A month ago I received my autographed copy of The Ultimate Guide to Solo and Small Firm Success by Connecticut solo attorney Renee Caggiano Berman. Naturally I was a little excited as she had requested I write the foreword to the book and I agreed after seeing two sample chapters.
There is currently one staple out there, ‘How To Start and Build a Practice’ by solo icon, Jay Foonberg. A year ago another breakout book by Carolyn Elefant, ‘Solo by Choice‘ brought a fresh and current perspective to solo practice and is destined to be a solo practitioner’s desktop classic because of its attitude and content.
The Ultimate Guide to Solo and Small Firm Success (a title that I would not have chosen…and don’t think Renee did, either) may very well create the perfect trifecta of solo books because Renee brings balanced information from her own perspective in a basic yet power-packed primer on getting started.
What I found most appealing (and different) in Renee’s book are two unique chapters:
Chapter 11 – The Misnomer of Balance
‘Balance does not exist. It is the holy grail of the attorney.
Balance is synonymous to a scale of justice. Even if the scales appear balanced for a moment, it only takes a little pressure to make one side rise above the other. The scales are constantly adjusting and realigning themselves based on the pressure they receive.’
As a solo practitioner, although it now may be easier to attend your child’s school play or coach little league baseball, those brief moments of retreat from the office are often followed by a Friday night hunched over your desk at 10:00 pm to catch up on what was missed when you were away. You have attained the ability to make choices. You can now determine what is most important at that moment.
Renee goes on to offer perspective, areas which create the most stress for solos and advice on how to handle.
Chapter 13 – Lipstick In A Briefcase: The Female Solo Practitioner
Here Renee exposes very elegantly the issues unique to the female solo practitioner. It’s not always pretty. Her observations are honest and she provides very practical and beneficial advice for the female solo. It’s just one short chapter but it packs a wallop with startling statistics which encourage you to take care of yourself on all fronts.
Renee also has 49 pages of forms, templates of letters, retainer agreements, authorizations, affidavits, case management forms, settlements letters and much more in print and a CD filled with templates which is included with the book.
It is a well rounded, thoughtful primer on starting a solo practice.
If you would like to check it out you can do so here.
(I do NOT receive an affiliate commission. I simply had the pleasure of writing the foreword and happy to promote to my readers.)