Division Announcements

Vol. 1, No. 8


Division Name Change Notice


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, to be considered and hopefully approved by its membership at the Annual Meeting of the Division Membership to be held at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. In addition, the ABA House of Delegates will also consider and hopefully approve the change. The Division’s Council approved the name change at its Fall Meeting on October 21, 2011.

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

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

By moving Solo and Small Firm to the beginning of the Division’s name, it will help the ABA by sending a clear message to the solo and small firm lawyer population (both within and outside the association) that the ABA, through the Division, is doing all it can to meet the needs of this under-represented population.

Other than revising the Division’s bylaws to reflect the name change, the internal structure and bylaws of GPSolo will remain the same. Any questions or concerns should be emailed to genpractice@americanbar.org.


Call for Applications: ABA GPSolo Diversity and Young Lawyers Fellowships


We are pleased to announce the sponsorship of four Diversity fellowships in the Division during the 2012–13 bar year. The 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, and those with disabilities and persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities.

We are pleased to announce the sponsorship of two Young Lawyer fellowships in the Division during the 2012–13 bar year. The program provides leadership opportunities for young lawyers. As a leader within the Young Lawyers Division, we recognize that you have many opportunities to become involved in bar-related organizations and activities. 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 Diversity and Young Lawyer fellowships must be received by April 30, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified in early June 2012. For more information about these fellowship programs, click here.


ABA GPSolo Committee Leadership Appointments—2012–13 Bar Year

Happy 50th Anniversary, GPSolo Division Members!

As your Chair-Elect, I am honored to have the responsibility to appoint more than 250 lawyers to various leadership positions within GPSolo that enable us to serve our membership. Whether you are new, aspiring leader or an experienced veteran within the Division, and in whatever capacity you wish to make a difference, I welcome and value your participation! As the premier national organization for solo and small firm practitioners and the home of the military lawyer, we have an opportunity to help our colleagues lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. Because solo, small firm, and general practitioners comprise a majority of all attorneys, I believe that, by helping them become better lawyers, we can improve the profession at large—“Better Lawyers, Better Profession.”

If you would like to join us in this effort, please visit the Division’s Appointments Information and Application webpage and complete the Online Application. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, but please do so no later than our March 31, 2012 deadline.

We need your talent, energy, and commitment to keep the Division growing, as it helps its members become better lawyers and make the profession better!


Benes Z. Aldana

Chair-Elect, ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division


GPSolo Brown Bag Session


Is Your Client in a Divorce Eligible for Equitable Relief as an “Innocent Spouse”?

April 11, 2012

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Central Time


Are you familiar with the IRS Revenue Procedure that may offer your client equitable relief from tax liability as an “Innocent Spouse”? Learn under what circumstances your client may qualify as an innocent spouse and what process must be followed to obtain relief.

GPSolo’s Committee Audio Programs (Brown Bag Sessions) are short, informal educational events on timely GPSolo topics organized by committees and held entirely by teleconference as a GPSolo member benefit at no additional cost. They normally last one hour and are held during lunch hours. Due to the informal nature of the programs, and the fact that accompanying written materials may not always be prepared and distributed, the Division does not offer continuing legal education credits for these programs. For more information, visit our website.


Recordings of this program and others will be posted on the Division’s website after each session. Please visit http://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/events_cle/brown_bag_sessions.html to listen to or download the audio.

For any further information or if you are interested in holding a brown bag session, contact Dee Lee at the GPSolo Division Office at Dee.Lee@Americanbar.org or 312-988-5659.




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: 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: 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: 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 ABA GPSolo 2012 Spring Meeting’s Awards Program to be held at the Doubletree Suites in Charleston, SC, on May 18, 2012, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. For a list of past winners, please click here.

To apply for a solo and small firm award, click here. Nominations are due by March 30, 2012.


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