Follow the rest of this article to learn about three of the obstacles that can plague young solo lawyers and how to overcome them.
Being a solo lawyer of any age is very difficult. There are constant challenges, rejections, and hardships. Plus, as a solo lawyer, everything falls on you. It has also been called the three-headed monster: servicing client matters, dealing with firm admin and finding time for marketing. These are challenges that all solo lawyers face, but they can be especially difficult for young solos in particular.
If these obstacles are not confronted, they could limit the success and growth of your solo practice. On the other hand, if they are tackled head-on, they can actually be turned into opportunities. Follow the rest of this article to learn about three of the obstacles that can plague young solo lawyers and how to overcome them.
1. Lack of Credibility
Running any law firm involves a lot of trust. For many people, trusting young lawyers to deliver can be hard. Some might link their lack of experience to incompetence or inability to handle the matter. Essentially their lower level of experience means they might be less credible and less worthy of trust.
To overcome this obstacle, you need to work extra hard on building authority in your practice area. Master a niche within your practice area and become the go-to source for your ideal clients. Then, earn the trust of other professionals by networking. Show them that you know what you’re talking about and make sure they know who your ideal client is so when they come across that client they know to refer them to you right away.
Find specific opportunities where you can prove yourself, and then leverage those trust indicators to build credibility within your practice area and general location. One great avenue to approach this is to start publishing articles, both on your own blog but for other publications like Above The Law or the ABA Journal. Most of these types of publications are always looking for new guest bloggers. Use the prestige of these brands to elevate your own practice and solidify your credibility.
Being a solo lawyer, especially a young one, can be incredibly lonely since there are not many people who can relate to the pressure, stress, and scope of what you’re doing on a daily basis.
Solo’s not only have to face more problems and challenges than their big law employed colleagues but as the name implies, they have to tackle them alone.
One solution to this, unfortunately, all too common obstacle is to join a mastermind group, specifically one made up of exclusively solo lawyers (if possible). A mastermind group is a group of people that come together to help provide each other with solutions to the challenges holding them back and a form of accountability to ensure you don’t get stuck. Joining this type of group with other solo lawyers will help you to feel like you’re not alone. You regularly meet with other lawyers who are either going through the exact same situation as you or might have already gone through that period of their practice and are able to help guide you through it.
3. Stress and Self-Doubt
Being a young owner and operator of a solo law firm can bring you many satisfying moments, but it can also cause you to experience anxiety, stress, and self-doubt in the process. As a young solo, you might not have a steady income at first, so you might even have days when you have trouble paying the bills.
This type of situation will be accompanied by no shortage of stress. Which can lead to discouragement and make you feel like you want to give up. But there is a simple thing you can do to help alleviate this feeling of overwhelm. Begin with reviewing and revising your goals and task lists. When you do, you can make sure you direct your thoughts and activities in ways that support your goals. Then prioritize your time to accomplish those goals first. This is one of the best things you can do to ensure you’re practice continues to move in the right direction and you avoid wasting time and money spinning your wheels or working on tasks that are not going to move the needle.
Another thing you can do to help combat the stress that comes with a solo practice is to schedule time every day for exercise or meditation. Both of these will not only make you a healthier lawyer but will improve your mood, motivation levels, and lower stress significantly.
While being a young solo lawyer most definitely has its obstacles, those hurdles can be turned into motivation and assets if tackled in the right way. Use these tips to fuel your new practice and set yourself up for a successful solo career.