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Taking the Brave Solo Practice Leap: Why Opening Your Own Law Firm is the Best Move for 2021

by Alexa Drago on February 23, 2021

Maybe you have been thinking about leaving your law firm and going solo. Perhaps a former colleague made the leap and you want to follow suit. Or perhaps the new year has put some big, bold ideas about your career into your head for the first time.

Whatever the case is for you, you should know you are on the edge of something big. And if you need a push, this is it: Opening your own law firm is the best move you can make in 2021.

It may be the best move, but it is far from the easiest move. From finding office space to building your new website, you have a lot ahead of you. For more information on the challenges and opportunities you will face in this new and exciting endeavor, keep reading.

What is Holding You Back From Going Solo?

Here is the truth: Opening your own law firm without help is neither easy nor simple. If you look around your current firm, you can probably see dozens of items you would need to purchase for your solo practice: phones with conferencing abilities, a document shredder, printers and copiers — even a coffee maker.

Then, you have the costs that go beyond basic machinery: reliable high-speed internet, a website, a receptionist, a security system. And do not forget the physical office space, the CLEs, and the expensive networking events.

It is not hard to see what is holding you back from making the leap to solo practice. But do not let the foothills you have to climb keep you from cresting the mountains of success a solo practice can bring.

What Do You Stand to Gain by Starting Your Own Firm?

Opening your own small law firm in 2021 is challenging, yes. If you can overcome the initial stresses and difficulties of this endeavor, you will see exponential growth in your practice, your skills, your career, your job satisfaction, and likely even your happiness.

Here are some of the benefits of starting a solo law practice:

You Call the Shots

If you are currently unhappy with your job at a small law firm, this may be the first benefit of going solo that comes to mind. And it is a big one.

You make the long-term decisions, driving your practice from fledgling firm to leader in the field. But you also make the day-to-day decisions. Who decides which clients your firm will take? Who is the last word on the legal arguments your firm chooses to make? Who selects the office decor? You.

You Become the Brand

You are making all of the decisions and winning cases. You are making a name for yourself. As a solo practitioner, you are your brand and your brand is you. That means your law firm’s wins, accolades, and other successes are yours.

It also means that you can put your values, mission, and identity front and center. You can build your law firm brand to reflect who you are and what you believe in. Perhaps it is all about helping the little guy. Or maybe your core beliefs push you to seek innovative legal solutions. As you build your law firm brand, you get the chance to highlight what makes you unique, so you stand out from the competition.

You Grow Your Network

When you set out on your own, you begin to build relationships with other attorneys and professionals, growing your network. Inevitably, you will get a call from a client whose case simply is not a good fit for your solo firm for one of these reasons:

  • The case is outside your practice area.
  • The case is not in your location.
  • The case conflicts with one you already have.
  • The case is too large or too small for your solo law firm to handle.

So what do you do? You refer the case out to someone else. Maybe it is someone down the hall in your office building. Perhaps it is someone you used to work with. Either way, you have just made a connection with another attorney that is yours — not your employer’s — because the law firm is yours.

And what happens when that lawyer you just referred a case to gets a similar call from a client who will not be a good fit? They give you a call, and you get a new case.

You Reap the Rewards

The rewards of going solo are numerous and diverse, but they focus on your finances and personal life.

You control your earnings. If you want to earn more, you can take on more clients.  When you’ve reached your workload capacity, you can refer them out.

You also control your personal life. No one tells you, a solo attorney, when you have to be in the office or when you can take a vacation.

A Turnkey Solution for Opening Your Own Firm?

The benefits of opening your own law firm are clear, but how do you get past the challenges? You certainly can take on the stress and risk of renting your own office, buying everything you will need, hiring a receptionist, building your own website, and charging forward. But there may be another solution.

Because opening a solo law practice comes with so many benefits, many attorneys in various practice areas have had the same idea you have had; they have joined each other in solo practitioner communities.

Lower Costs

These communities are shared office spaces that come with everything you need to open your own law firm. Instead of shouldering the high initial overhead cost, you pay a monthly fee for amenities like the following:

  • Private, quiet, law firm-friendly office space
  • High-speed internet and WiFi
  • Phone and conferencing systems
  • Locked file storage
  • Conference rooms
  • Printing, copying, and scanning

Some of these communities even offer hosted and SEO-optimized websites, shared receptionists, free coffee, and gym memberships.

Built-In Networking and Collaboration

Networking is inherent in solo practitioner communities. Just down the hall, you can reach like-minded professionals who can offer insight, help with your caseload, referrals, and great conversation about your practice area or theirs. And you are all working toward the same goal: growing a solo practice.

Many solo law firm communities also offer networking events, on-site CLEs, and access to recent graduates and interns.

2021: The Year of the Solo Practitioner

Last year was unprecedented, but you held on and made it to 2021. Now, it is time to make sure 2021 is not a repeat of 2020. It is time to make the leap to solo practice.

Going out on your own will have its difficulties, but the potential rewards are immense. There are plenty of solutions to the logistical challenges you will encounter along the way.

About LawBank

Jay Kamlet and Jordan Deifik are the owners of LawBank, Colorado’s oldest and largest lawyer-only co-working space. With several locations throughout the Denver Metro area, LawBank offices create the ideal space for a small law firm to grow. The unique environment provides for co-counsel opportunities, client referrals, and collaboration, giving members the resources they need to reach or exceed their goals for their law firm.

 

 

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