Friday, February 14, 2014

One-Third of American Lawyers Are Solos

From Progressive Law Practice (excerpts):

According to the American Bar Association, the United States is home to nearly 1.3 million attorneys. Of those, it is estimated that about one-third are solo practitioners.

That means single shingle law practices where there are no associates, no one serves as Of Counsel and no one lords over the practitioner. While an attorney might practice law alone, hanging a solo shingle isn’t the only way that can be accomplished. Whether driven by the lawyer’s personality, work style or economics, there is definitely more than one way to toil alone in the legal profession.

Top Tips

Now that he’s been on his own for a few years, Hill can put his solo practice experience into perspective. He suggests solo practitioners “work to build a network of small practice attorneys, especially outside their area of experience.”

One reason is to increase the likelihood of client referrals and the other is simply to share the camaraderie of lawyers outside the soloist’s comfort zone.

Susan Cartier Liebel, founder and CEO of Solo Practice University, offers several tips to attorneys considering hanging a single shingle, namely:

• Cultivate two mentors who believe in you

• Don’t expect to know it all. Have faith in yourself you can find the answers

• Maximize your use of technology to keep competitive, efficient and effective.

Hill has another suggestion, but it applies to every attorney: be sure to obtain and maintain malpractice insurance. “That’s very important,” he says.


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Thanks, Will. Your statistic is from 2005. Here's a Wall Street Journal article 2007) using the one-third statistic. I can't reconcile the difference. Lou

Posted by: Louis Sirico | Feb 17, 2014 8:53:56 AM

Actually the ABA says about half of lawyers are solos -

Posted by: Will Hornsby | Feb 15, 2014 8:29:55 PM

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