Archive for the ‘About small firms and solos’ Category

Starting a solo practice

January 4, 2008

I started this blog because there weren’t many resources for solos around.

So the publication of Carolyn Elephant’s Solo by Choice is noteworthy.

Her My Shingle blog is a great advocate of the views of solos.

Canada’s Wise Law Blog also has a detailed post on Starting a Law Firm.

Sites for solos

November 18, 2007

Here are links to 2 collections of sites relevant to solos:

Sites for sore eyes has links to tech sites to help you understand how things work.

Blawg Review #132 is especially for Home Office Lawyers and Solo’s.

He offers the following words of encouragement:

Solo’s, independent practitioners, those that practice law from a home office tend to be innovative. We tend to be out in front. If for no other reason we have no one to answer to. We are the partnership committee. We are the marketing committee and we are the technology committee. For that reason, we tend to adopt new advances in those areas, dare I say, quicker.

Attracting and retaining new clients

October 23, 2007

David Maister wrote the book on what your client relationships should be based on : trust, not marketing hype (The Trusted Advisor).

He is this week’s host of Blawg Review and rounds up  some topical posts on practice management and marketing.

Look at these to start:

Incorporated legal practices: benefits for solos and small firms

October 14, 2007

For all the discussion generated by the public listing of Slater and Gordon (eg Lawyers Weekly), it seems to me that incorporation is a reasonable option for solos and small firms.

Why? Most practices set up a separate service trust for tax effectiveness. If you’re a solo, having separate accounts for yourself and your service company is a waste of time.

As an incorporated legal practice, with yourself as the legal practitioner director, you can  have one set of books, superannuate yourself and operate efficiently.

The Law Council of Australia has a good resource page on incorporated legal practice to consider.

Reading for solos

October 8, 2007

Here are links to articles I’ve been meaning to write about.

I am sure you’ll find something of interest:

Take control: being productive

June 10, 2007

If you’re the sort of professional whose idea of organisation is to do whatever the next phone call or email says (at the same time as avoiding must do’s), then you need to change!

You’ll get burnt out, depressed and risk making mistakes.

Chuck Newton calls it the Lazy Lawyer Syndrome but it needs more than a nap or a break.

Have a look at Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Personal Productivity for some ideas about how to take contrl of your schedule and make you feel like you’re achieving something each day.  I always like to list at the end of each day what I MUST DO the next day. That way you’re off to a flying start each day.

Keeping inspired and focussed

April 6, 2007

It’s very easy to get swept up in client matters and lose focus in what you’re trying to do as a solo and small firm owner.

How do you get back on track?

If you’ve written a brochure or website or blog description of your firm (or even a strategic or business plan), it’s worth going back to  that document from time to time to see what you said and test whether you’re on track.

If you said you were  specialising in a particular area have you accepted some commodity work “for the cash flow”?

If you said you were going to be selective about clients have you taken on a high risk client because “the matter was interesting”?

To stay on track you need to align your day to dap practices with your goals.

The Inspired Solo gives some good examples of checking your email “one more time” at night and agreeing to bill by the hour when you had decided to fixed fee bill.

What does it take to succeed?

February 19, 2007

According to Andy Monfried the following are required to succeed in business:

Stay commited.
Focus on Changing the Game.
Be Sincere.
Be Different.
Risk being laughed at.
Risk FAILURE every day.
Write handwritten notes.
And, most of all positive karma — or leave what you are doing.
Entreprenurial Improvisation.

Read his post…it’s a great story.

Unapologetically solo from home

February 4, 2007

What’s the best thing about working from home? It’s hard to say but if forced to choose ONE thing, I’d have to say: not commuting.

The amount of time, cost and emotional energy saved by walking to my home office is hard to beat.

Here’s what tipped the scales for Chuck Newton:

I was simply sick and tired of working, of not seeing my family, of commuting hours upon hours, and doing it all to support not me and those I hold dear, but the landlords, the staff and the infrastructure. I was making much, but keeping very little, including the promises to my children, friends and colleagues.

Read the full post at Home Office Lawyer

Impact of automation on legal practice

June 25, 2006

Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind makes some observations about the impact of automation on the legal professioin which are worth restating even if they may be trite:

Dozens of inexpensive informatuioin and advice services are reshaping law practice…The attorneys who remain  will be those who can tackle far more complex problems and those who can provide something that databases and software cannot – counseling, mediation, court-room storytelling, and other services that depend on R-Directed Thinking"