Both lawyers and law students thinking about solo practice have dozens of questions. But some questions are asked more frequently than others and those are the ones that I’ve tried to address in my book, Solo by Choice. Take a look at some of the questions that I’ve addressed in the book and think about whether it might be a useful purchase for you:
What can I gain from starting my own law firm — 6 powerful motivators. p. 2-8
How much do solos earn? p. 14-17
How are some of the financial considerations in starting a law firm – i.e., how much does it cost and how much will I need? p. 17-20.
What are the three essential questions that I should ask myself to assess my chances of success p. 23-24
What are the pros and cons of going solo right out of law school, and how can I plan for a practice down the line if I don’t start a firm right away? p. 26-30.
What kind of corporate form should I have for my practice?
Do I really need malpractice insurance and how cdo I choose a provider?
Once I decide that I’m going to start a firm, what are some of the tasks I need to address to get going? p. 35-44, also 60-68.
I’ve just been fired. Do I start a firm right away or look for a job? p. 40-41.
What benefits am I entitled to when I leave my former employer? p. 49-53.
Can I solicit my former firm’s clients, and if so, when? p. 53-56
Where do I set up shop – home office or outside my home? p. 70-78
How do I pick a practice area? p. 80-84
Do I generalize or specialize? p. 85-88.
How do I keep up with and learn about other practice areas and skills? p. 90-91
How do I choose clients wisely to avoid the clients from hell? p. 105-108
What are some things I need to include in a retainer letter? p. 109-113
How do I decline representation? p. 115-120
How much should I charge and how should I set rates? p. 123-131
Do I charge for initial consults? p. 132-134
Should I compete on price? p. 133
How do I make sure that I get paid? p. 136-142
How can I make money while waiting to build a client base? p. 144-150
When should I hire, and what are my options? p. 150-158
What is an "of counsel" arrangement and how can I find one? p. 159-160
Should I leave my practice for another firm? p. 160-162
What is outsourcing and how can it benefit me? p. 163-172
What I can do to make marketing more appealing to me? p. 174 – 177
How can I generate referrals from other lawyers and clients? p. 189-190
What associations should I join and how do I decide? p. 191-194
How do I network if I’m shy? p. 197
How can I find speaking engagements? p. 199-202
Do I need to pay for SEO or can I do some things on my own? p. 207-208?
What are the top ten tips for successful blogs? p. 209
Should I have a website, blog or both? p. 209-210
What social networking options are available to solo lawyers? 210-212
What are some high impact marketing ideas that offer proven results, but which many lawyers aren’t using? p. 216-223
Can I start a successful part time practice? p. 233-235
I work for the government – what’s the best way for me to transition to solo practice? p. 230-232
How do I start a firm right out of law school? p. 224-226
I’m at biglaw – will my credentials help or hurt me in starting my own firm, and how can I leverage them to my advantage? p. 227-230
What kind of tech do I need to get started? p. 253-262
What’s a paperless office and should I have one? p. 262-263
What are my legal research options? p. 265-270
How do I create a forms library? p. 271-276
Should I have a mission statement, and how do I create one? p. 251-252
What are some basics to drafting a business plan and are there some samples unique to law practices? p. 246-250
Of course, the book includes even more, but this is intended to give an example of the types of questions that it will answer for you.