Number 38 Volume 3/4

April 2017

In This Issue...

  1. Smart Collaboration
  2. Cultural Appropriation
  3. Standalone HRAs 
  4. Medicare Primer
  5. Doubling Referrals
  6. Membership Overview


REGISTRATION IS OPEN for the ABA-GPSolo/GLSA 2017 Joint Spring Meeting in SCOTTSDALE!   Sign up here and reserve your room.  


Please forward this NewsBriefs to anyone who you think might be interested in joining us May 17-20, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona! 

Check out our new blog and listen to our teleconferences to hear from the speakers early.

Like our Facebook page to see photos from our Key West conference!

View our Brochure for the Spring Meeting in Scottsdale. 


Down in Scottsdale

Because you know we're going to make the west wild again May 17-20, 2017 with great entertainment, brilliant speakers and even more opportunities for networking than in Key West, you might as well check out these primers for Scottsdale, AZ to figure out travel logistics now:

Scottsdale Fodor's Guide

Scottsdale by way of Phoenix Frommer's Guide

Lonely Planet Guide to Scottsdale, Arizona

TripAdvisor Scottsdale

WikiTravel for Scottsdale


How to Contribute to GLSA NewsBriefs

Would you like to write an original article for NewsBriefs or repurpose an old one?  Contact [email protected] or [email protected] with your 1-5 sentence proposal.

Mainstream Media

The American Bar Association is Cracking Down on Bad Law Schools, Slate 4/2017

Civil Rights Lawyers Plan to Challenge New York's Body-Camera Program, The New York Times 4/16/2017

The Lawyers Who Are to Blame for Making Flying So Miserable, Above the Law 4/16/2017

SeedLegals' automation aims to replace lawyers in startup funding rounds, TechCrunch 4/5/2017 

Should Firms 'Out' Lawyers on the Work/Life Balance Track?, The American Lawyer 4/12/2017 

Top Black Lawyers Share Advice with Young Attorneys of Color, Bloomberg Law 4/4/2017 

Why Lawyers Should Never Use Starbucks WiFi, Above the Law 4/11/2017 


Members in a Flash!

*California attorney Zaher Fallahi was presented by Will Petersen with the 2017 ARAG Elite Service Award for outstanding service provided by an ARAG plan member.

*Small Law Firm KPIs: How to Measure Your Firm to Greater Profits is a new book by GLSA Board member Mary Juetten.  It was recently published by Thomson Reuters and you can read a review of it here!

*Rinky Parwani, a familiar face in the GLSA community as a speaker on Guardianship at our 2016 conference and on Chronic Illness at our 2017 conference, is the recipient of the Outstanding Pro Bono Service award from the Florida Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, HAVE A HEART and Bay Area Legal Services Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Her firm, Parwani Law, P.A., will be recognized by the Judges of the Circuit at 5 PM on April 20th.

*GLSA member and Scottsdale conference speaker Alexander Paykin organized and brought a Rotary International group on a humanitarian mission to Cuba this month.  They distributed cleats, soccer balls and other sporting goods to children in Artemisa and Havana.  Paykin already has a bigger mission planned for 2018. 

*Bill Staudenmaier and his family had a brush with fame earlier this month when Staudenmaier's 17 year old son Jacob invited Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone to be his prom date.  Stone responded, and the Staudenmaier family spent the week interviewing for CBS News, Good Morning America and other programs!  Bill will present the Water Wars! CLE on Friday morning at our Scottsdale conference.

*Eileen Sullivan held a dine-around/happy hour at The Gladly in Phoenix on Thursday April 6th.  She reports that the event went well.  We look forward to seeing some of its attendees in Scottsdale! 

*The five candidates for 2017-2020 GLSA Board terms include Brian Caron, Ben Farrow, Stephen Ginsberg, Tom Martin and Pat Monks.  Good luck to everyone!


GLSA Board

* Keri Coleman Norris, President and Chair of Standing Committee Ada, OK

Jean Clauson,       President-Elect              Des Moines, IA

Steve Ginsberg,        Treasurer                   Toronto, ON

*Steve Williams,     Secretary             Flemington, NJ 

Nicolle Schippers, Immediate Past President                         Des Moines, IA       

Brian Caron          Cleveland, OH

*Richard A. DeMichele Haddon Heights, NJ   

*Amy Drushal               Tampa, FL    

*Alyssa Ehrlich               San Diego, CA  

Matthew Hahne        Virginia Beach, VA

Charles Johnson                Boston, MA

Mary Juetten                   Maple Falls, WA        

*Aastha Madaan          Irvine, CA

Steve Monks            Durham, NC                        

Hon. Lawrence M. Stahl Towson, MD                  

*Eileen Sullivan         Phoenix, AZ                    

John R. Wachsmann Englewood, CO    

*Keith McLennan,      Special Advisor                Collegeville, PA

Min K. Cho, ABA Board of Governors Liaison Orlando, FL

Austin Thacker, Young Lawyers Division Liaison                    Orlando, FL 

* Member of ABA Standing Committee


Get Smart: Harvard Professor and Author Heidi Gardner Shares the Secrets to "Smart Collaboration" for Lawyers

By Monica Zent, CEO of Foxwordy Inc. and Networking Facilitator at the ABA-GPSolo/GLSA 2017 Joint Spring Meeting in Scottsdale

What lawyer wouldn’t want to earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge? According to Heidi Gardner, a former McKinsey consultant and Harvard Business School professor, now lecturing at Harvard Law School, the key to all these benefits is what she calls “Smart Collaboration.” Based on over a decade of research, her new book, “Smart Collaboration,” reveals these significant tangible benefits for lawyers, their firms or companies, and their clients.

