My Shingle

It’s Never Too Late to Start a Solo Practice

by Carolyn Elefant on February 15, 2012 · 4 comments

in Biglaw to Solo, Encouragement

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Solo practice isn’t just for the young or the new attorney. Many seasoned veterans who’ve spent their entire career at a government position or a large law firm secretly harbor dreams about starting their own practice. Others who have devoted their career to a firm now find themselves out on the street with few options except hanging a shingle.

Just as it’s never too soon to start a law firm if that’s what you really want, it’s never too late either. This obituary reports on the passing of 86-year old Pennsylvania lawyer and big-law-to-your-law solo, Pasquale DiQuinzino. DiQuinzino graduated from law school in 1954, clerked for the United States Supreme Court and was a partner at Philadelphia-based big firm, Dechert from 1956 through 1985. Yet after 30 years of practice at some of the most prestigious places in the country, DiQuinzino opened his own firm, where he spent the last fifteen years of his legal career. According to his daughter, quoted in the article, DiQuinzino “really enjoyed the last phase of his legal career, in which he helped his clients make planned gifts and other donations to many worthy causes and organizations, especially college and universities.”

So if you’ve always thought you might want to start a firm, why not give it a try no matter where you are in your legal career. You just might find that running your own firm is the best job you’ve ever had.

  • http://samglover.net/ Sam Glover

    I actually think more-experienced lawyers have an easier time going solo, in part because they bring the gravitas and experience of years in practice, plus an extensive network—all the stuff the rest of us stress out trying to get.

  • Ncrglaw

    I agree with that, Sam. In fact I find that is very difficult for a non-experienced lawyer to go solo.

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  • Lisa

    Working for a law firm is difficult. Students and new lawyers don’t really understand how much they will be expected to sacrifice as a law firm associate.  If I had understood it, I never would have done it.

  • Attorneydavid

    Clients are very sensitive to the experience issue. If you look old it’s a huge and well known advantage. I know some people went solo straight out of law school and did okay, but they were 45 or more Clients just assumed they were experienced.

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