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Practical Tips for Young Solo Attorneys

by Alexa Drago on October 17, 2014

By Guest Blogger, Melanie Fischer

businessman-working-lateThinking about opening your own solo law firm? If so, you’re likely feeling excited, overwhelmed, nervous and optimistic – all at the same time. Some attorneys decide early in their career to open a solo law firm. As a young attorney, going this route can seem like a risky step. However, opening a solo firm while you are still young might turn out to be the best professional choice you will ever make.

Any young solo attorney who opens their own firm knows how challenging it is to build a business from scratch. Many of the trials and tribulations of such a venture are unavoidable. But with the right amount of determination, opening a successful solo law firm as a young attorney is not just possible – it’s absolutely achievable.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all young solo attorneys will face the same challenges when opening their own firm. Everyone’s situation is unique. No matter your circumstance, the important thing to remember is that it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help and guidance when you need it.

Following are practical tips for young solo attorneys that are either thinking of opening a solo law firm, or are already in the process of launching a new solo practice:

Utilize professional organizations to provide you with helpful guidance.

The bar associations in many states have sections dedicated to solo attorneys. These sections are designed to address the unique needs of independent attorneys and provide assistance whenever possible.

Determine the type of office environment that suits you best.

As a solo attorney, you may elect to work out of your home office, or you may prefer to rent space in an office building. Keep in mind that if you are the type of person who prefers a fast-paced and active work environment, an isolated office might not work well for you. Before you settle on an office location, make sure you select a work space that meshes well with your preferences. Of course you can always move, but relocating an office can be disruptive and time consuming.

Network with other young solo attorneys as often as possible.

It’s beneficial to know other solo attorneys in your part of town for many reasons. If it’s your goal to expand your client base, a great source of referrals is other solo attorneys.

Keep a positive outlook and attitude.

Remember that it’s extremely difficult to start a solo law practice as a young attorney and achieve immediate success. It will take time for your practice to grow.

Keep your office organized and well put together.

Opening a solo law firm means you will be responsible for all aspects of running your office. This includes bookkeeping, filing, answering the phone, and more. Unless you have the funds to hire an assistant, these burdens will fall on you. Make sure to keep your office organized and presentable so that clients visiting your office will be left with an excellent impression.

Realize that you will be in charge of your own advertising and marketing campaigns.

You may choose to hire an advertising or marketing agency to help you, but due to budget restrictions you may have to handle things on your own. If you want to embark on a do-it-yourself marketing campaign, there are many websites that provide excellent advice designed specifically for solo attorneys.

As a young attorney on the verge of opening a solo law firm, you have the opportunity to develop a highly successful law firm. Make sure to heed the advice of others who have been in your shoes so that your journey is as hassle-free as possible from the get-go.

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