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With the number of new, and experienced, lawyers that strike out solely, the optimism it takes to get a practice going often overshadows the real pragmatic question that every lawyer should be asking themselves: Is your firm a dead-end job?
After all, when you start a solo practice, the fact that you are your own boss, and THE boss, means there is no upward mobility. But, usually when first starting out, that's the least of your concerns. As a practice can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to really ramp up to full speed, knowing whether your practice is leading you to a dead-end, or down a path of glory, isn't the easiest thing to see.
Your Firm, Your Goals
As the Law Technology Today blog explains, if you want to be successful you need to set goals, and define what success means to you.
Then, you need to carefully examine whether or not your current firm will get you to your goals and your definition of success. And it is important to not sell yourself short: Give yourself (and your firm) the time, and the resources, to get there. Sure, failure is possible. But you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.
The Solo Stepping Stone
For many new and younger attorneys, setting up a solo practice is a matter of necessity.
In these situations, setting up a solo practice that can "scale" or grow may not actually be a good idea, at least initially, until it's decided just how temporary the practice is going to be. Remember: It's all about your goals. If you don't want to be responsible for marketing, or business operations, then running your own firm shouldn't be a long-term goal.
From Stepping Stone to Island
However, many solos soon discover that what they may have thought would just be a stepping stone becomes a permanent home. If you see yourself heading that way, don't wait until it's too late and you become an island cut-off from the rest of the world. Good help may be hard to find, but it's findable, and might just be what you need to avoid winding up on a dead-end road.
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