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Planning to Have a Solo Practice after Law School: How Realistic Is It?

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Hanging your shingle after the graduation and attempting to go solo may be either a first or a last option, depending on the law graduate. For example, whether a graduate makes the decision to go solo will often depend on his/her personality, skill set, network, and interests. If you are going solo after graduation because it is your first choice, then we suggest gaining a bit of experience under a mentor or in a law firm. This experience always helps to establish a proper solo practice. However, if you are thinking of going solo because of lack of acceptable alternatives, then there are things to be careful about, and we will be discussing these areas of concern in this article. Regardless of the situation, , going solo after graduation has always been an option. It is not unrealistic, but there are things you need to keep in mind to make it work.

Why people think it is unrealistic to go straight for solo practice right after graduation
 
Planning for a Solo Practice

People do think that it is unrealistic for the average law student to strike out solo because a solo practice usually needs the person to have the following:
 
  • Business acumen – knowing and being able to run a complete business unit (marketing and pricing of services and all other paraphernalia)
  • Affable personality – both clients and people who refer cases like affable personalities in the first instance
  • Risk-taking personality – business involves risks, but law students have a reputation of being generally risk-averse
  • Networking ability – for a solo practitioner work usually comes from social referrals and from referrals from other lawyers. A person who has poor networking skills, usually, has little chance of success in solo practice
  • Physical constitution – now you don't need to have the constitution of a NFL player, but having one helps. A solo practitioner has to carry around things more and run around more than an attorney in a law firm. The solo practitioner does not have the luxury to delegate work, thus, practicing as a solo attorney requires a healthier physical constitution to cope with work stress.
  • Tech savvy – Today's clients come with notebooks, laptops, and electronic record and communications devices in all shapes and forms. Being unfamiliar with your client's software is acceptable, but if you cannot pick up the intricacies within the hour – you are suspect of being incompetent
  • Money for investment – while you can get away with minimums, there are still investments that require to be made, whether it is the salary of a supporting paralegal secretary, or whether it is the hiring or purchase of hardware or software – there are initial expenses that can be adjusted, but cannot be done away with.

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