Thermodynamics of solid-nematic and nematic-isotropic liquid transitions are studied by using a new modified model that combines the modified theories of Chandrasekhar et al. with those Keskin and Ozgan which are based on the Pople-Karasz theory. The thermodynamic properties of the disordered system are evaluated relative to those of the perfectly ordered one within the lowest approximation of the cluster variation method which is identical to the mean-field approximation. The results are compared with the some available experimental data, the predictions of the original Pople-Karasz (PK) theory and its previous modified theories. For nematic-isotropic and s(nematic) at the transition temperatures, the agreement is very good and much better than the predictions of the PK theory and its previous modified theories. For the solid-nematic transition, all theories give very nearly the same results, but the values are significantly lower than the observed data. Moreover, one of the theoretical phase diagrams is also qualitatively similar to the experimental phase diagram for p-azoxyphenetole (PAA). (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.