It is hard to believe that this will be the 9th 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. It will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at the BWI Marriott.
Again this year, there will be a two-track pre-conference program on Friday, November 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The two tracks this year will be “How to Start a Solo Practice” and “The Myths of the Paperless Office: From Fiction to Everyday Reality”.
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, “The Myths of the Paperless Office: From Fiction to Everyday Reality,” is a result of some comments from the session at last year’s Solo Conference which indicated that more time was needed on this topic. You asked for it, and we are listening.
This session will be presented by one of the best speakers on law office management technology for solos and small firms in the country, Ross Kodner. He was presenting this particular topic long before most solos ever really considered being paperless, or “paperLESS,” as Kodner refers to it. He speaks directly to solos and small firms with practical and understandable information.
If you are currently “paperless,” thinking about moving in that direction or just want to see the benefits, then this is not to be missed. In addition, we will have Baltimore County’s paperless crusader, Adam Spence, on the program presenting information on Adobe Acrobat and how it fits into the equation.
Each session on Friday can accommodate only 50 attendees. The programs are designed to present topics that will prepare attendees for the Saturday, November 3, Solo Conference, which will feature four other educational tracks: Technology for the Rest of Us; MICPEL Legal Topics; Practicing Trouble-Free; and Efficient Practices.
Again this year, we will be podcasting all sessions. 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.
If you want to hear three of the 26 sessions from the 2006 Solo Conference to get an idea of what you can expect, go to www.msbasoloconference.org. The sessions you can hear are: Electronic Secrets & Evidence: Sherlock Holmes Goes Digital; 60 Tips on How to Make and Keep More Money; and Getting the Most from the Least: Expanding Your Practice with Referrals.
The cost for either of the Friday programs is $65. There are only 50 seats available for each of the Friday sessions, so register early. This price includes continental breakfast and materials which will be worth the price of admission.
The cost to attend the Saturday program is the same as last year’s Conference ($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.
The cost to attend both Friday and Saturday is $145, a savings of $30 off the registration cost for both days separately. However, 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, the 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. This is the best deal you will find anywhere.
Registration is currently available online at www.msbasolo conference.org, or by using the flyer in this issue of the Bar Bulletin. 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.
Remember, solo does not mean alone. This is best place for information for solo and small firm practitioners.