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Thinking about starting a solo practice? Looking for insight on the subject before taking the plunge? Have no fear! We went to our online community and posed the following question to seasoned, legal practitioners – Have any of you successfully moved from a larger law firm or government representation to creating your own practice? Below is some advice to those who are considering the venture.
Would you recommend it?
“Unless an attorney has a in demand skill set is really good at generating new business, I wouldn't recommend opening a new practice. It's a great way to end up with a small fortune so long as you start out with a large one. “
“I worked for a small firm for a couple years then left to go solo. After a couple years, I started adding associates, and over the course of many years, some of my associates have left the firm to start their own solo practices. Overall, these have been positive moves.”
Understanding these things is essential to being successful starting a Solo Practice
“I worked for a small firm for a couple years then left to go solo. After a couple years, I started adding associates, and over the course of many years, some of my associates have left the firm to start their own solo practices. Overall, these have been positive moves. “
“I've observed several friends and acquaintances build their solo practice, and I think it can be done. However, I think you need to prepare yourself to devote a very large portion of your time to your business, at least initially. Some of the things you may take for granted by working for a large firm or the government can require significant amount of time--for example, without a support staff, you will be drafting all of your own memos, doing your own filings, etc. Also, you need to spend a considerable amount of time on marketing yourself--writing articles, presenting a CLE, etc. I also agree with others who have posted above about having a discussion with a financial planner or accountant to better understand the cost/benefit of starting your own business. “
“I suggest learning all you can from experienced lawyers first, so you can avoid repeating expensive mistakes. This should be no surprise. “
“I went in house instead. I do know someone that did it very successfully however he worked very hard at networking and rain making. I would suggest that the experience isn't enough to make it as a solo practitioner. You must work day and night marketing yourself to other lawyers and clients. “
“I'm a law librarian at a large firm and have known a few of our attorneys who have left to hang their own shingle. One of the biggest things I have heard them complain about is sticker shock all the way from office supplies to research materials. If you are strongly considering the option of going out on your own, I suggest pricing out the cost of doing business first. ”
“A key to success, for younger lawyers, seems to be having mentors. I see a lot of solos form groups that meet on a regular basis (lunch, etc.) and bounce ideas and problems off one another.“
To other members of LexTalk, what do you think? Do you have any other tips for people who might be considering starting a solo practice?