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Solo & Small Law Firms

Bars, Reviewed

The Bars, Reviewed, is a flagship feature of, one which we launched in December 2002 and have updated periodically through the years. The Bars, Reviewed summarizes all of the benefits that each of the 50 state bars offer to solo and small firms. Updated most recently in February 2009, most the links work but the formatting suffered in transit from the former platform to this one. We’ll address the format issues with our new iteration of updates, scheduled for early 2011. For now, please send us an email if you notice any obvious errors.

Starting-A-FIrm OnLine Guide
Solo/SmallFirm  Resources
Ethics Resources
IOLTA Guides
Mentor Program
Legal Research
Lawyer Listing & Referral Programs
Bulletin Board /

Alabama Bar
Yes No Checklists re: new office, office sharing, client screening

Client Keeper Pack
(sample retainer agreements & other forms)

No Rules & Opinions Yes Pilot Program Yes,
Referral Service
Yes N/A Free research Client Keeper, LPM and mentor program (if effective) are all useful for solos.

Adding listservs would boost score.

Alaska Bar No No None No Rules & Opinions
Yes No Casemaker No Yes Presumably, small bar, but even so, solo resources are scant.
Arkansas Bar
No No. Yes Yes (members only, for each section)
Yes (opinions) No No Versuslaw (free) and LEXIS (negotiated discounts)
Find a Lawyer (lets the public search for lawyer by practice area)
No. N/A Great legal research benefits and solo section are pro’s.

But loses points for no easy IOLTA info and lack of LPM advisor

Arizona Bar Yes, for members only, plus open section page No As a section available to members Discussion Board Ethics Opinions Info on Trust Accounts and IOLTA enrollment Yes Fastcase Find a Lawyer Career Center Helpful Forms Forms, detailed IOLTA are useful.
California Bar Yes No None Yes (members only, for select sections) Yes extensive ethics web page with links to rules, ethics opinions and hotline Yes Lawyer to Lawyer Free Research links Web page with links No N/A

Disappointing website for a bar association with over 215,000 members.  Does have a solo/small firm section.

Colorado Bar
No Yes Yes (for select sections) Rules & Opinions Not online
For Family Law section
Casemaker Find A Lawyer
(public can find lawyer by practice area)

Networking Events
(scheduled regularly)
Conciliation Panel (service for dealing w/uncivil opposing counsel)
Deadline Calculator (to figure out deadlines)

G-VG – No LPM or easily accessible IOLTA, but extras like networking events and Conciliation Panel are a bonus for solos.
Connecticut Bar Yes, in seminar form No No Yes, for members Ethics and Guidelines No No Casemaker Directory and Lawyer Referral Career Center
Delaware Bar
No Yes
Yes None Opinions & Principles of Professionalism
No No No Lawyer referral wervice; Solo/Small Firm Section referral list; can order printed legal directory No Presumably small bar.  Good section pages with some resource links, but not much else.
D.C. Bar Yes Yes Yes No Ethics Opinions Yes Yes No Directory Career Services Free monthly 3 hr. program on starting a firm in DC Major points lost for no list serve or free legal research.  Good LPM, but website impossible to navigate.
Georgia Bar
Yes No No No Rules & Opinions; can also submit ethics question by email
Yes Yes Casemaker List of approved referral services; Some local bars have referral programs;
Searchable member directory
No LPM Resource Library will ship many books, videos, etc., for cost of postage
Good.  Breadth of LPM makes up for lack of solo/small firm resources. Search function is easy to use.

Florida Bar Yes No Yes No Rules & Opinions No For law students only No Referral service & searchable directory No

Fair. Site navigation is cumbersome.

