Solo and Small Firm Section

Solo FacebookSolo TwitterLinkedIn

News from the Section

Message from the Chair

Terry Szucsko By Terry A. Szucsko

As Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section, I feel it's my duty to let you know what your membership in the section means. Your membership provides you the resources to grow your law firm and to accomplish your goals by providing what you want most: networking, education, and practice and skills development.

We meet that need through our many membership benefits, including (1) complementary subscriptions to Big News for Solo & Small Firms, along with the monthly e-newsletter; (2) numerous in-person MCLE programs and webinars throughout the state as well as in-person events for members to network and develop business; (3) the opportunity to write an article for either the e-newsletter and/or the Big News; (4) the opportunity to speak or create a program to speak to our members; and (5) 6 hours of free MCLE credits and discounts with CEB.

We invite all our members to take advantage of these benefits and everything else the section as to offer.

Webinar: Bias in the Legal Profession

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit in the area of Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society. You must register in advance to participate.

Learn how to avoid bias for yourself, your firm and your clients This CLE will help you and your firm learn to make employment decisions in an unbiased manner. This CLE course will teach how bias can translate into legal causes of action and show how these lawsuits have affected law firms. Learn what to avoid, what actions to take, and how to make sure that our profession creates a fair and just playing field for all.

Speaker: Beth K. Whittenbury

Webinar Replay Series: The Life of a Law Office, from the Inception to the End

Webinar Replay: Opening and Managing a Law Office

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 12 noon - 1:05 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

The decision to go out on your own: participate in a round table discussion with two solo/small firm practitioners.  Find answers to your questions about how to simply get started, what kind of business form to take, capitalization needed, insurance considerations, client’s billing and recruiting, networking, and more.

Speakers: Anne Adams and Patricia McCabe

Webinar Replay: Starting Up a Law Practice – Incorporation vs. Sole Proprietorship

Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

One of the first issues lawyers have to decide when starting up a solo practice is under what legal entity they want to practice – sole proprietorship or corporation.  Find out how this decision can affect your personal liability, taxes, and even retirement.

Speaker: Shirish Gupta

Webinar Replay: Successful Tools for Opening and Managing a Solo and Small Firm

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 12 noon - 2 p.m.

This program offers 2 hours participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

Learn from two experienced practitioners successful strategies for opening and managing a solo and small firm practice. Topics will include financial management, professional growth, staff development, networking, work-life balance, and other key critical issues which are vital for solid solo and small firm management.

Speakers: Anne Adams and Patricia McCabe

Webinar Replay: Survival Guide for the First Five Years as a Solo/Small Firms Practitioner

Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 12 noon - 1:05 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

The first five years of soloing are the hardest, most anxious, most fatiguing and potentially most joyful years of practice.  Learn solid tips for not only surviving but actually enjoying these years by identifying and controlling the landmines as well as the areas of untapped growth through careful planning.

Speaker: Eleanor Southers

Webinar Replay: Closing a Solo or Small Firm Practice

Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics. You must register in advance to participate.

Steps a lawyer needs to take to close a law practice and the ethical issues that arise when closing down a legal practice will be discussed. You will receive practical advice about how to prepare for and execute this end of practice event.

The program is aimed at both people retiring from the practice of law or joining another law firm or going in-house.

Program Highlights:

  • Rules of Professional Conduct and B&P Codes
  • Timeline
  • Informing clients, courts and the State Bar
  • Protecting confidential information
  • Employees
  • Client trust accounts and other bank accounts
  • Assessing the status of cases and what to do afterwards
  • What to do with the physical items such as files, furniture, etc.
  • Insurance
  • Accounts receivable/payable, mail
  • Rent, mortgage
  • Digital assets such as e-mail accounts, website, social media accounts
  • And more…

Speaker: Shirish Gupta

The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting
September 29 - October 2, 2016
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

San Diego, California

Early Bird Pre-Regsitration and Hotel Registration Deadline: August 30, 2016 
Pre-Registration Deadline: September 8, 2016

The State Bar of California returns to beautiful San Diego for the 2016 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a multi-day showcase of continuing legal education courses, celebrity speakers, and noted legal scholars. Each day gives you several choices of courses and special events.

The Annual Meeting registration fee is structured to make it affordable to attend. You can select either a Full Meeting Pass or a 2-Day Pass. Special fees are available for Young Lawyers and New Admittees.

