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by Vault Law Editors | March 10, 2010


If you’re thinking of hanging out your own shingle, or you’ve already got one but it’s dangling by a thread, rest assured: you’re not alone. The ABA Journal invited three practice management consultants to assess three lawyers’ struggling practices, revisited the lawyers six months later to see how they fared following the consultants’ advice, and published their stories in this month’s magazine.

Last week, Leora Maccabee, a litigation associate and social media guru, used Twitter to solicit advice for lawyers starting their own practice and gathered her top 10 “tidbits” into a post at Lawyerist. Notwithstanding concern from one commenter who wisely cautions against relying on a “few feel good quick tips” if you really want “to start, market & manage a successful law firm start a practice,” others among the Twitterati freely offered up words of wisdom, ranging from terse suggestions to “balance work/life” to more fundamental advice: “Know who you want to serve, why, & how; be prepared to tell them. Stick to your mission & re-evaluate often.”

One reason to go out on your own, according to Texas lawyer Paul Schorn, is to escape the narcissists, competitive kiss-ups, power-happy office managers and overweight “wellness” coaches endemic to large law firms. “Part of what makes solo practice worthwhile,” he explains,“ is getting to avoid some of the people who can drain all the fun out of practicing law.” Check out his portrait of “The 4 People Lawyers Won’t Meet in Solo Practice.”

And don’t let setbacks drag you down. For suggestions on how to re-package failure as success, check out this story from the Washington Post (via ABA Journal). After (and despite) her own “career crash” (she walked out half-way through a clerkship, having decided not to be a lawyer after all), Anna Rappaport became a coach, advising lawyers and small-business owners how to overcome their career setbacks.

- posted by vera


Filed Under: Law

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