I recently had lunch with a successful large firm lawyer. He asked me how I am liking my practice. I told him, as I have told many, that I am having the time of my life. Each day of work is fun, an adventure, and I feel very fortunate.
“That’s great to hear,” the large firm lawyer said, “since, you know, most lawyers are miserable.” And moments later, he said it again for emphasis. “You know, most lawyers are just miserable.” And we talked about the tragedy of so many people who slog through five days a week of drudgery (whether lawyers or humans) and count the days every week until the cherished weekend or day off, where they actually enjoy life. (Grinding through 72% of your life so you can enjoy 28% of it is a pretty horrible deal.)
My only complaint about the solo lawyer life is that it feels so precarious in many ways. A highwire act. No net. The lack of logistical support is an obvious challenge and stressor (office and administrative matters (scheduling, travel arrangements, billing, photocopying, collating, postage, etc. etc.)). But, for many solos, as or more difficult is the lack of a community of support. I am talking about the support of colleagues. I am fortunate. I have a office-sharing arrangement that suits me well.
If you are a Minneapolis solo lawyer and you do not have an office-sharing arrangement, you really need to consider it.
“Yes, candy-assed Minnesota Litigator,” you say, “But I am not bagging enough bucks at this time to afford renting an office in a suite….”? Three answers to that: (1) I am not “candy-assed” and I do not know you are implying. Who raised you? (2) As sales people say, “Are you sure you can afford NOT to have an office?” (remember: it takes money to make money) and (3) Please consider an opportunity for an office-share on the Greenway at Lyndale (details here) where you would get to office with Joshua Williams for $700.00/month. (If you get just a few clients from the office-share per year, that expense is paid for, right?)
Also, by the way, if you’re a solo and you really cannot take advantage of Williams’ opportunity (or any other office-sharing opportunity) for whatever reason: JOIN THE MINNESOTA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION. That’s a different kind of community, a different kind of support. But it is all of that and then some. Seriously worthwhile for all Minnesota lawyers but particularly valuable, maybe, for solo/smalls.