Shaping the ABA to Attract Solo and Small Firm Lawyers
The ABA’s top leaders gathered for breakfast with members of the GP Solo and Small Firm division Saturday during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles to brainstorm how the association can better demonstrate its value to lawyers in small and solo practices. President-Elect Tommy Wells, Immediate Past President Karen Mathis and Executive Director Hank White all participated in the panel discussion with scores of lawyer leaders within the section.
Key ideas emerged from the conversation, most notably the important “human connection” the ABA offers general practice,solo and small practice lawyers, who often combat isolation and seek feedback from other legal professionals. The possibility of connecting members with mentors was raised. And the great success of the “Solosez” list-serve was cited as an important tool. Other members discussed how their ABA membership helped them find crucial resources they could not have located on their own, including a New York City lawyer who, through ABA connections, found the right local counsel in Elko, Nevada, a town he had never even heard of before his case.
Division leaders also expressed interest in tapping into the collective power of ABA entities to serve their members better, and educating lawyers on how the ABA, as the national voice of the legal profession, has given lawyers important victories ensuring continued independence of the bar. The ABA victory regarding Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation was cited, as well as the ABA’s effective work on issues including attorney-client privilege, advocacy for veterans and Social Security appeals reform.