June 01, 2016 Division News

SOLO, SMALL FIRM AND GENERAL PRACTICE DIVISION NEWS: Congratulations to the Solo and Small Firm Award Winners

The Solo and Small Firm Awards celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of outstanding solo and small firm practitioners, as well as bar leaders and bar associations. This year’s winners were honored at a luncheon during the 2016 Joint Spring Meeting on May 13 at the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel in Key West, Florida.

Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

The Solo and Small Firm Lifetime Achievement 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 are viewed by other solo and small firm practitioners as epitomizing the ideals of the legal profession and of solo and small firm practitioners.

Jeffrey Allen is the principal in the Graves & Allen law firm in Oakland, California, with a practice that since 1973 has emphasized negotiation, structuring, and documentation of real estate, loan, and other business transactions, receiverships, civil litigation, and bankruptcy. He has also done a great deal of work as a mediator and arbitrator. A Northern California Super Lawyer, he has had a Martindale-Hubbell AV rating for more than 25 years. Allen has been very active in the American Bar Association, and in particular, its Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. He currently is the editor-in-chief of GPSolo magazine and of the GPSolo eReport and serves on the Board of Editors for Experience magazine. Formerly he served on the Board of Editors for the ABA Journal. In addition to being licensed as an attorney in California, he has been admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He teaches at California State University of the East Bay. Allen is the author or co-author of several books on technology for attorneys and is a frequent speaker on technology topics.

Donald D. Slesnick II is the managing partner for the Law Offices of Slesnick & Casey, LLP, in Coral Gables, Florida. He has been in private practice since 1976. During this time he has pursued a legal career in the field of labor and employment law, representing public-sector employee organizations. In 2011 he concluded ten years as mayor of Coral Gables and served as the 2009–2010 president of the Florida League of Mayors. In 2014 he was appointed Honorary Consul of Australia for Florida. Slesnick is a Vietnam veteran and a former U.S. Army advisor to NATO forces in Germany. He retired from the Army at the rank of lieutenant colonel and now serves the chief of the Army Reserve as one of its “Ambassadors.” He is currently the immediate past president of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, is past chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and serves as a member of the ABA House of Delegates and as vice chair of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law. He is president-elect of the Orange Bowl Committee.

Trainer Award Honoree

The Solo and Small Firm Trainer 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.

Gary P. Bauer has been a professor of law at the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, since 1997. He trains third-year law students in how to practice law in both a general civil practice and estate planning clinical program. He is the director of the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic, which was created to offer students attending Cooley on weekends and evenings a live client practice experience before graduation. Bauer became chair of the Michigan State Bar Association Law Practice Management Section in 2006. He practiced law as a criminal defense attorney before joining WMU-Cooley Law School in 1997. He served in the U.S. Air Force before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Bauer is currently a member of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s Legal Educators Committee and a member of the Clinical Legal Education Association and the Ingham County Bar Association.