New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

For Immediate Release:  May 17, 2011

Contact:  Kate Coscarelli

Director, Media Relations

732-937-7548

State Bar Association to hold second Solo and Small-Firm Conference Seminars Wednesday focus on ethics, marketing, and technology

ATLANTIC CITY -- Increasingly, attorneys – either driven by their own entrepreneurial bent or a slumping economy – are hanging out their own shingle.

Wednesday, the New Jersey State Bar Association will host the Solo and Small-Firm Conference in Atlantic City. At the daylong event, attendees will have a chance to learn more about business planning strategies, social networking, how to bring in clients, ethics and ways to recession-proof their practice. The day begins with a boot camp, offering a rapid-fire look at ways attorneys can ethically market their practice.

The May 18 conference runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Water Club Hotel in Atlantic City. Reporters and photographers are welcome.

It is especially important to reach out to solo and small-firm lawyers during these difficult economic times, said State Bar Secretary Miles S. Winder III, a Bernardsville solo attorney and conference organizer. “There are too many young lawyers who went to law school expecting they would join a well-respected profession and be able to pay their expenses, only to find themselves struggling, he said.

"Although it appears that the economy is coming back, lawyers are still being laid off or finding it difficult to find work,” said Winder. “This conference is designed to help them make the connection and transition between practice in a large firm and solo or small firm practice."

Added another conference organizer Craig Aronow: “The conference will benefit all solo and small firm attorneys. The goal is to give every attendee suggestions that they can take back to their law practices that day and help them:  make more money, expand their legal knowledge, improve the efficiency of their office and serve their clients better.”

The conference is part of the bar association’s larger efforts to help solo and small-firm attorneys.

How firms stack up

Nearly 60 percent of New Jersey’s 35,700 private practice attorneys work alone or in small-firms. Here is a breakdown of private firm size:

Solo: 11,265 or 34.2 percent

Two-person: 3,384 or 9.7 percent

Three to five attorneys: 5,194 or 14.5 percent

Six to 49 attorneys:  9,237 or 26.6 percent

50 or more: 5,704 or 16.4 percent

Source: Office of Attorney Ethics 2009 Annual Report