Series: "A Firm Foundation"To get from the idea of starting a law practice to owning a thriving law firm there are many decisions and challenges. This series is written to help attorneys navigate the journey as they start or build their firms.
I’ve been a lawyer since 1998 and I am admitted to practice law in Arizona and Washington State. I built successful practices in both states and have tried more than 100 cases to verdict. I created LawLytics to empower lawyers to build their practices without having to depend on marketing agencies or struggle with website software that’s not built for them.
– Dan Jaffe, Attorney and LawLytics CEO
A Conversation With Kathryn Burmeister, Attorney and Author of “Overcoming Addiction to the Status Quo”
Today I sat down for a conversation with Attorney Kathryn Burmeister, author of “Overcoming Addiction to the Status Quo” which I believe should be on the reading list of every lawyer and law student.
Today I’m going to pause my story about hiring my first law firm employees to address something unexpected.
On Wednesday, I wrote something that turned out to touch more of a nerve (and was more controversial) than I had imagined or intended. In a blog post about my early experiences hiring law firm employees,
Today we’ll talk about my next hire, my first true experienced law legal assistant, and how that made my life and my practice so much more scalable, but also, as a solo practitioner made me vulnerable.
As a frazzled attorney with the burden of seemingly more weighty things (my next trial, keeping my clients out of jail, and saving their families and careers) it was easy to engage in magical but flawed thinking. I believed saying “You’re hired” would solve my problems and wouldn’t create new ones.
I had clients and revenue. My practice was growing rapidly. I had a real office (not a starter office closet) and a building with parking occupied by lawyers. The building provided a shared receptionist. She answered my phones, which were routed through a rats nest of analogue wires that somehow connected the right lines to the right rooms.
What I really needed was to start thinking like a business owner rather than a solo operator. Businesses hire employees, and I would need to do so if I wanted to sustain what I had built, let alone grow.
In this post, I’m going to talk about how I weathered the learning curve of being a suddenly very busy attorney while trying to build my firm for the long term. They call it the “practice” of law for a reason. Every lawyer has a lifelong learning curve about not just law and procedure, but about the “soft skills” listed above and many others. As a solo lawyer, you need to know every aspect of your business, and often need to competently execute every bit of it yourself.
This is the seventh post in my blog series about how to start and build a solo law practice. This will be roughly a year-long series that will cover everything a lawyer needs to know about creating and growing a thriving law practice. In these early posts I’m taking...
In this post I’m going to talk about how I survived in the early months before I had a client base of my own, as well as cover some early legal marketing experiments.
This is the fifth post in my blog series about how to start and build a solo law practice. At the beginning of the series I’m taking the time to tell my story, which I hope will frame the advice and opinions that I give in future posts. In the last post I covered the...
Law school and the bar exam are a crucible of sorts. In experiencing and surviving a stressful and transformational experience, lifelong bonds are created with people with whom, prior to law school, the law student may have had little to nothing in common. There are several classmates that, had we met in the real world without the context of law school, we would have never become friends. Nevertheless, because of the law school experience, we’re friends for life. I keep in contact with many of my classmates, and a good many of them have become LawLytics customers.
If you want to start your own law practice right out of law school, you can absolutely do it, and it can absolutely give you a lucrative and highly fulfilling career. Whether you’re pre-law, a 1L or a 3L wondering when you’ll get the chance to take the bar exam (I’m writing this in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis lockdown), now is the time to embark on that solo practice journey, or start exploring whether it’s right for you. I hope my story, which outlines one of infinite possible paths, is helpful, and that the subsequent posts in this series will give you the tools and inspiration to successfully make that choice and that leap.
This is the second post in my new blog series about starting a solo law practice. The first was a general introduction to the series and topic, while this post is an introduction to my backstory, which I'll tell before tackling a range to topics and tricks to make...
If you’re a lawyer or law student thinking about starting your own practice, let me first say congratulations. You are contemplating a venture that is rich with rewards and satisfaction, and that, in my opinion, can provide the best quality of practice and of life in the law. The journey to a successful solo law practice starts with a single thought, and if you’re reading these words, you’re likely well on your way.