Hawaii Bar Committee exists but not online No No No No Yes No Casemaker Referral servicedirectory No Fair. Scant resources.
Idaho Bar Section exists but not online No No No.  There is a weekly e-bulletin you can subscribe to. Rules Yes Yes Casemaker Referral service & directory Yes Fair.  Job board seems active.
Illinois Bar Yes No Yes Yes (for members only) Rules & Opinions No Yes Yes Referral service &
Yes Fair. No IOLTA info, few LPM resources, good mentor resource.
Indiana Bar Yes Coming soon Yes No Opinions & phone counseling No Yes Casemaker No Yes Fair. Decent, but incomplete, collection of LPM resources.
Iowa Bar Yes No No Yes Opinions & link to Iowa Judicial Branch resource No No Fastcase Referral service. Directory access for members only. Yes 2006 “Economics of Law Practice in Iowa” survey results Fair. Few resources for solos.
Kansas Bar Section exists but not online No No No Opinions No No Casemaker Referral service Yes N/A Disappointing.
Kentucky Bar Yes No No Yes Rules & Opnions Yes Yes, PDF sign-up form on home page Casemaker Referral serviceDirectory Yes N/A Fair.  Few resources for solos, but good collection of court rules and IOLTA resources.
Louisiana Bar Yes Yes, a collection of resources Yes Yes Rules, opinions & ethics advisory service Yes Yes, through pro bono for the poor & disabled Fastcase Referral serviceDirectory No Lending library with some books for solos Very good. Lots of resources for solos online.
Maine Bar No No; possibly available via paid membership No No No No No Casemaker Referral service No NA Membership required for access to any resources
Maryland Bar Yes No Yes, but not many Yes Yes, Available to Members No Yes, only available to members Fastcase No referral service, Yes to membership directory Job Board N/A Limited resources for solos; website isn’t very informative despite lots of links.  Requiring payment to access ethics rules is intolerable.
Montana Bar No No No No Rules and Opinions No No No Under Construction Career Center NA Fair.  Needs more online resources
Massachusetts Bar Yes, but not through Mass Bar.  MA LOMAP No No No, but there are forums; however they are underutilized Ethics Opinions and Ethics Resources No Yes Yes Referral Service Yes N/A Decent site, navigation is a little awkward — it tends to hide the otherwise decent amount of material the Bar offers
Michigan Bar Yes Yes, under “Law Practice” drop down Not specifically for solos but lots of resources Many sections have individual listservs Yes, there is quite a bit of ethics info Info on Trust Management under “Financial Mgmt” No Yes Referral and Directory No N/A This is a VERY informative site.  Lots of resources about practice management
Minnesota Bar No No No Yes No No No Fastcase Referral and Directory No MN has a social networking site and CLE Small Firm Success site Best resources are OFF the site – and can’t be located through the site.
Mississippi Bar Yes No Yes, a PDF handbook is available Yes Ethics Opinions Yes No Casemaker Directory No Nice “Solo Tool Kit” Very good site; well laid out and informative
Missouri Bar Yes No Practice Resources No Ethics Opinions Yes Yes Fastcase Referral and Directory Yes Offers Solo and Small Firm Conference Nice site, not much info for members
Nebraska Bar Yes, through CLE No No Yes Ethics Opinions IOLTA FAQ Yes Casemaker Directory Career Center NA Fairly basic site
Nevada Bar Through CLE No No No Ethics Opinions
No No No Attorney Search Directory Career Center
New Hampshire Bar Yes, with membership Possibly, with membership Possibly with membership No Ethics Opinions No No Casemaker Referral and Directory Classifieds Membership required for access to most resources
New Jersey Bar List other resources No No Forums No No No No Referral Career Center N/A scant on ethics, IOLTA and legal research
New Mexico Bar Yes, Comprehensive No, but several resources for firms in general Yes No Rules, Opinions and Hotline Yes No Casemaker Referral and Directory Yes Need to go to sitemap to get to “Sections” Very Good.  Well laid out, intuitive site
New York Bar Yes. No Yes Yes, but must join section for a fee Ethics Opinions
Professional Standards
No Yes, for Young Lawyers Division Loislaw Referral Service, service fee, referral fee and proof of ins. required Partner with,
membership required
Solo Blog coming soon Good information, however site navigation is difficult. Many informative links throughout.
North Carolina Bar Yes, must join a section. Yes, CLE Materials Resource Center
Yes. Ethics Committees as part of Sections, but no information. No Yes, for Law Students Division Casemaker Referral Service and Searchable Directory Yes Facebook Page and
LinkedIn Page
Very difficult site to navigate. Menus are difficult to read in Safari. Need to search for most things.
North Dakota Bar No No. No No. Bulletin Board Discussion Opinions No No Casemaker Referral Service available by Phone for Fee. Searchable Directory of Lawyers Career Center

