Who Loves You Solos? Dueling Videos – Join the ABA v. What You Don’t Know About Solo Practice Can Hurt You

Last week, my colleague Susan Cartier Liebel posted on why the ABA’s recent decision to slash dues for solos is too little, too late.  I agree.  While I appreciate the ABA for Solosez (and publishing the upcoming social media book I’ve co-authored with Niki Black), dues cuts or not, I won’t join simply because the ABA spends too much money on political issues that I either don’t agree with or which don’t make a difference to most lawyers.

I don’t have much to add to Susan’s commentary, so instead, I’ll just leave you with these dueling videos: the one by the ABA, and the one that the ABA would put out if it really cared about solo and small firm practice.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments.



  1. Michael Gort on February 18, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Last sunday I was catching up on some 200 backed up Solosez messages. After 10 posts, the system refused any new posts. Has that always been true, or is that yet another “favor” since the ABA took over administration of the list?

  2. jennifer rose on February 18, 2010 at 9:59 am

    The ABA has always administered Solosez, contrary to Susan Carter Liebel’s blog post. Asking the list manager might serve up a more productive answer to your listserve questions.

  3. shg on February 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Two videos, both of which are propaganda and neither of which supports their purported premise.
    Can’t we do better than propaganda?

  4. Mike Mintz on February 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Love this video Carolyn! After graduating law school and passing the bar I chose to go the corporate route rather than opening my boutique video game law practice. Some of the myths you touch on were definite factors in my decision. I am happy with my decision and feel empowered knowing that should I choose to go out on my own that a viable practice is possible. Thanks

  5. Carolyn Elefant on February 18, 2010 at 10:49 am

    With regard to the Michael G’s comments and Jennifer’s response, yes, Jennifer is correct that the ABA has always administered the site, with Jennifer doing an outstanding job in keeping it on track. For me, Solosez is one of the best things that the ABA has ever done for solos, including making it available for members and non-members alike. However, if the dues slashing is intended to make it easier for solos to join the ABA as a precursor to limiting Solosez to members, then I’d be forced to leave the list that I’ve loved for nearly a decade because I can’t abide the ABA’s political position or the way it wastes resources (NOTE – this is pure speculation on my part; the ABA has given no indication that slashing dues is part of any plan to limit solosez to members only).
    As for Scott’s comments, I suppose you’re right – both the ABA video and mine are propaganda. But sometimes propaganda and slogans are necessary to combat other propaganda – for example, the biglaw propaganda that talks about the great training and opportunities and becoming part of a team of the “best and the brightest.” Many folks buy into that, and when they’re later sent packing, it’s hard to deal with.
    But you’re also right in that we ought to do better than propaganda. If all I did was laud the benefits of solo practice and nothing else, I’d deserve reproach. But unlike the ABA (claiming to be a great home for solos, with nothing to show for itself), I have an even handed book and seven years of blog posts on the pluses and minuses of solo practice, the work that goes into getting started and resources and information on how to build a practice and serve clients ethically and capably.

  6. shg on February 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

    And you have done better than propaganda. Your book is without question the finest, most honest and most helpful thing I’ve ever read on going solo.
    By no means do I criticize you. But the video does not do justice to the very thoughtful work you’ve done.

  7. Legal on July 20, 2010 at 5:03 am

    ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT JOIN THE ABA! I am a solo practitioner and ABA policies hurt solos in particular and all lawyers in general. I am not giving them a cent until they lower the number of law schools accredited in this country. Get rid of Toilet law. Once lawschool in Texas had a 40% bar passage rate last year. Such schools need to go. THERE IS AN OVERSUPPLY OF LAWYERS BECAUSE OF ABA'S AGGRESSIVE ACCREDITATION OF LAWSCHOOLS! if medical schools can control their numbers, so can we!

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