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Dave Swanner’s No Frills Advice on Starting a Firm

by Carolyn Elefant on June 28, 2006 · 9 comments

in Law Practice Management

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Dave Swanner has some great, defy-the-experts advice on starting a law firm.  The essence:  Don’t overplan, get a phone line and some business cards, and just do it.  Though Dave admits in his comments that this no frills approach may not work for everyone, particularly those with major financial commitments, he’s definitely on to something.  Sometimes lawyers get so bogged down in planning every detail of their practice, in waiting to have enough clients or enough money, that they may miss the opportunity to go solo at all. 

  • Misha

    I want to go solo. I really do. I have moments of great enthusiasm, believing I have what it takes to seek and gather clients, and practice law the way I would like to practice. Yet, the thought of failure paralyzes me. The idea of leaving my paycheck leaves me…worried. Have any solos out there found a way (mentoring, coaching, online resources) to keep their confidence bolstered? I have a entrepreneur parrot on one shoulder (with a lot of good ideas), and a chattering failure monkey on the other….

  • Misha

    I want to go solo. I really do. I have moments of great enthusiasm, believing I have what it takes to seek and gather clients, and practice law the way I would like to practice. Yet, the thought of failure paralyzes me. The idea of leaving my paycheck leaves me…worried. Have any solos out there found a way (mentoring, coaching, online resources) to keep their confidence bolstered? I have a entrepreneur parrot on one shoulder (with a lot of good ideas), and a chattering failure monkey on the other….

  • http://www.SCTrialLaw.com Dave Swanner

    Misha,
    That’s very common. You can try business coaching. I use Larry Levin and Samy Chong at http://www.4lawyersonly.com. They are great.
    Atticus Online is another business coaching company. Arnie Hernz of http://www.legalsanity.com also does business coaching as does Ed Poll of http://www.lawbizblog.com.
    A good entrepreneur has to be very optimistic. In fact most of the very successful people I know have a boundless enthusiasm and optimism.
    Personally, I never think of failure. My father and sister had their own businesses. I started my own business as a programmer while in law school, so the chance of not getting clients never occurred to me.
    (Maybe I’m delusional. I don’t know). But optimism is a key ingredient for going out on your own.

  • http://www.SCTrialLaw.com Dave Swanner

    Misha,
    That’s very common. You can try business coaching. I use Larry Levin and Samy Chong at http://www.4lawyersonly.com. They are great.
    Atticus Online is another business coaching company. Arnie Hernz of http://www.legalsanity.com also does business coaching as does Ed Poll of http://www.lawbizblog.com.
    A good entrepreneur has to be very optimistic. In fact most of the very successful people I know have a boundless enthusiasm and optimism.
    Personally, I never think of failure. My father and sister had their own businesses. I started my own business as a programmer while in law school, so the chance of not getting clients never occurred to me.
    (Maybe I’m delusional. I don’t know). But optimism is a key ingredient for going out on your own.

  • Misha

    Dave:
    Thanks very much for your thoughts, and I appreciate the business coaching sites. I’ll follow up on myshingle more in the future…by the way, your SC trial site is terrific. A beutifully designed and informative site.

  • Misha

    Dave:
    Thanks very much for your thoughts, and I appreciate the business coaching sites. I’ll follow up on myshingle more in the future…by the way, your SC trial site is terrific. A beutifully designed and informative site.

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  • Patty

    I went solo with $1,000 to my name, 1 client and my laptop along with my husband’s encouragement.  It’s been a year and I do not regret my decision.  If I would have stopped to analyze and think about it too long, I would have never started. 

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