We all have our traditions for bringing in the New Year. For me it is ongoing reflection and preparation for a year of what promises to be radical changes in the world(s) we know. Everything I’ve read, everything I’ve experienced this last year foretells major changes and transitions globally. It’s simply unavoidable. But on many levels it is also exciting. How often do we, whether we like it or not, get a chance to rewrite our scripts. This is what is happening in dramatic fashion in the legal world, and the legal education world. The process is painful and yet liberating. It paves the way for the creative and the energetic to bring to the party new perspective and opportunities. And solo practitioners have the most freedom to deconstruct and reconstruct their professional futures in ways unimagined before. So, here’s to 2013 and the year of change. We hope to be a continued part of your changes and transitions this year.
Here’s what’s been going on at Solo Practice University!
Solo Practice University® Hits A Milestone
Solo Practice University has more than 1000 members and is growing daily. We are thrilled and honored to be serving these extraordinary lawyers and law students who either are contemplating or have made the decision to go solo. Hear what a recent SPU member had to say:
“I wanted to tell you– as I’m sure you hear daily– that I am very much enjoying SPU. It’s still terra incognita in parts–can’t walk New York City in a week, after all– but I’m finding megatons of information that are starting to make me think I’m not just crazy from the law-school grind and maybe, just maybe, I too can hit a ‘solo (practice)’ home run.
Thank you for your investment; I hope to be among the next solos to show that it does indeed pay off.” - King Farris (Law Student, Class of ’13)
New Faculty Announcements
Scott O’Sullivan has practiced personal injury law in the state and federal courts of Colorado since 1996. He teaches “Advanced Personal Injury Practice” at Solo Practice University®. Prior to becoming a partner in another personal injury law firm in 2002, Scott was a lawyer for Liberty Mutual and several other large insurance companies.
“Estate Planning & Practice in the 21st Century” is being taught by Justin R. Key at Solo Practice University. Justin has always focused his practice on helping individuals and families through some of their most difficult times with his skill and experience in domestic litigation, including divorce, custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), and domestic violence.
“Introduction to E-Discovery” at Solo Practice University® is being taught by Steven Teppler. Steven chairs Kirk-Pinkerton’s information governance and electronic discovery practice. He has practiced law since 1981, is admitted to the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, Florida, and Illinois and advises private and public sector clients about risk, liability, and compliance.
Bob Berlin is teaching “Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation” at Solo Practice University®. Bob is President of The New Decision Management Associates, Inc. He has experience in handling ADR cases numbering in excess of three thousand civil and family law mediations since 1968.
Omar Ha-Redeye is teaching “Reputation Management Law” at Solo Practice University®. He is a Toronto lawyer focusing on reputation management law (online defamation, crisis communications, public relations) and health law (personal injury, medical malpractice, occupational health and safety, health policy). This course takes an inter-jurisdictional overview of some of the challenges, and the opportunities, of entering the brave new world of the Internet.
“Conquering the Bar Exam” is being taught by Lee Burgess at Solo Practice University®. Lee Burgess has been helping students in law school and those studying for the California bar exam find success since 2009. Lee is the co-founder of the Law School Toolbox and the Bar Exam Toolbox, which are online resources that help law students find success both in law school and on the bar exam. She also is, and continues to be, a popular columnist at SPU helping students towards Bar Exam Success.
Estate Planning & Practice in the 21st Century is launched by Justin R Key with Lesson 1 & 2 Pieces of the Plan, and Get Your Decedent’s Data!
Jonathan Ginsberg continues to share notable Practice Tips in his Creating A Social Security Disability Practice classroom – The Obviously Disabled Client Who has Minimal Medical Treatment, Looming Policy Changes at Social Security, Winning Cases Involving Closed Head Injuries, and Has Social Security Instructed Judges to Deny More Claims?
In the Construction Law Classroom, Chris Hill rolls out Lesson 29 – Answering Your Questions
Richard Maseles keeps providing practical and necessary information in the Real World Legal Research Classroom with 3 New Classes – The Portable Law Library, Legal Ethics Research, and Ninja Legal Research.
