Today would be a Good Day to go Solo

As all Biglaw associates and wannabes know, Above the Law tracks the goings-on for those who dream of vast wealth and importance.  It used to be about how high first year associates salary and bonuses would go.  Now it’s about who’s killing their summer associate programs and laying off associates.  Equity partners are finding that they’ve changed the locks on the bathroom doors.

There are some problems happening with the Biglaw clients, willing to pay the $12,500 for a couple of partners and three associates to sit for an hour and noodle their self-created dilemmas.  Plenty of Biglaw money was made this weekend.  But next week, there may not be much to do.

There is still real legal work to be done out there.  There are regular people who need lawyers.  There are always defendants in criminal cases, though no Biglaw refugees are equipped to represent them.  Forget the house closing business, as there’s not much of that to be found. 

You won’t have red-welds with your firm name on them.  The waiting room won’t be two stories with six different shades of marble.  Lunch may come from an umbrella stand, and you will find out that you can still eat a filling meal even though it is not served on a linen table cloth. 

While it’s too late to get ahead of the curve, there’s still time to do something about your lot in life before the pink email arrives at your crackberry.  Susan Cartier Leibel is about to open the digital doors of Solo Practice UniversityCarolyn Elefant has written the definitive book on the mechanics of opening a solo practice, Solo By ChoiceKevin O’Keefe offers entrée into the world of marketing oneself when you open the doors and desperately want someone to walk through them.

Not all of you will make it.  Not all of you deserve to make it.  Some of you belong in a paneled law library getting a check at the end of the week, for as long as the check keeps coming.  When it stops, you will find some other use for those Paul Stewart suits.  Perhaps as a concierge.

But some of you will see the writing on the wall.  Don’t pass up the available opportunity and resources that are here today.  It’s decidedly unclear what tomorrow will offer.

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