All Solo Practitioners Are Entrepreneurs

It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Time to celebrate our future because more and more people will be entrepreneurs then ever before.  They will not take jobs. They will make jobs. And the legal profession is no exception:

There is also a timely article in the new ABA Journal which highlights a potential new hierarchy within law schools – those who admit students that exhibit certain traits and characteristics versus strictly grades because law firms are looking for ‘types’ of lawyers to hire who can help them to effectively compete in today’s new economy and legal landscape:

“Sure, lawyers need to be smart,” he writes. “But in this more competitive environment, they also need to be personable, collaborative, entrepreneurial, service oriented, and interested in contributing to the collective welfare of the law firm.”


“Obviously, beyond intelligence as applied to legal doctrine, many of the attributes needed for success in the ‘new normal’ legal economy are not attributes emphasized in law school”….

This is a serious (and long-overdue) acknowledgment.  Top schools may very well seek the brightest on paper but not necessarily the smartest to survive in today’s new marketplace.  Successful solos don’t necessarily come from the top tier schools (maybe because they were smart enough to go to the right school for their goals) and they certainly look at what skill sets they need as not something that’s demeaning (business and marketing) but as a set of valuable skills they need to create a practice for themselves.  I’ve railed ad nauseam about the importance of business education at law school to no avail.  I’ve never seen Top Tier law schools as necessary for all law students.  It all turns on your individual goals, needs and finances.  It’s why I abhor U.S. News and World Report’s school ranking system because it perpetuates a dangerous falsity.

Anyway, today is also the fourth anniversary  since I started blogging.  It has been an incredible adventure into a world I never would have discovered but for the diversity of social media platforms, technologies and the people who sit at their keyboards and bring them all to life with information, fun, controversy and engagement.  I started blogging first with Build A Solo Practice, LLC which has now merged with the  Solo Practice University blog because SPU is a community and this blog is the face of this wonderful community of lawyers and law students.

It’s fair to say I am an entrepreneur, first starting my own law practice with two others upon graduating law school, evolving into my solo practice, teaching others to create and grow their solo practices through my consulting and then kicking off Solo Practice University, March 2009.

It’s been an incredible journey and it’s also been one where events were initially triggered by a crisis:

More often then not today, solos become solos because of their attitude towards crises in their lives. It is during these times of crisis they discover their entrepreneurial spirit.

Ask yourself this question, ‘If you knew you would never draw another paycheck as an employee working for another what would you do?’ The answer to this question often lights the pilot light of entrepreneurship which burns in all of us.

I dare say most of us would not lay down and die and send our children to shelters.  We would find a way.  Now imagine you have a law degree? The opportunities to find your way are only as limiting as you permit them to be.  Those who succeed don’t think in terms of limits, they think in terms of endless opportunities.

Over the course of Solo Practice University’s 19 months of operation we have found our students referring to us as their ‘home base’, comforting, a ‘private bubble’ of camaraderie and excellent mentorship, a launching pad.  You can be an entrepreneur.  But being an entrepreneur does not mean doing it alone.  It’s quite the contrary!

So, here’s to celebrating entrepreneurship!!  If you are a solo, in honor of entrepreneurship week, no matter what is going on with your business at this moment, celebrate that you had the guts to stake a claim and try (and more often than not, succeed.)

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