Deborah Gonzalez concludes her Social Media and the Law class with Lessons 10 and 11 Digital Asset Management and Social Media & the Law Update. She also concludes her Intellectual Property Course with Lesson 5 Digital Technology and Game Law and Lesson 6 – Film & Television Law.
Anne Marie Rabago returns to her classroom Introduction to Taxes for the Solo/Small Firm Attorney with her latest class Class 5 – Crossover Areas of Law.
Trippe Fried addresses an interesting topic in his Business Law Class – Lesson 13 – The End of the Business Life Cycle
In the Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation classroom, Bob Berlin gives us Lessons 1 & 2 – Negotiation and Lesson 3 ADR Part 1.
Brian Herrington captivates students in his Class Action Law classroom by highlighting Food Misbranding Litigation, and Buying Off Class Representatives.
In the Unemployment Appeals classroom Bruce Godfrey presents Lesson 11 – Basic Tools for a Start-Up UI Practice and Lesson 12 – Summary and Integration of UI Appeals Into a Solo Practice.
In the Everything Google classroom with Martha Sperry, she engages us with Lesson 9 – Get Social With Google+ and Lesson 10 – Google Apps & Sites.
In the International Sports Law Course Gene Goodsell gives us Lesson 5 – Adjudicative Roles in Sports.
Stephanie Kimbro as always shares significant information in her Virtual Law Classroom. Her latest is Using Apps in Virtual Law Practice.
Omar Ha-Redeye continues Reputation Management Law with Lessons 2, 3, & 4 – Reputation Management Law For Clients, Reputation Management for Lawyers, and Building the Online Foundation.
In the Labor Law Classroom we have Kevin Camden rolling out Lessons 2, 3a, and 3b – Union Elections, Bargaining the Contract, and Bargaining at Impasse.
In the Advanced Personal Injury Practice Classroom Scott O’Sullivan kicks off his advanced personal injury class with the very popular Lesson 1 – Niche Practice, continues with Lesson 2 – Interviewing/Preparing Expert Witnesses and then delves into Lesson 3 – Growing Your Practice by Saying No.
In Introduction to Immigration Law Lessons Vonda Vandaveer concludes her course with Lessons 8 & 9 Client Relations, and Naturalization & Citizenship.
Allison Wood finishes her class Legal Ethics course with Lesson 4 – Ethically Managing Conflicts Between Former and Prospective Clients, Lesson 5 – Ethical Duties to Clients, Courts, and Adversaries, and Lesson 6 – Legal Fees and Reasonableness.
Lee Burgess commences her Conquering the Bar Exam course by rolling out Lessons 2, 3 & 4 How to Approach Studying for the MBE, Learning the Material and How to Write a Great Essay Exam Answer.
In the Entertainment Law classroom, Gordon Firemark, a perennial favorite, supplies students with multiple podcasts including his latest Entertainment Law Update Episode 34 — Publicity, Politicians, new SEC rules, and more.
Stephen Teppler commences his Introduction to E-Discovery classroom by rolling out 3 Lessons all entitled – Introduction to E-Discovery. He skillfully walks you through this meaty and critical topic. It’s really a mandatory class if you are to practice law today.
Gerry Oginski keeps us engaged in the Creating Online Video for Attorneys Classroom with: Video Marketing: The Consequence of Being Boring, How Do You Differentiate Yourself From All of Your Attorney Colleagues?, and You Decided to Buy the Cheapest Video Equipment You Could Find- Good Move or Bad Move?
In the Trial Techniques classroom, Greg Yaghmai captivates students as always by offering us Practical Tips for Your Law Practice
What Our Columnists & Guest Bloggers Have To Say
Jared Correia’s guest lecture You Know Everything There Is To Know About Social Media…Or Do You? is an exceptional podcast where we asked Jared what it is on lawyers’ minds and (no) surprise…it’s social media. Yes, I know you think you know everything there IS to know about social media. But I’m betting you don’t which is why we’re doing this guest lecture. Jared discusses some surprising ethical and confidentiality issues you may never have thought of!
Suzanne Meehle’s column on You’re An Attorney, But Are You An Entrepreneur? Discusses her hope for all of us solos is that we become entrepreneurs. She stresses to us to find your passion. Have a vision for your firm that makes you unique, and seize your opportunities.
