From Carolyn Elefant, creator of, the longest running blog on solo and small firm practice.

What People Are Saying...

“Thanks to this book I feel more confident about going solo.”

“This is a great book. (The author) has done an excellent job to reflect the current economic times. It’s a must-read. I could have never started my practice without this book.”

“Solo by Choice is an excellent how-to for hanging your shingle. The author covers almost all the ground needed in just the right depth. It’s detailed enough, and has some personal perspectives that also help...”

“I put off buying a how-to book for a couple of months, thinking that I’d just figure stuff out on my own. And while I didn’t make any huge mistakes, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to do things. I finally bought this book, and wish I would have bought it sooner; it would have saved me a lot of time. The book discusses most of what you’ll need to know to set up your practice and get it running. It’s incredibly practical, up-to-date on technology, ethics rules, etc. A fantastic resource...”

“Although I read a number of how-to’s before I set up my own firm a couple of years ago, this is the only book that still sat on my desk. (The author) is both inspirational and realistic. She seems to have an intuitive feel for precisely the type of questions you will have. Her book is comprehensive without overburdening you with information. I used the book as a road map/checklist for all the things I needed to do.”

This new third edition of Solo by Choice lands at a pivotal moment as the legal profession emerges from the shadow of the pandemic. Though solo practice has often been a tough sell, the legal community – from new grads to senior lawyers – is taking a fresh look at law firm ownership for numerous reasons: the elimination of many traditional legal jobs, more enlightened attitudes towards entrepreneurship, technology advances and the capabilities that have slashed startup costs. and a desire to control one's destiny and do work that matters.

Whether you’re a lawyer evaluating the solo option, or you're ready to start your own firm -- or you're an existing solo looking to update your practice to take advantage of new opportunities -- here is some of what you’ll learn in Solo by Choice:

  • How to decide whether solo’ing and small firm practice might be right for you;
  • How to overcome your biggest fears about solo practice;
  • How to select a practice area that serves your interests, financial goals, and lifestyle;
  • How to assess your technology needs and choose a tech stack for your practice;
  • How newly emerging business models can create new opportunities for solos;
  • How to build strong client relationships and develop a solid retainer agreement;
  • How to outsource and automate to manage busy times and grow your practice
  • How to leverage digital marketing and social media
  • How to manage personal challenges and maintain balance while running a successful practice.

About the Author

Carolyn Elefant (Cornell Law 1988) owns the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, a national practice founded in 1993 that fights climate change through representation of renewable energy companies and sustainability entrepreneurs on permitting and IP and defends communities and landowners across the country impacted by pipeline infrastructure and eminent domain in federal district and appellate courts where Carolyn has argued cases of constitutional import. Carolyn also founded and served as legislative counsel for the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition from 2005-2014, a 55-member national trade association responsible for early commercialization of offshore renewables in the United States.

In 2002, Carolyn created the blog, the longest-running blog on solo and small law firm practice and responsible for helping thousands of lawyers launch their own firms. Dubbed the patron saint of solo and small firms, Carolyn writes and speaks on topics including starting a modern law firm in the digital age, how small firms can leverage technology to compete with large firms, the need for regulatory and ethics reform to ensure the sustainability of small law firm practice, and the role of woman-owned law firms in achieving gender equality in the legal profession.


In addition to “Solo by Choice," Carolyn has co-authored the ABA Publication “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier" and "The Legal ClauseIt: Plug & Play Engagement Agreements and Power Pacts for Small Law Firms" Carolyn has been listed as an Energy and Environmental Super Lawyer for Washington D.C. since 2012 (the only small firm lawyer on a list of AmLaw 200 firms), was named an ABA Legal Rebel (2010), a Fastcase 50 Innovator (2011) and an ABA Woman of Legal Tech (2014) and appeared on the Daily Show in 2014 to discuss law firm business models.