This week in Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis realizes after one year of solo law practice that it was nothing like she thought it would be.
A friend of mine recently pointed out that the anniversary of when I started my practice had passed.
I have been incredibly busy lately. This level of business has really made me forget to take the time to think about my first full year of being a solo attorney.
My friend then asked if “knowing what I know now, would I start a solo practice?”
My answer was an unequivocal yes.
Anticipation v. Reality
My biggest concern starting out was getting my first client, and that turned out to be easier than I expected. What I did not realize would be so difficult was balancing the practice of law and running a law practice. In theory, setting aside time for administrative tasks seems simple enough but in practice it is a lot easier (and gratifying) to focus on billable tasks.
The biggest surprise about the last year has been the change in myself. I am a more confident attorney than I was a year ago and I feel like I know what I am doing. I am not afraid to ask for help when I do not know something.
Improved People Skills Over Time
My people skills have improved immensely. I used to dread and avoid networking events, but now I look forward to meeting other professionals. I also find that I enjoy practicing law a lot more than I did when I was working for someone else.
And most importantly I now know I can do this. I know I can be successful and I know I made the right decision to go solo.
This year has been a roller coaster of time, energy and emotions and I would not have it any other way. I look forward to the triumphs and challenges in the next year of my practice.
Joleena grows her practice by networking.
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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.