This week in Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis, discusses the three biggest fears she experienced before officially starting a solo law practice and what she could have done to better prepare herself for the transition.
As I approach the one year anniversary of starting a solo law practice, I can’t help but reflect on my state of mind right before taking the plunge.
I was very excited but I also had some fears, just like anyone who is about to make a big change in his or her life.
These were fears that I’m sure many other attorneys have had just before making this big change that is full of uncertainty.
My Biggest Fear About Going Solo and the Importance of Networking
The biggest fear I encountered before going solo was not having any clients and having no idea how to get them. That thought is scary for anyone starting a solo law practice.
I prepared myself for having no work at all for the first few months, but surprisingly the work came.
The thing I wish I knew from the very beginning was the importance of networking. If I had to do it all over again I would have spent even more time meeting and building relationships with other attorneys and referral sources than I did at the time.
If you are willing to get out there and meet people, there is nothing to fear.
Not Fearing The Potential Lack of Money
The next biggest fear I had was about my finances, and specifically, how I was going to pay my bills.
It is incredibly unnerving to go from a steady paycheck to having no idea what your income for the next month will be or how I would even obtain an income.
But by by keeping my overhead as low as I could and learning to manage income inconsistencies, this was another fear that turned out to not be an insurmountable problem.
Having Confidence In Myself to Grow
Talking to other attorneys is what really got me over this fear and I learned that no matter how many years they had practiced, most felt like they did not know what they were doing at least some of the time.
There were so many attorneys who were willing to answer my questions and give me advice. That gave me the confidence to really move forward.
Going solo can be scary, but there is no fear that you can’t find a way to overcome. Looking back I’m really glad that I found ways to push through my fears to make my practice a reality.
What were (are) your fears about starting a solo law practice? Leave a comment below.
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Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a ﬁrm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial ﬁrm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law ﬁrm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.