February 12, 2013

Solo by Chance, Not Choice

Ann Farmer

Many lawyers harbor fantasies of opening a solo practice but never do. Others find themselves compelled to take the leap, like the following four solo lawyers.

Laura Mann never gave any thought to going solo. After graduating from Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York, in 1996, she spent the first 10 years of her career living her dream—lawyering for a legal services agency in Ohio. “I love helping people who need help,” she says.

But her circumstances changed. She became pregnant. She decided to move back to New Jersey to be close to her family. The economy took a nosedive, and legal aid jobs became scarce. As a single mom, Mann couldn’t hold out for that ideal position. “I went crazy looking for a job,” she says. “I sent out hundreds and hundreds of résumés.”

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