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solo & small firm


In-depth analysis and practical advice on topics relevant to your practice. Find all of the Solo & Small Firm Committee’s articles in this archive.


How to Craft and Deliver a Winning Closing Argument
By Laura Kirshenbaum – February 14, 2023
Ten tips for success, from tracking the evidence with an eye toward closing, to ensuring you will not inadvertently create potential appellate issues.


2021 Minnesota Elder Law Victories: Pfoser and Geyen
By Jill M. Sauber – January 26, 2022
This article by a Solo & Small Firm Committee member summarizes two notable elder law cases that were decided by Minnesota courts in 2021.


Why Early Settlement Should Be Considered During the Pandemic
By Amy L. Drushal – January 19, 2021
All clients want their day in court and to have their voices heard. But that may not happen anytime soon, so what other options do practitioners have for pending matters?

Checking Boxes and Your Forms: Why Understanding IRS Forms 1099 Is Key
By Robert W. Wood – January 19, 2021
IRS Forms 1099 allow computer matching of Social Security numbers with dollar amounts paid and received. Learn more about Forms 1099, changes in tax reporting, and how they can affect your practice. 

How to Develop a Rock Star Team in Your Firm
By Wendy Witt – January 19, 2021
Are you ready to hire or restructure your firm? Improve your odds of hiring the right person at the right time for the right seat and of developing that person into a rock star team member. 

Reopening Offices and Restoring Profitability
By Michael L. Goldblatt – January 19, 2021
Whether you are looking to reopen your office space and regain any lost profits, or boost morale within your firm, check out these tips for success.


How to Beat BigLaw
By Wendy Merrill – October 17, 2019
Leaving a larger firm and starting a solo or small practice can be challenging, but here are a few things to keep in mind and help you stand out among the bigger crowd.

One Lawyer’s Struggle with Anxiety and Depression
By Michael S. McKnight – October 17, 2019
Regardless of your firm size or area of practice, mental health affects many in the legal field and can unfortunately take dominance over one’s life.

Could Your Firm Benefit from Having a Virtual Assistant?
By Lisa Tenerowicz – October 17, 2019
While having a solo law firm has its advantages, it does mean the attorney is responsible for all aspects of the business. But there is help.

Updated Process for Offshore Voluntary Disclosures
By Eli S. Noff and Mary Lundstedt – October 17, 2019
The updated process for the OVDP may seem, on its face, to mirror the former program. Read on to determine whether and how the updates may impact you and your clients.

Family Law and Divorce Tax—Revisited
By Thomas C. Ries and Kris Hallengren – May 01, 2019
How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 can affect your clients and your practice.

Marketing with Directory Listings
By Michael L. Goldblatt – May 01, 2019
How to optimize your listing and attract more clients using lawyer directories.

New Laws Mandate Sexual Harassment Training
By Michael L. Goldblatt – May 01, 2019
A short legislative history, a summary of the laws recently adopted in New York, and a list of resources for establishing best practices in law firms and client workplaces.

Tips and Tricks on Giving Gifts to Keep Clients Returning and Referring
By Michael L. Goldblatt – May 01, 2019
Promotional products are a rainmaking tool that keeps your name in front of clients for an extended period.

Tips for Maintaining a Happy and Effective Lawyer-Client Relationship
By Samantha Rodier – May 01, 2019
Ten simple ways you can build rapport with your clients.


How Are Solo and Small Firms Important Partners in Disaster-Relief Programs?
By Jackie Condella – October 31, 2017
An interview with Chauntis Jenkins Floyd on the ABA program “Surviving a Disaster: Practicing in the Aftermath and Preparing Your Law Firm for the Next Disaster.”

Tips for Hiring Expert Witnesses Without Wasting Your Time or Your Client’s Money
By Adam Matheson – October 31, 2017
Four ways to find a qualified expert on your own without exceeding the client’s budget.

Respect Your Adversaries: How to Overcome the Adversarial Nature of Litigation
By Jade P. Gary – October 31, 2017
How to stand up to opposing counsel while still protecting your client’s interests and your professional reputation.

