Do Bar Associations Really Benefit Solos?

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

“The hierarchy of the State Bar is not at all concerned with solos.”
“The truth is that the [state bar] is just not relevant to the majority of …lawyers.”
“Solos have been left out.”
“The ABA doesn’t do anything for solo and small firm lawyers.”
“Solos have a tight operating budget and I haven’t seen the ABA as a huge value for the money.”

These quotes come from statements in online articles and discussion forums, as well as comments made to me. Attorneys complain about bar dues and their perception that bar associations pander to big law firms, providing very little value to solos. When I delve into the subject with them, however, they often come away surprised at the extent of resources available that they were unaware of.

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Ethical Use of Social Media for Lawyers

Debra Bruce will be speaking at the ABA Solo/Small Firm Luncheon on Thursday, April 28, 2011, from 11:45 am – 1:00pm on lawyers’ ethical use of social media.

When: Thursday, April 28, 2011, from 11:45 am- 1:00 pm
Where: Austin Bar Association, Seminar Room, 816 Congress Avenue, 7th Floor
Topic: “Ethical Use of Social Media for Lawyers”
Speaker: Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC
MCLE: 30 minutes of CLE Ethics
Cost & RSVP: To reserve a lunch, the cost is $15.00 for section members and $20.00 for non-section members. To reserve your lunch, email Bill Biggs at no later than COB Tuesday, April 26th. (Reservations are only held until 11:55 on the day of the meeting.) Please bring a check or exact change to the meeting. If you reserve a lunch and are a “no-show,” you will be billed for your lunch. If you don’t want a lunch, no RSVP is necessary. This month’s menu: seared filet with red peppers & basil sauce, green salad with cranberries and feta cheese, roll & butter, chocolate cake with berries, and iced tea. There is no charge for section members who bring their own lunch. There is a $10.00 charge for non-section members who bring their own lunch.

Choosing Law Practice Management Software

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Order v. Chaos in a law office In a previous post (Should A Solo Buy Law Practice Management Software?) I discussed some benefits and drawbacks of investing in law practice management software. I shared my opinion that all lawyers, including solos, can benefit from practice management software because, properly used, it will significantly improve your efficiency and organization. I also warned, however, that the learning curve will first slow you down. You will probably incur additional costs for training and for consulting to get the program configured to fit your needs and to coordinate with your other software and hardware.

Now that you are considering whether to take the leap, this post will address some of the questions you may have, and point out others that you should investigate in your decision process. Read more «Choosing Law Practice Management Software»

Law Practice Management Section

Using Social Media to Build Your Case: What’s Ethical and What’s Not

Presented by: Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC, Lawyer-Coach LLC, Houston.

Lawyers who aren’t familiar with social media may be missing out. Would you like some new and inexpensive ways to: prove that an ex-spouse can afford to pay child support, find a disgruntled former employee who knows where the skeletons are hidden, locate assets of a judgment debtor, serve process when you don’t have a current address, identify an expert witness, find lost heirs, or uncover bias in potential jurors?  Debra Bruce, will talk about ways lawyers can use social media to better serve their clients, and ethical issues to watch out for in the process (1.0 hour MCLE credit, including .50 hour ethics).

Date & Time: Thursday, April 14, 2011; 12:00pm – 1:00 p.m.

Place: Law Offices of Dunn, Neal & Gerger, LLP
3050 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 400 (Lakes on Post Oak)
Houston, Texas 77056.

Cost: $10.00 (includes lunch).

Information: To RSVP for the meeting, please contact Scot Dixon at or 713.758.3373.