The caveat? Not all teamwork is “smart.” Says Gardner, “Lawyers need to execute it efficiently, recognize the investment period required to develop the skills, and … stick with it long enough until those rewards kick in — there is a lag period and too many people give up before the ROI turns positive.”

I had a chance to speak with Gardner in depth about her research. Here’s what I learned.

Off the Reservation: Native Cultural Appropriation and the Law

 By Lisa Atkinson, GPSolo member and Presenter of Off the Reservation: Native Cultural Appropriation and The Law at 10:30 AM on Friday, May 19, 2017 in Scottsdale 

Since even before the Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians to dump tea into the Boston Harbor, immigrants to this country have been appropriating Native culture when it suits their pursuits . In the centuries that have followed, taking aspects from the cultures indigenous to this Continent has been a recurring practice- think Boy/Girl Scout troops, names of Summer Camps, incredibly inappropriate anatomical names for popular ski basins, and yes, sports teams- often to the detriment of the tribes and peoples from whom these aspects have been taken. A number of studies have been conducted over the past ten years about the effects stereotyping, use of Indian mascots, and cultural appropriation, on Native communities, and Native youth in particular. The results of these studies have shown that the appropriation of Native culture and the negative portrayal of Native people through the use of certain words and images contributes to the alarming rates of suicides- particularly among Native youth.  We were taught as children that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We are now seeing that words can, and do, hurt. (Learn about the law's role in the hurt here.) 

The Rebirth of Standalone HRAs for Employers After ACA


By Ryan Curtis, Presenter of the Special Trustees Topic: Audits and Fiduciary Insurance at 8 AM on Friday, May 19, 2017 in Scottsdale

The once popular Health Reimbursement Arrangements (“HRAs”) were recently on life support until President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Act”) on December 13, 2016, which Congress approved with bipartisan support in a lame-duck session. HRAs allow employers to reimburse employees for health care costs (including health insurance premiums) within specified limits. This benefit was excluded from employees’ taxable income and was tax-deductible to the employer—a popular win-win situation for employers and employees.  (Read the full article, written especially for our trustees, here.)

Medicare: What You Need to Know


By Cindy Sharp, GPSolo member and Moderator of the panel Chronic Illness: A Legal and Financial Potpourri at 1 PM on Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Scottsdale

Medicare is the largest health insurance program in the country and is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).    Medicare is an entitlement program for which an individual can qualify if he or she falls into certain categories. Most U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have reached the age of 65 are eligible for benefits as described below. The application for Medicare benefits should be submitted 3 months prior to the individual’s 65th birthday. People who receive Social Security Old Age benefits automatically qualify for Part A Hospital Benefits. Part B Benefits are optional for those qualifying under Part A. An available option is to enroll for Managed Care benefits under Part C. People under 65 who are permanently disabled and have collected Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months or who have permanent renal failure are also eligible. Medicare covers the cost of acute care which is interpreted to be care that is reasonable and necessary to diagnose or treat an illness or injury but is not designed to cover preventative or chronic health care.

Intimate knowledge of Medicare rules will help attorneys assist clients and family members in maximizing available governmental benefits.  Learn more here. 

Eight Proven Steps to Double Your Referrals

By Stephen Fairley, Author and Law Firm Marketing Expert at The Rainmaker Institute, and presenter of Strategies for Building a Seven Figure Law Firm at 11:45 AM on Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Scottsdale

For many law firms, referrals are the gold standard when it comes to obtaining new clients.  However, too many firms rely on random referrals, which is just what the term implies ... referrals that may or may not come. A strong referral base is only built over a period of time, and is based on cultivating long-term, meaningful relationships with reliable sources.  Most referral sources will only send you referrals if they know you send referrals back to them. 

Here are five fundamental keys to increasing referrals.

How to Join GLSA or Change Your Member Level

View Tom Martin's full recap of our 2017 member benefits.                    A summary follows.

Group Legal Services Association (GLSA) provides the legal services plan community with education, support, collaboration and advocacy. GLSA members are committed to providing affordable access to legal services.

Our membership benefits at all annual levels (Emeritus - Free with qualifications*, GPSolo - $60, Professional - $100, Regular - $325) include:

  • Access to our complete member database and profiles
  • Discounts on our annual conference and affiliate programs from Budget, InterCall, UPS, and many others
  • Invitations to closed networking events around the world with attorneys, legal plan administrators and law entrepreneurs
  • Opportunities to build your resume/CV through volunteer leadership and team contributions
  • Public promotional space for yourself and your business, including our e-mail blasts, member profiles, newsletter articles, and educational programs
  • Referrals for support in developing your practices and your own legal plans
  • The Universal Plan Application allowing you to apply for admission to 13 legal plans (and growing!) at once 
  • Year-round education including publications, teleconferences, webinars and live meets, in addition to opportunities to become a CLE speaker

If you know people who would like to join GLSA, please direct them to find our membership application at the bottom of the page at, which includes a description of qualifications for each level*, or advise them to contact GLSA staff at:

312 988 5751

[email protected] or

[email protected]


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Listen to our teleconferences

Register for our 2017 Annual Conference in Scottsdale

and View Our Conference Brochure!


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