WhatnextsoloEvery so often, I’ll go back and review several months of posts at my blog, and a distinct theme emerges. In 2010, it was your client as partner, after noticing the uptick in posts on do-it-yourself client on my blog and others. In 2011, I was obsessed with bespoke on a budget.

More recently, I’ve been concerned about the long-term sustainability of solo and small firm law practice. I know, it seems almost counter-intuitive. After all, I’ve spent nearly a dozen years on this cyber-soapbox harping about how technology empowers solos and smalls to thrive and compete with the big boys. And that’s all still true.

Trouble is, technology is an equal opportunity enabler. So the same technology that allows solos operate as veritable (or virtual) one-man bands or run our law practices from remote islands similarly has given large firms and startups low cost tools to develop platforms and DIY sites to serve clients even more cheaply – and in some instances, just as effectively. Ultimately, many of these sites threaten the long term survival of solos – just as the corporate takeover of medicine is threatening the future of independent doctors.  

And so, sustainability of solo and small firm practice has been the theme of many of my blog posts over the past two years and is the subject of my plenary, What Next Solo? at the Clio Cloud Conference. I’ll address current threats to the long term sustainability of solo and small firm practice and identify both specific measures and systemic changes that individual firms and our profession, respectively must take to ensure not just survival (solos have always operated in survival mode) but long-term sustainability of solo and small firm practice. Finally, I’ll conclude with why the future of solos and smalls matters, because often it seems that no one, including our own ABA really seems to care.

I previewed a version of this presentation at last month’s Minnesota Strategic Solutions Conference but I’ve changed it up since then. This is one of my favorite of my plenaries – because it’s a unique topic but also because it’s a topic that’s so important.

If you plan to attend the Clio Cloud Conference, I look forward to meeting you there – and if you’ve not yet registered,you can use this discount code CCC2014-MyShingle to register at the site, or use this short-cut discount here (prices already reflect the $400 discount).