– Solo and small firm lawyers (firms of 2-5 attorneys) account for seventy-five percent of the roughly 975,000 lawyers in private practice and represent the vast majority of consumer and small business clients.  Yet, few law schools offer programs to students or alumni on how to start and run a law firm, and the mainstream legal trade press rarely covers issues that matter to them.

Meanwhile, not only are solo and small firms ignored, but they lack champions to stand up for them.  

Consider that:

  • Solos and small firms are routinely subject to a disproportionate number of disciplinary actions and harsher penalties than their large firm counterparts. 
  • Ethics rules governing trust accounts, flat fees and other innovative price models, fee sharing and advertising put solo and small law firms at a disadvantage to non-lawyer, form-based websites.

In short, by omission and commission, the legal profession is killing solo and small law firms.

It's a shame, because solo and small law firms are the soul of the legal profession.

Solos and smalls represent the majority of consumers and small businesses in the United States.  Any diminution in  cadre of solo and small law firms,  enormous disparities between haves and have nots and an access-to-justice crisis.

Solos and small firms are, and have always been the source of unbounded
innovation and diversity in the legal profession. Here are just a few of our favorite examples:

The contingency fee model – now employed even by some large firms – was developed by solo and small firm lawyers.

The landmark case, Bates v. Arizona which opened the door for lawyer advertising was brought by two small firm attorneys who sought to  promote their firm’s low cost legal services in a newspaper ad. 

As a solo lawyer decades ago, attorney Tom Goldstein pioneered the practice of “ambulance chasing” Supreme Court cases, and taking them at no cost to build up experience.  Today, nearly every law firm follows Goldstein’s model.

Solo attorney Stephanie Kimbro developed the technology for one of the first exclusively virtual law practices so that she could work and still spend time with her daughter.  During the pandemic, thousands of law firms relied on similar technology to run their practices and serve clients remotely.

As a new solo attorney back in 2012,  Rebecca Geller pioneered a business model to accommodate women lawyers seeking to parent and practice law.  Since then, her firm has grown to 15 attorneys.

Small law firm owner Erin Levine was frustrated by the number of clients unable to afford a family law attorney. So Levine built Hello Divorce, a company that leverages technology to democratize and automate the divorce process and which is now funded by venture capital.

At MyShingle, we champion solo and small firm lawyers.  We celebrate your work. We advocate for your unique interests.  We empower you with “forever free” tools and resources and knowledge to survive and thrive.  And most of all, we deeply believe in the transformative power of law firm ownership to unleash innovation and creativity in the delivery of legal services, advance diversity and equity in the legal profession and empower all lawyers to control their destiny and achieve financial success, career satisfaction and a lasting legacy.