Working as a solo practitioner has both pros and cons, just like any other attorney. Some of the pros include complete freedom over what cases they work on and making their own destiny. Some of the cons include a lower average salary compared to private practice attorneys and less support staff to help you in than you would have in private practice.
Solo practitioners enjoy various benefits that larger firm practitioners may lack, such as complete freedom over the cases they choose and the nature of their practice. That being said, there are some downsides to becoming a solo practitioner
, including reduced staffing and a lower average salary as compared to larger firm practitioners. All in all, you should weigh your options and consider becoming a solo practitioner if it is the right fit for you.
1. Why did you decide to become a solo practitioner?
I wanted to be able to control my own destiny. Helping people while having the opportunity to make enough money to support my family has always appealed to me, and I believe that the legal profession allows me the ability to do both.
2. What is the worst part of being a solo practitioner?
By far, it is the time spent in the office. I tell people all the time that it is not "the law" or "my cases" that keep me up at night; it is running the business that does that. So, long hours are the worst part of being a solo practitioner.
3. What advice would you give to others looking to become a solo practitioner?
Be prepared to dedicate 15-20 hours a day, to include weekends, for at least 1 1/2 to 2 years. In addition, start saving money or have some sort of financial stability to carry you for about 2-3 months.
4. What is a typical day like for you as a solo practitioner?
I arrive at the office at roughly 7:15am. I review my email and begin to prepare for the day. Lunch is luxury and is rarely used outside of the office. I am hopeful to have my priorities complete prior to 5pm because I coach my son in a lot of his sport activities. I will then spend time with my family for a few hours and then finish any priorities from the office that I did not complete. In addition to this, I respond to e-mails, phone calls, fax, etc. throughout the day.
5. Is there anything else that is important to know about you and your practice, or that you would like to add?
I enjoy what I do. I want to help people, keep the government in balance (that's my "criminal defense hat" speaking), and make decent money. I believe that being an attorney allows me to do this.
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