The Art of Storytelling: How to Use War Stories to Teach Enduring Trial Lessons
By Carmen D. Caruso – August 20, 2017
Learning the craft of trial practice depends on how you tell the story.

Billing Is a Critical Management Issue
By Elizabeth M. Miller – February 28, 2017
Nothing strikes a nerve with clients more than having to pay legal fees.

The Decision to Turn Away a Client
By Elizabeth M. Miller – February 28, 2017
Tips for navigating the two-way street of the attorney-client relationship.

Litigation Funding: What Are the Benefits for Solo Practitioners and Small Firms?
By David Gallagher – January 25, 2017
Practical and ethical issues that deserve careful consideration.

How to Approach That Difficult Client as a Newer Attorney
By Conor Desmond – January 25, 2017
Steps for avoiding unnecessary headaches and even malpractice claims.

The Ups and Downs of Being “Of Counsel”
By Elizabeth Homsy – January 25, 2017
Some of the perils and benefits for an attorney looking to take on one of these roles.

Eight Networking Tips for Young Lawyers
By Kristine A. Bergman – January 25, 2017
For those who find networking to be daunting, pointless, and generally unpleasant.


Class Actions 101: How I Began My Practice
By Emily J. Kirk – July 19, 2016
Our area of litigation is a rewarding practice for attorneys on both sides of the "v."

David v. Goliath: Representing the Underdog Against Big Corporations
By Robert Zarco and Kaari Gagnon – August 1, 2016
Representing small business against the industry's "giants" can be daunting for a young lawyer.

Four Principles to Help Guide Your Legal Writing
By Jillian Singer – August 1, 2016
The best trial lawyers need to learn to become excellent writers.

Franchise Law: Representing a Franchisor at Trial
By Kevin M. Shelley and David J. Kaufmann – August 1, 2016
Ways to educate the judge and jury about the parties' franchise relationship and demonstrate your client's compliance.

"Preponderance of Evidence" Standard Deems Lost Profits Recoverable
By Carmen D. Caruso – August 1, 2016
How much evidence is required to establish "reasonable certainty"?

Ten Reasons Why Going Solo Can Make You a Happier Lawyer
By Diane A. Seltzer Torre – February 9, 2016
An experienced practitioner shares her reasons for going, and staying, solo.

Top 5 Expectations for Young Lawyers
By Carmen D. Caruso – February 9, 2016
Take ownership of your career, be a part of the team, maintain candor, and commit to professional development.

How to Train Young Lawyers to Become Excellent Trial Lawyers
By Caesar A. Tabet and John M. Fitzgerald – February 9, 2016
The long-term success of any litigation firm depends on its ability to train its young attorneys in trial practice.

Always Be an Advocate
By John Balestriere – February 9, 2016
Young lawyers have a lot to learn once they graduate-being an advocate is one of the harder, and more important, early lessons.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Small Firm Mentorship
By Ronald K. Gardner – February 9, 2016
Young attorneys hired by small firms shouldn't expect to be handed a mentorship like a participation trophy.


Endorse Me, Endorse Me Not: LinkedIn Etiquette for Small Law
By Sam Alba – September 23, 2015
Five big dos and don'ts that every attorney should know about online networking.

Mentor, Make Me a Better Lawyer
By Lisa O'Connor – August 28, 2015
Mentorship empowers young associates to the benefit of the entire firm.

ABA Clarifies Inconsistent Interpretation of Sale of Law Practice Rules to the Benefit of Sole Practitioners
By William Knight – April 14, 2015
Guidance on selling a solo firm upon retirement.

Remember to Breathe
By Christy Cassisa – February 17, 2015
Practicing law can sometimes feel like confronting a wild tiger.

How Lawyers Can Stand Out (for Now) Without Using Social Media
By Mitch Jackson – February 17, 2015
Make up for your lack of an online presence by creating an exceptional offline client experience.

