This week in Things I Wish I Knew, self-employed attorney Joleena Louis reflects on her first year of solo law practice and expresses gratitude for the things that are right in her life.
Thanksgiving is here so I have taken the opportunity to reflect on the things that I am the most thankful for my first year of solo law practice. Interacting with other attorneys and thinking back to when I worked for other firms, I have a lot to be thankful for this time of year.
Being thankful for the right things in my life.
1. I have a job and I enjoy what I do.
Unfortunately some attorneys who graduated with me are in very unfulfilling positions, if they are even practicing law full time at all. Like many other attorneys, I took on an incredible amount of debt to pay for my degree. I am so thankful for the fact that I am using it to earn a living, but I am also doing exactly what I want to do with my career. Not many people can say that these days.
2. My flexible schedule.
I have family visiting for the holidays and I am so thankful that I have the flexibility to arrange my schedule so that I can spend as much time with them as possible. It felt good to not have to ask for extra time off in order to do this when some do not have that luxury.
3. I have not failed.
I am so thankful that I have not failed as a solo attorney. Failure is debateable and unique to each person, but starting a practice is incredibly difficult and the stresses of it are colossal. This leaves so many opportunities to fail; however, I am thankful that every month I keep getting work, I keep learning and my practice keeps growing. It feels like I am doing something right.
4. Law Firm Suites.
I am truly thankful for what Law Firms Suites has done for me and my career. Choosing to start my practice here has been a huge contributing factor in the success of my business. The relationships and friendships I have made with other solos and small firms in this network have not only made my business better but made me a better attorney.
5. The opportunity to share my journey with so many.
Finally, I am thankful that I have had this opportunity to share my journey with you all. Starting out, I had so many questions and I really wanted to know what starting a solo law practice would be like. I hope my experiences have helped others on their journey to going solo.
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.