MSBA Section of
Solo & Small Firm Practice
No. of Members
Jonathan Roy Bromberg
Hon. Lenore R.
The Law Clerk
"Hanging Out a
"Solo but not alone" is
a frequently-used phrase throughout MSBA's Solo & Small Firm Practice Section.
The phrase evokes independence, yet with invariable support; it's inclusive with
individual distinction; it ensures a level playing field for moderate sole
practitioners while they strive for the next level.
In an effort to maintain
those qualities, the Section has placed the ever-evolving nature of technology
as the polestar of its 8th Annual
Conference, to be held November 11 at the BWI Marriott Conference Center. Its
goal is to bring everyone up to speed on the latest software, trends and
"It's a lot of
tech-stuff this year," remarks Section Chair Jonathan Bromberg. Various programs
will focus on a variety of topics, including the concept of a paperless law
office, how changes in technology affect the practice of law and hidden dangers
within technology. "[The programs] discuss what interests us as practitioners
and [tries] to make practices better."
The technological focal
point of the conference lies not only in the substance but also in the
presentation. For those solo and small practitioners who are able to attend the
conference, a CD-ROM of the course's materials will be distributed; and for the
absentees, the program recordings will be available via podcast on the Monday
following the conference. While it is the most evident example of burgeoning
technology in the work place, it also stands as the biggest obstacle and most
costly aspect of the conference.
Suggested by Steve
Tyler, a member of the Solo Conference Committee, the podcast is compiled after
a company digitally records all of the conference's sessions and then uploads
the audio tapes to a rented server. From there, the material can be
electronically downloaded to personal computers, mp3 players and iPods.
The accessibility of
conference materials to absentees was necessary due to the fact that tickets for
the seminar have sold out virtually every year. Bromberg sees the popularity as
both a positive and a negative.
"It's good to have that
much interest," he admits, "but bad to have to turn people away."
Despite the added
element of technology at this year's conference, attendants will still find the
common features in the sessions, including different strategies for running a
practice and ways to enhance your ethical practice.
"We have a very
well-received conference," notes Bromberg, adding that both the conference and
the Section's Solo Day Seminar are the "two most important educational programs
To bolster unity in its
activities, the Section provides a Email List on its website which, according to
Bromberg, is heavily used, boasting 60-70 new postings on any given day, with an
additional 40 people reading each post.
"It gives us plenty of
feedback," says Bromberg. The Email List aids members in the day-to-day realm and
allows them to interconnect to other solo practitioners through the Internet.
"[The Email List is] getting more and more robust each passing day."
Pat Yevics, MSBA liaison
to the Solo and Small Firm Practice Section, assists the Section in every facet
of its proceedings – from attending meetings to working on its sundry projects
"The Email List has also
helped [gather] information about legal issues," notes Yevics. "Since they are
[solo practitioners], they do not have the staff to spend a lot of time
gathering information about management or technology, so that is where we help."
Through technology, solo
and small firm practitioners are only a mouse-click away from their peers, and
most certainly never alone.
"To me, collegiality is
a big benefit [of the Section]," adds Bromberg. "[Solo practitioners] become a
part of a very large firm. This Section is that firm."