Site is Under Construction. Site under construction. Some information available, but difficult to find.
Ohio Bar
Yes No Yes Yes Ethics Division No No Casemaker Run by Ohio Supreme Court Career Services
All information based on site search. Most information locked down without member access Very little available to the public. Difficult to even determine what is offered by a membership.
Oklahoma Bar Links to articles elsewhere Online link list No OBA-NET online community Ethics Opinions Yes No Fastcase Find a Lawyer search No Client Keeper forms package Good content, esp. at Management Asst. page
Oregon Bar No No Yes No Ethics Opinion Library Yes Yes Casemaker Referral Service Career Center Meeting rooms for rent Very difficult to navigate, average information
Pennsylvania Bar Yes, with membership Yes, with membership Yes, w/ membership Yes, for members Available to members No No InCite Directory for Members only Placement Services for Members Information available only with membership Membership protected
Rhode Island Bar No No No No No Yes No Casemaker Referral and
No Additional information most likely available with membership Membership protected
South Carolina Bar Yes Yes, Starting a New Law Practice multiple resources Yes, Solo and Small Firm Section Yes, with membership Ethics Opinions No Yes Casemaker Referral Service Career Center Pretty good resources, but loses points for lack of trust account info.
South Dakota Bar No No No Forums Ethics Opinions upon request No, but have Trust Account Manual w/ IOLTA info No No Lawyer Referral No Presumably small bar, site is limited
Tennessee Bar LPM and Technology – Must Join
Yes Must join section. Yes, must be a member. No No No Fast Case Referral Service No N/A Site very difficult to navigate. Not much free information. Appears that you must be a member.
Texas Bar No 40 Minute Video Some, must join. No. Ethics Helpline

Thumbnail Guide to Texas Ethics

Link to other Site. Ten Minute Video Series Free with Membership Yes Career Center N. Texas Bar Facebook Page ; Social Networking;  Site; Twitter and Flickr Accounts. Fair. Could provide more general resources.
Utah Bar No No Solo,Small Firm, Rural Practice Section Yes Rules and Opinions No New Lawyer Training Program Casemaker Yes In Utah Bar Journal Classifieds Fair.  Could provide more resources for solo and small firms
Vermont Bar Yes No No, although they link to other websites with information Yes Ethics Opinions Yes Mentoring Program
Casemaker Referral and Directory Classifieds Difficult to navigate and some pages slow to load.
Virginia Bar No Checklist for Opening your First Office No No Ethics Opinions Call for Information No No Referral Job Postings
Washington Bar Yes Yes Some resources in LOMAP library Yes (for select sections) Family Law listserve is actively used.
and Ethics line
Yes Yes Casemaker
Referral service &
Yes Low cost LPM consulting for small firms available Good.  Strong LPM resources.  Site is well maintained
West Virginia Bar No Practice Handbook No No Standards of Professional Conduct Yes No Casemaker Directory Career Center Young Lawyer’s Section with it’s own website Adequate
Wisconsin Bar Yes No Online resource list, WI specific Yes Ethics Opinions No Yes, Mentor Council Program Fastcase Lawyer Referral and Information Service Classified Ads Mentor program is benefit
Wyoming Bar No NO No Yes Rules and Procedures Yes, through a link Yes Casemaker Referral and Directory listing for members Job Bank Extensive CLE Online Classroom Small bar, minimal site
American Bar Assoc. Yes, extensive Yes Yes Yes, multiple for individual sections as well as Discussion Boards Ethics Opinions Yes No Legal Technology Resource Center Lawyer Locator Career Counsel Legally Minded social networking site Extensive, but minimal in comparison to ABA resources for other sections
Boston Bar No No No Yes Ethics Opinions No No No Referral Service No Has a Facebook page Not strongest city bar representative
Bar of the City of New York
Yes Yes, most information for members only Discussion boards Ethical Responsibilities and Opinions No No NYC Law Library Legal Referral Service No Great solo resources for city bar
LA County Bar For members only No No Yes Ethics Opinions No No Links to sites for research Referral through Career Resources Not much available on line

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