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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 have owned and operated Precision Abstract and Land Services, LLC, since 2007. I am a Pennsylvania attorney and a licensed title insurance producer. I search and clear property titles for refinance and purchase transactions.
I started my company after working a number of years for another small law firm that did the same thing. I decided to go out on my own because I wanted the freedom and job security that goes along with being self-employed.
2. What is the best part of being a solo practitioner?
I am able to pursue the business that I prefer and also enjoy the fruits of my labor more proportionately than when I worked for someone else.
3. What is the worst part of being a solo practitioner?
The flip side, of course, is that I am responsible for everything that my company does. It is a trade-off with which I am quite happy.
4. What advice would you give to others looking to become a solo practitioner?
The main ingredient to starting a successful small business is sweat. The initial investment of time and money is crucial. But even after the flow of customers is established, diligence is required to keep them happy and to grow. A business owner is always on the job.
5. What is a typical day like for you as a solo practitioner?
There is no such thing as a typical day, but ideally I like to begin the day by reviewing the priority list that I prepared the night before. This includes re-checking the real estate settlement files that are scheduled within the week to make sure that all requirements have been met. Once any loose ends have been addressed, it is time to respond to any communications about other files that are in the pipeline. The afternoon usually offers an opportunity to contact past customers or to pursue potential new customers about providing service for any needs that they may have. Before the business closes for the evening, I always create a list of the most important items that need to be addressed in the morning.
6. Is there anything else that is important to know about you and your practice, or that you would like to add?
My friends both envy and feel sorry for me as a self-employed attorney. They are often frustrated by the routine that they feel dominates their lives, at the same time providing them the security that they enjoy. I always tell them that being your own boss is consuming and yet satisfying. You have to be flexible and creative. But I like my boss.
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