My Shingle

You Never Know When You Just Might Start Your Own Law Firm

by Carolyn Elefant on May 29, 2005 · 10 comments

in Biglaw to Solo, MyShingle Solo, Should I Solo?

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To my readers who visit this site and dream of starting a law firm but are precluded from doing so because of your present circumstances,  one’s for you.  Because it’s never too late, as this article, More Lawyers Flee Megafirms, National Law Journal (5/31/05) suggests.  Though the bulk of the article reports on large firm lawyers opting for a smaller firm, the article closes with mention of a 49 year old biglaw attorney ready to hang a shingle:

Also making a major career change from big-firm life is
Andrea Wirum, 49, who is in the process of leaving 900-attorney
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to start her own practice in San
Francisco as a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee and a mediator. Wirum
served as a member of the firm’s managing board during the merger
between Pillsbury Winthrop, originally based in San Francisco, and
335-attorney Shaw Pittman in Washington, and supported the deal, she
said. But the time has come to hang her own shingle.

“You reach a point in life where you want to give something else a try,” she said.

There may never be a perfect time to start a law firm, but some periods
of one’s life are more optimal than others.  Even if now’s not right,
keep reading MyShingle and keep that possibility in mind.  When the day
comes, you’ll be ready.

  • http://gdgrifflaw.typepad.com/kansas_family_law_/ Grant Griffiths

    We no longer need the large firm office to enable us to practice law and provide great service to our clients. With the advances in technology in just the last 8 years I have seen, I am able to do more of the everyday duties that need to be done myself. In addition, legal research tools have come so far from the dusty old books on the shelves to the online and CD-ROM services we can get our hands on now that we don’t even need a lot of space to hang our own shingle. However, don’t get me wrong, I keep a few dusty old books around just because I like to hold a book now and again. If you are on your own now or thinking about it, THIS is without a doubt one of the best resources you can find on the web. Explore all that is offered on MyShingle and you are well on your way to hanging your own shingle.

  • http://gdgrifflaw.typepad.com/kansas_family_law_/ Grant Griffiths

    We no longer need the large firm office to enable us to practice law and provide great service to our clients. With the advances in technology in just the last 8 years I have seen, I am able to do more of the everyday duties that need to be done myself. In addition, legal research tools have come so far from the dusty old books on the shelves to the online and CD-ROM services we can get our hands on now that we don’t even need a lot of space to hang our own shingle. However, don’t get me wrong, I keep a few dusty old books around just because I like to hold a book now and again. If you are on your own now or thinking about it, THIS is without a doubt one of the best resources you can find on the web. Explore all that is offered on MyShingle and you are well on your way to hanging your own shingle.

  • http://solo2b.blogspot.com basquette

    This place is blogrolled on my blog, and I check it daily. It has undoubtedly been the single most helpful resource (out of many helpful resources) located on the web in my quest to determine if, when, and how to hang my shingle. (Answers so far: yes, 1-2 years, and … a work-in-progress.) It’s very reassuring and affirming to read of people like Ms. Wirum. Though my circumstances are different, we will both undoubtedly face similar obstacles. I wish her – and all my fellow solos “2b” – all the best.

  • http://solo2b.blogspot.com basquette

    This place is blogrolled on my blog, and I check it daily. It has undoubtedly been the single most helpful resource (out of many helpful resources) located on the web in my quest to determine if, when, and how to hang my shingle. (Answers so far: yes, 1-2 years, and … a work-in-progress.) It’s very reassuring and affirming to read of people like Ms. Wirum. Though my circumstances are different, we will both undoubtedly face similar obstacles. I wish her – and all my fellow solos “2b” – all the best.

  • http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ethicalesq/2005/05/31#a3909 f/k/a

    objection, that isn’t haiku

    What I would like to see are some stats or studies on the financial realities of going solo: How long can it take to actually make a living? What are the

  • http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ethicalesq/2005/05/31#a3909 f/k/a

    objection, that isn’t haiku

    What I would like to see are some stats or studies on the financial realities of going solo: How long can it take to actually make a living? What are the

  • http://wiredgecko.typepad.com/neuvo/2005/06/smaller_firms_a.html Neuvo

    Smaller firms are appealing

    Conventional wisdom says you join a large law firm and you stay there until you make partner because then you can be said to have really made it. It would seem that being with the big law firm is no longer the stuff dreams are made of.

  • http://wiredgecko.typepad.com/neuvo/2005/06/smaller_firms_a.html Neuvo

    Smaller firms are appealing

    Conventional wisdom says you join a large law firm and you stay there until you make partner because then you can be said to have really made it. It would seem that being with the big law firm is no longer the stuff dreams are made of.

  • Ben Mastaitis

    I am currently employed as an assistant district attorney in a large urban area. Obviously, I am gaining experience in criminal law exclusively at this point. I am planning on relocating sometime in the spring of 2008, and want to either start my own firm, or go into business with my father, who has a solo practice. Obviously, when I relocate I will want to hit the ground running, and not have a gap in income. My question is, are there any good tips, such as advertising, or something that may help in what could be a complicated transition? Also, if I go into practice alongside my father, it will be with a view toward DOUBLEING the firms income, and not cutting it in two. Any advice? Thanks, and I appreciate the website!

  • Ben Mastaitis

    I am currently employed as an assistant district attorney in a large urban area. Obviously, I am gaining experience in criminal law exclusively at this point. I am planning on relocating sometime in the spring of 2008, and want to either start my own firm, or go into business with my father, who has a solo practice. Obviously, when I relocate I will want to hit the ground running, and not have a gap in income. My question is, are there any good tips, such as advertising, or something that may help in what could be a complicated transition? Also, if I go into practice alongside my father, it will be with a view toward DOUBLEING the firms income, and not cutting it in two. Any advice? Thanks, and I appreciate the website!

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