You’ve got a nice little Saturday going: You didn’t get the job you wanted coming out of law school, but you’ve been running your own solo law practice for a few years now, and it feels like you’re starting to turn the corner. You’ve kept up on your networking, of course, and developed a number of key relationships with more experienced lawyers.
Then, the unthinkable happens: One of your contacts offers you a job … as an associate at her law firm.
Stop. The. Presses.
You were cruising along, and now all of a sudden, you’re faced with a big, fat fork in your road, and you’re twisting like spaghetti. …
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In a previous installment of “On Balance,” I wrote about the need for a true work-life balance as a lawyer, and specifically about the challenge of achieving it as a solo practitioner. Here, I’ll share a couple of cautionary tales of how not tending to yourself as an individual (not just a lawyer) can have disastrous consequences.
My purpose is to encourage attorneys to stop buying into the “Superman complex” — the idea that nothing is going to hurt you — and consider the ramifications of not taking care of yourself. … READ THE REST
The Friday Five
It’s a win-win. The best strategies for keeping your startup on the straight and narrow, ethics-wise, are often the same strategies that help your practice grow.
Mark Bassingthwaighte, risk advisor for malpractice insurance carrier ALPS, knows a bit about the common ethics traps and practice management missteps that can beat down solos and small firms. These tips from his e-book, “The ALPS Guide to Getting Started Solo,” will help you rise to the challenge of starting your practice and hanging in for the long term. … READ THE REST
Nothing But The Ruth
How did we decide our days would be broken up into “weekdays” and “weekends” and “business hours” and “personal time?” If you are someone’s employee, these concepts make sense. But not necessarily if you’re an entrepreneur or in an eat-what-you-kill environment.
I have long said that there’s no division between my professional and personal lives. I’m one person all the time. The same idea should apply to my time. I don’t have to divide my life into work hours and personal time. It’s all time. … READ THE REST
Office Overhead Savings
Law firms have long been known for sprawling offices, in which even the most junior associates enjoy their own private workspace. While that’s changing as larger firms adopt standard-size offices and move support staff to clustered workstations, some law practices are going in a different direction and moving to shared offices that allow them to reduce real estate expenses and work more collaboratively with peers.
As a growing number of law firms embrace the shared office model, some office providers are designing centers exclusively for the legal community, offering benefits and services that smaller firms might not be able to afford if leasing a space of their own. Here’s what you can expect if you’re shopping for legal-only shared office space. … READ THE REST
Get to the Point
“Your Honor, this is a motion to vacate the most recent order and request for rehearing. Unfortunately, our failure to appear was caused by a calendaring error in our office.”
How embarrassing. Yet, “calendaring” or “docketing” (depending on your jurisdiction) errors happen regularly. Some of the causes of these mistakes can be eliminated by avoiding certain phrases when communicating about date and time setting. … READ THE REST