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MSBA Practice Management and Marketing Section

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2011-12 | 2004-05 | 2002-03 | 1996-97

MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
Annual Report 2011-12

Section Membership
As of May 1, 2012, the Practice Management & Marketing Section has 177 members.  The Practice Management & Marketing Section stabilized its membership and only sustained a 1.6% decrease in Section membership in fiscal year 2011-12 despite challenges with the economy. All non-renewing members were contacted by a council member to encourage them to renew. The “join and attend for free” option continues to be a successful recruiting tool.  

Financial Status
The Practice Management & Marketing Section had an account balance of $3,332.79 as of March 31, 2012.  This is an increase of $1931.91 from April 30, 2011. The council voted to reduce dues from $25 to $21 for the next fiscal year. Assuming there is an $8 administrative fee, members will pay $29.  This change takes into account a desire to attract even more members to focus on our mission of improving the practice management and marketing efforts of attorneys. Council members expressed a willingness to continue to control costs to facilitate this change.

Continuing Legal Education Programs and Social Events



Event Code

CLE Credit


Representing Clients in the 24 Hour News Cycle



1.0 LOM


Annual Meeting & Elections Luncheon





Run Your Practice Like a Successful Business



1.0 LOM


Lawyers, Meet the Future. Future, Meet Lawyers. Happy Days or Culture Clash? What's Law Practice Going to Look Like in 2020?



1.0 LOM


The Ethics of Marketing Your Law Practice: The Rules Related to Marketing in Minnesota



2 Ethics


Re-Branding After Mergers, Departures or Changes in Your Firm



1.0 LOM


Using Social Media to Generate Business and Make Money in Your Practice



1.0 LOM


Creative Ways To Get Paid for Your Work



1.0 LOM


Networking Happy Hour





Client Intake: How to Streamline Your Processes and Procedures



1.0 LOM


Engaging Your Network on LinkedIn



1.0 LOM


The section experienced increased participation by posting events at least a month in advance. More of the events were held at the MSBA offices to control costs and facilitate participation by greater Minnesota attorneys via teleconference and webcasts.

The practice of council members assuming responsibility for a particular program was continued from the prior year and continues to be a successful way of sharing the workload and adding diversity to the programming.

Legislation and Amicus Briefs
The PM&M Section did not submit any legislative proposals or amicus briefs in 2011-12.

Annual Meeting and Election Results

The Section’s annual meeting and elections were held over lunch on May 2, 2012, at CRAVE in St. Louis Park, MN.  14 members attended the annual meeting and luncheon.

The following individuals were elected to serve as Section Officers in 2012-13:

Chair: Leonard Segal
Vice Chair: David Anderson
Treasurer: Anthony Gabor
Secretary: Dan Reiff

The following individuals were elected to serve on the Section Council from July 1, 2012– June 30, 2013:

Thom Miranda
U. Todd Scott
Leonard Segal
Shaun Jamison, Past Chair
Rebecca Bell
Anthony Gabor
William Casey
Bill Gschwind
David Anderson
Dan Reiff
Karen Lundquist
Leanne Fuith
LaVern Pritchard
Bobbi Dahlstrom
Maria Langsjoen

The following individuals will serve as the Section’s MSBA Assembly Representative and Alternate in 2012-13:

Representative: William Casey
Alternate: Tony Gabor

The section is sponsoring one member to the 2012 Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms conference to be selected by random drawing at the annual meeting. 

Other Section Accomplishments
The Practice Management and Marketing Section continues to sponsor and moderate the highly successful SoloSmall Listserv which is open to any MSBA member interested in solo and small law firms regardless of section membership.

The section has planned events for the next fiscal year to ensure continuity. A Saints game tail gating party, co-sponsoring a happy hour at the Duluth Conference, and the first CLE program of the fall have all been slated.

Submitted By:
Shaun Jamison, Section Chair


MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
Annual Report: 2004-2005

In 2004-2005, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its third year following the merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section and Law Practice Management Committee (April 2002). Here are some of the section's accomplishments and activities during the year:

Solosmall Discussion List:
The section continued to sponsor the MSBA's very successful online discussion list for solo and small firm practitioners. The Section Council began planning for a social event that some list participants had suggested that would permit list participants to meet each other and interact in person.

