In this week’s edition of “Young, Hungry, and Committed,” Virtual Office NYC Lawyer, Vivian Sobers discusses what she would have done differently when starting her solo law practice.
Starting my own solo law practice was definitely a challenge. It can definitely be a whirlwind. Over the past two years I have definitely caught myself doing things that cause more stress than they should.
But it has also been very rewarding.
I like being able to call my own shots, and knowing that the revenue that I produce from my labor I get to keep.
Looking back, I know there are things that I would have liked to do differently. Here are my top three:
1) I would have reached out to more solo attorneys.
When I started my solo law firm I made it a point to reach out to as many attorneys as I could. The purpose was to understand what the actual practice of law would be like: the things that I would need to do day in and day out to be successful.
This was important because I had just graduated law school and decided to go solo when other plans didn’t work out.
This strategy ended up being a mistake, because the types of attorneys I was speaking with was broad. What I ended up learning (the hard way) was that the practice of law as a solo is very different than practicing as part of a firm. There are just fewer resources and greater responsibilities to manage as a solo.
Looking back, I would have made it a point to speak with a higher percentage of solos, not just any attorney.
2) I would have tried to get a clearer understanding of the stresses of solo law practice.
Before starting my solo practice, I wish that I had a clearer understanding about the stresses of running a solo law practice, and knowing how to manage it.
Running a solo practice is, at times, incredibly stressful. Before taking that step, one must be certain solo practice is truly the route he or she wants to take.
Understanding this part of solo practice in advance would have helped me manage the stress more appropriately because I could have anticipated the triggers.
3) I would have liked to have more savings before taking the plunge.
Having more money in savings before going solo is the most significant thing I would have done differently. It would have made starting a solo practice much easier because I would have felt more financially confident and stable.
I wasn’t able to hire an administrative professional to help, so I had to do 100% of the work for my firm (i.e. practicing law, basic administrative tasks, marketing, and so forth). When you start a solo practice with as little money as I did, you have to sacrifice a lot of time and energy doing everything for yourself.
What do you wish you could have done differently when starting your solo law practice? Leave your comments below and tell us your thoughts.
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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.
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