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My Shingle: ABA completely out of touch with solos and small firms

September 11, 2005

The ABA is totally out of touch with the abilities and needs of solos and small law firms, so says Carolyn Elefant at her My Shingle blog. Carolyn’s comments were prompted by an article titled ‘Solos Lead the Wireless Way‘ in the ABA Journal (September 2005). 

I find it appalling that the ABA isn’t aware that solos have been in the forefront of legal advancements including technological ones since the beginning of time.  Just a few months ago, an article discussed in this post reported that solos were way out in front in capitalizing on the blogging trend.  And I’ve discussed in my opening post how solo and small firm lawyers have been first movers in use of email and websites.   In fact, I can’t think of a single trend, be it advertising, marketing, web communications or paperless offices where a large firm has been ahead of solos.

 I’ll agree with Carolyn on this one, that being that the ABA is out of touch with the needs of most lawyers (75% of lawyers are solos or in small firms). I’ve found the ABA to be lead by a group of politically correct lawyers and arguably doing what it can to perpetuate a system where lawyers can bill hourly rates far beyond the means of average people. I also find small firms to be some real innovators when it comes to technology.

Solo’s and small firms need to use technology effectively to remain competitive, their very survival and the needs of their families depend on it. I started my own firm 9 years ago and learned Internet marketing by the seat of my pants. Everyone in the firm got very good at it because our survival depended on it.

At the end of my one year non-compete with LexisNexis, I became fascinated with the legal blogs being published by lawyers, mostly solos or in small firms. I saw blogs as an effective way for lawyers to share their intellectual capital so as to market themselves. The result was the birth of Lexblog, now helping large and small firms across the country market themselves effectively on the Internet.

Talented marketing and IT professionals at large firms are understandably handicapped by the red tape of getting things done. The ability of solos and small firms to make a decision and move now gives them a real head start when it comes to innovative technology.

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