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My next door neighbor runs his law practice out of his house and seems to be doing quite well (if that Mercedes S550 in his garage is any indication). I'm not sure what he'd do without cell phones and bluetooth since every time I see him, he's wandering around the yard talking! I'm an IT journalist who works from home, so I can certainly relate to the advantages.

Eric L. Mayer

In planning for my practice, a lot of people questioned my plan. I got a lot of "You're going to work where?" and "Are you sure you want to do that?" I'm sure such interrogation might cause someone to rethink their motives and plan. Now, I do work from my home, but not exclusively. I also work at clients' homes, parks, coffee shops, and just about anywhere else. Someone once asked me where my office is. My response: "Yes."

For me, it was key to test my plan in a number of different ways. I did this while on active duty in the Army Trial Defense Service. First, I committed to a near paperless office. I say near paperless because I always needed to keep a couple of things at arms reach. However, those things never exceeded a 1'' binder. Everything else was scanned. Some of my software actually allowed me to create searchable PDFs (which paid-off tenfold in the courtroom). In the end, I discovered that a well-planned paperless office is actually more efficient and convenient than a papered office. The hard part is the setup phase. Like growing a beard, you must persevere through the itchy stage.

The next thing I did was give my plan a test-run. Now, it was necessary to do this while still providing my clients with my A game. Therefore, I put a lot of planning into this process, and it worked great. I took a couple of cases at a military installation that was 6 hours away from mine. I forced myself to operate with the assumption that I would be without printing, reproduction, and network access when at those cases, and I structured my planning around these assumptions. If you correctly frame your circumstances before execution, you'll do fine. A test-drive like this is critical because it gives you confidence in your plan while minimizing risk.

In the end, it worked like a charm. It felt wonderful to sit at a picnic table at a park in 70-degree, clear, sunny weather briefing my client and his family on our plan for trial using my laptop. It was liberating, comfortable, and, in my opinion, the way representation is supposed to be. They were thrilled, and that's what matters to me.

Eric Mayer


Enjoyable read! I've been working from home since I had my daughter nearly three years ago. My law practice has not suffered at all. Since most of my clients come from networking/word-of-mouth, they already know me or know of someone who knows me. They know I handle their cases efficiently and they like the more relaxed, personal attention. My husband, who works full-time outside the home, does so that we can have medical insurance and steady income during the slower times. Since he's an attorney as well, we work together on larger cases and share networking efforts. Now that we just had another child two months ago, we have even more incentive to make our work-from-home practice successful. This is the absolute BEST way for me to balance having a family with my career. I can spend quality time with them without being overly stressed AND I can still put my qualifications to good use. Now I have to go so I can finish cooking dinner...

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