Welcome to the first annual holiday edition of Solo Sells – featuring products, crafts and services created by current or former solos and smalls. One of the best parts of solo and small firm practice is that if you structure it right, it leaves time to develop and pursue a side gig without leaving behind a steady paycheck. So please support the wonderful work of the SoloSells products featured – and if you have a product or service you’d like to add, email me at elefant@myshingle.com – I can add products through the end of the week.

Meanwhile, for those of you who have family or friends who are currently have their own firm or are thinking that 2016 will be the year they start a practice, I’ve listed some practical gift ideas at a range of price points.

Two final disclosures. First, I’ve either personally sampled or seen some of the products posted below, or received positive feedback about them from credible sources. Second, while neither I nor MyShingle receive any compensation from links to SoloSells products, some of the other gift ideas are affiliate links.

SoloSells – Stuff By Solos & SmallsScreen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.14.05 PM
You’ll go nuts for these small-batch candied and seasoned peanuts in more than a dozen unique flavors, created by IP solo, Steve O’Donnell. They’re a great gift to bring to holiday parties, to stock as an office snack or carry around to munch on for long days in court.


Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 10.26.43 PM When she’s not helping ordinary folks pick up the pieces of a broken marriage, Maryland-based family law attorney Elizabeth Pugliese pieces together colorful fabric patches into quilted blankets, table runners and other creations at Legal Quilts. Elizabeth can create custom pieces or you can choose from what she has in stock – and best of all, 25% of proceeds from purchases made during the holiday season go to charity.


Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.44.34 PM My friend and co-author Niki Black  is a lawyer (and former freelance legal writer) who now works as a Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase and designs gorgeous beaded jewelry available for sale at her site, Legally Boho Jewelry. These bespoke pieces would look equally at home at a casual tech show conference or CLE or paired with more formal attire in a courtroom (though mileage may vary depending on where you practice).


Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.39.01 PM A relaxing cruise is the perfect antidote to the stressed out lawyer lifestyle. If you’re interested in winning a cruise, or learning more about some affordable options, check out this contest and web site, courtesy of Long-Island based small firm lawyer Justin Meyer’s wife. Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 5.05.53 PM

Steve Hogan isn’t a solo – but he just published a book on The Drone Revolution. As you know, drone law is one of those fascinating areas that didn’t even exist  a few years ago. Why not give the gift of a new practice area for 2016?


Spoon_GroupingThanks to Massachusetts-based lawyer  Ed Adamsky , we’ve added the work of former solo Donna Banfield, a wood-turning artist, whose extraordinary creations can be seen here.


Other Gifts For Solos & Smalls

Looking for an office-warming gift for new solos or lawyer colleagues?  Why not give a Canvas Print with the local courthouse, a city scene or your colleagues’ law firm logo? I love these canvas prints because they’re cheap, easy to hang and don’t require framing – and you can really personalize the gift.

True, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is about finding and inspiring creativity – a characteristic that we don’t commonly associate with law practice. Still, lots of Gilbert’s tips can help tired, jaded or burnt out lawyers rediscover the big magic of what we do.


These are great headsets – good sound, reasonably priced, long battery life and available in a variety of colors. Good enough quality even for client calls while driving on the road.




Wicked-Good-4-Pack I saw these cupcakes on Shark Tank and had them delivered to  my daughter for her birthday. Packed in a jar, they travel well, taste great and the jars can even be branded with your law firm logo.


Major disclosure here: my husband worked for Audible for just a year but hooked me on audio books for a lifetime. I never thought that I could absorb much from listening to a book until I gave Audible a try – and now I devour one or two a week between long walks or drives, or cooking and cleaning around the house. I’ve listened to Elizabeth Gilbert and Seth Godin, but also old classics that I never got around to like Dickens’ Bleak House. Give it a try with two free audio book downloads – or purchase a subscription as a gift.


Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.30.15 PM Forget about sending holiday flowers or snacks – here’s a gift that keeps on giving: self-watering herbs, ideal for home or office. You can order them here.



Maybe I’m biased – and at four years old, Solo by Choice is getting a bit long in the tooth. Still, it’s the most up-to-date, comprehensive guide on how to start a modern law firm and contains lots of tips and tricks that we seasoned solos take for granted. And I wrote it!



OK – maybe gift cards aren’t the most creative idea, but they can be a godsend for lawyers starting a practice. Old favorites include Staples or Office Max (for office supplies) or
Starbucks (to ensure that even a work-at-home solo gets out of the house once in a while).