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Solo & Small Law Firms

Finding a Way to Do What You Love, Even If What You Love Is Watching TV

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This isn’t a post that directly relates to solo practice, though the lessons that it offers will apply.  Instead, it’s about the serendipitous way that your passions can lead you to a job that truly fits – which is something that many of us have in fact found in solo practice.

Consider this New York Times profile of Thomas Rogers, a former biglaw attorney who is the president of Tivo.   The profile describes that when he was a kid, he was such a huge TV fan that his parents bought him a subscription to TV Guide.  In addition to the TV listings, the section about the FCC caught his interest as well.  Rogers went on to law school, but turned down an FCC position for biglaw practice.  But TV stayed on his mind and helped him catch his first big break:

In early 1981, I read that Timothy Wirth of Colorado had been named head of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance. I wrote him, and his staff invited me for an interview. I told a top aide the story about reading TV Guide and she said, “At least that’s different.” I became one of four lawyers on the staff.

From the Hill, Rogers went in house to a cable division of NBC and then on to Tivo, where he became President and CEO.

Sometimes, you need to leave the law to follow your passion.  But perhaps, like Rogers, you can also find a way to marry what you love with your legal practice.

  • I have talked more lawyers than I can recall, out of more practice areas than I can count (and helped them get into other instead) for PRECISELY THIS REASON!
    After many years, I have figured out that one of the BEST PREDICTORS OF AN ATTORNEY’S LONG-TERM SUCCESS, is the degree to which he or she has a genuine interest in the area of law and/or the type of clients their Rainmaking efforts focus on.
    There is no “best” practice area or type of client for all lawyers to focus on – that’s why so many of the marketing books & courses don’t really work. There’s only the best practice area & type of client for you, individually – which is why the most successful Rainmakers focus on marketing skills & systems, not one-size-fits-all types of gimmicks.
    There is simply NO EXCUSE for being an unhappy or broke lawyer. I can assure anyone reading this, that no matter what area of law you have a genuine passion for – or what types of clients you most enjoy helping – there IS a way to earn ALOT of money at it. I have personally witnessed too many lawyers prove this point by example to ever believe otherwise!
    Helping Lawyers In Small Firms Make ALOT More Money!

  • anon

    Please tell the fourth grader Robins to stop spamming your blog.

    I am disappointed that “Anon” thinks I am spamming the blog. Even more so that he or she chose to lob an unconstructive insult instead of engaging in a mature discussion, debate, heck, even an argument would be better than that 4th grader comment.
    The fact of the matter is that I am an avid reader of MyShingle and sometimes I share relevant experiences which I happen to know are appreciated by many readers.
    “Spam” is when you make comments that have nothing to do with a post, or which make no contribution to the discussion thread.
    “Anon”, you may not agree with my point of view. You may even think I am flat-out wrong. And if that’s the case, I would welcome your comments to that effect – afterall, that’s what makes blogging great, the free exchange of ideas.
    But to suggest that my comments are “spam” is unfair, and I would argue inaccurate. Carolyn’s original post is about the fact that sometimes you have to leave the law to find your passion, other times you can find your passion in your practice. I happen to have alot of experience helping lawyers who are looking for passion in their practices. My experiences, I think, help put Carolyn’s excellent points in perspective for any lawyers out there who are themselves struggling to find passion in their practices. What about this (or any other comment I’ve ever made) would you consider to be “spam” ?
    Helping Lawyers In Small Firms Make ALOT More Money

  • elguapo

    Your comments seem primarily focused on promoting your business. My opinion only.

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