General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionSolo, Spring 1996
Test Your Solo Potential
Solo's amateur psychologist-in-residence has devised thisquick quiz for solos and wanna-be solos to test your potentialfor being a happy and effective sole practitioner. Grab a penciland circle the appropriate answer, if you dare.
1. I can't be bothered with the details of hiring asecretary like giving a typing test and checking references.
2. When I'm working on something, if my concentration isbroken, I become irritable.
3. I know nothing about computers and don't plan to learn,ever.
4. I do my best work when I can focus on one project at atime.
5. Clients can't be expected to accept the fact that I can'tbe instantly accessible all the time.
6. When a legal issue has me stymied, I feel no need tocheck with other lawyers I know and get their impressions.
7. I usually don't bother to budget my time and prioritizemy work.
8. I'm often late as a result of problems cropping up at thelast minute.
9. I worry constantly about getting enough business.
10. Unless somebody tells me what to work on first, I havetrouble getting started.
11. I don't believe in socializing with other lawyers.
12. I often wonder why, when something goes wrong at theoffice, it keeps happening over and over again.
For every "agree," give yourself no points.
For every "neutral," give yourself one point.
For every "disagree," give yourself two points.
Write your overall total here:
0 to 12 points: If you are thinking about changing yourpractice setting to a solo one, get to know yourself a littlebetter before taking the plunge. If you already are a solopractitioner, you may be experiencing some discomfort. You tendto distance yourself from other lawyers and have trouble takingcontrol of your time. You don't like distractions and havedifficulty coping with the details of office management andautomation. It's not in your nature to organize, plan, andprioritize. With a personality like this, you may feel muchhappier in the bosom of a large firm, where someone else handlesthe details and distractions, and you can focus your energy onone project at a time.
13 to 20 points: You have what it takes to be an effectiveand happy solo lawyer. To make sure your potential is realized,assess your strengths and weaknesses in the areas of firmmanagement, time management, networking, computer literacy, andrainmaking. In those areas where you lack interest or ability,consider taking some courses or hiring a helper. That may be allyou need to turn your practice into the career of your dreams.
21 to 24 points: You were born to be a solo! If you alreadyare a solo, you surely know this. If you aren't, what's stoppingyou? Only solos reap all the rewards of what they sow--you don'thave to share your fees with your partners, you don't have toanswer to anybody, and you call all the shots! The longer youwait to declare your independence, the more fun you're going tomiss!
Solo's amateur psychologist-in-residence has been a solo lawyerlong enough to know these things. .