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Monday, December 26, 2011

Lessons Learned From a Hard First Year of Solo Law Practice

I have a couple more months before I write one of these, but I'm already noticing a lot of similiarities to what I have found.  You can find the full article here:

Lessons Learned from a Hard First Year of Solo Practice

So perhaps I should just repeat some of the biggest realiziations I have had after 6 months of true full time solo practice:

First and foremost, I learned that I can do this! 

I learned not to waste money on marketing.

I learned not to waste money on other things, too. Like memberships to networking groups, ads in local home & leisure publications, and fancy extras like all the add-ons my phone company offered me or hiring a decorator to fix up my office. 

I learned where my leads actually come from. I get at least half of my clients from referral sources like other attorneys and existing clients. 

I learned how to get clients through my website. You want better SEO? Translation: do you want your website to stand out on Google? Learn some basic ins and outs of how the Internet works. Use a back-end to your website like Joomla or WordPress that automatically handles it for you.

I learned how much money I need to stay afloat. I wrapped my head around my own cash flow.

I learned that I can do it all myself, but that I don’t have to. I’m no longer a one-man band.

Finally, I learned to love my life, right now, just as it is. My life is not perfect, don’t get me wrong. It would be nice to be a little more profitable, but the firm is beginning to thrive. 

So I will certainly update this again along the way, but I think these points are great.  

You know, I recently spoke to a friend from law school about going into my own practice.  He certainly had some ambivilance and worry about how it work out and whether he could afford to do it.  I told him that I could not recommend more how easy and rewarding it is to run your own practice.  So here I am , the end of December 2011.  Back in the beginning of August, 2011, I didn't have a website, nor had I ever had more than 2 clients at a time.  Now, I have more than 25 currently retained clients in a multitude of practice areas, and every week I get more calls.  

And you know what?  Ultimately, I did it all on my own.  

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