How I Went From Sinking to Getting Referrals in Just a Few Weeks

By Liz Johnson - May 2, 2017
How I Went From Sinking to Getting Referrals in Just a Few Weeks

In this week’s edition of Young, Hungry & Committed, Annapolis solo virtual office lawyer Liz Johnson shares her up and down journey that took her from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, to excited and reenergized in just a few short weeks.

A few weeks ago, I was hitting a bit of a rough patch and feeling discouraged. Here is what I was going though:

“Well, like the Titanic, my solo practice is sinking, and not slowly. I’m not sure what else to say. I’ve got non-lawyers inundating me with what they think I should be doing, I’ve got lawyers telling me a million things of what they think I ought to be doing. I’m overwhelmed, frustrated, I can’t do any work that might pay, not getting work that I could do, not really sure where to go from here. Actually, I do, I want to get paid. So apparently my only option right now is document review work.”

Pardon my momentary lapse of self-pity, it was just discouraging to think I was getting nowhere after three months of mostly networking.

My networking and communication skills in general improved drastically over the past week. I threw cold water in my face, picked myself up, and am feeling a little better, though, an income would certainly be nice.  

Going Virtual

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to make my practice mobile but will be using Law Firm Suites’ virtual office going forward. This way I still have a place to meet clients, along with making house calls.

For now, this new direction just makes sense for me, plus, I like being able to work out of my home. I don’t have a particular problem with self-motivation, or getting dressed, out of my pajamas, and getting started early, but some people might. I have read several other articles that address productivity for lawyers who work from home.

My advice is to tread carefully here. If you think you might have a problem keeping to a routine or schedule, working out of home is probably not the best idea.

Leads Are Coming In

Like I said before, since my down moment, things have started to head in the right direction.

I had one potential client approach me for landlord/tenant advice, but didn’t get back to me. I know them personally, and they are quite capable of handling their own issues, but it was nice to have someone approach me and ask for my legal opinion.

I had another potential client call me this week. This lead was actually a referral from another lawyer! I am waiting to hear back from the lead and figured they’d call me at their own time, but it was nice to have gotten a referral from another attorney. The potential client got my name second hand, so I don’t know who the referring attorney was, but I hope they know how much I appreciate them sending work my way.

So … things are still slow, but there’s been an uptick in activity. And I am in the middle of a case that was referred by another attorney a while ago.

And an update as to my experiment in garnering business from a ballet class. I did have a couple people approach me! One of the issues involved copyright, which I personally don’t handle, but I know people who do! So it was nice to know people and refer that business elsewhere.

About Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson is a newly solo lawyer, specializing in Estate Planning, Deeds and Elder Law. Liz is also a virtual office client in Law Firm Suites’ Annapolis, MD location. Her bi-weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the ins and outs of life as a solo attorney, finding her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice. Connect with Liz on LinkedIn or learn more on her website!

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