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When it comes to solo practice, the ABA Journal has long been a fantastic, and free, resource for practice tips, legal news, and motivation/inspiration, especially for solo practitioners. Like our blogs for legal professionals, the ABA Journal creates content specifically for attorney readers, who don't need to be reminded about how liability, negligence, jurisdiction, or civil procedure generally works.
Recently, the ABA Journal published their Top 10 Tips for Solos, and if you don't have time to sift through their annoying slideshow, you can check out our take on the five best below.
1. Take Interesting Cases
One of the all-time best pieces of advice for solos is to take interesting cases. After all, as a solo, you get to make the decisions about what cases you take, or don't take. So if an interesting case walks through your door, consider whether the additional work, or disruption to your workflow might be worth it, just to keep you interested in your own work.
2. Thank and Show Appreciation to Those Who Help
When you're a solo, it can get awfully lonely. One way to not only make some human contact, but potentially make friends or stronger business relationships, is to reach out and thank people who help you out. That attorney who shared a brief with you, or sent you a good referral. While gifts may not be appropriate all the time, sometimes sending a little something, or simply making a call to say thank you, can go a long way.
3. Get a Mentor
Regardless of where you are in your solo practice, having other practitioners you can reach out to for general or specific advice on cases, your practice, and life is important. How in depth your mentor is in your career is up to you, but when you're on your own, it can provide some much-needed peace of mind to know you have some support, or at least someone to help you find the support you need.
4. Do What You Want
When it comes to being happy, and feeling fulfilled, you really just need to figure it out for yourself, and then do it. Whether that involves only taking a certain type of case or client, or only working three days a week lawyering, as a solo, you should have the discretion to really do what you want, and you can structure your practice to do it.
5. Learn About Business
Although you're a lawyer and you want to make money lawyering, you need to recognize that your practice is a business and you need to at least be okay at business to succeed. Don't be afraid to learn about business, or even take courses, and then make changes and adapt your practice until you're running a profitable business.