Virtual office NYC lawyer, Vivian Sobers, discusses how going solo means taking a big bet (on yourself).
Here is something experienced solos neglect to tell those just making the transition to self-employment:
“In the first years of solo practice, there is a high likelihood your business will run at a loss.”
Yes, you heard it right. Solo law practice is a costly endeavor, and many a new solo have misconceptions that it will be lucrative right out the gate. I feel like solo practice is often glamorized, when in reality, it is a tough thing to handle.
The financial truth about going solo.
Solo practice is just that. Solo.
You will not be handed a chest full of gold just because you have the legal knowledge to help the general public and the audacity to put your name on it.
As soon as you graduate, you will have to deal with the new mortgage you took out on your future. This is a common occurrence among any entrepreneur running a small business.
The business itself costs money and part of your job will be to make money out of thin air (with much thanks Internet and fellow colleagues!)
If you go solo, everything is on YOU. You are accountable for your own income. You have no safety net.
I took a gamble on myself.
I went to Atlantic City once in my life. To be honest, it was a lackluster experience.
It was years ago, and I got so bored I ended up at the bar nursing a beer for two hours! Let’s just say I have not returned and have never been motivated to go to the prettier sister city Las Vegas.
The more I think about it, however, I am a gambler (a degenerate one at that)!
Everyone had told me it was a bad idea to go solo right out of law school; however, with respect to their opinions, I didn’t listen. Some people even tell me now to work for a firm during lean months, as if starting my own solo practice was just some sort of cute experiment.
But I keep going and pushing through, even when lean months occur, because I trust in my capability as a solo attorney.
I have made the biggest bet I will ever make in my life. I have bet on myself.
Making a bet on myself allows me to do what I truly enjoy.
When I made this bet on myself, I bet that people would pay me to solve their legal problems with my knowledge and expertise.
Most businesses or individuals that retain me do so because they are in the middle of a contentious conflict. I am there to make it better by using the law as my tool.
I recently did a deposition with a friendly opposing counsel. He was a more experienced attorney, yet he had an approachable demeanor. He even mentioned my blog.
As we conversed, he said it was nice to read about someone who found the practice of law as enjoyable as he did.
This conversation reminded me how much I do enjoy practicing, which is why I continue and do so (mostly) with a smile.
Are you willing to gamble on your future and go into solo practice?
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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.