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» Solo Practice

An Unemployed Lawyer Is Still a Lawyer

The legal market is not good. You probably knew that already. There are unemployed lawyers everywhere and probably even more soon-to-be-unemployed-lawyers sitting in law school classrooms around the country. You probably knew that too. It seems like everyone knows it’s a rough economy for legal services, but people are entering the profession in droves. Is it that they all assume they’re the best? That they’re the ones who are going to be first in their class and skyrocket to lawyerly fame and fortune? I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for law grads struggling to find work. It wasn’t too long ago that I had nothing but a bar number, an awareness that I had no clue what the hell I was doing, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Solo Practice

Time = Money

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon among many lawyers who’ve recently gone out on their own. I suspect it’s a result of the lawyers viewing solo practice as a way to avoid working long hours. These lawyers, never the most financially successful ones, love to complain whenever they’re stuck working more than a few hours a day. They never make the obvious connection between their lack of motivation and their lack of disposable income. I imagine the root of the problem is the way most solos bill. If you don’t keep track of your time, flat fees feel a lot like found money. Someone comes in and pays you, but you haven’t done anything yet. All of a sudden you’re richer, and all you had to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing, Solo Practice

Taking a Vacation

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after the longest vacation I’ve taken since I began practicing law. From planning the vacation, to preparing for it, to actually taking the time off and trying to enjoy myself, the experience taught me quite a bit. It drove home a lot of points about the nature of what I do. I should never view any non-work-related plans as concrete. As hard as that’s been for me to swallow, with my current practice, I know that it’s true. I represent a fair number of clients each year, and at any given time, many of their cases are at very different stages. I’m never at a point where I have no clients, so there’s always somebody who’s my … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General, Solo Practice

Getting a Job and Doing a Job, Gen Y Style

I recently had to fly to an undisclosed location to participate in an interview with a witness who shall remain nameless. Everyone involved tried to make the whole thing seem very high security, as you can probably tell. They seemed to be caught up in the intrigue and secrecy of it all. I found it extremely inconvenient. I didn’t get to know where I was going to go until a couple of days before, and I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about it. After arriving, I was supposed to meet some people at a mysterious location. They refused to give me any details in advance. I knew the purpose of the meeting and who set it up, and I didn’t want to end up on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Law School, lawyers, Practice in General, Solo Practice

Thoughts on Work-Life Balance

I’ve mostly avoided blogging about work-life balance up to now. I usually have nothing intelligent to say on the subject, as my idea of balance generally consists of letting the pendulum swing. If it swings too far to one side, it’ll swing back to the other with a vengeance. I keep that in mind and try to avoid letting it swing too far to one side or the other, though I’ve encountered varying degrees of success in my quest to strike the perfect balance. These past few weeks haven’t been my most successful. I recently lost Dakota, my five-year-old German Shepherd, to chronic renal failure. I took her to the vet a few weeks ago because she was limping and seemed in pain. They asked … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Solo Practice

"Gen Y" Lawyers vs. "Gen Y" Clients

Posts here and here over at Simple Justice, as well as related blog posts here and here, provide some interesting discussion on Generation Y attitudes. Admittedly, I had to look up what Generation Y means. Surprisingly, that didn’t give me the clear answer I wanted. I’m pretty sure I’m part of “Gen Y.” I did look to Wikipedia for the definition of Gen Y, didn’t I? Isn’t being tech savvy part of it? Anyway, without a clear answer about what Gen Y is, I’m just going to assume I’m part of it. I’m also going to assume that it encompasses all lawyers under 35. That said, I think a large number of Gen Y lawyers do possess the “all about me” mindset and sense of entitlement … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General, Solo Practice

When to Go Solo

Posts here and here bring up interesting points about going straight into solo practice out of law school. While good reading, for the most part, I don’t agree with them. Adrian and I went into solo (or is it duet?) practice straight out of law school. Throughout law school, I intended to do criminal defense and nothing else. I wanted to fight the big, bad government. My goal, which I made clear to everyone around me, was to immediately hang out a shingle upon receipt of my bar number. I set aside time to watch court. I did a public defender clinic, attended public defender new hire training, spoke with a number of judges, and met as many good criminal lawyers as I could. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Law School, Practice in General, Solo Practice

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