Lawyers Journal

The sole practitioner and small firm section

As many of you may know, this year the "General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section" changed its name to "The Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Section." This change was not just for form but also for substance. We sought this change to better represent who we are, as well to distinguish our section membership from who we are not -- all general practitioners or young lawyers. In fact, our section's membership is comprised of attorneys who focus their practice in one or a few areas of law, many of whom have been practicing law for decades. In doing so, we are further defining how we can best assist our section's members. We are forging our new identity and description within the MBA -- and welcome your involvement.

The council views the section's mission as identifying specific issues and challenges that most concern and affect sole practitioners and members of small firms, and assisting our members in a variety of ways. This assistance includes: exchanging ideas, opinions and advice at meetings, promoting and sponsoring programs, fostering networking and sharing useful information at events and through My Bar Access. Prospective members sometimes ask "What can I get out of joining this section?" We like to reply, "What would you like to get out of it? How can we collectively best assist you in your law practice?" The section is yours to set a course. As part of addressing some of the issues facing sole practitioners and attorneys at small firms, we are excited to present our annual symposium. This year we will be focusing on how to prepare cases cost-efficiently and effectively. Look for details on the symposium to be available soon.

In addition to the direct exchange of information amongst section members, The Sole Practitioner and Small Firm section represents our members' viewpoints and positions on issues presented to the MBA's House of Delegates. We focus on the effects that the proposed issues may have on our specific members' practices. This year we have taken an active role in discussing and voting on issues that include: Access to Justice Section's Emergency Shelter Crisis Affecting Homeless Families and Children in Massachusetts; Family Law Section's Arbitration Act; and the Criminal Justice Section's so-called "Three-Strike Law."

The Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Section is a dynamic group of attorneys who collaborate to address the issues facing them and take positions that reflect our concerns. The SPSF section is here to serve you -- and each other. Section membership is now free to all MBA members. Please join us. Together we can advance our mission to improve our legal careers.

Scott D. Goldberg is chairman of the Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Section Council.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association