A Successful First Year as an ABA Division

Volume 40 Number 4


About the Author

Pamela McDevitt is the director of the Law Practice Division in Chicago.

Law Practice Magazine | July/August 2014 | The Annual Big Ideas IssueLOOKING BACK on the Law Practice Division’s (LP) bar year, I am amazed at the vast amount of work our boards and committees have done. Each year, LP continues to grow and increase the resources it provides to attorneys everywhere. It constantly tries to seek out experts and thought leaders in the areas of technology, marketing, finance and management. I am very fortunate to be able to develop relationships with many of them—and would never be able to list all the people to whom I owe thanks for their time, energy, intelligence and willingness to share.

Here’s a glimpse of what we accomplished as a Division in 2013-2014:

Each year, LP increases its efforts to provide valuable content to lawyers through collaboration with other groups and entities. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee deserves special praise for its efforts. This year, that committee reached out and connected with other groups in many ways. LP co-sponsored national programs and presented them as well. Brett Burney, chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2015, moderated two technology programs at the Minority Corporation Counsel Association while promoting ABA TECHSHOW to attendees. The committee published columns in LP publications and worked with the webzine board to produce an issue devoted to diversity and inclusion issues.

Additionally, LP has more friends, followers and connections than ever before. Social media has been a gift to our Division, permitting us to get the word out more quickly and easily—and to more people. On Twitter, @LawPracticeTips now has more than 21,700 followers, and our LinkedIn Group, ABA Law Practice Division, has more than 2,500 members. Our ABA TECHSHOW YouTube videos were a big hit this year as well, as was the LTRC’s blog (lawtechnologytoday.org).

All of us at LP are here to help you become better professionals. One of the best ways to do that is to become active and get involved in our programs or attend a conference. The benefits are numerous, providing a network for education, resources and connections. To learn more, any of the LP staff, including myself, can be contacted through our website (lawpractice.org). We are eager to partner with you.

The Division has had amazing success and growth. We have collectively created eight additional sources of nondues revenue during the past two years. This success would not have been possible without our partner, Network Media Partners. A very special thanks to Suzie Smith for all her efforts on our behalf; we’re lucky to have her as part of our team and look forward to our continued collective success!


CHARLES ROBINSON RECEIVES SAMUEL S. SMITH AWARDThe ABA Law Practice Division (LP) has awarded the Samuel S. Smith Award—its highest honor—to Charles F. Robinson of Clearwater, Fla. The Samuel S. Smith Award is given annually for lifetime achievement in the field of law practice management.

Robinson, who received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Florida, is a Board-Certified Elder Law Attorney who specializes in Elder Law. He is also a futurist who chooses to specifically focus on the future of the legal profession. An active member of LP for more than 40 years, Robinson served as its chair from 1987–88. He also served two terms on the Coordinating Commission on Legal Technology and on the ABA Commission on Law and Aging. He was inducted into the first class of the College of Law Practice Management. Sam Smith was the presenting Fellow for the induction.

Robinson has spoken at a number of state bar functions and helped to conduct planning programs for those several bars as well. Robinson, competently assisted by Bill Cobb and Phil Shuey, designed the program for the Seize the Future conferences offered in 1997 and 1999.




July 21
CLE Teleconference:
“How to Get Rid of Paper in Your Law Office”
Speakers: Donna Neff and Sheila Blackford


August 7-9
ABA LP Annual Meeting
Hilton Boston Back Bay, Boston


August 21
CLE Teleconference:
“How to Use Dropbox Securely”
Speakers: Nerino Petro and Dan Siegel



The Law Practice Division’s (LP) Nominating Committee nominations for Division officers and Council members are listed below. Elections will be held in August at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.


Robert A. Young, Chair
John D. Bowers
Rodney S. Dowell
Katayoun M. Goshtasbi
Walter W. Karnstein
Thomas L. Mighell
Reba Nance


Chair-Elect: Tom Bolt
Vice Chair: John Mitchell
Secretary: L. Leona Frank


Thomas Grella


Allison Shields
Nicholas Gaffney
Sheila Blackford
Rodney S. Dowell
Amy Drushal
Michael Schewe
Jennifer Ellis
Chad Burton
Mary Vandenack
John Simek
Catherine Sanders Reach