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Of counsel – another solo practice option

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This month’s issues of GP Solo Magazine has an article by Elio Martinez entitled Of Counsel:  An Alternative to Solo and Firm Practice.  The article tells a little bit about Martinez’s of counsel arrangement (all of them differ, I think):

My of counsel arrangement is simple. I maintain a separate and independent practice while occupying an office at my friend’s firm. I keep my own schedule, develop my own clients, and run my own firm. In exchange for the office space and a percentage of fees collected for my work on my friend’s cases, I guarantee that I will work a certain number of hours per month on those cases. This arrangement is beneficial to us both: He has some of the burdens of the practice lifted from his shoulders by someone he knows and trusts, and I have guaranteed work and income every month, as well as an office where I can grow my practice. The of counsel arrangement also provides me the added benefit of always having someone with whom to discuss issues and ideas, as well as assurance that, in my absence, someone will be there to step in and handle emergencies on my cases.

Unfortunately (and as is the case with many GP Solo articles, which is why I don’t reference them often), the article does not offer much detail on how to find an of counsel arrangement, nor does it link to any sample contracts for “of counsel” relationships (a frequent request to me from readers).  But the article shows the advantages of an “of counsel” relationship, so it may be something you want to pursue.

  • For a sample form, see 3 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d Attorneys At Law § 30:239 (available in law libraries and on Westlaw).

  • I have a different of counsel relationship, which I really like.
    I pay a small rent to a midsized firm. I keep my practice completely separate. I have a mutual referral agreement with the firm. What I like about this arrangement is that I have access to the firm facilities including its conference rooms and library. In additional I have the support of several more experienced attorneys.

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