Earlier this month—and maybe you’ve followed the story—a careless attorney, wanting to appeal a contempt order issued against his client, was forced to seek an extension of time due to a Microsoft Word failure. Trust us, we completely understand how quickly an unexpected technological setback can send even the most well-organized plan south without a moment’s notice. But as the legal world chided this attorney for his incompetence, this attorney felt the need to make an excuse to defend his actions: I’m a solo practitioner with limited resources.
What’s worse, is that he is not the first solo practitioner to use this as an excuse for ineptitude. In 2018 alone, there are dozens of cases where solo lawyers cited being understaffed or overworked as a reason why their representation was inadequate, or why their filings were late, etc.
We partner with solo and small law firms across the country, helping these hardworking attorneys with recruiting, staffing, employee training, leadership development—essentially everything they need to never have to complain about being understaffed or overworked. As we’ve worked with literally thousands of lawyers, we know only too well the real struggles that come along with being a solo practitioner: work-life balance (or the lack thereof); developing the willpower to be accountable to yourself (it’s so much harder than it sounds); and the sheer amount of stress that comes along with going out on your own. The last thing a talented and capable solopreneur needs to add to that list of challenges is having to prove that they can handle a big case…and it’s much harder to do that with so many less-than-competent attorneys running around crying solo.
Knowing when you need legal support staff—and how to find, recruit, hire and pay for a new employee—is the first step in never having to cry understaffed or overworked again. The right hire will not only be able to take loads of work off your very full plate, but can be empowered to become an efficient, resourceful and profitable asset to your firm.
For all the challenges that come along with being a solo practitioner, there are twice as many benefits: having full control over your legal services destiny; creating a niche-specifc practice vs. taking on all types of clients with a wide variety of legal needs because it is all about the billable hour; designing the work environment of your dreams; the flexibility of setting your own (sometimes unconventional) work hours…the list goes on. Having Hiring & Empowering Solutions in your corner can make the benefits of solo law practice even sweeter. We take the guesswork out of legal staffing and employee training and development, which can save a solo practitioner from feeling understaffed and overworked—not to mention thousands of dollars and countless hours of lost time.