January 27, 12 – 1 PM Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar, free CLE for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by Rob Howard, President/Principal of RC Howard and Associates, LLC; a certified Sandler Training Center. Course 4204. Approved for 1.0 General CLE credit. REGISTER
“Professional Approach to Managing the Client Experience” will demonstrate advanced communication techniques incorporating a repeatable systemic approach and supporting processes for managing the overall client experience that can impact client satisfaction, sustained positive financial performance and growth for the firm or practice. Topics will include how being intentional with client care and voice of the client can shape an approach and methodology to manage your client’s perception and experience while addressing issues in “real-time,” how to avoid a “transactional” impression and ways to establish professional rapport and trust, the foundation for referrals. Course number and 1.0 General CLE credit pending. *Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed.
Robert C. Howard is founder and president of RC Howard and Associates, LLC; a certified Sandler Training Center. Robert has 39 years of domestic and international experience in leadership and other roles across business development, client care, development, and management. Sandler Training is a global learning & development (L&D) company and provider of specific training and L&D platforms for leadership, management, client development, and client management to professional services. Nationally recognized L&D provider to law firms in the U.S.
Friday, February 12 live GoToWebinar. “Virtually Irresistible: Tech Tools and Strategies for Solo and Small Firms.” 8 A.M. – 12:55 P.M. $185 Section Members, $230 Non-Section Members, 5.0 General; 3.0 Technology CLE credits. Course number 4253. Registrants will have 90-day, on-demand access. REGISTER NOW
Don’t miss the all-new Solo & Small Firm Conference, featuring prestigious speakers and timely, engaging topics to benefit YOUR practice.
8–8:10 AM Welcome and introductions.
8:10–9 AM Let’s Talk. Improving Team Building and Communication Skills in A Virtual World. One of the challenges of the virtual world is learning how to work effectively as a team. In addition, working remotely adds new wrinkles to how we communicate – not only with the team but with clients. This session will provide strategies that will help you more fully engage your team and tips to improve your communication with both your team and with clients. Presented by Nora Bergman of Real Life Practice.
9–9:55 AM Systems Thinking and Technology for Running The Lean Law Firm. While nearly every industry has jumped with both feet into the future, law firms have mostly failed to capitalize on the “science of industrial management.” No more. Learn how to transform your law firm using Lean methods and technologies pioneered by Toyota and relied upon by the world’s most profitable and highest performing companies from Dave Maxfield, lawyer and co-author of the ABA’s bestselling book, “The Lean Law Firm.”
9:55–10:10 AM Break
10:10–11:05 AM Virtual Law Clerks and Contract Lawyers: Hiring, Training and Firing; Outsourcing. How do you find contract lawyers, integrate them into your practice, and provide sufficient oversight? What are the employment law considerations when hiring, training and firing law clerks and contract attorneys, particularly when working virtually? How do you determine the appropriate rates? Presented by Kristin Tyler of LawClerk.
11:05 AM–12 PM Law Firm Autopilot. Effectively leveraging technology and automating aspects of your practice will free you up to focus on meaningful work. Presented by “Ernie the Attorney” Ernie Svenson.
