2015 Louis M. Brown Meritorious Recognition Award given to ALPS’ new online networking resource for the legal community

February 18, 2015 – The American Bar Association (ABA) has honored ALPS, the nation’s largest direct writer of lawyers’ malpractice insurance, with Meritorious Recognition for the 2015 Louis M. Brown Award for ALPS Attorney Match. ALPS Attorney Match is a free online resource that connects lawyers from all walks of the profession in a secure and dynamic social network.

The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services celebrates the achievements of programs and projects dedicated to matching the unmet legal needs of consumers with lawyers who provide affordable legal advice, services and representation

“ALPS is endorsed by more State Bars than any other insurance carrier and we are fortunate to work collaboratively with our Bar partners to address the issues they face,” said Matt Lubaroff, Director of Client Services.  “Access to justice is a problem that can’t be solved with one solution; we believe ALPS Attorney Match can be a vital part of the solution that connects rural attorneys exiting the profession with those entering and looking for enriching opportunities.”

The award was presented at a luncheon on February 6th sponsored by the National Conference of Bar Presidents and National Association of Bar Executives during the American Bar Association’s Midyear Meeting in Houston.

ALPS Attorney Match was conceived in 2011 with one of ALPS’ long-held partners, the State Bar of South Dakota. South Dakota was facing a steady decline of lawyers in rural parts of the state creating critically low access to justice for many South Dakotans. At that time, the Bar was on the cusp of launching their Project Rural Practice initiative to help increase the number of attorneys choosing to work in the state’s rural regions. ALPS Attorney Match was a logical resource for South Dakota’s efforts moving forward. In fact, the State Bar of South Dakota was honored with the Louis M. Brown Award in 2014 for Project Rural Practice.

“The ongoing decline of the rural lawyer is not simply a South Dakota issue,” said Lubaroff. “It’s an American issue.” Nearly 20% of Americans live in rural areas and yet just 2% of small law firms are located in these areas. In addition, the legal community is poised for a large exodus of attorneys from the profession with almost half a million retiring in the next 10 years. ALPS Attorney Match allows lawyers to connect via a free, secure online network to seek job opportunities, to find other lawyers looking to take over existing practices, to facilitate mentorships, and to span geographical hurdles to bring the legal community closer together.

ALPS launched Attorney Match in January 2014 in South Dakota, and has since rolled it out in Vermont and Virginia, in partnership with two other endorsing bars, the Vermont Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. ALPS will be introducing Attorney Match in more states in the coming year. There are currently almost 300 Attorney Match members with more joining each day.

The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services received nominations for the 2015 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access. The Brown Award recognizes law firms, bar programs and projects, non-profits, court systems, law schools and entrepreneurial efforts that enhance access to justice. The Committee encourages nominations from entities working to expand access to legal services to those who do not qualify for legal aid in innovative ways.

Founded by lawyers, for lawyers in 1988, ALPS is the nation’s largest direct writer of lawyers’ malpractice insurance. Based in Missoula, Montana, ALPS is the preeminent provider of lawyers’ professional liability insurance, with an emphasis on protection, stability, and commitment to the legal community. ALPS is endorsed by more State Bars than any other carrier.

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