My City Bar: Small Law Firm Center
44th Street Notes caught up with members using the City Bar’s Small Law Firm Center, a mix of resources including free meeting space, monthly luncheons, an annual symposium, e-newsletter, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, our Small Law Firms Committee, and one-on-one meetings with Alla Roytberg, the Director of the Center. We asked members why they use the Small Law Firm Center and how it has helped their practice:
Small Law Firm Meeting Rooms/Library
“It gives me a satellite office right in the middle of Midtown, where I don’t have to pay any rent,” said Gary Elias, a solo practitioner in the areas of elderlaw, probate, trusts and estates. “I can access email, copy, print, fax – do anything I need to communicate with the outside world. Not only can you use it as an office, but you can also use it as a conference room to meet with clients. And if you need to do any legal research, there is a phenomenal library right upstairs.”
David Jacobson, a solo practitioner in the areas of estate planning, taxation, and tax-exempt organizations, said, “I wish there were more rooms like it. You should see the number of people who walk by wanting to use these rooms. I can use the research databases to find a form, fax it to my client, and then call to confirm that he received it all in the same place.” David also finds that the City Bar library houses “great resources,” including court forms and information on areas of law outside his practice area to which he normally would not have easy access.
Practice Management Luncheons
At a recent event titled “The Necessities of Opening and Expanding Your Own Practice” the Small Law Firm Center hosted more than 50 attendees, many of whom were attending their first Small Law Firm Luncheon as they considered starting out on their own. One attendee commented on her previous experience working with panelist and Small Law Firm Center Director, Alla Roytberg: “Alla offered so many suggestions and resources on everything from office space, to health insurance, to bank accounts. She brought up issues I had not thought about as well as answers to my questions. She was great.” Teresa LaBosco, a more seasoned user of Small Law Firm Center resources said, “No matter how experienced you are, when you go out on your own you’re responsible for so much more.” She appreciates the practical advice that luncheon panelists provide and their generosity in sharing their experiences and time with those new to small firms.
One-on-One Practice Management Meetings
After practicing in healthcare and insurance law for 30 years, Mira Weiss has begun her first venture in operating her own practice. Of her experiences meeting one-on-one with Small Law Firm Center Director, Alla Roytberg, she said, “What Alla was able to do was to help me understand some of the differences and challenges that are faced by a fellow solo practitioner as opposed to someone who is working in a large law firm or a corporate practice, and to jumpstart me with introductions to people who could be resources for information about practice management, networking, and fields other than my own. If it wasn’t for the good fortune of running into them, it would have been exponentially more difficult to get off the ground. The camaraderie helps build a sense of confidence you’re not the only one out there.”
Alla Roytberg, Director of the Small Law Firm Center
Small Law Firms Committee
Both Mira and Gary are members of the Small Law Firms Committee. Myra said, “It’s been wonderful. It’s really been an opportunity to have a network of resources and access to people who are in the trenches, so to speak.” Gary adds, “It’s great networking. It’s a place to ask questions in areas of law other than those you practice, make referrals, and start friendships.”