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The Advisory: Volume 10, Issue 1, January 2012


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Interest Growing Strong in SoloNet Pilot Project

By Jocelyn Frazer, Equity Ombudsperson, Law Society of Alberta

As a pilot project, Solonet has over a hundred users, with interest still growing in the online network for sole practitioners and lawyers in smaller communities.

SoloNet was launched in mid-July 2011, by the Office of the Practice Advisors as an online forum to enable sole practitioners and lawyers in smaller communities in Alberta to connect and share information.

“I have been able to receive help and suggestions from it as well as reciprocate on occasion,” comments Donald P. Kolody of Medicine Hat, Alberta.

“SoloNet feels like being part of a 100-lawyer firm, with all the other lawyers ready, willing and able to provide comments and advice electronically at a moment’s notice,” observes lawyer John K. J. Campbell. “SoloNet has allowed solo and small firm practitioners to draw on the expertise and resources of many very skilled and experienced lawyers that they would otherwise not be able to access.”

“SoloNet,” he adds, “allows the solo and small firm community to share not only technical advice on legal issues but also to share ideas and opinions about general practice issues that are of special importance to those practicing in the solo or small firm environment.”

This secure online social network is intended to be an opportunity to share collective professional knowledge and experience, provide a sounding board for lawyers in similar practice settings, and otherwise connect with each other in a closed online environment. Discussion group participants determine the topics for discussion. The contents of the network are confidential to the participants in SoloNet.

The Law Society of Alberta is not responsible for the content on this site, and does not moderate these discussions. An individual member’s participation in SoloNet will be disclosed to all other members of the network.

Lawyer Christina Wallace points out that Solonet enables users to meet “a group of people that you might not otherwise meet to bounce ideas off of. Even if you aren’t someone who posts often, you can still benefit.” She adds that she has “tried a number of other listservs this past year and Solonet compares very favourably because it has a group of general practitioners who are alive to the issues of a small or solo practice.”

It has started as pilot project and is being hosted by the Office of the Practice Advisors. The Law Society of Alberta only provides the online facilities for SoloNet.

For more information, email us at solonet@lawsociety.ab.ca.

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