Mentoring: Helping Young Lawyers "Start Well"
By Kimberly Stamatelos – February 17, 2015
Veteran lawyers hoping to "finish well" should consider serving as mentors to help young lawyers "start well."

Why You Should Sleep under Your Desk
By Kate Mayer Mangan – February 17, 2015
Practicing law requires that your brain function at its best, and taking quality breaks can improve your cognition.


The Ethics of Space Sharing
By Emily L. Bloedel – December 12, 2013
Attorneys sharing an office space should put in place the following safeguards to avoid being perceived as one firm.

The Modern-Day Mobile Lawyer's Manifesto, Part Two
By Michael J.P. Schewe – December 12, 2013
Your law office is all around you.

Legal Business Development for a Changing Profession
By Paula Black – December 12, 2013
Don't get left behind.

Hackers Are Targeting Law Firms: Are You Ready?
By Stacy Berliner – August 27, 2013
Recent cyber attacks on law firms, as well as revisions to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, require attorneys to understand the security risks and protect their clients' information.

Chief Judge Imposes Severe Sanctions
By Lauren M. Koloseike – April 17, 2013
The Haeger opinion could expand the scope and severity of sanctions imposed against a party and its counsel for engaging in bad faith conduct during the discovery process.

Five Law Firm Web Strategies for 2013
By Michael Eck – February 7, 2013
Consider these crucial factors when building or redesigning a law firm website for today's market.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Wired Law Office
By Aaron M. Kelly – February 7, 2013
Time to move your firm into the cloud.

Breaking Down Cloud Computing
By Nicole Black and Matt Spiegel– February 7, 2013
Let's explore the technology, risks, and ethical issues posed by the use of cloud computing in your law practice.

Tackling Document-Preservation Letters
By Gabriel R. Aragon – February 7, 2013
Complying with the heightened duty to preserve all relevant records can be daunting for your small-firm clients.

The Modern-Day Mobile Lawyer's Manifesto
By Michael J.P. Schewe – February 7, 2013
How I learned to stop worrying and love being paperless.


Five Tips for Young Lawyers Hanging a Shingle
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – November 12, 2012
Establishing a solo practice right out of law school comes with many perks—and potential pitfalls. Follow these tips to ensure your fledgling firm beats the odds.

A Recent Graduate's Toolbox for Building a Law Practice
By Sofia S. Lingos – May 9, 2012
Starting a law practice is like building a house—you need the right tools and a good plan to set it up right.

How I Decided to Open My Practice
By Sandra Johnston – May 9, 2012
The path to private practice can be a very crooked road—here's one story.

Book Review: The E-Myth Attorney
By Jason Kohlmeyer – May 9, 2012
While some people think they have what it takes to run a small business because they are good at what they do, many lack the entrepreneurial spirit to actually succeed.


Tips for Using Technology While Keeping Client Information Confidential
By Lisa O'Connor – October 25, 2011
With the use of new technology comes unchartered ethical territory for lawyers to navigate.

Non-Lawyer Ownership of Law Firms: A Historical Debate
By Norayr Zurabyan – September 8, 2011
The question of whether non-lawyers should be permitted to own law firms has been debated for many years.

How to Build and Maintain Client Relationships
By Kathryn Harris – February 1, 2011
A recent podcast

Call the Equalizer
By Gerald T. Giaimo – January 20, 2009
As solo or small firm litigators, we all have had moments when we wished we had an "Equalizer" to call.

Rainmaking Basics from a Construction Lawyer
By Gerald T. Giaimo – January 20, 2009
The business development key is to both embrace the fundamental habits of good lawyering and adopt a modern business strategy, marketing directly to industry-relevant prospects.

Finding a Niche: One Key to Solo Success and Happiness
By Roland W. Baggott III – January 20, 2009
If you are a solo practitioner seeking more stability and satisfaction from your practice, developing a niche may work for you.

Jumpstarting Forseeability: Third Party Premises Liability
By Roland W. Baggott III – January 20, 2009
When the criminal conduct of third parties is reasonably foreseeable, an affirmative duty arises.