*November 2004 - a noontime program with a presentation by H. Sam Meyers: "Starting and Managing a Small Law Firm - Discoveries and Confessions of a Large Firm Refugee." To an audience packing the MSBA's Honors Room, Myers shared his insights and experiences from starting and operating a corporate immigration practice after he had left large-firm practice after 20 years.
*May 2005 - a noontime presentation, with CLE credit, to an audience filling the MSBA's Honors Room, by Becky Bickett of Leonard Street & Deinard and Sarah Murphy of Fredrikson & Byron: "Getting Started on Your Practice Development Plan."

Through the year, the Section Council maintained discussions with Minnesota Continuing Legal Education about potential programs for solo and small practitioners. This culminated with the section's cosponsorship of a two-day event - "Strategic Solutions for Solo & Small Firms" - in Duluth in August 2005.

Section membership stood at 111 at mid-year, continuing to be at a higher level than it had been before the merger (81).

Officers for the 2004-05 year were LaVern Pritchard, Minneapolis, co-chair; Michael Vitt, Minneapolis, co-chair; Helen Federline, Buffalo, treasurer. Section Council members: Joan Bibelhausen, Minneapolis; Becky Bickett, Minneapolis; Margie Bodas, Minneapolis; R.D. ("Don") Estes, Minneapolis; Heidi Pliam, Minneapolis; Robert Woodke, Bemidji.

New leadership stepped forward for the 2005-06 year.

Todd Scott, Minneapolis, chair
Roy Ginsburg, Minnetonka, vice chair
Dwain Fagerlund, Crookston, secretary
Helen Federline, Buffalo, treasurer

Section Council members:
Margie Bodas, Minneapolis
Heidi Pliam, Minneapolis
LaVern Pritchard, Minneapolis
Michael Vitt, Minneapolis
Robert Woodke, Bemidji.

MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
2003-2004 Annual Report

In 2003-2004, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its second year following the merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section and Law Practice Management Committee (April 2002).

Here are some of the section’s accomplishments and activities during the year:

Solosmall Discussion List: The section continued to sponsor the MSBA’s very successful online discussion list for solo and small firm practitioners. During the year, it designated a list administrator and established procedure to collect list-use policy decisions that have developed since the list was established.

Advocacy on CLE Policy: The section addressed the Minnesota Supreme Court, both in writing and in person, to oppose a proposed amendment that would have included personal development courses in the law office management category for continuing legal education. Uniquely among states, Minnesota will accept only 6 credits in that category for each reporting period.

The Court rejected the amendment and decided that there would be no cap on accepted credits for personal development courses. The Court declined to eliminate or increase the limit on law office management credits, as the section had advocated.

Programs: The section conducted a number of programs at section meetings:

* October 2003 — a program discussing “50 Ways to Annoy Your Clients” — in which participants examined behaviors to avoid in law practice. This later became the basis for an article in the MSBA’s Bench & Bar, which was copied and distributed at the 2004 MSBA Convention.
* November 2003 — a presentation, with CLE credit, by Stephen M. (Pete) Peterson, managing director of the Law Firm Business Institute in Denver, on “Law Firm Economics: Making Sense of the Numbers.”
* April 2004 — a roundtable discussion on a possible trend toward outsourcing and “offshoring” of legal work The section maintained materials on the law marketing segment of the MSBA’s online feature. Section leaders and MSBA staff discussed prospects for adding a law office management segment.

Membership: Section membership declined somewhat, but remained significantly higher at 131 in June 2004 than it had been before the merger (81).

A shortage of volunteer participation in section activities, both in preparation and attendance, hampered section program development through the year.

MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
Annual Report: 2002-2003
Back to Section Website

In 2002-2003, the Practice Management & Marketing Section completed its first full year following the April 2002 merger of the Marketing & Client Services Section and Law Practice Management Committee. The section was renamed and its mission expanded.

Here are some of the section's accomplishments and activities during the year:

MSBA Practice Management & Marketing Section
1996-97 Annual Report

The Minnesota State Bar Association Marketing and Client Service Section had a very successful 1996-1997 year. The following is a summary of the section's primary accomplishments during the year.

