Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : August 2006

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 SOLO/SMALL FIRM PRACTITIONER

BY PAT YEVICS  

Plans to Attend the Eighth Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference

It is hard to believe that this will be the Eighth Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference. This year's Committee has worked very hard to come up with a program that will address the needs of solo and small firm practitioners throughout the state. The Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2006, at the BWI Marriott.

Because last year's Pre-Conference Program on Friday was such a big hit, we will do it again this year, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on Friday, November 10. The two tracks this year will be "How to Start a Solo Practice" and "Disasters Happen: How to Plan for the Worst".

The topics for the "How to Start a Solo Practice" Pre-Conference include "Business Aspects of Starting a Solo Practice", "How to Avoid Grievance and Malpractice" and "Practical Tips to Start Out Right". On Saturday, those who are new solos can attend sessions on technology and marketing to help them with their practice.

The second track on Friday is "Disasters Happen: How to Prepare for the Worst". This session will address issues on what type of disasters can happen and how to prepare for them. In addition, there will be discussions on what to do if any type of disaster affects your practice. This is a critical issue for solo and small firm practitioners. Disasters can include anything from a fire in your building or a major natural disaster to a flu epidemic or a disgruntled employee. Everyone is vulnerable. We have speakers who will address security issues as well as lawyers who lost everything in the tornado that struck Southern Maryland in 2002.

Each session on Friday can accommodate only 50 attendees, so register early. The programs are designed to present topics that will prepare attendees for Saturday's Solo Conference, which will feature five tracks: "Technology You Can Use", "The Return of Tips, Tips and More Tips", "Efficient Practices", "MICPEL" and "Sanity for Solos".

New this year – we will be podcasting all sessions. Now you will be able to download the audio of all sessions to either your MP3 player (iPod) or your computer and hear all of the sessions that you could not attend. [This is for paid attendees only; you must be a paid attendee to be able to access the podcast.] We will have staff available to show you how to download the files to your computer. The podcast will be available for downloading for two weeks following the Conference.

The cost for either of the Friday programs is $60. There are only 50 seats available for each of the Friday sessions, so register early. This price includes continental breakfast and materials.

The cost to attend the Saturday program is $105, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, CD-ROM of all materials and the podcast which now allows you to hear all the sessions at the Solo Conference instead of just the ones you will be attending. This is a $10 increase (the first in four years) over last year's program, but this small increase will allow you hear all of the sessions instead of just five. Sounds like a good deal to me.

The cost to attend both Friday and Saturday is $145, a discount of $20 off the registration cost for both days. You must register for both sessions at the same time to receive the discount. To make it even easier for more than one person from the same firm to attend, the cost for the second person to attend the Saturday program is $90.

Again, this year's registration fee will include all materials on CD-ROM. In addition, registered attendees will be able to view and print any or all materials two weeks prior to the program.

Registration is currently available online at www.msba.org, and the full brochure will be mailed after Labor Day. Detailed program descriptions are available online now. In addition, anyone who registers before October 15 is eligible for a drawing on a Flash Drive.

And remember - solo does not mean alone. This is best place for information for solo and small firm practitioners.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: August 2006

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