Having Fun as a Solo Lawyer: My Experience So Far

By Liz Johnson - May 16, 2017
Having Fun as a Solo Lawyer: My Experience So Far

In this week’s edition of Young, Hungry & Committed, Maryland virtual office solo lawyer Liz Johnson shares how she is learning to grow her practice while having fun and developing referral relationships at the same time.

While I was at the neighbor’s house, drooling over how incredibly beautiful his property was, we got to talking, and it turns out he’s a minister.

Who would have thought that our professions would lead us to strike up a great conversation? For example, we found it funny how both an estate planning attorney and a minister both start conversations with people on subjects like, “So as you know, you’re going to die… ”

We had an absolutely delightful chuckle over that one. These conversations are quite morbid, and we’re all dying so it’s nice to add a fun twist to it. But on a more serious note, that friendship and conversation could have lasting effects on referrals down the road. The next time my minister neighbor (and now friend!) is talking to someone who may need the help of an estate planning attorney, I am sure he will remember me.

Life as a solo lawyer can feel like working on a puzzle, in a good way!

I was told I light up like a Christmas tree when I start talking about estate planning in general. Hmm. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. But the more I learn, the more exciting it gets.

When I work on a puzzle, I don’t ever work on anything less than 1000 pieces. Right now with my estate planning work, I’m probably playing with pieces that are jumbo size, because I’m still working with general knowledge that I’m picking up along the way.

But it’s so much more fun when you learn something new, and the pieces essentially get smaller, as the challenges you get to play with become more intricate. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t be equating people’s lives to puzzle pieces, but it is so much fun.

New social media tool helped me feel like a winner!

I joined this neighborhood network, Nextdoor, a while ago. One of the things this social network provides is a forum to talk to each other, to sell items, and to post free items.

I’ve been waiting to get a good, strong filing cabinet for client files. As it were, someone was giving a filing cabinet away for free! I felt like I came out a winner in this situation, and plus, who doesn’t have fun when they get something the need/want for free?!

Update on my dance class networking experiment

As far as my experiment in joining dance classes for possible networking is concerned, it’s been a mild success! There are some older people in the class with full careers as well as younger folks still trying to finish school.
One of the people in the class has his own business and has actually dropped my name a couple of times. I find it irrelevant that those people didn’t call me. I thought it was great that when someone talked about needing a lawyer, my good buddy from class thought of me first. In turn, I’ve been hopefully finding him some business as well. A quid pro quo if you will.

 

eBook: Virtual Lawyers Dish: Strategies for Success

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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