At the beginning of this year I decided (mostly because I had really no other choice) to open my own firm. This was frightening to say the least, especially for someone who’d always enjoyed the anonymity and dependability of existing as a cog in the machine of our nation’s glorious governmental bureaucracy. But now that I’ve been doing this for over half a year, and I still have my bar license!
So it’s probably time to check in and provide some advice for the nameless hordes of 3L’s who will soon be weighing the choice between working out of their kitchen after passing the bar….or years of FUNemployment. So without any further adieu, here are the top five things I’ve learned in half a year of doing it for myself:
Hire some help as soon (and cheaply) as you can
Hi reader! Are you lucky enough to be an attorney working for a medium to large-sized firm where most of the staff is legal support folk? Well guess what? Those people matter more to the firm than you. Seriously, go hug your paralegal right now and tell him/her how screwed you’d be without their work (then apologize for the unsafe work environment you just created).
Now, my client list is still tiny compared to the average caseload for a first year attorney, but time I spend actually lawyering pales in comparison to all the background duties a solo attorney has to undertake (including collecting payments from somewhat recalcitrant clients). That’s why when I had enough money available to hire my buddy Art (pictured above on the right) to assist with some of that awful shit, I jumped at the chance. Resourcefulness is the mark of a good millennial, so turning the guy on my couch into a paralegal is one good way to #disrupt the dying legal industry So now I’m not only a small business owner, I’m a goddamn job creator with a net record better than George W. Bush.