April 2012 | Survival Guide for Young Lawyers: Making Lemonade
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50 Web Resources for the Suddenly Solo Lawyer

By Jim Calloway and Allison C. Shields

(Because of the popularity of this extremely informative article and its continued relevance to lawyers starting a solo practice by choice or necessity, we are re-running this 2009 article that has been updated by its authors to insure current information.)

So you’re suddenly solo. Do you look for a new job immediately, consider starting a new solo or small firm law practice, take on some legal work from acquaintances in the meantime or make an entire new master plan for your life and career? Only you can answer these questions for yourself. But we think spending a day or more reading and reviewing these free online resources will give you a lot of inspiration and ideas. (If you count, you may even find more than 50 links in this article – we’re lawyers, not accountants!)

Great Articles to Read

Weather the Storm, by Gerry Riskin and Robert Millard
The National, Canadian Bar Association, April/May 2008 issue

What Should You Do Now? A Roundtable Discussion on Law Practice in a Time of Great Economic Turmoil Moderated and Edited By Dennis Kennedy
Law Practice Today, November 2008

Going Solo on a Budget by Dennis Kennedy
ABA Journal, April 2009

Teaming Up, Starting Anew by Dennis Kennedy
ABA Journal, May 2009

Law Office Start-up: Law Office on a Shoestring, by Sheila Blackford
Oregon State Bar Bulletin - Managing Your Practice, October 2008

Weather the Storm: Law Firm Risk Management in Hard Times, by Mark J.Fucile
Oregon State Bar Bulletin - Managing Your Practice, May 2009

Managing Anxiety in Uncertain Times
Oregon Attorney Assistance Program In Sight Newsletter, March 2009

Choices: Law Firm Billing and Accounting Software, by Dee Crocker
Oregon State Bar Bulletin - Managing Your Practice, December 2008

How to Take Control of Your Practice by Creating Vision and Mission Statement By Allison Shields

Practicing Law in Tough Economic Times By Jim Calloway
Oklahoma Bar Journal, January 2009

More Thoughts on Practicing Law in Tough Economic Times By Jim Calloway
Oklahoma Bar Journal, February 2009

In a Tough Economy, the Importance of Effective Client Screening By Deborah E. Gillis
Law Practice Today, November 2008

LawPRO Magazine Surviving the Slide: Dealing with the Tough Economy (Winter 2008/2009)

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (Massachusetts), Spring 2009 newsletter Theme issue on Responding to Trying Times


Robert Ambrogi’s Law Sites keeps lawyers up to date on websites for lawyers.

David Bilinsky’s Thoughtful Legal Management discusses law firm finance, profitability and the use of technology in law practice.

JD Bliss helps lawyers balance work and life.

Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips blog talks about practice management, the Internet and technology.

Look to Counsel to Counsel for all things related to legal careers.

Ellen Freedman’s Law Practice Management blog helps lawyers manage the business side of their practice.

Don’t miss "What About Clients?" 12 Rules of Client Service.

Tom Kane’s Legal Marketing Blog is dedicated to lawyer marketing in any size firm.

Dennis Kennedy’s Dennis Kennedy.com focuses mostly on legal technology.

Erik Mazzone’s Law Practice Matters Blog shows lawyers how to practice smart.

Tom Mighell’s Inter-Alia blog is among other things, an internet legal research weblog.

Home office lawyering is the focus at Chuck Newton's Rides the Third Wave.

Another blog focusing on the home office phenomenon include: Home Office Warrior.

Ed Poll’s Law Biz Blog is a practical guide for lawyers.

Gerry Riskin’s Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices covers legal practices from all angles.

Allison Shields’ Legal Ease Blog helps lawyers create more productive, profitable and enjoyable law practices. (Additional articles from Allison can be found at: Lawyer Meltdown).

Small Firm Innovation is a blog emphasizing practical solutions for solo and small firm lawyers written by various contributors that bills itself as “a resource by, for and about solo and small-firm lawyers.”

Guides, Checklists and Other Sets of Resources

Carolyn Elefant’s MyShingle blog has long been recognized as a premiere resource for solo and small firm lawyers. See her resources and information for solos (includes forms and checklists for solos or those starting a law practice) and her online guide to starting a law practice.

