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Solo & Small Law Firms

Hiatus Is Over. I Think.

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I’m back from what has become a more than a month long hiatus from blogging. I last posted on June 11, a week before departing for a two week vacation on June 18. Since then, a varied band of solos stepped up as guest bloggers who’ve held down the fort through last week.

Turning over the keys to my blog, as Scott Greenfield put it is new for me – although sharing this space was part of the original concept of MyShingle. Back when I launched in the dark ages of 2002, I hoped to publish personalized accounts by lawyers starting or practicing solo but had few takers since back then, hardly anyone understood what blogging was (even Kevin O’Keefe  hadn’t yet arrived on the scene to teach them).  Within a couple of years, blogging went mainstream and lawyers who wanted to blog about solo practice didn’t need my platform; they could simply start their own. Of course, many lawyers underestimated the amount of time involved in blogging the solo experience or perhaps found the daily grind about writing about trust accounts and complaining clients and marketing, marketing, marketing deathly dull. Whatever the reason, many of the solo bloggers who comprised the tipping point  that I observed back in 2005 are no longer. And while other practicing solo/small lawyers have taken their place in documenting the solo experience – the  Fishtown boys or Josh Camson or Nutmeg Lawyer, for the most part, stand-alone solo blogs are dead. They’re not sustainable. 

In their place, the subject of solo practice has been rolled into practice management blogs and all purpose sites like Above the Law, Lawyerist or Attorney at Work, or covered at vendor blogs sponsored by companies like Westlaw or Clio. I’ve even written for some of  them if only to enhance the reach of MyShingle.

Is there is a need for a solo-focused blog – a pure blog, rather than one that promotes a company or service? Truth is, I don’t know. I know that no one writes about solo and small firm practice as I do, sharing warts and all, and few take their eyes off the nuts and bolts and administrivia of daily practice to ponder the future of solos in the age of technology and celebrating the miracle of the solo. Important stuff in my view – but is it sustainable long-term? I’m not so sure.

Personally, I enjoyed all of the guest blog posts that appeared in my absence. The voices were fresh and enthusiastic, many taking pride in new found lessons discovered. Scott Greenfield criticizes the arrogance of some younger bloggers – but that’s one of the joys of being young.  All I know is that there will come a time when it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of lawyers.  I had a taste of what that might be like last month and it wasn’t all that bad.

Don’t worry – substantive posts will resume as I emerge from my writers’ block and busy schedule, including this appearance on the Diane Rehm Show later today. 

  • shg

    I’m feeling particularly old and lonely today.

  • myshingle

    It’s my blog and I will wallow if I want to!

  • Cliff Tuttle

    Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk is still alive and well after 6 years and over 1,000 posts. I am sure there are other blogs written by solos that are doing just as well.

    Cliff Tuttle

  • I, for one, would be very sad if MyShingle went away! This blog provides not only a current, running supplement to Solo By Choice, but also a comforting word after rough days of working alone.
    That said, I wish you hadn’t given Mr. Greenfield’s article a shoutout. His jab at your guest bloggers (and yes, I was one of them) seemed really uncalled for. Almost all of us wrote about our journeys starting a practice, something that we have just done ourselves. I would contend that, for the topics I wrote about (controlling overhead expenses using new technology and planning for solo practice as a 3L), I may have better information than an older attorney because, again, I JUST DID THIS MYSELF. We know we’re untested in the long run, but we’ve made it this far. Mr. Greenfield’s article was more like the ramblings of an internet troll than the cohesive thoughts of a concerned attorney.

  • Oh_wait

    I think it’s interesting that SHG criticized their links but didn’t provide examples of the links he was referring to. Also, SHG may not have taken their prior experience into account – unless everyone was 23 years old?

  • myshingle

    Cliff – thanks for letting me know. I just went back and read 6 months worth of posts. Somehow you blog slipped out of my aggregator but I will add it in again!

  • Cliff Tuttle

    There will always be new solos. And they will continue to come to your blog for ideas, inspiration and encouragement.

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