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November 29, 2011 Practice Points

Going Solo: Challenges and Solutions

By Cindy Albracht-Crogan

For a variety of reasons, including flexibility and independence, more lawyers are establishing solo practices than ever before. The influx of technology, including office management software, legal research tools, and handheld devices has to some degree begun to level the playing field between solo practitioners and larger law firms. This has also translated into decreases in overhead, increases in revenue, improved time management, healthier attorneys, and happier clients. However, the stress associated with the practice of law and running a business remains.

In "Solo Practice in the 21st Century," Maggie Green describes some of the challenges of embarking on a solo practice and suggests potential solutions to overcome them. Her recommendations include creating a business plan and budget that identifies both short and long-term financial and non-financial goals. It is also important to organize your practice by creating an office procedure and always following the procedures you create. Then, a solo practitioner should focus on doing great work in a specific practice area. Creating a website will help you give a great first impression and go beyond the walls of your office to connect with clients and other professionals via blogs, tweets, and email. Finally, a solo practitioner can reduce overhead by practicing in a home or shared office space.

Solo practitioners who employ measures to improve efficiencies, stay organized, remain focused, and develop valuable relationships to expand their professional network and obtain mentors will prove invaluable at the beginning stages of a solo career.

Cindy Albracht-Crogan is with Cohen, Kennedy, Dowd & Quigley in Phoenix, Arizona.

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