Volume 20, Number 5 July/August 2003


Dear Editor:
I read David Leffler's "Being Solo" column in the April/May 2003 issue of GPSolo and very much appreciated the shot in the arm that it gave me and no doubt countless other solos. As solos, we face extra challenges beyond the already demanding task of practicing law. Further, due to the lack of mentor, peer, and subordinate feedback, it is very easy for us to get discouraged during difficult times and discount the remarkable contributions we make to so many clients' lives.

Like many solos, I worked for law firms in various capacities until I had the courage to seek the autonomy, independence, and freedom that solo practice offers. I am delighted to be a solo and would never go back; however, I constantly struggle with the hardship and isolation of solo practice, and I have one suggestion that I very much want to share with you and my other fellow solo warriors.

My key is an attorney network. I have taken much time and effort to establish a network of attorneys with whom I can discuss and often work on cases. I make great efforts to get to know all lawyers I encounter and nurture professional relationships with them. As a criminal defense attorney, I find the members of the local criminal defense bar extremely welcoming, cooperative, and eager to offer assistance. As a relatively young attorney (five years), I still benefit from mentorship on my hardest cases-and cherish the opportunity to learn from more senior attorneys. I further enjoy discussing and working on cases with other attorneys simply to get another opinion. Most important, I am always keen to give back to the legal community and pass along the good favors. It is a pleasure to assist other lawyers in need of advice or assistance.

My attorney network allows me to maintain the independence of a solo practitioner while at the same time enjoying a highly fulfilling connection with other attorneys-with whom I share the best aspects of camaraderie, support, and professional guidance that big firm attorneys find in partners and associates.
I recommend that all solo attorneys make significant efforts to foster such professional relationships and networks. The rewards to my practice in doing so have been priceless.

Anthony S. Lowenstein
Burlingame, California

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