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When Is It Time to Fly Solo?

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There are many reasons that you might have joined a large law firm after graduating from law school. Among them was the opportunity to work among the best and work on cases that will bring valuable legal experience. But as you progress in your legal career, your needs and desires may change due to other areas in your life, including family and other interests. This is particularly true if you are seeking a healthier life and work balance.

Additionally, larger firms come with the politics that are common in most organizations. You may not feel you are being recognized for all your hard work. The lawyer you are now may not be the same one the graduated from law school. You might even be considering starting your own practice. If so, here are some things you need to consider and plan:

Be Prepared

Starting a solo career is not an easy decision. If you are truly ready, support and a little research will be invaluable. You should network with attorneys who have taken the leap. They can provide you with many resources and tips that will save you time and money. And of course, your state bar has many resources to assist with starting and maintaining a solo practice.

When you take the leap, patience and persistence are needed. Take the time you need to prepare. Come up with a well-thought-out plan that will carry you through the first year, also known as the “hardship year.” The time you take to prepare now, will help you avoid big mistakes in the future.

Create a Solid Business and Marketing Plan

Milestones

Any business requires careful budgeting. You will now be responsible for all the expenses, including staff and case related costs. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may cut back on expenses or take out a personal loan. Start out by sharing office space and as you gain clients–and you will–you can rethink your office needs.

Of course, all the planning in the world will mean nothing without marketing. The money you spend on marketing your firm will have a good return on investment. Remember, you are not only an attorney, now you are also a business owner.

Final Note

These few suggestions are not all inclusive, but rather a few steps to inspire you on the path to your solo practice. Many attorneys have gone on to fulfilling solo practices and so can you with careful planning.

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