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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 wanted to be a generalist first before becoming a specialist. Large firms tend to push their new associates into specialization where if they decide to leave they will only know a few things and perhaps not be able to practice independently. I practiced in many courts as a new, young attorney and got a lot of litigation experience as a result.
2. What is the best part of being a solo practitioner?
I have the ability to decide which clients that I will represent, have some decision making as to setting my own schedule and what type of law to practice. I also like the variety in my practice.
3. What is the worst part of being a solo practitioner?
Income generation can by cyclical due to economic factors and having clients who are not typically as large as what would go to the larger firms.
4. What advice would you give to others looking to become a solo practitioner?
Get as much litigation experience as you can in both civil and criminal law, and then be prepared to specialize in the area where you can shine the brightest.
5. What is a typical day like for you as a solo practitioner?
You have to be careful as to how your time as spent as many will try to waist it with telephone calls, texts, emails and such that may not be productive and necessarily generate billable time.
6. Is there anything else that is important to know about you and your practice, or that you would like to add?
You have to look at solo practice as a marathon and not a sprint, and pace yourself accordingly.
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