How I Got Past The Fear Of Starting A Solo Law Practice

By Law Firm Suites - October 29, 2014
How I Got Past The Fear Of Starting A Solo Law Practice

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

Starting A Solo Law PracticeThe 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

Starting A Solo Law PracticeMy third fear, and the one I hear from many of my peers, was that that I did not know enough to do it on my own.

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.


 Afraid to start a solo practice with no clients?

Use this step-by-step system to rapidly increase your referral sources.


shared law office space 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.

About Law Firm Suites

Law Firm Suites is the leading NYC shared office space for solo attorneys and small law firms. At Law Firm Suites, attorneys get headache free sublet office space, virtual office rentals and litigation hotel services. Law Firm Suites has two locations in Manhattan, one in White Plains NY, and one in Annapolis MD. Law Firm Suites' community of self-employed lawyers are eager to help colleagues succeed, and routinely exchange over $2.5 million in legal business every year in each LFS business center. Connect with Law Firm Suites on Twitter and .

2 thoughts on “How I Got Past The Fear Of Starting A Solo Law Practice

  1. Dear Joleena, congratulations! Indeed, networking is the most efficient way to succeed as a newcomer! Therefore, maybe we might collaborate in future ? I am a German lawyer, but focused on translation services these days. Have a great day, Nicole

  2. Joleena, great article and good luck with your practice. I wish I understood the importance of networking when I started my practice 17 years ago. I only started building relationships with others over the last 2-3 years and it has had a great effect on my professional and also my personal life. Thanks again for your insight

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