When I first started consulting many years ago, one of my first clients was a lawyer debating going solo after realizing he could earn far more on his own than trying to become a partner in the firm where he worked. In order to get a raise he would have had to triple his earnings for the firm. When he realized if he was going to work that hard it might as well all go in his own pocket, going out on his own was just too obvious a solution to ignore. But it’s not just about numbers. We went through all the pros and cons, his unique situation, his goals for both his personal and professional life and much more before he solidly arrived at the solo option.
He has been a very successful solo for eight or nine years now. We’ve kept in touch. Periodically he’s needed some guidance (more like affirmation of what he knows he wants to do with some tweaking and help avoiding landmines along the way) when making some major decisions about the direction of his practice. The last time we connected he was very seriously contemplating closing his office about five miles from home and converting the dilapidated garage on his property into an office. Since he’s a trusts and estates attorney and does transactional work, it made sense. We ran the numbers, did an analysis of his clients, how they worked together, the clients’ access needs and more. We reviewed virtual assistance versus maintaining office personnel and really taking it into the cloud for most of his actual work. It all made perfect economic and professional sense. Here is our most recent communication post-consult.
Just wanted to let you know that I am now a (thoroughly happy) home-based solo attorney! Construction took about 4 months, but now I have a fully-operating law office in the backyard. Click here for a full photo album of the construction project and here for my blog post.I wanted to thank you for giving me the thumbs-up on this at the beginning. That was all I needed to pull the trigger and now I think this new set-up is going to greatly enhance my law practice in terms of productivity, marketing image and my overall life/work balance. Gotta say, it was psychologically difficult to adjust to my new commute (about 20 paces from the back door) but I’m getting used to it very quickly!
I just wanted to show you what a little creativity, responsible number crunching and not fearing the process of change can achieve: