Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Game Plan...

I've never really mentioned my "Game Plan" for starting a practice. As stated in my first post, I'm probably in a great position to do it since I don't really have any financial pressure and I've saved up a decent amount of money from a part-time, temporary position I've held for the past 1 1/2 years. What I lack is real "practical experience."

My plan is to start a "part-time" practice in a virtual office and primarily work from home. I've read posts opining that it is not really possible to practice part-time in a solo practice. But I don't see why this wouldn't work (I wouldn't have another job at the same time). My motivation for being part-time is to be around for my three year old son (my six year old daughter is in school most of the day).

Anyway, before I do this, I'd like to try to be "schooled" in the basics of family law. I have the Washington Practice Family Community Property Law and Forms Books (3 volumes) that I have been reading through, plus a few family law CLEs on tape. I'm also looking forward to a CLE on Family Law Practice offered in January. In addition, I'd like to take on a pro bono family law case through the local legal aid society. Unfortunately, our town is small enough that there is no formal training/mentor programs for legal aid (unlike Seattle). Hopefully, all of this would be enough to prepare me for a paying client. After I get started in family law, I'd like to add estate planning and perhaps bankruptcy as practice areas. Does this sound logical or am I over-preparing?

Another thought: would it be prudent to take on an area such as collections or landlord/tenant law for the potential of a repeat client?


At 12:06 PM, Blogger Peter Altschuler said...

A good friend of mine worked for years as a sole practitioner, and he lectures for the California Bar Association on all the reasons why attorneys should NOT go into private practice. If you'd like to talk with him, I'll gladly give you his contact information.

Yet running an office from home can now be as fully functional as if you were in a networked law office environment. Check out www.netoffice. com. It gives you all of the advantages of a communications and information management system without any of the costs for hardware, software, installation, and maintenance (and it can be up and running in about 20 minutes, since it's all online).

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Grant Griffiths said...

Great blog and some good ideas. Here are two of my blogs I thought you might find interesting. I have had great luck with my family law blog. Contactme anytime you have a question or if you would like to visit.




At 9:14 AM, Blogger Jaye said...

Your ideas sound very logical...and great to be doing while you are opening your practice. I promise that you will NEVER feel that you know enough to make the leap. The best thing that you can do is make a point to meet people doing what you want to do and talking to them about their practices. They will usually be delighted to chat with you, and will be a lifeline for you when you have questions. If there is any way that you can do this, I also recommend that you join the King County Bar Association, and the Solo/Small Practice section. The listserve is a phenomenal resource. Lastly, if you have ANY connection with Seattle. (residence and/or practice in town NOT required), there is another free group you should join that is a fabulous resource. Give me a shout for more info. jaylet@yahoo.com

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