Jonathan Appointed to Faculty of Solo Practice University
Posted Mar 04 2009 2:54pm
I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to join the faculty of an innovative and new online learning center called Solo Practice University. Founded by Susan Cartier Liebel, a lawyer and editor of the Build a Solo Practice blog, SPU offers lawyers training about how to go into business - something definitely not taught in law school classrooms.
Solo Practice University™ is a revolutionary new web-based educational community that picks up where your legal education left off.
Learn from some of the most progressive lawyers, marketing pros, technology consultants and legal business giants how to:
* Plan, build and grow your private practice * Differentiate yourself from the competition * Attract and engage new clients more easily
… and much more. They just can’t teach you that in law school.
I will be teaching a class about how to set up and build a Social Security disability practice. The doors to SPU will open on March 20, 2009 and when you enroll you will have access to practice building training in a variety of disciplines, including bankruptcy, commercial litigation, personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, trusts and estates and more. In addition, Susan has lined up several highly respected experts in essential practice development areas such as marketing, blogging and office technology.
If you are a new lawyer, or if you are a more seasoned lawyer contemplating starting your own practice, I can't think of a better resource to shorten the learning curve than SPU. Over the years I have taught continuing legal education courses about Social Security and most of the questions I get have to do with the practical side of lawyering - what books or computer programs should I get? How do I get paid? How do I spot good cases? SPU goes a long way in filling this gap.
On a more personal level, SPU reminds me quite a bit of work done by my parents many years ago in a completely different industry. My dad, Max Ginsberg of blessed memory, was a talented journalist and writer who had worked at the Atlanta Journal for over 20 years, ending up as the editor of the business section in the late 1950's. When he married my mother and they decided to have children, they recognized that the newspaper business was a bit too transient and economically limiting to support a family. An opportunity arose for them to purchase a trade magazine in the pharmaceutical industry and in their early 40's they embarked upon this new venture.
One of my mom's favorite quotes is "the only thing certain in life is change" and such was the case in the pharmaceutical industry in the 1960's and 70's. Small town independent drug stores were being bought up by chains and hundreds of new drugs were being introduced to the market. My folks saw these changes as well as efforts by state legislatures to require pharmacists to take continuing education courses to keep up with new medicines and technologies. In the early 1970's they introduced the nation's first distance learning continuing education program for pharmacists in the pages of their magazine, the Southern Pharmacy Journal.
Just as Susan Cartier Liebel has found experts in various legal and law related fields to teach courses at SPU, my dad found experts in the pharmaceutical field to write articles and design tests to keep pharmacists up to date about developments in that industry. My mom, Mary Ginsberg, entered the world of administrative regulation, obtaining certification for their program to count for continuing education credits in all 50 states. I spent many after school afternoons in their office helping my mom grade continuing education tests, sending out certifications and reporting to various state pharmaceutical boards.
My parents were responsible for helping to educate thousands of pharmacists about new medicines, drug interactions and new drug store technologies. Their students became better professionals, learning at home from experts in that field. Perhaps your life was affected by a pharmacist who spotted a potential drug interaction or questioned a prescription thanks to information gleaned from a continuing education article published in the Southern Pharmacy Journal. I can't help but think that I am now participating in an venture that will have a similar effect in the law business.
The business of lawyering is changing. Gone are the days when a young lawyer could sign on with a large firm, work hard for seven or eight years, make partner then expect a comfortable and rewarding career and a financially secure retirement. Partnerships at big firms are no longer guaranteed. Large firms expect 80 hour weeks from associates with no guarantees of anything. Layoffs are common. In many ways the law firm business is decentralizing, with more and more lawyers choosing to practice as solos or in small firms. I have no doubt that Susan's innovative program will serve the needs of lawyers, and will result in better lawyering for the benefit of the general public and I am extremely pleased to participate in this endeavor.