12–12:55 PM How to Sustain and Grow a Solo and Small Firm Practice With the Use of Technology. A panel discussion with practitioners who have established successful solo and small firms will discuss their practice models and use of technology. Moderator: Cristina Alonso of Alonso Appeals. Panelists: April Martindale of Martindale Law, Camara Williams of Smith & Williams Trial Group, and Liz McCausland of Liz McCausland, P.A.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021, live GoTo Webinar. Presented by Nicole (Niki) Black, Attorney with MyCase, Rochester, NY. Moderator Larry Stein. Course number 4277. Approved for 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology CLE credits. Section members register for only $50. REGISTER
Artificial intelligence (AI) for law firms is a hot topic these days, and for good reason: AI has the potential to save lawyers time and money, as does using automation and technology tools. Nicole (Niki) Black, “Legal Technology Evangelist” from My Case will explain how AI technologies hold the promise of automating the mundane aspects of practicing law, allowing lawyers to focus on more interesting, high-level analytical tasks. However, AI software is still in its infancy and has a way to go before it becomes both useful and affordable for solo and small firm attorneys. The good news is that you don’t need AI software to get started with automating your solo or smaller firm law practice. There are a host of tools already in existence that will automate your law firm’s processes. In this talk, you’ll learn about technologies that will help you streamline your law firm, whether you’re looking to automate document assembly, billing and invoicing processes, or case to-dos and deadlines.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney, author, journalist, and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, legal practice management software. She is the nationally-recognized author of “Cloud Computing for Lawyers” (2012) and co-authors “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier” (2010), both published by the American Bar Association. She also co-authors “Criminal Law in New York,” a Thomson Reuters treatise. She writes regular columns for Above the Law, ABA Journal, and The Daily Record, has authored hundreds of articles for other publications, and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law and emerging technologies. She is an ABA Legal Rebel, and is listed on the Fastcase 50 and ABA LTRC Women in Legal Tech. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Feb. 24 live Zoom Webinar, 12-1 p.m. Wednesday Wisdom free CLE for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by Kevin Rabin, Senior Staff Attorney, Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. in Gainesville. REGISTER
This webinar will provide training on the basics of Florida’s residential landlord/tenant laws, including the different types of residential rental housing, the steps of the eviction process, and some of the common issues that occur in residential housing disputes and eviction cases. The webinar also focuses on how steps taken by state and federal entities have affected the Florida eviction process, including recent developments with the CDC eviction moratorium and its recent extension. This presentation is intended to be welcoming to practitioners unfamiliar with the essentials of residential landlord/tenant law but also may be valuable to anyone who specializes in the area. Course number and 1.0 General CLE credit pending. *Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed.
Kevin Rabin is a staff attorney with Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. in Gainesville, FL. Mr. Rabin has worked for both Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., serving the communities of North Florida for 7 years. He has focused exclusively on rental housing (both private and subsidized), fair housing, and consumer law since 2016. He has litigated hundreds of eviction, debt collection, foreclosure, and consumer protection suits to completion, and is currently serving as the co-chair of the Florida Housing Umbrella Group. He has participated in multiple amicus curiae briefs filed in federal and state appellate courts related to housing programs and fair housing rights, including Fox v. Gaines before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has presented to landlords, tenants, public housing authorities, non-profits, and public officials regarding a wide variety of housing-related topics, including preservation of existing low-income rental housing and tenants’ rights. He graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law cum laude in 2013.
“Increase Your Law Firm Productivity and Efficiency Using Apps” will highlight various applications that attorneys can use in their professional lives to make their practices more efficient and productive. 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology CLE credit pending.
Renee E. Thompson is a solo civil trial attorney and mediator from Ocala, Florida. She is an active leader in The Florida Bar, serving on the Board of Governors as the current Technology Chair and Member Benefit Liaison and on the Executive Council of the Solo and Small Firm Section. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in the area of Practice Management and Technology, and has received the General Practice/ Solo and Small Firm Section’s Walter S. Crumbley Award for her contributions in the area of Practice Management. She established a reputation at a young age as a high achiever, as President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and inaugural Chair of The Florida Bar Leadership Academy, and received the President’s Award of Merit twice while serving on the Board of Governors.
Liz McCausland has been practicing law for over 20 years after graduating from the University of Florida with both her Bachelor of Arts and JD degrees. She practiced civil litigation representing both individuals and national corporations before starting her own firm. Ms. McCausland now concentrates in bankruptcy and mediation. She is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. She served on committees to establish both the Orlando Bankruptcy Division’s Mortgage Modification Mediation Program, as well as the Orange County Mortgage Modification Program.
She has conducted over 4,000 Mortgage Modification Mediations in every district in Florida, as well as in Indiana, California, Nevada, and Arizona. She travels throughout the US to teach other attorneys and mediators how to successfully obtain and mediate mortgage modifications in bankruptcy.
