Committee Highlight/Member Spotlight/Tips for New Members

Vol. 2, No. 10


Committee Highlight


Law Student Committee Planning Public Service Project for Fall 2013 Kentucky Meeting: Sign Up!



The GPSolo Law Student Committee is planning a public service project on Financial Literacy in Louisville, Kentucky, during the Fall 2013 meeting. Volunteers are needed. The financial services project will raise financial awareness and propose solutions for students to prevent financial hardship.

This project will bring together law students, young lawyers, and the public service committees with local high school students in the Louisville area to foster awareness of budgeting, credit cards, school loans, and more. Planning and logistics are underway now, and more defined details will be available early this summer. This is an excellent public service opportunity for GPSolo members, even those who are not currently members of the previously mentioned committees. More volunteers are needed.

According to, the average undergraduate carries $3,173 in credit card debt. The ABA and GPSolo are highly involved in this proactive prevention project to help students avoid high debt and make more information available to those students who otherwise may not have understood the great risk of debt and variable interest rates. As an example, the ABA Journal published the article “Know Your Dough: Division Lends Support to Financial Literacy Project for High School Kids” (Jan. 2013) as part of raising financial awareness and proposing solutions for students.

GPSolo magazine worked with Anthony Leahy, executive director of Consumer Education and Training Services (CENTS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people make informed financial and legal choices in recent months on this initiative. The article is titled “GIVING BACK: Teaching Financial Literacy” and is highlighted in Jan./Feb. 2013 issue. CENTS was cofounded by the Honorable Karen A. Overstreet, a US bankruptcy judge in the Western District of Washington, and members of the bankruptcy bar to focus more attention and effort on financial literacy in King County, Washington. The rapidly growing student loan crisis was noted when there were higher numbers of bankruptcy debtors attempting to discharge student loan debt.

As you can see from these examples, details, and articles, GPSolo is poised to make a difference in this area. This program is on its way to being successful and will help students make sense about cents. If you are interested in working on this project and plan to attend the Fall 2013 meeting, consider working with the Law Student Committee to help foster financial literacy among students. For more information, contact Law Student Committee co-chairs Samantha Williams,, or Sarah Moulder,, to sign up to for this project.


Member Spotlight


Kari Petrasek


1.     Where do you live?
I live in Lynnwood, WA, and work in Everett, WA.

2.     What group do you practice with as an attorney?
I am at Carson Law Group, P.S., a small four-attorney firm.

3.     How long have you been practicing law?
Eleven years.

4.     When I was younger, I wanted to be . . .
In high school and during my first year of college, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. It was important to me at the time; then my interest grew for the law and being an attorney.

5.     What is your favorite part of your role as an attorney?
My favorite part of being an attorney is helping other people and helping them have a successful outcome to their case.

6.     What in your profession are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about making a positive difference for my clients. My cases deal with business matters, estate planning issues, dependency and family law matters, and some property issues. The majority of my cases involve dependency issues and some involve family law issues. In both of these types of cases, my clients are usually going through the worst time of their life. I find it very rewarding to help them through this time and being an advocate for them, particularly for children in dependency cases, either as their attorney or guardian ad litem.

7.     What is the most interesting experience you have had in the legal profession?
My most interesting experience was when I was president of the Washington Young Lawyers Division (WYLD) for the 2010–11 bar year. The WYLD represents approximately 6,500 new and young lawyers in our state. I was able to meet new and young lawyers all around the state, hear their concerns, network with them, excite them about being a young lawyer, and helped create programs relevant to them.

8.     How long have you been a member of the ABA?
I became a member in law school—about 13 years now.

9.     What ABA sections or groups do you belong to?
In the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, I am a co-chair of the Juvenile Law Committee and Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee. I am also a member of the Membership Board and Young Lawyers Committee. Within the Young Lawyers Division (last year!), I currently serve as the Member Service Team coordinator, and am a member of the Children and the Law Committee and Women in the Profession Committee. I am also a member of the Law Practice Management Section, and the Judicial Division–Lawyers Conference. For the past three years, I have been one of Washington’s delegates to the House of Delegates. It’s a very busy time, but very rewarding.

10. What do you find most valuable about the ABA?
One of the best benefits from the ABA is all of the great CLEs and professional development programs that are offered as part of our membership. The free CLEs are a great value. Also, the leadership skills are valuable from interacting with the ABA, GPSolo, and my colleagues. The opportunity of meeting people from across the country and around the world has expanded my worldview and perspectives.

11. How have you benefitted from the ABA personally or professionally?
By meeting so many people from around the country, I have made many lasting friendships, and through the connections I have made, I have also received referrals from people I have met at ABA conferences and in the GPSolo Division. The friendships I have made are based on common interests, goals, and ideas. It is so wonderful to be able to share ideas with each other regarding what other bar associations are doing to encourage membership, serve the public, and deal with issues facing the legal profession. Through these connections, I have been able to bring back ideas to share with my local bar associations.

12. Do you belong to any other professional associations?
Yes. I am a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Solo and Small Practice Section, the Washington State Juvenile Law Section, Snohomish County Bar Association, Washington Women Lawyers, and Washington State CASA.

13. Any awards or other honors?
In 2008, I was an ABA YLD National Outstanding Young Lawyer award nominee. I was named Volunteer Guardian ad Litem of the month in June 2008 and March 2010, and in October 2011, I was awarded an ABA YLD “Star of the Quarter.”


Contact info:
Kari Petrasek
Carson Law Group PS
3202 Hoyt Ave
Everett, WA 98201-4311
Telephone: 425-493-5000
Fax: 425-493-5004


Tips for New Members


Marketing Words to Know

Assess your law firm’s marketing practices via your website and compare it to others—what do you find? You will find numerous styles of marketing as each firm feels it has a unique approach. The effectiveness, freshness, and use of alternative marketing methods are endless. Most law firms marry traditional with nontraditional advertising to convey the focus of their practice, industry, and clients served by them.

Marketing terms, like websites, are a mix of old and new.

Here are few terms to boost your marketing vocabulary and your marketing efforts when talking to your marketing principal or team.

Buzz marketing is a term used for word-of-mouth marketing. It’s the positive buzz of viral marketing (a good thing), public relations, and advertising on the web (Wikipedia). Originally derived from real people or oral communications in the context of a recommendation or referral, it has expanded to include social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular and public online forums of discussion and debate.

Stealth marketing is a term used as a form of special marketing using clandestine or secret marketing. It introduces a service, product, or brand to individuals without disclosing the real relationship with the brand. (Be careful using the term stealth to your marketing team—they will think you want to go underground or undercover here.)

Guerilla marketing is a term referring to highly creative programs that will obtain results in new business by using defined, purposeful-driven resources focused on new approaches, target-focused relationships, and major investments of energy. This term has been around since the early 1980s, and we are still using it.

Some marketing preconditions should exist to use the term buzz marketing such as the service/product must be unique, and advertising should be intriguing, different, and memorable. These terms are different, yet folks seem to use them interchangeably.


Interested in reading more about marketing? Check these books out, which range from expensive to the inexpensive:


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