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» Thank You to the MANY Voices of Solo Practice Who Serve Clients and Improve Our Profession from My Shingle
I'm still blushing after all of the compliments and good wishes from my fellow bloggers who linked to this article about my practice and my book, Solo by Choice and I won't deny that I enjoyed the publicity (as well... [Read More]

» The Lock-Step Monster from My Shingle
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost Why is it that biglaw is always engaged in a constant game of follow the leader? A... [Read More]

Comments

Susan Cartier Liebel

Congratulations on this brilliant piece. I have been teaching "How to Hang a Shingle Right Out of Law School" at Quinnipiac University School of Law since 2000 and this is EXACTLY my philosophy but I present it as "You are the Product" eveything else is overhead and by minimizing your overhead you have freedom to design your personal and professional life. Take advantage of all technology has to offer and it is the great equalizer. You can earn less and take home more, put in less hours and take home more of each dollar by practicing law intelligently. Brilliant. Bravo!

Chris Lee

I absolutely love your philosophy! As a law student, this is precisely the sort of thing I've wanted to do my entire life. I've puzzled about why one couldn't work from the back of a car or their own home and experience freedom while _also_ providing your clients with top notch service. Everyone I know is stampeding towards big law firms right now, so it's good to know that I'm not alone, that my future plans aren't impossible dreams.

Sandy Slaga

As a 50 year old former personal injury trial attorney who stepped away for the past 7 years, I am thrilled to know that this can be done. Thank you!

Linsey

I've operated a solo law practice out of my house since my twins were born in 2004. I think it is an especially appealing type of practice for young attorneys with kids. I love the way you put what I do - I truly operate virtually anywhere and everywhere. When faced with the prospect of going back to traditional law practice, I shudder! I just launched a new website and blog (I find myself sucked into the blogoshpere lately - I'm at www.kroliklegal.com).

Mark Bennett

Chuck,

I'm sitting in the attorney ready room in the criminal courthouse, reading your blog on my laptop with a wireless internet connection, thinking: yeah, that's about right!

With a criminal trial practice, not everything can be done virtually . . . I can't fax in a closing argument, and can't pick a jury by phone. But since I started practicing 12 years ago I've done my best to minimize overhead, and minimizing overhead has largely meant virtualizing the office.

Jim Schroeder

Thank you for that informative piece. I am taking a break from studying for the February bar tonight. Your thoughts challenged and encouraged me.

Richard Granat

I stumbled across this blog while browsing around and it is perfectly on point for these times. I will add you to my blawgroll as soon as I can.

I write about lawyering, virtual lawyering,virtual law firms at my elawyering blog at http://www.elawyeringredux.com I think you will find that we have a lot in common.

fbc

Wow; this is so timely for me. I'm a bankruptcy-consumer lawyer currently working for peanuts in a small skyscraper firm where at 46, I'm the "young whippersnapper" of the firm.

Everything about the place is perpetually "1985" -- its like stepping back into a time machine.

Lately, I've been seriously considering a change of scenery. Your post is exactly where my head is at this point.

But I do have a question: what do you say to the argument that it doesn't make business sense to have attorneys doing secretarial and administrative work? I mean, should we really be typing our own docs, making our own copies, answering our own phones, etc., etc.?

Just recently I spent the better part of an entire day assembling trial exhibits -- making copies, tabbing, etc. Does that make any sense?

I'd love to hear your point of view.

http://alcinousbanquet.blogspot.com

David A. Huntoon

I did this pretty much from the start. My web site does well and I am totally mobile. Money is not the problem. This model worked for me, but it has it's problems. They are the same problems as more traditional firms encounter. Clients, judges, opposing counsel - all present challenges to my sanity. The rapid ease of electronic communication only exacerbates these problems. Success is easy, sanity not so much. Be careful what you wish for, because when you do this and it works it comes with a whole other bag of challenges.

Steve Tucker

I think that in theory this sounds great. In practice, however, I've found it to be a bit problematic. Clients want to be able to meet with you face to face at least once or twice during a representation, and meeting them at Starbucks or in your home office doesn't do much to impress them. Clients like to see the incidents of success and often associate a nice office with a successful, knowledgeable professional. Whether right or wrong, that's their impression. When they request a meeting and you suggest Starbucks at the corner of 5th and Main, they immediately figure you and your services are second rate. That's not what they want, and it's not good for business. This has been my primary obstacle in going "third wave." Any thoughts?

A. Albert

I have the same problem and, through much searching, found an affordable virtual office ($95 a month). I even found one upscale "office" that rents meeting/conference room space on a per-use basis. When I had an office, I found that half of my clients had no problem with NEVER coming to the office. So I spent most of my time alone at $500+ per month. This saves me approx. $5,000 a year.

Bob

A Virtual Assistant is very in demand business today. It helps a lot in online business services and it's more cheaper.

Miriam Robeson

I have lived the life of a Third Wave lawyer for 14 years, and would not trade it for a traditional law office, for anything! My only departure from your definition is the whole "diplomas on the wall" thing. When I put them up 14 years ago, it was because I didn't think people would believe I was an attorney, otherwise. Now, as I repaint my office, I find that I don't care whether people believe I'm an attorney. Will replace diplomas with nice artwork.

Thanks for the validation!

Pamela Hunter

I personally do not believe it makes good business sense for an attorney to spend ANY of their time doing administrative tasks.

Along with Third Wave attorneys, there are Third Wave virtual assistants, Third Wave paralegals, and Third Wave legal experts - all of whom, in one way or another, believe in the philosophy of providing quality legal services in a "more cost effective manner" and in a work environment that they can design themselves.

Just think of the amazing potential for Third Wave (virtual) legal work teams!

Pam Hunter, Legal Virtual Assistant
www.creativeofficeservice.com

Social Media Management

This is what you call the new technology of attorney's. No more classical way of having in the office all the time.

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