In this last session, I’ll be giving you resources that were recommended to those of us seriously considering going solo, either by design or by default. Where I’ve had ‘contact’ with a source, I’ll give you my impressions, but these are not blanket endorsements of the resources. Do your own research. I’m just throwing mud at the wall… if it sticks (works for you) great! If it doesn’t, no sweat – just move on to something else.
I’ll start where the panel started:
General Books and Websites:
- Here in California, the State Bar Association has written a book especially for those looking to open a law practice in California called (appropriately enough) The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office, State Bar of California 2008. See calbar.org to order.
- How to Start and Build a Law Practice, Jay G. Foonberg, American Bar Association (2004). Having run a business before, the general business management information is absolutely SPOT ON, so I trust his information about the legal side would be just as accurate. It’s a big book, but it literally covers everything.
- $olo Contendere: How to Go Directly from Law School into the Practice of Law Without Getting a Job (Second Edition) Marc Garfinkle, Esq. (2010) Next on my list to read.
- Solo by Choice: How to be the Lawyer you Always Wanted To Be, Carolyn Elefant, Lawyer Avenue Press (2008). I ‘met’ Carolyn on twitter then met her in person at the ABA Techshow in Chicago in April. The woman KNOWS her stuff!
- Start Your Own Law Practice: A Guide to All the Things They Don’t Teach You In Law School About Starting Your Own Firm, Judge William Huss (2006)
- ABA Journal Articles on Solo/Small Firms: http://www.abajournal.com/topic/solossmall+firms/
- http://www.myshingle.com Fabulous site! TONS of relevant information!
- Solo Practice University (SPU) (founder Susan Carter Liebel) http://solopracticeuniversity.com/about/ This online school teaches lawyers & law students the basics of running a solo practice. I’ve ‘met’ Susan on twitter. I like her, and I like the SPU learning platform a lot. I’m planning to sign up right after the bar. Besides, she had the good sense to hire as a writer a friend, colleague, and fellow 3L (oops! Recent grad as of Saturday!) Jack Whittington, J.D.
- The Complete Guide to Contract Lawyering: What Every Lawyer and Law Firm Needs to Know About Temporary Legal Services, Deborah Arron & Deborah Guyol (2004)
Marketing & Business Development
- How to Capture and Keep Clients: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers, Jennifer Rose, American Bar Association (2005)
- The Reluctant Rainmaker: A Guide for Lawyers Who Hate Selling, Julie Flemming, J.D. (2009)
- Bringin’ in the Rain: A Woman’s Guide to Business Development, Sara Holtz (2008)
- Business Development for Lawyers: Strategies for Getting and Keeping Clients, Sally J. Schmidt (2006)
Networking (Yes, that includes Social Networking!)
- How to Work a Room: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing, Susan RoAne (Rev. 2007)
- The 6P’s of the BIG 3 for Job Seeking J.D.’s, Amanda C. Ellis, Esq. (2010) I’ve also ‘met’ Amanda on twitter (are you seeing a trend here?!?!) She’s knowledgeable and I recommend listening to what she has to say if you are at all “challenged” by the concept of networking.
- Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, Carolyn Elefant and Nicole Black, American Bar Association (2009). I’ve already mentioned Carolyn, so now I’ll mention Nikki – who I also ‘met’ on twitter. These two are a formidable team on the subject of social media use for attorneys.
- Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected, Devora Zack (2010)
- The Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking: Understanding the Media’s Impact on the Law, John G. Browning (2010)
- The Opportunity Maker, Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development, Ari Kaplan (2008). I met Ari through a seminar at school, and have kept in touch with him. He has a great way of putting information together so it seems like you’ve always known it, even if it’s completely new to you. He’s a terrific guy, and funny to boot!
Ethics , ABA, and Other California State Resources
- ABA Solo Lawyer Resources: http://www.americanbar.org/portals/solo_lawyers.html
- State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm Section: http://solo.calbar.ca.gov/
- State Bar of California Ethics Resources (including Ethics Hotline): http://ethics.calbar.ca.gov/ethics.aspx
General Career Development Resources
- Maximize your Lawyer Potential: Professionalism and Business Etiquette for Law Students and Lawyers, Amee McKim (2008)
- The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What To Do About It, Michael E. Gerber (2009?) I read this book last summer while in D.C. for an internship. This book is an adaptation of Mr. Gerber’s E-Myth book tailored in detail to the legal industry. I found it telling that he need to educate people that although they might be great attorneys, that is not an indication that they are qualified or skilled to run their own business – in law or anything else.
Practice Area-Specific Resources
I hope you find these resources useful. Keep in mind these are meant to be a starting point for your own research and study, and not meant to be an exhaustive list.