Liz has served in leadership positions in many voluntary bar associations and has won awards for her devoted service including being recognized with the Lawrence G. Matthews Professionalism Award. She is a past president of the Orange County Bar Association, and serves on the executive board of the Florida Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Section. She has also previously served on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Section, The Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy Committee and on the executive board of the Central Florida Association For Women Lawyers.
Liz is a self-proclaimed gadget geek and has never met an app she didn’t try. Unfortunately, the nuances of Microsoft Excel still confound her.
March 24, 12 – 1 PM Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar. Free CLE for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by Teresa Byrd Morgan, Morgan Law Center of Lake City; Sean Desmond, Desmond Law, PLLC of Tallahassee; and John Maceluch, Jr., Maceluch Law Firm of Panama City. REGISTER
This trio of thriving solo and small firm attorneys will share tips that have helped them to succeed in their practices. Topics will cover Team Building & Management, Time and Money Management, Client Development, Competency and Considerations for Breaking into New Practice Areas. 1.0 General CLE Credit Pending.
*Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed.
Teresa Byrd Morgan is a Florida Bar board-certified elder law attorney. After graduating with honors from the University of Florida School of Law, she served for six years as the senior judicial clerk to First District Court of Appeal Chief Judge E. Earle Zehmer.
In 1993, Teresa and her husband decided to build their dream home on the banks of the Suwannee River in rural North Central Florida. She served as a general practitioner in a small law firm for four years, and in 1997 opened her own firm, limiting her practice to the areas of estate planning, probate and trust settlement, business law, and appellate law. When her parents began declining both physically and cognitively and she found herself immersed in the world of caregiving for aged parents, she broadened her practice to include elder law. She is deeply gratified to be able to help families effectively deal with the physical, emotional, and financial aspects of caring for their elderly loved ones.
Teresa is married to Dan Morgan, and they have one child, Jason Morgan, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Defense, and two granddaughters, Caroline and Amelia. Teresa also enjoys being “Resa” to Dan’s additional grandchildren, Cooper, Morgan, Ashley, Latham, Reagan, and Kennedy. Teresa and Dan’s family would not be complete without their pets, which include Daphne, a Maine Coon cat, and Izzie, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Sean T. Desmond focuses exclusively in the area of Elder Law and Estate Planning, with a focus on Medicaid Crisis Planning and Long Term Care Planning.
Sean has been practicing law since September 2000. Since becoming an attorney, Sean has served as both a prosecutor and defense attorney as well as representing countless clients going through family law matters and personal injury cases. Sean is a 1996 graduate of Boston College and attended Law School at Florida State University, College of Law, graduating in May 2000.
Mr. Desmond has always remained extremely active in the community throughout his legal career. Mr. Desmond served as President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division 2011-2012 and also served as Chair of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism (both State-wide positions). In addition, Mr. Desmond has a voting seat on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Mr. Desmond also served as the President of the Tallahassee Bar Association and as President of the William Stafford Inns of Court in Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Desmond is married with two children and attends Bradfordville First Baptist Church where he teaches a Sunday School class, plays guitar in the Worship band and serves as a Deacon.
April 20, 12 – 1 PM Live GoToWebinar presented by Melanie Griffin, Of Counsel attorney at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, Tampa, and Senior Advisor, Business-to-Business Relationships of Shumaker Advisors Florida. Time Management Strategies & Life Hacks for the Productive, Professional Lawyer. Moderator: Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin. Live InReach webinar. Course number 4278. 1.0 General; 1.0 Professionalism CLE credit pending. Registration coming soon.
Time. It is something we all want more of. Yet, no matter how hard we wish, there are only 24 hours in each day. During this virtual webinar, Melanie S. Griffin will help you stretch these 24 hours as far as possible. Together, we will develop a personal strategy that incorporates time management skills and other productive habits to become more effective, efficient, professional and happy lawyers who best serve ourselves, our clients and employers/employees, and the legal profession and justice system as a whole.
