NAACP’s highest award, the Spingarn Medal, previously given to such distinguished individuals as Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, just to name a couple.

So if you want to learn from these high-profile national speakers about ways to develop a seven-figure law firm and retain clients; operate your firm profitably; establish online marketing strategies ethically; implement the best technology to support your law practice; and network with colleagues at outstanding events, you won’t want to miss this year’s Summit. To register for the Summit, go to ambar.org/summit.

This coming year, our Division will continue to work hard to be the voice of solos and small firm practitioners in this country, and we will remain committed to giving you the best and most economical resources to advance your law practice to assist you in becoming “All the Attorney You Can Be.” As incoming Chair, I am excited about all the upcoming programs, publications, resources, and networking opportunities that we will be providing this year. I challenge you to find a better membership bargain anywhere. And don’t forget to take advantage of the ABA’s solo membership rates (based on year of bar admittance): free for those admitted 2016–2017; $117 for 2013–2015; $143 for 2011–2012; $169 for 2007–2010; and $260 for 2006 and earlier (see tinyurl.com/n4be6au for details).

Speaking on behalf of the Officers and Council of GPSolo, we hope to see you at the Summit in Cincinnati and our other events later in the 2016–2017 Bar Year!

David H. Lefton

David H. Lefton, Esquire, is 2016–2017 Chair of the GPSolo Division. He is an equity partner with Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer in Cincinnati, Ohio.