Are You ‘Just A Small Time Solo Practitioner’?

Hanging a shingle

I was talking to a relative not too long ago. She’s an amazing local attorney practicing more than 30 years, the last 10 years as a solo practitioner.  Her 20 year old son was talking to her about career paths and he said, ‘but you‘re just a small time local lawyer’.  Rather than be offended, she invited him to spend the day with her as she did her ‘small time local law’.  This included visiting and taking care of some of her more than 150 conservatorships (the majority assigned to her by the state), going to hearings and then watching her conduct family mediations. When the day was done her son said, ‘I didn’t realize what you do each and every day.’ Point made.

Many solos are not practicing law that makes Breaking News headlines or overseeing multi-billion dollar mergers or heading class actions that visibly change the world.  Most solos change the world one client at a time and do so virtually unseen and seldom recognized. Their cases are like the little stone thrown in the pond but with the endless ripple effect.  Many stones thrown at the same time, though, create waves that can quite possibly change the ecosystem.  But most importantly, ‘solos’ change the lives of those they serve for the better.  Be proud. Take a moment each and every day and appreciate how you impact another in a way only a ‘small time solo practitioner’ can.

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2 comments on “Are You ‘Just A Small Time Solo Practitioner’?

  • On a daily basis we don’t see progress because intelectual work is that way: you don’t see any physival evidence. That is why you have to make it. For example before doing something appreciate what is missing, so when are done, you can appreciate what you have added, even if it is not visible, you have made it so.

    • Absolutely. You have to believe and know you are making a difference even if there is no real tangible proof. It is the same issue when clients question your bill. There is nothing solid they can bank on unless there is a major cash settlement or a division of property, etc.

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