My Shingle

Solo Trends

My Dispatch from the 2012 Futures Conference: Who’s Looking Out for Solos and Our Clients?

October 29, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Last week, I attended the COLPM’s Futures Conference 2012 here in Washington D.C.  to learn where the practice of law and the legal profession are heading.  For once, I got more than I bargained for as panel after panel of technology experts and thought-leaders and in-house counsel openly shared the problems with today’s law firms, […]

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Why The Best Solo and Small Firm Lawyers Aren’t the Best Entrepreneurs

June 12, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

About a year ago, in response to then- Above the Law columnist  Jay Shepard, I asserted that wanting to run a business is NOT the most important characteristic for lawyers wanting to start their own practice.  I postulated that lawyers who hang a shingle for the excitement of running a business rather than a passion […]

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What Solos Can Learn From Legal Zoom: Value of the Subscription Service

May 30, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Having been out of the country last week and on travel the week before,  I missed out on the legal blogging commentary  on the Legal Zoom IPO.  But while there’s been passing commentary from observers on how the IPO may impact solos, with the exception of Scott Greenfield (who’s kind of a solo  but not […]

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Do Clients Want to Self-Schedule Appointments With Lawyers?

May 16, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Despite the proclaimed rise of the DIY-client, seems that many aren’t yet willing to self-schedule an appointment with an attorney.  At least, that’s been the experience thus far for several of the lawyers interviewed by the Wisconsin Bar Journal on their experiences with self-scheduling. One North Carolina lawyer, Kellie Mannette reported that while her practice is […]

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Do You Want to Be Discovered or Found Online?

April 30, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Columbus discovered America. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. Lana Turner , like other great movie stars of the day, was discovered drinking a coke at a soda fountain.  We all enjoy discovering that terrific little cafe on the backstreets of Brooklyn or Washington D.C. or London or wherever else we happen to be traveling. By contrast, […]

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Solos at the Second [Circuit]: The Battle over the Constitutionality of NY Jud. Code Sec. 470 Continues

April 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

I’m fast learning that lawyers’ can’t just act as advocates in defending rights or effecting change in the law; sometimes, we’ve got to play the role of litigant. As I’ve posted previously, I’m defending the First Amendment not as an attorney but as a defendant and client. And now, I’m an amicus along with a […]

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A Solo’s Thank You to Technology, and The Goal of Faster, Better and Cheaper

April 17, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Back when I started my law firm, one of my first “paying” matters was an appeal of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision to the D.C. Circuit. I put the term “paying” in quotes because I only collected about $1500 for the matter; my former firm kept the $1000 retainer since I’d brought the […]

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Own Your Own Client Feeder System: Lessons of Trademarkia

April 12, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

In both the first, and now second edition of Solo by Choice , I recommend the solo option as a way to “own, not loan” one’s talents. Yet the choice between ownership versus loan-ership isn’t unique to law practice.  It’s also one that lawyers increasingly confront in an era of crowdsourcing, a practice which at its […]

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The Single Secret to Solo Success: The Scrap Heap Strategy

April 10, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Call it the twitter-ization of going solo, but these days, I’m most often asked about the one thing that guarantees success as a solo. It’s an impossible question of course, since there isn’t any silver bullet — but if I had to settle on the one strategy common to successful solos across generations, regions and […]

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Non-Lawyer Funding and Ownership…What Say You Solos?

April 9, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Ever since Australia, and now the UK have opened the gates to non-lawyer membership of law firms, the question has been percolating here in the US about whether, and when it can happen here. Currently, the DC Bar, where I practice permits a limited degree of non-lawyer ownership, most likely to accommodate partnerships between law […]

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