Saturday, December 10, 2005


I was almost tempted to respond to an advertisement for an associate position with a solo practitioner in my relatively small legal community the other day. [She had posted her ad with no name, just an address. Of course, with the internet it takes a minute to put a name with an address]. The insecure part of me thinks it would be nice to have a "mentor" to learn the ropes from.

But realistically, I wonder how much time a solo practitioner is going to have to "babysit" me, anyway. I'd have to work just as hard to market, yet I'd be benefitting someone else's business, not my own. I'm a smart person, I can figure out the law (as I'm sure anyone can), I just haven't actually worked one on one with a client before.

But why do I need to copy anyone's style? There are so many resources out there for new solos - -sample questionnaires, suggestions on what topics to cover in an interview and what to look out for, sample retention letters, etc. This list goes on and on. Do I really need someone else holding my hand during a client interview? Would anyone actually do this? Not likely. As long as I know what I need to cover and where I want to go, my own style of doing things should be fine - maybe even better.

Plus, I just don't want to work for someone else. I've spent six years working for other people and following their priorities. I just don't have the stomach to do it anymore. Having children has shown me that there are more important things out there than pleasing a boss. I'd rather work my a** off to build my own business. I think I'm just too old to be a dutiful associate for someone else.*

*Relatively speaking - mid-thirties (okay - closer to late thirties - not that old, really - age is a frame of mind. Right? Right? RIGHT!


At 3:02 PM, Blogger Jaye said...

Right on! I started solo right out of law school, age 35. You are WAY ahead of where I was in legal experience.

Go get 'em. We are here for you, including this Emerald City Solo 300 miles west of you.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Hi there,

I am a long-timer lurker on various solo practitioner web sites, and this is the first comment I have left. I am thinking about making the leap into solo practice but have not done so yet (perhaps more on my background later). Here is one thought, a friend that passed the bar back in the 1980s but then never practiced until this past year started with a focus on estate planning and elder care law, he established a mentor relationship with another more experienced lawyer in this area where he pays the person $100/hour for their advice for issues he needs help with. He just cold called one lawyer who taught a CLE class on the topic, she turned him down but suggested another lawyer who agreed. Something to think about. I think he is probably in his 50s.



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