Hello and welcome to the Solo and Small Firm Section. This is my inaugural column as the incoming Chair for our section.
Before introducing myself, I want to acknowledge and thank my predecessor, Somita Basu. She is a remarkable human and was a wonderful chair for our Section. Under her leadership, we put on a large number of education opportunities through webinars and the Solo an Small Firm Summit (which was a virtual event.) She also did a remarkable job of promoting the wonderful book, Opening And Managing A Law Office, written by many committee members from our section. Somita is a wonderful role model for me as I step into the leadership position.
I have one major goal for my term: increase the engagement from all the solo and small firm lawyers licensed in CA with our Section. The question is how do we accomplish this goal? Here are some of my initial ideas:
Continue providing content for all areas of practice. This includes how knowing and understanding the law; knowing how to run a business; understanding and using technology and all the new technology, which seems to arrive daily. How do we implement best practices to manage and grow our firms; how to communicate out knowledge with each other and how we, as solo and small firm lawyers, network with each other.
I think it will be interesting to hear from a cross section of lawyers on these topics, from solo firms to (dare I say) larger firms as well. All practicing lawyers need to know and understand the law. What I find interesting is learning how larger firm lawyers practice compared to small or solo lawyers. What are the similarities and what are the differences?
I would like to learn from our out of state and out of country lawyers. What it is a like to practice or not practice from another location? Can we make a career out it? What are the options for lawyers who practice in CA?
I look forward to hearing from every person reading this so we can all learn from each other. Let’s share and let’s grow. Let’s become better communicators, better lawyers, and better people.
A little about my background. I graduated from Southwestern Law School in 1983 and took the bar exam. At that time, it was a 3 day exam: Multi State questions, a day of essays and the first time the bar included a performance section. During my first 10 years of practice, I worked for two firms. At the first firm, I was the 3rd lawyer. After a few years, I moved to a different firm, located in West Los Angeles, where I was the 7th lawyer. In 1994, I opened my own office. I remained a sole practitioner until 3 months ago, at which time I merged my practice with a 3 lawyer firm in Westwood, CA.
I picked the right profession for me. I still enjoy the practice of law, reading new cases, learning about the changes in law that occur every year, and dealing with the unique challenges my practice area (personal injury) entails. I hope to bring my joy and enthusiasm to my role as Chair so all of us can our lives more and the work we do. Let me know how our section can serve you.
Robert M. Klein
Chair, Solo and Small Firm Section