Conference focuses on solo, small firm issues

Participants can network with other attorneys and earn up to 17 hours of CLE credit by choosing from almost 40 sessions at the Indiana State Bar Association’s ninth Solo and Small Firm Conference in Merrillville.

Sessions will be taught by Indiana and national experts in various legal areas, including family law mediation, elder law issues, legal malpractice, and the surrogate attorney rule.

Featured speakers include Donald M. Fehr, who served as the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association for 26 years, and currently serves as a consultant to the National Hockey League Players Association; ISBA President Roderick Morgan; and American Bar Association author Jay Foonberg of Beverly Hills, Calif.

While most of the CLE sessions take place June 4 and 5, June 3 will be a full day of “boot camp” and “tech camp” that will take place at the same time. Something new this year is participants can choose sessions from both camps, said Rochester attorney Ted Waggoner, who is handling marketing for this year’s conference.

“Boot camp: Building business in the post-crash economy,” will include a session on how to ethically collect fees from clients. Dustin Cole of Longwood, Fla., who is running the boot camp sessions, will share advice from his more than 35 years of experience in business management, business development, and team development.

Tech camp will include veteran practice management advisor Reid Trautz of Washington, D.C., and Lincoln Mead, director of information technology at the Utah State Bar Association. Their sessions will include stress management techniques and ethical issues for attorneys who use social media.

Like past conferences, the event is meant as a way for solo and small firm attorneys to network in a friendly environment, including receptions, lunches, and dinners that are included in the registration fee. There are also planned activities for lawyers’ guests.

Waggoner added that unlike past years, he has seen a number of registered law students who will be attending the event. As of Wednesday, seven students from Valparaiso University School of Law and eight from Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington had registered, with at least one more student from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.

Conference organizer Donna Bays, who practices in Indianapolis, said she was pleased with these numbers and that this was the first year she knew of where law schools encouraged students to attend.

Early bird registration has passed, but the ISBA room rate for the event, $109/night, has been extended to Friday, subject to availability. To reserve a room at the Radisson, 800 E. 81st Ave., call (219) 769-6311, Ext. 1, to request the special ISBA room rate.

Early registration for the event is not required and day-of registrations will be accepted if spaces are still available. See the event’s website for more information on pricing and schedule of events.

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