Economic Resource Guide (Maryland State Bar Association)

Starting Your Own Practice (Florida Bar)

Starting a Law Practice Web Directory (Oklahoma Bar Association)

Checklist for Starting a Law Practice (Missouri Bar)

practicePro’s “Managing” series of booklets

Eight great downloadable booklets on managing your law practice. Your attention is directed to #6 “Managing the finances of your practice” where their sample law firm budget (in PDF or Excel) is their most popular download. Unlock Your Potential: Hanging Out Your Shingle: A 79 page e-book in PDF format from the ABA Young Lawyer’s Division on setting up a law practice.

Attorneys post forms, motions and other documents here, and you can post your profile and get known as well.

IRS Starting a Business Resources

Small Business Administration
(see Small Business Planner, Tools and Local Resources)

Legal Discussion Groups

Solosez – An ABA listserv for solo and small firm lawyers

Solomarketing – formed as a splinter group from Solosez, Solomarketing discusses all aspects of marketing for your law practice. For information, go to Solomarketing and search for Sololawyermarketing.

Lawtech – Informal e-mail discussion list focused on legal technology. Get tech help and find out about the latest technology trends.

(There are also many legal discussion groups on LinkedIn and other social networking sites)

Resources from the American Bar Association

ABA Law Practice Management Section Website provides news, tips, great CLE programs and more.

Law Practice Magazine.

Law Practice Today (If you got to this feature by a link from a friend or search, don’t forget to subscribe to this free monthly webzine while you are here.)

ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

GPSolo Magazine
Start with the Small theme issue, April/May 2009

Then look through all of the other issues, online and free to non-members.

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center a collection of technology resources and information

Current articles (Articles are free but access to certain archives require ABA membership)

Site-tation: Law Technology Resource Center's blog

Whether you’re suddenly solo by choice or by design, there are a wealth of sites and resources available to help you plan your new practice and get it off the ground. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope that it will help you get started.

Law Practice Today on Facebook

About the Authors

Jim Calloway is the Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program. He publishes the blog Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips and was the co-author of the book Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour (2nd ed.) (2002 ABA.) He was chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2005. He is a member of the Council of the ABA's Law Practice Management Section and chair of its Practice Management Advisors Committee. He is co-chair of the 2007 GP/SOLO National Solo and Small Firm Conference. He has been named a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He writes Law Practice Tips column for the Oklahoma Bar Journal. The archives of that column are available online here.

Allison C. Shields, Esq., President of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. is a former practicing attorney and law firm manager who helps lawyers create more productive, profitable and enjoyable law practices. Visit her blog at www.LegalEaseConsulting.com or her website at www.LawyerMeltdown.com.

Table of Contents

Law Practice Management Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

Alternative Fee Arrangements: It's Time for Value-Based Billing!
April 19, 2012, LPM Member Rate $85 | Use code RSSPLPM


Facebook for Lawyers
May 17, 2012, LPM Member Rate $55 | Use code RSTPLPM


LinkedIn for Lawyers
June 5, 2012, LPM Member Rate $55 | Use code RSTPLPM

Job Quest for Lawyers: The Essential Guide to Finding and Landing the Job You Want The Lawyer's Essential Guide to Writing: Proven Tools and Techniques The 2012 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide

The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology54th Edition: Ethics and Technology – The Rules Are Changing

By Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson


Law Practice Magazine, March/April 2012 IssueLaw Practice is the leading magazine on the business of practicing law. Published six times per year, it offers insightful advice and practical tips on marketing, management, technology and finance.

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John D. Bowers, Fox Rothschild LLP


Wendy L. Werner, Werner Associates LLC


Andrea Malone, White and Williams LLP


Lourdes Flora Brezo-Martinez, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Barbara H. Brown, Meagher & Geer PLLP

Andrea Cannavina, LegalTypist, Inc.

Margaret M. DiBianca, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP

Rodney Dowell, LCL, Inc.,

Nicholas Gaffney, Infinite Public Relations, LLC

Katy M. Goshtasbi, Puris Image

Jeremy Kridel, Indiana Court of Appeals

George E. Leloudis, McGuire Wood & Bissette PA

Allison C. Shields, Legal Ease Consulting, Inc.

Thomas W. Shumate IV, Kay Griffin Enkema & Colbert, PLLC

Gregory H. Siskind, Siskind Susser, P.C.

Ben Stevens, The Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Center

Wendy L. Werner, Werner Associates LLC

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