Melanie S. Griffin, Esq. is a triple-graduate of The Florida State University (Business Finance, 2003; MBA, 2006; JD, 2006). Her entrepreneurial skills were honed for thirteen years at a prominent Florida corporate law firm where she served as a law clerk and then attorney from 2006-19, the last five years of which she was an Equity Shareholder and the Tampa Office Managing Partner. In 2019, Melanie joined Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, an Am Law 200 firm that is the largest law firm in Tampa Bay, Of Counsel and Shumaker Advisors as Senior Advisor, Business-to-Business Relationships.
During her legal career, Melanie has served as the 2011-12 President of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and 2013-14 President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. In 2021-22, she will serve as President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers.
Melanie has been recognized as Florida’s Most Productive Young Lawyer (2009), FAWL Leader in the Law (2010), OBJ 40 Under 40 (2011), Super Lawyers Rising Star (Business Litigation 2010-20), Florida Trend Legal Elite (Up & Comer 2010-14, Commercial Litigation 2014-18), TBBJ BusinessWoman of the Year Legal Services Finalist (2016), FSU Notable Nole (2016), Tampa Bay Metro Inspiring Woman in Business (2016-17), FSU College of Business Recent Alumni Achievement Award (2017), and Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation 2017-20). In 2019, Melanie assisted with the launch of Nora Riva Bergman’s book 50 Lessons for Women Lawyers from Women Lawyers at the New York City Bar Association. Her Lesson, Dream Beyond Perfection!, is published as Lesson #20.
Beyond her legal career, in 2017, Melanie created Spread Your Sunshine, her then passion project committed to empowering others with the confidence to break the glass ceiling and achieve their dreams. After two years of experiencing the excitement over and need for the #ShineItForward™ movement, Melanie is dedicated to intentionally focusing on the inspiration of joy in and encouragement of others.
Melanie’s success shining others through the glass ceiling to their most audacious dreams was celebrated through her receipt of the TBBJ BusinessWoman of the Year Angie Joseph Excellence in Mentorship Award (2016), GSWCF Woman of Promise Award (2017), FSU Inspire Award (2017), Florida Bar YLD Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award (2018), KNOW Tampa Feature (2018), The Best of KNOW Feature (2019), Florida Bar SSFS Mentor of the Year Award (2019), Florida State University College of Law Alumni Association Service Award (2020), and KNOW Tampa Contributor Feature (2020).
Melanie is happiest when she is building up all those around her, including her husband Mike, son Maverick, and Golden Lab Molly.
April 28, 12 – 1 PM Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar (free for Solo & Small Firm Section members)* presented by Rebecca Bandy, Director, The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism at The Florida Bar. This interactive experience will explore mental health, wellness, and substance abuse issues facing legal professionals, particularly focused on solo and small firms; it will look at ways to minimize distractions and improve self-care; it will define emotional intelligence and its benefits; and it will give examples of mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices that can be used personally and professionally to improve quality of life.” 1.0 General; 1.0 Professionalism; 1.0 Mental Illness CLE credit and course number pending. REGISTER
Rebecca J. Bandy serves as the Director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism. She joined the Center as Assistant Director in March 2017.
Prior to joining The Florida Bar, Ms. Bandy was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Powell, PA in Tallahassee, where she litigated in the areas of family and criminal law. She most recently taught college-level courses at Lawton Chiles High School, where she helped establish the school’s award-winning mock trial team along with The Honorable Mark Walker, The Honorable David Frank, and attorney David Grimes.
Ms. Bandy previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations at the Florida State University College of Business and as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Development at the Florida State University College of Law.
She earned her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. A native of the tiny town of Hilliard in Nassau County, Florida, she earned her Bachelor’s in Communications with Honors from Jacksonville University and her teaching credentials at Georgia Southern University.
