Management Assistance Program

2015 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference and YLD Midyear Meeting

By Jim Calloway

This year’s OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference is not to be missed!

This year’s conference contains critical information gathered for you all in one place. Even if you may not consider your firm a “small firm,” this year’s conference is for you. Because this year we are featuring a program called “Practice Management Shootout at the OK Bar.”

In my view, utilizing practice management software (or services) is key for almost every modern law firm. So much time is saved when the client file is all on the computer network and that each client file has a “home page” displaying certain information with links to everything else, including both internally created and “received and scanned” documents.

This year we will have more practice management software/service vendors than ever before, which will give you a chance to see the very best features of their products in our unique “shootout” talk format. Then you will be able to talk with these vendors in-depth at their display booths.

Having trouble deciding on which package you want? Wondering if your current package is really the best for your firm? You will not have a greater opportunity in-state to do head-to-head comparisons and talk to actual people from the companies about these products that are critical to the future of your law practice.

We are still signing up sponsor/presenters for the shootout and the order of the presentations will be set by random drawing. Check
the conference website — www.okbar.net/solo2015 — for updates and to register.

One special guest this year is Ben Schorr. He is CEO of Roland Schorr & Tower, a technology consulting firm, and is the author of many books for lawyers including The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Outlook, The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word and OneNote in One Hour. He’s been a Microsoft MVP for more than 19 years. He will talk about being more “Hands On with Microsoft Word,” along with explaining how MS Office 365 works.

Our other special guest is Joan M. Burda, who practices law in Lakewood, Ohio. Ms. Burda is the author of the award-winning book, Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Second Edition (ABA, 2012) and the book Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide (ABA, 2008). With the 2014 arrival of same sex marriage in Oklahoma, there are many new issues to consider when representing these clients. Ms. Burda will speak on “Estate Planning for the Same Sex Couple” and join Tulsa attorney Keith Jones for a presentation covering both “Representing the LGBT Client and Same Sex Divorce.”

Lawyers who practice criminal defense have a wealth of information available this year as Oklahoma City attorney Sonja Porter will conduct a “Wet DUI Lab” on Friday and OBA President-Elect Garvin Isaacs will give a two-hour program, “The Criminal Trial,” on Saturday. Anyone who has ever heard Garvin Isaacs speak knows the attendees at this program will be in for a treat, and all conference attendees will receive his materials, which include more than 150 pages of motions
and forms.

Our Legislative Update panel was so popular last year that we are bringing it back, with Edmond lawyer Noel Tucker serving as the moderator.

Evernote is a great tool for managing your information, especially information that does not fit into one of your established systems. Tulsa attorney Kevin Gassaway has volunteered to give us an in-depth training with his presentation, “Evernote for Lawyers.”

On Saturday morning, I’m going to follow up the shootout with a program called “Paperless Workflows — Perfecting the Process.” My materials will include sample policies for how a firm actually implements the “scan everything that comes in the front door” philosophy without losing track of some important information.

This year you not only have a chance to obtain all 12 hours of MCLE credit, but they will include two hours of ethics credit. Because in addition to our traditional ethics plenary session on Saturday morning, for our Friday evening entertainment and education we are hosting the OBA Family Law Singers Ethics Musical. The previous ethics musicals have always gotten rave reviews, and we are sure this one will be outstanding as well. 


Our conference is held in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Division Midyear Meeting. We hope all of our programming is useful for young lawyers, but I want to draw special attention to our programs on “Marketing and Client Development” and “Bankruptcy 7 & 13 Basics.” We will also have attorney Brent Dishman inform us about common legal problem for our veterans in “Legal Issues Impacting our Heroes” and Donna Jackson with some strategic insight in her program, “Financial Decisions using Durable POA and Other Devices to Avoid Guardianship.” Jeffrey Taylor, also known as the Droid Lawyer, will be giving his presentation on “The Google-Powered Law Office.”

You don’t want to miss this year’s conference. There will be fun, camaraderie, hospitality, prizes and a lot of great information all in one rock and roll-themed location.

Review the accompanying program schedule and visit our website at www.okbar.net/solo2015.


Reserve your room by calling 800-760-6700 and using the block code OBAJUNE 182015. Make your reservation by May 27, 2015, to take advantage of the discounted rate.

Mr. Calloway is OBA Management Assistance Program director. Need a quick answer to a tech problem or help resolving a management dilemma? Contact him at 405-416-7008, 800-522-8065 or jimc@okbar.org. It’s a free member benefit!

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal — March, 2015 — Vol. 86, No. 8

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