Monday, November 28, 2011

Will You Practice Solo Sometime?

The New York Times has an article about attorneys who leave big firms to go solo (or practice with just one or two others). Skipping the Partner Track for a Shingle of One’s Own, N.Y. Times, Nov. 23, 2011.

Solo practice isn't really the Big New Thing: there have always been a lot more solo practioners than lawyers in big firms. What's newish is the trend for lawyers to leave big firms to go solo.

Here are some numbers pulled from ABA, Lawyer Demographics (2011):

Distribution of all U.S. lawyers
Private practice 68%73%74%
Private industry10%9%8%
Legal aid/public defender2%1%1%
Private association1%1%1%

Distribution of all U.S. lawyers in private practice
Solo 49%45%48%
2-5 lawyers22%15%15%
6-10 lawyers9%7%7%
11-20 lawyers7%7%6%
21-50 lawyers6%8%6%
51-100 lawyers7%5%4%
100+ lawyers*13%14%

It's likely that a lot of current students will one day have practices of their own. One way to start thinking about this is to take Law E536 Practical And Professional Responsibility Issues in the Small or Solo Law Practice.

Carolyn Elefant has a terrific blog with links to lots of practical resources:

You might also take a look at a book on the topic, e.g.,
  • Carolyn Elefant, Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Wanted to Be, KF300.Z9 E44 at Classified Stacks
  • Jay G. Foonberg, How to Start and Build a Law Practice (5th ed. 2004), KF300.Z9 F66 2004 at Reference Area
  • Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer (K. William Gibson ed., 2005), KF300.F58 2005 at Classified Stacks
Professional groups include

1 comment:

Davis F. said...

You might also consider Solo Practice University if you are genuinely interested in going solo.