Since becoming director, Ms. Bandy has attended the National Legal Mentoring Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina; the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute at Georgetown University; the National Mindfulness Summit in Washington, DC; and has received a Mental Health First Aid certificate. She currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. She regularly speaks to legal professionals, law school students, and Florida Bar staff on general professionalism, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence, the impacts of loneliness, mentoring, networking, gratitude, resilience, interpersonal communications skills, active listening, implicit bias, and team building.
Ms. Bandy is active in her church, is a community volunteer at an area elementary school, and she has supported causes including the March of Dimes, Epilepsy Association of the Big Bend, the Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC), The Kearney Center, and Honor Flight Tallahassee.
May 11, 12 – 1 PM Live GotoWebinar presented by Frank Ramos, Managing Partner, Clarke Silverglate, P.A. of Miami. In “Virtual Business Development – Developing Relationships, On and Offline,” Frank will discuss how attorneys can maximize online platforms for business development and use relationships created online into in person professional relationships. Moderator: Scott Meryl. 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology CLE credit and course number pending.
Frank is the Managing Partner of Clarke Silverglate, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, drug and medical device, products liability and catastrophic personal injury. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for his defense work in product liability matters. Frank has been with Clarke Silverglate for virtually his entire career. He has tried to verdict personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and inverse condemnation cases. As a certified mediator, Frank has resolved numerous matters through alternative dispute resolution.
Frank is an ambassador for the Firm’s mission of leadership and service. He has been President of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and the 11th Judicial Historical Society and has served on the boards of the Defense Research Institute, Florida International University’s Alumni Association, Florida International University’s Honors College, Parent to Parent of Miami, Miami-Dade Defense Bar Association, Legal Services of Greater Miami, and Florida Christian School. He serves as a mentor to countless young lawyers and law students through his publications, social media posts, presentations, webinars, and his “coffee chats.” Frank has written 15 books for lawyers, edited five books for lawyers, and has written over 400 articles for lawyers and business professionals.
Franks’s dedication to young lawyers is exemplified through his development of a Deposition Boot Camp and Art of Marketing Program for the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, an invitation-only defense organization that handpicked Frank for membership just eight years into his practice. Frank’s daily practice pointers and business tips on LinkedIn has almost 35,000 followers.
In his spare time, Frank enjoys writing, reading science fiction, and listening to his two sons, David and Michael, perform classical and jazz music.
May 19, 12 – 1 PM, free Wednesday Wisdom Zoom webinar for Solo & Small Firm Section members.* Presented by Christine Phipps, Registered Professional Reporter, President of Phipps Reporting, Inc. of West Palm Beach. The court reporting profession, like the legal profession, has ethical issues and considerations to manage. This is especially relevant with the increase in use of technology, virtual depositions and hearings, and online notarization and swearing-in for the record. This CLE additionally will cover issues including gifting, confidentially, professionalism, methodologies and ethical challenges and how court reporters and office staff can maintain a professional and ethical setting. Course number and 1.0 General; 1.0 Technology; 1.0 Ethics CLE credit pending. *Registration will be approved when section membership is confirmed. REGISTER
Christine Phipps is a Registered Professional Reporter, President of Phipps Reporting, Inc., and current President of the National Court Reporters Association. She received her degree in court reporting from Broward State College. She started out as an official court reporter for the first two years of her career and then spent the next 15 years working all over the world as a freelance court reporter. After building relationships all over the country, Christine opened her own court reporting and litigation support agency, Phipps Reporting. In addition to reporting, Christine is also an Eclipse Trainer and has served as Chair of NCRA’s Technology and Freelance Committees and served on many other committees. Christine was awarded the 2014 Most Enterprising Woman of the Year, Gamechanger of the Year, and Small Business Woman-Owned Person of the Year. Christine’s company, Phipps Reporting, made the Inc. 5000 list every year since 2014, making her the first Honorary member of the Inc. 5000 in our industry. She currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has three children; Brandon, Jarrod and Skylar and her grandson, Forrest.
In addition to reporting, Christine is also an Eclipse Trainer and has served as Chair of NCRA’s Technology Freelance Committee, as well as other Committees within the NCRA.