In “Here Are the Keys to Working with an Interpreter“ SPU columnist, Paul Jeff Perez, discusses how critical it is for attorneys to hire qualified interpreters, with expertise and experience in the legal system. He further delves into how attorneys should build strong relationships with interpreters, setting high standards of expectations. Lastly he gives us some tips for building a strong relationship with a legal interpreter.
Keep a Success Journal to Be a Happier and More Productive Lawyer by Debra Bruce freshens are memories as we easily remember our shortcomings and disappointments with all the gory detail of a train wreck, we often forget significant achievements from the first half of the year. She continues by teaching us to keep a file where we should record even our small achievements, and to personally acknowledge those little wins when we analyze our year.
Barbara Mencer writes passionately that Without Trust You Have Nothing Barbara discusses how many people mistakenly focus on developing professional competence to the exclusion of thinking about what it takes to earn trust, instill confidence, and build relationships.
Move to Cloud Safer Than Law Firm Networks and Offices? is the latest column by Rush Nigut. His column educates the solo on the benefits of Cloud computing. He points out why cloud computing could potentially be safer and provide better security than the way we conduct business now, not the opposite.
ReZooming in 2013? Remember 3 Words is Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton‘s lastest installment of “The Rezooming Attorney”. It is an interesting choice. A worthy read, whether you’re newly minted, ReZooming or already a savvy Solo.
Rachel Rodgers tackles The Ugly Side of Solo Practice. While Rachel feels the benefits of designing her own law practice have outweighed any of this sucky stuff, her column addresses what she feels to be the ugly side of solo practice. Mind you this is a very short list.
For 10 weeks, Lee Burgess on every Friday from June through July, wrote a column which provided advice on how to prepare for the Bar Exam. With her inaugural column 10 Tips for #Bar Exam Success, Lee created one of SPU’s most popular series discussing how to take on this milestone exam…and succeed!
Building A Solo Practice: Time is Money (aka “Penny Wise And Pound Foolish”) is Lurie Daniel-Favors’ latest column. Lurie passionately discusses how a colleague once told her that when it came to growing her practice, she could either spend money or she could spend time, but neglected to mention that sometimes spending time could cost more than spending money. A must read for the newly minted solo!
SPU Columnist, Kelli Proia tells us in her column Why I Do What I Do solidifies why Kelli loves having her solo practice even through any trials and tribulations. If you have ever had any doubts this is a must read!
Our new columnist Barry Seidel has been a solo since graduating law school in 1982. In his columns Evolutions of a Solo Practice 1, 2 and 3 Barry focuses on the “changes” one encounters during the journey of being a solo and how the rules of the road may change while traveling.
If you are interested in becoming faculty or guest posting, or contributing as a monthly columnist, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholarships Have Been Awarded
During 2012, we awarded eight quarterly scholarships to law school graduates to help them kickstart their solo careers! This was through the generosity of our faculty. They enrolled right after taking the bar exam and while they waited on the bar results they were learning how to build their solo practices. Read more about the winners. We love giving away scholarships. Stay tuned as we do these spontaneously!
Our Faculty and Columnists Are Making News
Solo Practice University® own columnist Rachel Rodgers was recently published in Forbes with her You Don’t Have To Quit Lawyering To Have A Life: 5 Steps To A Virtual Practice where she discusses her thoughts on do women really have to leave the law in order to achieve work-life balance?
Solo Practice University®’s own faculty member, Class Action Lawyer Brian Herrington, argued earlier this year against the motion to dismiss in what will prove to be a game changing class action lawsuit against some of the largest food manufacturers in this country for false and misleading food labeling. Read all about this case at Lawyers From Suits Against Big Tobacco Target Food Makers.
What Everyone’s Been Reading and Sharing
- When Law Schools Partner With SPU Their Students Reap the Dividends
- When Lawyers Create Useful Tools For Their Clients Everyone Wins
- Taking That Giant Step
- 10 Things 3Ls Should Do
- The Ugly Side of Solo Practice
- Should You Put Yourself on Probation?