Register by August 30, 2016 to take advantage of preferred pricing. Your registration includes:

  • 111 MCLE courses 
  • Up to 19 Hours of MCLE and Legal Specialization credit 
  • Dynamic Opening Day and Closing Day General Sessions 
  • Free Networking Lunch, Morning Coffee Breaks and Evening Happy Hours in the Exhibit Hall 
  • Social events hosted by the State Bar and its various Sections, local bar associations and law school alumni groups

The Section will be presenting:

Program 59

Effectively Running Your New Law Practice

Program 71

Litigating Disability Discrimination Cases from a Plaintiff and Defense Perspective

Program 90

The Basics of Post-Judgment Modification in Permanent Spousal Support

Program 100

What? Living Together in the Same Home is Not Living Separately and Apart?

You can REGISTER ONLINE until September 8. For full information, see The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting.

In the Know: Updates in the Law

McIntyre's Civil Alert
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq. | Relentless Optimist®
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
Publisher: McIntyre's Civil Alert READ MORE

California Supreme Court

Arbitration (Class Action Arbitration)

Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. (2016) _ Cal.4th _ , 2016 WL 4045008: The California Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeal. READ MORE

California Courts of Appeal

Alternative Dispute Resolution

JAMS, Inc. v. Superior Court (Kinsella) (2016) _ Cal.App.4th _ , 2016 WL 4014068: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order denying an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. READ MORE

Tip on Law Office Security

Protect yourself and your client’s information! Per Sharon Nelson and John Simek in Top Security Tips for Your Law Practice via the American Bar Association Law Practice Division: “Solos and small firms may want to consider a single integrated product to deal with spam, viruses and malware.” Norton’s, Kaspersky, and McAfee are just some options for you and your office.

4. Section Publications

Dear Members:

Hopefully, over the past few years, you have read Big News for Solo and Small Firms, the print publication of the Section. If so, you may know that I have been the Editor-in-Chief for the past three years, and am handing off that job to Jeremy Evans, one of the Editors of the Section's eNewsletter. I am quite proud of what our Editorial Board has done during these past few years. From an aesthetic perspective, Big News looks much more professional, thanks to our new layout design company, Sublime Designs. More importantly, through the hard work of our Editorial Board, we have been able to publish more "meaty" articles -- articles that hopefully educate and live up to high academic standards, while providing practical advice too. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have added a substantial benefit for the Section members: Self-study MCLE articles. Our goal is to have at least one MCLE article per Issue of Big News, and whenever possible, two. This allows you to stay on top of your MCLE requirements for a very reasonable fee ($15 per hour) -- and generates revenues for the Section, which allows us to perform other important tasks. READ MORE

A. Big News for Solo and Small Firms

Our Section Magazine, Big News for Solo and Small Firms, is back as a quarterly publication. If you are a Section member, you should have been receiving our new and improved magazine. We are currently accepting articles. Please contact our new Editor-in-Chief Jeremy M. Evans at:

B. Practice Books Available for Purchase

The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office

The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law OfficePublished by The State Bar of California

As a sole practitioner or the head of a small firm, you must act as so much more than just CEO; you also must also wear the hats of Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director, Chief Technology Officer, and more. READ MORE

The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office

The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law OfficePublished by The State Bar of California

Growing a law practice can be a lawyer’s most rewarding and challenging professional experience. The goal of this book, is to make it less challenging and more rewarding. READ MORE

Ongoing Opportunities for Self-Study and Participatory MCLE Credit

CLE CalendarCalendar of Upcoming Events

A good source for webinars is the CLE Calendar in the California Bar Journal, showing all of the upcoming webinars from all of the Sections, as well as in-person programs.

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Online CLE for Participatory Credit

Online CLEView Solo and Small Firm Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. To See Solo and Small Firm Section programs.

Self-Study CLE

Self-Study ArticlesOnline articles from Section publications are available for self-study MCLE credit. Each article is worth 1 hour of self-study credit. It's easy ... read an article and then take a 20 question quiz. The answers and justifications are available immediately upon submitting the quiz. You can earn up to 12.5 hours of self-study credit per reporting period. See Solo and Small Firm Section self-study articles.

Section Member Benefits from CEB!

As dues-paying members of the Solo & Small Firm Section, you are entitled to some special benefits from CEB. They include: READ MORE

Contact Us

Solo and Small Firm Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368

CLE Calendar
Join a Section
Sections Bookstore
My State Bar Profile
Online CLE
Self Study MCLE Online
Sections Home Page
My State Bar Profile

Member Number


My State Bar Profile

Member Number