Officers that led the section during the 1996-97 year were: Chair Heide Rose of Schmidt Marketing; Vice Chair Clare Borovac of Moss & Barnett; Secretary Maria Moeller of Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman; Treasurer Cindy Moen of Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel (half-year) and Susan Swierkos of Maun & Simon (half-year). Council members were: Maury Beaulier of Beaulier Law Office, Jacquie Bystrom of Mahoney, Dougherty and Mahoney, Donna Erickson of Briggs and Morgan, Lette Gears of The Gears Group, Ltd., Kevin Gray of Rajkowski Hansmeier, Ltd., Dean Harakas of Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, Elise Schadauer of Doherty, Rumble & Butler, Gretchen Semler of Commercial Law Affiliates, and Tim Turner of West Publishing Company.


  • Conduct three luncheon meetings in the Twin Cities, with plans to repeat the popular inhouse counsel panel.

  • Launch the newly created "Marketing on the Road" series, which will develop and conduct marketing programs for outstate lawyers.

  • Expand section membership to include more outstate and newer lawyers by offering programs targeted to these two groups.

  • Enhance the section's Ambassador Program, designed to encourage new members to join the section.

  • Subcommittees:
    To achieve the above objectives, the section formed two major subcommittees: (1) Programming, chaired by Tim Turner and (2) "Marketing on the Road," chaired by Clare Borovac.

    The Programming Subcommittee held five successful bimonthly luncheon meetings on the following topics:

    "Keeping Clients Satisfied" (November 7, 1996)
    When lawyers talk about marketing they usually mean getting new clients. Yet a firm's existing clientele can account for up to 80 percent of its future work. Providing excellent client relations ensures that the firm's most important assets do not leave. Sally Schmidt of Schmidt Marketing offered suggestions for designing effective client service programs, firm-wide and for individual lawyers, to keep clients satisfied. Attendance: 37

    "How Outside Counsel Can More Effectively Meet Client Needs" (February 6, 1997)
    One of the primary reasons clients leave law firms is often not for the quality of the work product or the end result, but because of poor communication and a failure to treat clients as valued customers. To retain existing business and obtain additional work, law firms are continually challenged to better understand the needs of their clients. Ken Ross of Bowman & Brooke moderated a panel of client-lawyer pairs which discussed how lawyers can deliver quality service to their clients. Client-lawyer pairs included: Mike Morse of Peoples Bank of Commerce and Richard Salmen of Maun & Simon; and Hilding Nelson of Kinnard Investments and Timothy Heaney of Fredrikson & Byron. Attendance: 38; CLE Credits Awarded: Pending.

    "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" (May 15, 1997)
    Lawyers are very busy people and frequently find it difficult to spend time on business development -- yet, the future of their practices depend on it. Joan Autrey of Primary Alliance explored practical approaches that lawyers can use to make business development an integral part of their work. Attendance: 28; CLE Credits Awarded: 1.5

    Press releases were sent to the media for all three programs.

    The "Marketing On the Road" Subcommittee conducted a program for the 11th District of the Minnesota State Bar Association. On March 19, 1997, in Duluth, Clare Borovac of Moss & Barnett, Gretchen Semler of Commercial Law Affiliates, and Heide Rose of Schmidt Marketing discussed marketing basics, how to build a referral network, and relationship building and client service. Attendees were awarded .5 CLE credits.

    Printed Materials:
    The section published three newsletters and developed a section brochure. The newsletter topics included: "Six Steps to Service Excellence" by Sally Schmidt of Schmidt Marketing, Inc., "Marketing is a Very Personal Skill" by Ken Ross of Bowman & Brooke, and "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" by Joan Autrey of Primary Alliance.

    Our beginning balance, dated July 1, 1996, was $437.61; our ending balance, dated May 31, 1997, was $2,583.28, resulting in an impressive profit of nearly 500 percent. (Please note that the financial information for May was used because the June report had not been issued yet.)

    Our membership increased 3 percent, with 114 members at the beginning of the 1996-97 year and 117 members at the end of the year.

    Heide Rose,

    - Last Updated 10/15/04 -