- Solos! Create Your Own Sandbox
- How to Choose in Which Language to Offer Legal Services
- Procrastivity, or How I Learned to Manage My Time In Spite of Myself
- You Failed the Bar Exam! 5 Tips to Get Ready to Study Again
- You Know Everything There Is To Know About Social Media…Or Do You?
- Does Your Solo Practice Need to Pivot?
- Moving Fearlessly Forward
- On Meeting Your Heroes
- Evolutions of a Solo Practice – Part 1
- 7 Ways To Handle ‘The Naysayer’
- How To Get Remembered
- Matching Your Services to Your Clients’ Finances (Long Post)
- Understanding your Malpractice Policy – Beware the “Hammer Clause”
- The Power of Audacity
- We All Need Practice to Perform at Our Best – #Bar Exam
- Hurricane Sandy Proves You Can No Longer Avoid Social Media for Business
- Do Your Clients Have A Crush On You?
- Evolutions of a Solo Practice – Part II
- Where Do You Go When You Need Insurance?
- “By Failing To Prepare You Are Preparing to Fail”
- How to Give Thanks to the People Around You
- Here Are the Keys to Working with an Interpreter
- Digital Asset Management – Guest Lecture with Deborah Gonzalez
- Evolutions of a Solo Practice – Part 3
- You’re An Attorney, But Are You An Entrepreneur?
- Coming Back After a Bar Exam Failure — Gearing Up to Study Again
- Marketing Tip Of The Week – Zazzle ‘Em
- Are You Struggling with Juggling?
- ReZooming Solos Need to ‘Walk the Talk’
- The Big Lie About Big Law
- Could There Be A Better Gift?
- Redux: How Much Do Solos Really Earn?
- Keep a Success Journal to Be a Happier and More Productive Lawyer
- Why I Do What I Do
- Tip of The Week – How Creativity Will Save the World
- The Importance of Accountability as Part of Your Bar Preparation
- ReZooming in 2013? Remember 3 Words
- Why Online Learning Will Be The Future of All Education
- What Have You Done For Me Lately?
- Hiring and Managing a Bi-Lingual Receptionist
Solo Practice University® Keeps Growing…and Growing
Our Bridges Program is expanding steadily! You will see more ‘public’ announcements soon as we grow our strategic partnerships with forward thinking law schools who recognize Solo Practice University® is an excellent resource for their law students and alumni who are or will be going solo.
The Bridges program is available to every law school in the U.S., as well as to law schools in foreign countries. Current Solo Practice University® enrollees hail from more than 200 American and 17 foreign law schools.
Solo Practice University has also added two new sponsors (and believers). Check out ALPS and Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company. As always, Solo Practice University students enjoy special benefits and discounts with all our longterm sponsors including Clio and LawPay. If you’d like to be a sponsor, please contact Susan (at) solopracticeuniversity.com
Where Is Susan?
January 19th Susan will be spending the day judging the ABA Negotiation Competition at Quinnipiac Univesity School of Law. If you’re around, come and say, ‘hi.’
You can also meet up with Susan at the Maine Bar Association’s Winter Session on January 25th (PDF) being held at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks. Topic:
It’s Time to Work in the Future. And Here’s How it’s Done.
There is more to a 21st century practice than buying fancy technology. Creating and building a 21st century solo law practice involves understanding what your goals are as a solo practitioner, meeting your professional responsibilities, and then thoughtfully integrating technology to allow you to perform your due diligence, manage and exceed your clients’ expectations, and ultimately save money and time so you are free to actually practice law. Join us as we discuss!
On February 14th, Susan will be presenting via SKYPE to Chapman University School of Law on Creating and Building a 21st Century Solo Law Practice with lots of Q & A.
You’ll also find her online as she continues her additional role as an entrepreneur mentor for LawWithoutWalls.
Are You Ready to Enroll? See Our Tuition Plans
Don’t need CLE? Want a monthly tuition less than your cell phone bill? Check out our new monthly program. More and more students are enjoying this easy and cost-effective way to continue their practical education and connection to mentors and other similarly-situated lawyers. Stay just for the classes you need…or as long as you like. Tuition is never more than $45 per month after the first month. Check out our Tuition Prices, pick your plan and get started!