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Resource Review: Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be

Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be, by Carolyn Elefant and available in the Career Development Office, is a book that offers advice to those seeking to establish and operate a solo practice. The resource is broken up into five sections, and each one details a different aspect of the formation process and practice in a solo law firm.

The first section provides an overview of solo practice and initial considerations. The author lists arguments for why solo practice can be a good career choice, outlines traits typical of successful solo practitioners, and discusses potential earning capacity.

The second section is devoted to the more practical aspects of operating a solo firm. It begins by describing different life-phase scenarios (e.g., employed, recently terminated, unemployed, employed part-time) and discusses the different priorities people in such positions should have. This section then lists nine practical steps for getting started, including tips for setting up financial accounts, office space, and equipment.

In the third section, the author provides more practical advice for establishing and growing one’s practice. This section offers guidance for dealing with clients from both ethical (e.g., avoiding conflicts of interest) and practical (e.g., communicating with and representing clients effectively) standpoints. The author then goes on to describe processes for determining how much to bill, how to bill, and how to collect. Finally, this section suggests advice for when and how solo practitioners should hire employees or outsource work.

The fourth section, consisting of four chapters, provides a broad overview of—in addition to discussing specific considerations pertaining to—marketing. After outlining the importance of marketing, the author highlights the ethical implications relating to attorney marketing. After these general comments, the author gives specific suggestions for utilizing print advertising, online and social media tools, networking opportunities, branding, and referrals to establish and grow a client base.

The final section offers specialized advice to people in particular situations—such as former prosecutors, large firm lawyers, government attorneys, and parents—seeking to start a solo practice.

Overall, this resource is recommended for anyone considering working as a solo practitioner. The book is well-organized and manages to give lots of advice for specific situations while still providing a general overview of the benefits and realities of solo practice work.

What's going on?: October 13-17

Welcome back for another exciting week at Mizzou Law!! If you are interested in a judicial clerkship after law school, you should attend the 25th Annual Floyd R. Gibson Judicial Clerkship Forum on Monday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m. in the Courtroom.  The Honorable Matt Whitworth, US Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Missouri  Continue Reading »

Spotlight on Pro Bono: October is Pro Bono Month

In case you were not aware, October  is Mizzou Law’s Pro Bono Month, and we are celebrating by presenting the Pro Bono Month speaker series, which kicked off on October 1st, when Mizzou Alum, Amy Lorenz-Moser, ’00, partner at Armstrong Teasdale in St. Louis, spoke to students about her passion in pro bono work and  Continue Reading »

Resource Review: Website Review: Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

If you’re interested in working in the Kansas City area after graduation, then you’ll want to check out the website of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA)(kcmba.org). The website is divided into seven main sections, and a great deal of information is available to members and non-members alike. The first section offers a basic  Continue Reading »

Career 411: I Can Join Bar Associations in Law School?

Once you graduate from law school, you will likely join a few bar associations, including the Missouri Bar Association (MOBAR), a local Bar Association (like KCMBA or BAMSL) and the American Bar Association (ABA), which will provide you with many member benefits including CLE’s, socials, and discounts, that will be invaluable for the practice of  Continue Reading »

What's going on?: Oct. 6-10

This week we have a lot of exciting activities going on at Hulston Hall that you will surely want to make sure to attend. Kate Gallen, ’12, current law clerk at the Missouri Supreme Court for Chief Justice Mary Russell, ’83, will discuss her experience as a law clerk as well as the application process during  Continue Reading »

Resource Review: Website Review: Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

If you’re interested in working in the St. Louis area after graduation, then you’ll want to check out the website of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) (bamsl.org). The website is divided into seven main sections, but some features are available only to BAMSL members. The first section focuses on general information about  Continue Reading »