No products in the cart.
Ever wish someone had told you this when you were starting out? Speakers Lisa Clay and Patrick Walsh did a segment on this exact topic during our seminar last week in Chicago: Opening and Managing Your Practice: The Do’s, Don’ts and Everything In-Between.
As you know we occasionally post snippets from our seminar handout materials and wanted to share this today.
- The importance of, and guidelines for, doing client intakes.
- Just because a client wants me to represent them doesn’t mean I should.
- What do I need to know in terms of their background?
- Their history with other lawyers?
- Are they frequent flyers/filers?
- How are they going to pay me?
- Conflicts Checks!
- How do I do it?
- What level of conflicts checks do I need conduct as a solo?
- Overhead is EXPENSIVE!
- Rent, insurance, lexis, phone Internet, etc.
- It all adds up, and most of it can’t be passed on to a client
- How important it would be to have other attorneys as back-up and resources for things like:
- Covering me if I’m down and out
- Subject matter consultations
- Referrals on cases I don’t want
- That I would have to be my own bill collector. I still suck at this.
- About all the unpaid time I would lose being my own office, and dealing with computer issues, addressing phone problems, taking calls I don’t want, etc., etc., etc.
- That I would have to fire clients (and they might have to fire me).
- This requires that I have a good retainer, a standard disengagement letter and that I address liens.
- How to keep track of expenses.
- I use a credit card for everything I can, but I’m still terrible about making sure billable expenses get on bills, and that I don’t lose cabs, meals, etc.
- I can’t take every case. Boundaries are so important for solos.
- How much my opponents would try to use my status as a solo against me.
- What it’s like to be threatened with “teams” of attorneys and be drowned in discovery by firms with 4 and 5 attorneys on a case
- How important it is to cultivate relationships with other lawyers
- That half of my job would be in the role of therapist/social worker… and that part of my job would be largely unpaid.
This seminar took place last Friday; however, you can still hear the full discussion on the audio version available here.