This week in Young, Hungry and Committed, virtual office NYC attorney, Vivian Sobers realizes that micromanaging her growing practice will only go so far…
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and Passover. I truly did have a Good Friday, because I took off.
“Taking off” is a bit of a fabrication.
As many of you know, solo attorneys rarely “take off.” Instead, I took off from my answering my office phone. This was much to my chagrin, because on Monday morning I had 11 messages. (Not that I am complaining about clients who have retained my services or are seeking them, but, it was still an earful.)
Instead of the engaging in the daily grind of solo practice, I pursued an endeavor I had been dreading…Spring Cleaning.
There is a huge difference in what the words Spring Cleaning imply when you run a law practice as opposed to when you run a household.
While my wood floors may beg for a similar attention, my law practice was in dire need of a cleaning.
I mentally prepared myself for the worst.
Have you ever seen that show Hoarders? You know, the one where people are called out by their families because they have stacks of newspapers from 1988 and cardboard boxes replete with the sentimental value of the gift from a loved one it once contained?
I am a legal hoarder. I hoard clients.
As I sat Indian style in front of my overflowing filing cabinets and listened to the way the key sounded as it turned, I was overwhelmed by the smell of paper. The same smell has always entranced me. It smells of intellectual pursuits, vaulted ceilings, hushed tones and above all, reverence.
Soon, the intoxication had me feeling ill. I realized the burden of the formidable task in front of me.
These files, with their manila dog eared edges and barely legible cursive words within, comprised who I have become. Every errant black pen marking on them represented where I had been.
In the same way a child keeps a new mother up at nights, so does each one of my hanging legal folders.
This realization made the obvious decision that much harder to make. I had to give some of these folders up for adoption. It was in the best interests of the clients and their claims.
I have come to a place in my practice where I am no longer physically able to provide the level of representation I think every client deserves to every client I have signed.
While there may be 24 hours in a day, I generally find a way to work about 36. Even with me bending the time/space continuum, I need help. That is why I have an intern. Further, that is why I now have an of-counsel.
But even with the two new additions to Sobers Law, PLLC, I cannot hire a person to mollify my guilt about allowing someone else’s work to be represented under my name. Even if the work product turns out to be better than my own.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my 5 year plan. During my spring cleaning, I realized the only way I was going to get to goal of legal domination was to mentally let go of some of these files.
I guess I used to think that in order to grow a business you had to be intimately involved in every aspect of the minutia.
As I sat in front of my files, I realized …
In order to work on my business, I had to let others work in my business.
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Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.