The Center for Professional Development at the Arizona Summit Law School (formerly Phoenix School of Law), in partnership with the Greater Phoenix-Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, created a program designed to equip law students with the knowledge needed to understand the business aspects of starting a solo practice. The Solo Practice Seminar Series, launched in the Spring of 2013, was hosted by the Arizona Summit Law School and featured presentations from a variety of subject matter experts. The program experienced great success and is being recognized as a significant and innovative program for the local legal community. View the schedule and presentation details for the Solo Practice Seminar Series.
"Creating a one-day event from scratch can be a challenge. So, the logistics behind an entire series targeted toward future lawyers in a law school setting appeared daunting when I first heard about it while ALA Region 6 Director. It was quickly apparent that the leaders from the ALA Valley of the Sun Chapter responsible for launching the Solo Practice Workshop Series had everything under control. I flew from Northern California to witness one of the sessions myself. The room was full of eager law students thirsty for practical knowledge on how to set up and manage their future law firms. The social media and technical component behind the presentations added to the credibility and freshness of the sessions. Having ALA’s brand associated with this series will undoubtedly elevate ALA’s image as an expert in the business of law in the minds of these law students throughout their careers." ~Steven M. Morris, CLM, SPHR, Past Director of ALA Region 6
"With the changing legal landscape and the greater demands for experience from legal employers, the Solo Practice Seminar Series is designed to increase the practical knowledge students need to be better educated and higher performing 1st year lawyers. The Series brings subject matter experts on campus to discuss topics such as marketing, technology, firm administration, and law firm economics. The Series brings the legal community together to offer support to those entering the field, and the materials are presented in an innovative way that makes the information relevant and easy to understand. The Series has been well received, and many students commented that they hope that this program will continue to grow. Because of its success, the Solo Series has transformed into a much larger program re-titled as the Business of Law. I commend the ALA Greater Phoenix Chapter and Arizona Summit Law School for joining forces to provide students with a program of such significance." ~Joe Perez, Assistant Dean of Professional Development, Arizona Summit Law School
"I have been involved in the legal community for over 35 years. I had the opportunity to participate as a subject matter expert in the workshop series developed by Laurie Hodgson, Gina Sanfillippo and DeDe Drenning. The workshop series demonstrated out-of-the-box thinking in providing real life, step-by-step information to the participants. It was an extremely creative and innovative way to engage the legal community with the college. The series provided valuable information by incorporating the speakers' years of experience and sharing their costly mistakes, how to avoid pitfalls and things they have figured out or learned on their own over the years. I commend the school, Laurie, Gina and DeDe, as well as any others who were involved in the idea and making it happen. I would encourage future workshops of this magnitude." ~Sue Morton, President, The Morton Group
This website resource contains a comprehensive support guide that complements the Solo Practice Seminar Series. The guide, titled Starting Your Own Solo Practice: Support Guide for ASLS Alumni, is designed to assist those considering opening their own practice upon graduation. The guide will be revised on an ongoing basis in order to provide up-to-date and relevant information at all times. Click on the tabs above for expanded information on each of the following topics:
|Office Space:||Options and things to consider|
|Technology:||Setting up an office on a shoestring budget|
|Marketing:||Innovative and efficient ways to find clients quickly|
|Staffing:||When to hire and who to hire|
|Law Firm Economics:||How to determine what you are worth|
|Materials from Seminars:||Video links to the individual education sessions and links to all session handouts|
|ASLS Alumni Support Directory:||Listing of alumni who have opened their own firms and are willing to serve as mentors and provide advice.|
|Association of Legal Administrators:||ALA offers support to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments and government legal agencies.|
|National Resources:||Solo support resources listed by state. Contains information about national organizations that support solo practitioners and businesses.|
With a commitment to results and a desire to achieve the greatest impact, the program was re-designed to serve a wider audience and encourage participation from the greater legal community. In the Spring of 2014, the program will re-emerge as Business of Law, a one-day event providing students, alumni, and new associates with the knowledge they need to understand the business of a law firm, and providing them with tools for success. In light of the changing legal environment and the new demands of legal employers, this is a creative way to present a very relevant and important topic. View specific details about the Business of Law program scheduled for March 28, 2014.